Last week, it felt like it was getting ridiculous that no one had won the Powerball yet. We’re still waiting on the latest results to see if anyone won the $1.5 billion drawing, but people in the Twitter-verse are already coming up with some wild theories about why no one was winning for so long. Here are some of the top ideas.
1. Some Are Wondering if The Government Is Using Powerball to Eventually Pay Off Its Debts
This one is pretty creative. We all know the federal government has a pretty hefty debt to pay off. Well, some people think that maybe, just maybe, the government itself will eventually be the one to win the Powerball jackpot. Can the federal government buy a ticket?
2. Or Maybe It’s Just a Way to Jumpstart the Economy
Others think it’s not necessarily sinister, but just a way to get people to start spending money again:
Still others are unconvinced by this, and think the number 13 may hold a clue.
But if you’re not ready to blame a superstitious number, maybe just blame the Illuminati:
3. Others Think Something Is Going On, But They Aren’t Sure What
Some people don’t have an actual idea of what the conspiracy might be, just that something has to be going on for the Powerball to not have been picked yet.
4. Meanwhile, There Really Is a Lottery Scandal Going on Nationwide
Whether it’s ever been connected specifically to the national Powerball isn’t known yet, but Eddie Tipton, former security director of the Multi-State Lottery Association, was convicted of fraud in December for fixing a jackpot in Des Moines, the Chicago Tribune reported. His high-tech scheme may have extended nationwide. He’s being investigated for tampering with lotteries in four states and the inquiry may be expanding, it was reported in December.
Prosecutors said that Tipton installed software that let him manipulate lottery numbers without being traced. He was discovered when he tried to buy a $16.5 million winning ticket in Iowa. Colorado authorities are looking into a $4.5 million jackpot split by three people in 2005. Oklahoma is investigating a $1.2 million jackpot claimed by a Texas construction company in 2011. And a Wisconsin prize of $2 million from 2008 is also being investigated.
It all goes a little deeper than that, even. Charles Strutt, executive director of the Multi-State Lottery Association (which runs the Powerball) since 1987 was removed from his position in October, New York Daily News reported, and was placed on indefinite administrative leave. This came after prosecutors said they were expanding Tipton’s investigation nationwide.
Lottery officials say that despite the scandal, the games are still on the level, The Washington Post reported.
5. The Odds of Winning Really Are Smaller Now
Conspiracy theories notwithstanding, the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are indeed smaller now than they were last year. Since the Powerball was changed in October, the odds of winning are much, much lower than they ever were before. Back in February 2015, the odds of winning the $500 million drawing were 1 in 175 million. On Saturday, the odds of winning the $900 million jackpot was 1 in 292 million. This is because in October, Powerball switched having players choose five numbers from 69 numbers, rather than 5 out of 59 numbers, CNN reported. As for the Powerball itself, you now get to choose from 26 numbers rather than 39, so your odds of picking the Powerball itself are higher.
Why would Powerball decide to make it tougher to win? Well, that’s one place where conspiracy theorists have it right — at least, to a degree. When the odds are lower, that means there will be more jackpots in a row that aren’t won. As the pot gets bigger and bigger, more and more people will want to participate. And that is good for Powerball itself.