Is Idaho getting rid of Powerball?

Idaho is not getting rid of Powerball. There have been some recent discussions about changes to Powerball in Idaho, but the Idaho Lottery has confirmed that Powerball is not going away in the state.

What’s happening with Powerball in Idaho?

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s going on:

  • In April 2022, the Idaho Legislature passed a bill (HB575) that would change how Idaho participates in Powerball.
  • HB575 would require Idaho to leave the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), which currently oversees Powerball.
  • Instead, Idaho would work directly with other lotteries to continue offering Powerball.
  • The change was proposed to give Idaho more flexibility and control over Powerball policies and revenue.
  • HB575 is currently on hold and has not yet taken effect.
  • The Idaho Lottery has confirmed Powerball is still being offered in Idaho and will continue to be offered.

So in short – there are potential future changes to how Idaho administers Powerball, but the game is not going away in the state.

Why did Idaho consider leaving MUSL?

Here are some of the key factors that motivated the proposed shift away from MUSL:

  • MUSL voted in 2021 to revise the Powerball game to increase the number of drawings and change the Power Play feature.
  • Some Idaho lawmakers were concerned these changes would negatively impact Powerball sales and proceeds for Idaho education programs.
  • By leaving MUSL, Idaho would have more control over game policies rather than being bound by majority votes.
  • Lawmakers believe Idaho may be able to negotiate better profit-sharing arrangements by working directly with other lotteries.
  • The bill would also allow Idaho to continue working with MUSL for games like Mega Millions while changing Powerball administration.

Essentially, the goal was to give Idaho more oversight of Powerball to maximize profits that support in-state education programs.

What do Idaho education officials say?

Idaho education officials have urged caution about leaving MUSL and stressed the importance of Powerball revenues. For example:

  • The Idaho State Board of Education opposed HB575, stating it puts Powerball revenue at risk.
  • Powerball funds $50 million per year worth of Idaho education programs, including scholarships and school building projects.
  • The Idaho Education Association argued HB575 threatens the budget stability of these programs.
  • Education officials recommend taking time to carefully consider all potential impacts before enacting major changes.

Preserving Powerball revenue is a high priority for Idaho education stakeholders. There are concerns any disruptions could negatively affect education budgets.

What are the potential downsides?

Here are some of the key downsides and risks Idaho officials have noted about leaving MUSL:

  • It could make cross-state collaboration and coordination more challenging for jackpot management and drawing logistics.
  • Idaho would have a smaller voice in multi-state game policies as an individual state versus part of MUSL.
  • It may be difficult to negotiate favorable profit-sharing deals without being part of the larger MUSL bloc.
  • Some Idaho lottery vendors have contracts requiring MUSL participation, which could cause legal issues.
  • Disrupting the current administration may require significant upfront transition costs.
  • There could be short-term disruptions to Powerball sales during any transition period.

Leaving MUSL introduces regulatory uncertainties that could put Powerball revenue at risk in the short term. Idaho officials want to tread carefully.

What needs to happen for the changes to take effect?

For HB575 to enact the proposed Powerball changes, a few additional steps must occur:

  • The Idaho Lottery must develop a transition plan for leaving MUSL.
  • The Lottery must negotiate new cross-selling agreements with other lotteries.
  • The plan must be approved by the Idaho Lottery Commission.
  • Any contract changes must be approved by the Idaho Attorney General.
  • The Lottery must coordinate with vendors to amend contracts as needed.
  • The Idaho Legislature will review progress in the 2023 session before giving final approval.

The Idaho Lottery has said it does not expect significant movement on HB575 until 2023 at the earliest. Powerball procedures will remain unchanged in Idaho until further notice.

Could Powerball be eliminated entirely?

It is very unlikely that Powerball would be totally eliminated in Idaho. Here’s why:

  • Powerball accounts for over 50% of Idaho Lottery revenue, and those funds support vital state education programs.
  • Offering Powerball helps drive overall lottery participation and draw in out-of-state players.
  • The game remains very popular among Idaho residents.
  • The Idaho Lottery is incentivized to keep its most profitable product.
  • Joining cross-state games like Powerball has helped smaller population states like Idaho offer bigger jackpots.

While the administration may change, there is little motivation for the Idaho Lottery to completely drop Powerball given its success in the state.

Could Idaho start its own version of Powerball?

It’s unlikely Idaho would attempt to independently launch a new game to replace Powerball. Here’s why this is improbable:

  • Creating a successful multi-state jackpot game from scratch requires massive infrastructure and reach.
  • The Idaho population is too small to offer large jackpots without outside participation.
  • An Idaho-only game would have less brand recognition than the well-known Powerball name.
  • Other lotteries may be unwilling to carry an Idaho-branded game.
  • Powerball trademarks and patents prevent copying the game format exactly.
  • The Idaho Lottery likely doesn’t want to compete directly against Powerball.

Maintaining Powerball access through cross-selling agreements will be a much more viable and profitable option for Idaho than trying to develop a new competing game.

Will Idaho Powerball changes impact other lotteries?

It’s unlikely that Idaho’s actions regarding Powerball would significantly influence other state lotteries. A few reasons why widespread impacts are improbable:

  • Most states are satisfied with the current MUSL arrangement.
  • Larger population states have financial incentive to maintain unified game policies.
  • Other small states may lack leverage for individual agreements.
  • Not all lotteries have the same motivations as Idaho.
  • There is risk of coordination problems if each state strikes out on its own.

Idaho is in a unique position to negotiate individual Powerball agreements due to its existing vendor contracts. Other lotteries will likely prefer maintaining the MUSL status quo.


While the future administration of Powerball in Idaho is still uncertain, the Idaho Lottery remains committed to keeping the game available in the state. Potential alternative arrangements are still in early planning stages, with no imminent changes expected. Idaho residents can continue enjoying Powerball without concern the game will disappear, as long as it remains profitable for the state.

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