Powerball is one of the most famous lotteries in the world. Although it is a United States lottery, big Powerball jackpots tend to make the news all over the world. Also, there are quite a few gambling companies world-wide that will let you place a wager on the Powerball draw, i.e. they let you bet on the result of the Powerball draw just like you would be on the result of a football match or a horse race.

powerballSince January 15, 2012, the Powerball jackpot is guaranteed to be at least $40 millions. The jackpot is paid out in the form of an annuity, with 30 graduated installments. You can chose to receive a lump sum instead, but the lump sum will be smaller than the size of the jackpot.

The largest Powerball jackpot so far was won by 84 year old Gloria C. MacKenzi on May 18, 2013. She had purchased a quick pick (randomly generated) Powerball lottery ticket in supermarket in Florida. The jackpot won by MacKenzi was comprised of approximately $590 millions. However, MacKenzi opted to receive a lump sum right away instead of the standard annuity. Therefore, MacKenzi “only” received $370, 800,000 (before Federal withholding). MacKenzi did not pay state income tax on her win, since Florida does not have an income tax.

Purchasing a lottery ticket

In the USA, a majority of the states sells Powerball tickets through their state lotteries, which in turn provide lottery tickets to vendors that sell the tickets to consumers. Powerball lottery tickets are available in grocery stores, gas station, convenience shops, etc.

A Powerball lottery ticket costs $2.

You select five numbers (from 1 to 59) and one powerball number (from 1 to 35). If you don’t want to select your numbers manually, a quick pick feature is available.

If you want to, you can make an extra PowerPlay bet. You can read more about PowerPlay further down on this page.

The draw

There are two drawings per week; one on Wednesday and one on Saturday. The drawings take place 10:59 pm EST. The official cutoff time for ticket sales is 10:00 pm EST on the day of the drawing, but some lotteries discontinue sales earlier than that.

Standard drawings will be carried out in the Florida Lottery’s studio in Tallahassee. There are always four machines in the studio, and before the drawing two of them are randomly picked to carry out the drawing. One of the picket machines will draw the five numbers, by drawing five out of 59 white balls. The other machine will draw the powerball number, by drawing one out of 35 red balls.

Afterwards, a multiplier will be randomly chosen for PowerPlay. You can read more about PowerPLay further down on this page.

N.B! The drawing order of the five white balls is not important. All Powerball lottery tickets show the five white ball numbers in ascending order.

Requirement Prize Chance
5 of 5 correct + correct powerball Jackpot 1 in 175 million
5 of 5 correct $1 million 1 in 5,150,000
4 of 5 correct + correct powerball $10,000 1 in 650,000
4 of 5 correct $100 1 in 19,000
3 of 5 correct + correct powerball $100 1 in 12,000
3 of 5 correct $7 1 in 360
2 of 5 correct + correct powerball $7 1 in 700
1 of 5 correct + correct powerball $4 1 in 111
0 of 5 correct + correct Powerball $4 1 in 55

Power Play

powerball jackpottAs mentioned above, you can elect to bet $1 on PowerPlay when you purchase your PowerBall lottery ticket. This is completely non-compulsory.

If you bet on PowerPlay an win anything else than the jackpot or the Match 5 prize, your win is multiplied by the PowerPlay multiplier. The size of the PowerPlayer multiplier is determined by a draw that takes place right after the PowerBall draw. The possible multipliers are 2x, 3x, 4x and 5x.

The PowerPlay multiplier does not apply to the jackpot or the Match 5 prize. If you win the jackpot, your win is not in any way affected by PowerPlay. If you win the Match 5 prize, and have made the PowerPlay bet, you receive a fixed sum of $2 million.

More info about Powerball

  • Powerball lottery tickets are sold by 44 U.S. states, as well as by the District of Columbia, by Puerto Rico and by the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • The lottery is coordinated by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL).
  • In most participating jurisdictions, individuals under the age of 18 years are not allowed to play Powerball. For some jurisdictions, the age limit is higher than this. There is for instance a 19 year requirement in Nebraska, and in Arizona, Iowa and Louisiana you must be at least 21 years old.
  • You must claim your prize in the jurisdictions where the lottery ticket was purchased. All the prizes, except the jackpot, is the responsibility and liability of the respective participating lottery organization.
  • In 2006, WMS Gaming launched a series of branded slot machines under the brand Powerball.
  • In 2010, the New York Lottery began selling a scratchcard under the Powerball brand.