In light of the planned Powerball expansion to include Australia and Britain, Idaho lawmakers voted to pull the state out of the lottery.
Idaho Lawmakers Vote to Stop the Powerball from August
After the Powerball has operated for more than 30 years in Idaho, lawmakers decided to pull the state out of it on Wednesday this week. The decision comes at a time when the lottery considers expanding to include Australia this year and Britain in 2022.
However, lawmakers found Powerball’s expansion overseas to be in dispute with the existing state laws. Under the current law in Idaho, only lotteries that are played by residents in the United States and Canada are allowed.
A bill, which planned to allow the most popular lottery to continue operating in Idaho, was shut down by the Idaho House State Affairs Committee. During a 10-4 vote on Wednesday, the proposal was rejected. As a result, the Powerball will be allowed to continue operating until August.
Multiple Lawmakers Are Concerned
Lawmakers who voted to shut down the bill expressed multiple concerns. Chris Mathias, a Democrat, acknowledged that Idaho’s public education received millions from the Powerball. However, his main concern is regarding the countries, which Powerball may expand its offering to.
On that topic, he said: “My concern is the delegation of authority, and essentially turning over our sovereignty to this Multi-State Lottery Association“. Furthermore, Mathias added: “I think we should be concerned that they could be persuaded, they could be lobbied heavily by countries that we are not particularly friendly with.”
Heather Scott, Republican Representative also shared her concerns. She acknowledged that by involving more people in the Powerball, Idaho’s chances are decreasing. Furthermore, Scott stressed that no Powerball jackpot was won in the state for 10 years.
Powerball Odds Remain the Same Regardless of the Number of Players
Undoubtedly, the Powerball is the most popular lottery in the United States. Currently, the game is played in 45 states, including the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. The Powerball drawings twice a week seek winners who would guess 5 numbers from 1 to 69 and one Powerball number from 1 to 26.
Although the lawmakers in Idaho are concerned that the state’s chances would decrease by adding more players, the director of the Idaho Lottery, Jeff Anderson disagreed. Speaking at the committee meeting on Wednesday, he stressed that the odds of winning the Powerball are the same for each ticket.
In other words, regardless if the lottery adds more players, the odds of winning the jackpot remain the same – 1 in 292.2 million. Although this sounds like a slim chance, in the improbable event of two or more people guessing all correct numbers, the jackpot would simply split between the lucky winners. Jackpots aside, if a player decides to participate in the Powerball, their chance of winning a prize is much higher – 1 in 24.9.