How Does US Powerball Work?
In US Powerball, you pick:
- five numbers (i.e. the white balls) from a selection pool consisting of 1-69, and
- one number (i.e. the red ball) from a selection pool of 1-25
Take note that the red ball can be the same number as one of the white balls. You can pick numbers manually or via a Quick Pick option – which means you let a system randomly pick the numbers for you.
Winning numbers are drawn at 10:59pm every Wednesday and Saturday at Universal Studios in Florida.
Two drums, one containing the white balls, and the other containing the red balls, are used to randomly select the winning numbers. Matching all 6 numbers awards you the jackpot, while matching 5 gives you the 2nd place prize category, and so on.
Each ticket line costs $1, but some online lottery sites may charge higher to cover for the service of purchasing, scanning and safekeeping tickets.
The Power Play
You can also include a Power Play number in your entry.
For an additional $1 on top of the $1 per line (again, prices may vary on lottery sites), the Power Play number multiplies prizes for non-jackpot winnings by up to 5 or 10 times. The second prize with the Power Play multiplier activated, for instance, is automatically doubled to $2,000,000.
Check out the table below to see how Power Play affects each prize category.
Prize with Powerball Multiplier
|5 + 1||Grand Prize||No Multiplier – Jackpot Only|
|5 + 0||$1,000,000||$2,000,000||$2,000,000||$2,000,000||$2,000,000||$2,000,000|
|4 + 1||$50,000||$100,000||$150,000||$200,000||$250,000||$500,000|
|3 + 1||$100||$200||$300||$400||$500||$1,000|
|2 + 1||$7||$14||$21||$28||$35||$70|
|1 + 1||$4||$8||$12||$16||$20||$40|
|0 + 1||$4||$8||$12||$16||$20||$40|
The Odds of Winning
Winning the Powerball isn’t easy, especially when it comes to the jackpot.
Check out the table below for a quick reference.
|Numbers Matched||Odds of Winning|
|5 +1||1 in 292,201,338.00|
|5||1 in 11,688,053.52|
|4 + 1||1 in 913,129.18|
|4||1 in 36,525.17|
|3 + 1||1 in 14,494.11|
|3||1 in 579.76|
|2 + 1||1 in 701.33|
|1 + 1||1 in 91.98|
|0 + 1||1 in 38.32|
What Happens if You Win?
Powerball jackpots are split between anyone who has a winning lottery ticket, while all other prizes are of a fixed amount. That said, non-jackpot prizes could be reduced if the number of winners exceed the lottery operator’s prize fund.
Winners have the option to choose whether to collect their payment as an annuity paid over a 29-year period, or as a lump sum.
Winners have a year to claim their prize. Otherwise, the money often goes to the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, which funnels the money to charity. This won’t always be the case, though, as each MUSL member has different rules that dictate what happens to unclaimed prizes.
Changes to Powerball
Radical changes introduced in the autumn of 2015 increased the odds of seeing more spacious Powerball jackpots. Throw into the mix the 40,000,000 starting jackpot and you’ve got the world’s most exciting and rewarding lottery.
The 2015 changes expanded the main ball pool into 69 balls, adding the following ten amounts. But, at precisely the exact same period, the Powerball pool dropped from 35 to 26. It follows that even though the overall likelihood of winning the jackpot have significantly increased to 1 in 292 million, the overall probability of winning any prize have declined to 1 in 24.87. The initial draw incorporating the modifications happened on October 7th and saw an increase in the grade three decoration (matching 4+1) climb to $50,000.
The increased starting jackpot in 2012, together with the $1,000,000 prize for matching five numbers, intended there have been more Powerball concessions created. Nevertheless, it was not only the big winners which were influenced by these modifications; the minimum trophy win additionally increased to $4.
Quick Guide to Playing
- Purchase tickets to get online or from the Regional Powerball retailer.
- Select five ordinary numbers out of 1–69 and also the Powerball from 1–26
- Draws occur on Wednesday and Saturday evenings at 10.59 p.m. ET.
- Assess the Powerball along with other winning amounts.
- Win massive jackpots of over $40,000,000.
Pick five numbers out of between 1 and 69. Like almost all lotteries, not one of those five numbers may be the same, and the order does not matter. You will also opt for a Powerball number between 1 and 26. We advise that you invest a bit more and choose the Power Play option; we explain why in more detail below. As soon as you’ve purchased a ticket, then you are going to need to wait around for the drawings to happen on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 p.m. (EST). It is that easy and will take one step nearer to hunting down this big win.
Each moment a Powerball ticket has been purchased, a huge 50 percent goes towards awards (20% into the jackpot pool, another 30% towards additional prizes). The remaining 50 percent goes to the country where the ticket has been purchased to pay operating expenses, merchant expenses and, clearly, excellent causes.
Payouts are given according to the number of numbers you have matched. The biggest decision you will want to make is the Powerball number, as matching this alone will probably win you 4, fit two regular numbers and you are in your way.
|NUMBERS MATCHED||PRIZE||ODDS OF WINNING|
|5 + Powerball||Jackpot||1 in 292,201,338.00|
|5||1000000||1 in 11,688,053.52|
|4 + Powerball||50000||1 in 913,129.18|
|4||100||1 in 36,525.17|
|3 + Powerball||100||1 in 14,494.11|
|3||7||1 in 579.76|
|2 + Powerball||7||1 in 701.33|
|1 + Powerball||4||1 in 91.98|
|Powerball only||4||1 in 38.32|