Powerball is expanding its schedule to include a third weekly drawing of the massively popular interstate lottery game.
Lottery officials confirmed today that Powerball plans to add a Monday night drawing beginning August 23. Following a public comment period where little opposition was raised, Powerball officials decided to add the third weekly drawing.
The Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), which administers the Powerball game, concluded that more frequent drawings would attract more customers, and has adopted a change in association rules to be effective for the August 23rd, 2021, drawing to conduct drawings three times a week, instead of two,” explained New York State Gaming Commission Executive Director Robert Williams.
All other aspects of the game, including odds, the $2 per ticket cost, and $1 Power Play multiplier, will remain unchanged. Cutoff times for purchasing Powerball tickets before the draw will also go unaffected.
Monday’s draw adds to Powerball’s current two nightly draws on Wednesday and Saturday. The draws happen live at 10:59 pm ET from Universal Studios in Orlando, Fl.
COVID-19 hurt lottery sales across the nation, as Americans traveled less in 2020 and were told to stay at home by state officials for considerable periods of time. Powerball and Mega Millions, the two most popular lottery games in the US, responded by doing away with starting jackpots and guaranteed increases between draws.
Powerball additionally considered expanding overseas in order to increase sales. Its mulling of adding Australia to the 45 states, plus DC, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands that are allowed to participate, led to Idaho threatening to withdraw.
Lawmakers in Idaho voiced concerns to Australia’s opposition to gun rights, which are in deep contrast of the views held by the Republican-rich state population. Idaho GOP leaders argued that Australia could use its associated revenue from Powerball to further voice its opposition to guns during international forums.
When Powerball announced in April that those expansion plans Down Under were being put on hold, Idaho officials said they would remain in the lottery organization.
While bringing in Australia won’t happen in 2021, adding a third night will. MUSL says it still plans to expand internationally in the coming years. Along with Australia, the Powerball operator wants to include the United Kingdom.
In other lottery news, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) signed legislation today that allows lottery winners in the state to remain anonymous. The new law makes it a misdemeanor crime for lottery officials or others to publicly reveal a lottery winner’s name without his or her consent.
Any legislation we get across the finish line that protects Missourians’ privacy and safety is a win for Missouri,” Parson said in a statement to the Associated Press.
Missouri joins 11 other states that allow lottery winners to remain anonymous.