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POWERBALL DROPS NUMBERS FOR SHAPES AS MATH STANDARDS FALL

WEST DES MOINES, IA (SatireWire.com) – Keeping up with declining math standards in the United States, Powerball today announced it has abandoned numbers and will instead use balls painted with 59 familiar colors and shapes.

Tonight's winning numbers.

Powerball’s new, less challenging system relies on visual recognition that avoids the brain’s math-adept parietal lobe in favor of the occipital lobe, which is used for lesser functions like watching television or updating your Facebook status. As a result, participants will be no longer pick from among 59 numbers, but will instead pick from among 59 commonly recognizable shapes, plus the “Powerball” shape, which instead of being one of 35 numbers, will be one of 35 contestants from “Celebrity Dancing with the Stars.”

While individual state lotteries are considering making the switch away from numbers. Florida officials said they have always adorned their game balls with a variety of straight and curved lines, until it was pointed out to them that those were in fact numbers.

Powerball spokesman Dan Mangenis denied the change is another step toward the dumbing down of America, and insisted it be viewed as a dumbing-up of Powerball.

“The truth is, numbers are hard. You have to recognize them, put them in sequence, tell them apart from each other,” said Mangenis. “We’re not all MIT graduates. I mean, we were using 59 numbers before. Fifty-nine! That’s not just one number; it’s two numbers put together – a five and a… another number.”

Lottery sales outlets also welcomed the change.

“I can’t tell you how many people came in here, handed me their cards and said their numbers matched because their card said P-o-w-e-r-b-a-l-l, too,” said Jack Portofino, who owns a convenience store in Akron, Ohio. “I had to explain that those were letters, not numbers. But the letters did match, so it was good they recognized that.”

Moments ago, the first drawing was held with the new system, which continues to use the term “numbers” on the theory that many players won’t be able to tell the difference. Tonight’s winning numbers are: bird, tree, smiley face, scissors, triangle, and the Powerball is Apolo Ohno.

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