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Why a billion-dollar lottery could soon become more common

A man purchases New York State Lottery tickets for the $400 million Powerball lottery in New York's financial districtA man purchases New York State Lottery tickets for the $400 million Powerball lottery in New York's financial district
A man purchases New York State Lottery tickets.Photograph by Brendan McDermid — Reuters

The New York State lottery commissioners have agreed to a change that would alter the odds of winning the Powerball lottery, FiveThirtyEight reported Wednesday.

As the article notes: “If those changes go through, the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot will go from about a 1 in 175 million chance to 1 in 292 million. Not great, right? Yes, but the chances of a Powerball win making some future player a billionaire are radically higher. Like, 7.5 times as high.”

The article goes on to say that the current odds of a jackpot getting to $1 billion are about 8.5% in a simulated five-year period. With the new, more difficult odds, there’s a 63.4% chance in that five-year period.

In other lottery news, New Jersey lawmakers have proposed legislation for a system in which those with student loan debt can enter a lottery system to have their loans forgiven — for a price.