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Powerball ticket prices, jackpot double

A Powerball ticket

A Powerball ticket Credit: Albany Times Union

A chance at Lady Luck will cost you more these days.

As of Sunday, Powerball tickets increased from $1 to $2.

But with that change came a doubling of the initial jackpot to $40 million and better odds at winning, lottery officials said.

In the past, lottery players had to pick five correct numbers and a Powerball number to win the jackpot. The same rules apply, but players now choose from a field of 35, not 39, Powerball numbers, improving players' odds.

The new odds of taking home a jackpot are 1 in 175.2 million, down from 1 in 195.2 million, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs the game, which is played in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The increase's impact is unclear.

Players will "cut back and then they'll come back again," said Manowai Ahmed, owner of New Wellwood Service Station in Babylon.

Or they'll just cut back, said player Albert Burchman of New Rochelle: "Instead of five, I'll just buy four."

A steady stream of customers Sunday found their way to Maulik & Chandni stationery store in Lindenhurst, which sold a $201.9-million winning Powerball ticket in June to 20 employees of the Melville Costco store.

"This is a big business," owner Mike Patel said. "[Customers are] talking about it, but they're still playing."

Drawings are Wednesday and Saturday nights at 10:59 p.m. No one won Saturday, so this week's jackpot is now $80 million, lottery officials said.

"I think it [the increase] is kind of ridiculous," said Bob Langen of Copiague, who buys tickets for a group of co-workers at Four Seasons Messenger & Trucking in Ronkonkoma.

Normally, they get four Powerball tickets; now it will be two. "We're just going to invest the same amount," he said.

Mike Truglio is taking a break due to the Powerball hike, choosing to play Lotto and other lottery games. "I'm not going to spend $20 if I can spend $10," said the Lindenhurst retiree.

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