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Powerball tickets doubling to $2

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(AP, WJLA) - Get ready to pay more for Powerball: Ticket prices are going up to $2.

Lottery organizers hope the price change will entice more people to play because jackpots are getting bigger and the odds of winning are improving.

The starting prize will jump from $20 million to $40 million and matching all five numbers without the powerball will still make you a millionaire. The numbers chosen will be going down from 39 to 35 and the chance of winning will now be 1 in 175 million.

The move is a strategy to differentiate the game from Mega Millions, another big-money, multi-state lottery game that sells for $1 a ticket.

Both games are sold in 42 states, plus the U.S. Virgin Islands and Washington D.C. Both have drawings twice a week but are played on different nights.

Lottery officials say they are betting players will like the variety and changes made in the game. But some players say the price increase may keep them from playing as often or not at all.

"It's not going to stop me from playing," said Arlington resident Melissa Honasti. "I'm going to continue playing, that's for sure. I just hope one day I hit."

However, Ujjwal Karki, an employee at Blue Ridge Partners Auto Repair, says the increased price has discouraged some customers from playing.

"Customers said to forget about this powerball," Karki said.

Karki plans on offering a different game.

"There's still megamillion one dollar ticket," he said.

The price change takes effect Jan. 15. The next Powerball drawing is Wednesday, with an estimated jackpot at $30 million.

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