It's true that most lotteries have very big jackpot prizes. Especially the Powerball draws. And often only 1 or 2 people seem to win these huge amounts. So why is that?
The short answer is that big jackpots sell more tickets! It shouldn't make any difference if the jackpot is just plain big, if it's huge or ridiculously vast. But it does - a big difference.
And that's why lottery companies like running Powerball type draws. It's much harder to win the jackpot for a Powerball - which means more rollovers. When the jackpot rolls over again and again, lottery fever breaks out. The newspapers run more stories about it. The TV news start talking about huge jackpots. And the lottery company sell a lot more tickets. It's designed to work that way.
Yes, it would be good to see those huge jackpots get split between 10, 20 or even 100 people. They would all still get to be 'rich enough'. And it could be done using multiple draws. You just keep drawing more numbers and giving jackpot winners a few million each until the pot runs out. Or you could stick with a single draw and cap the amount each person can win, and roll the rest down to the lower prizes tiers.
But the lottery companies are there to sell tickets. They remain convinced that a 'worse chance to win a vastly larger sum' is what players really want. You need to tell them if that isn't true.
It's not all bad news though.
Remember of course that there are still prizes for matching less balls. And also take heart in the fact that about 1 in 4 of those jackpot winners is actually a ticket owned by a lottery syndicate. Which does mean quite a lot of the time that prize is actually changing the lives of 10, 20 or even 100 people.