Powerball: Everything To Know

Even before the turn of the century, lotteries have always been a big hit among casual gamblers. Powerball is a multi-state lottery in the United States, which operates just like Mega Millions. Everyone in the country can buy tickets to join its regular drawings except for those residing in locations where state lotteries are not allowed, namely: Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah. 

Powerball was conceived earlier than Mega Millions. It launched way back on April 22, 1992 and only had 15 participating locations at the start. Today, it is offered by 45 states, including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands. Powerball actually had a predecessor called Lotto America. That one started in 1988. But, eventually, Powerball took over. 

What makes Powerball stand out is the fact that it inspired the country to dream big and grab a chance to become a millionaire. The Powerball Lottery jackpot currently starts at $40 million and grows by at least $10 million each time the jackpot is not won. The jackpot will continuously grow until someone or a group of people will get lucky and win it. The largest jackpot awarded by the lottery thus far was $1.586 billion—the biggest record in the world set in 2016. 

How To Play

Powerball costs $2 per play. Just like Mega Millions, six numbers will be drawn every game. Five numbers from the first pool of 1 to 69 white balls will be selected each draw. Another number from the pool of 1 to 26 red balls will be chosen, and it is considered the Powerball. 

Since it’s not all the time that players can prepare a set of digits for every draw, there is the option to let the machine randomly pick the numbers. The system has a random number generator that works just like the Quick Pick feature of Mega Millions. This option is actually a viable way to give one a chance at winning. 

If Mega Millions has Megaplier, Powerball has Power Play. For an additional $1, players can use this feature to multiple non-jackpot prizes by 2, 3, 4, 5, or 10 times. This multiplier number is randomly selected before each draw. Only the 10x Power Play is available when the jackpot annuity is $150 million or less. 

A standout feature of Powerball is the Multi-Draw or Advance Play section. This lets players select the number of consecutive drawings they want to to use the same set of digits. The feature will tell the retailer how many drawings a player wishes to play. The number of Multi-Draws or Advance Plays available for purchase depends on the selling jurisdiction. 

There are nine ways to win a prize in Powerball:

White BallsPowerballJackpot PrizeOdds
51Jackpot1 in 292,201,338
50$1,000,0001 in 11,688,054
41$50,0001 in 913,129
40$1001 in 36,525
31$1001 in 14,494
30$71 in 580
21$71 in 701
11$41 in 92
01$41 in 38

Listed below are the prizes in store for the Power Play numbers: 


Powerball Drawing Schedule

Powerball Lottery drawings are held every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at exactly 10:59 p.m. EST. Sales cut-off times vary by one to two hours before each draw, depending on the selling jurisdiction. Players are advised to tune in to the live stream or catch the winning numbers on the official Powerball website shortly after the draw. 

Powerball Jackpot

Players can claim their prize as soon as the following day after the draw. For prizes of $600 or less, they can claim it at any licensed lottery retailer or lottery customer service office to get cash in hand. There is also the option of mailing the winning ticket to a state lottery office.

For jackpot winners, they need to immediately contact the state or jurisdiction lottery headquarters to arrange to claim the prize in person. There are two options to claim the jackpot. First is to go with an annuity option that is paid out over a period of 30 years. The second is to claim a lump sum that is taxed right away. Due to taxes, the claimed jackpot will be lower than the advertised prize. 

ALSO READ: How To Play Mega Millions