OK, so you didn't win the massive Powerball. Don't worry. The $1.5 billion dollar jackpot wasn't a fluke.
Here are the three things to know:
1) Powerball had been losing a lot of money, so they juiced up the game to make it harder to win.
2) That's what makes it possible for a billion-dollar jackpot to happen.
3) More billions are coming; it's a matter of math and being patient.
Changes made to the Powerball system late last year increased the likelihood of bigger payouts. At the same time, your chances of winning the jackpot declined — from 1 in 175,223,510 to 1 in 292,201,338. So it's less likely that you'll score the big money, but if you do you'll get a whole lot more.
Before October, there were only 59 choices for the white balls. And then they added 10 more, giving a full 69 choices. That's why it's harder to win everything.
And that's why these jackpots will keep getting bigger and bigger. It's exactly what the bosses wanted, and it's exactly what they are getting. This isn't a fluke or an accident, but a desired effect of design.
But the organization's customer research told them that people wanted to at least have a better chance of winning something. That's why they reduced the number of red "powerballs" — down to 26 from 35. That makes it easier to win some smaller prize, even if it's just $4.
The odds of winning different levels of prizes adjusted accordingly: