The Odds of Winning the US Powerball
Since the US Powerball is the most popular lottery in America and the entire world, there are millions of players who try their luck with every single draw. This ensures that the game’s jackpot reaches the tremendous amounts it has become well-known for.
While the odds of scoring the huge jackpot are quite difficult to beat with odds of 1 in 292 million, this fabulous prize is well worth trying because there is nothing like it out there in the lottery world. To stand any chance of winning the lottery, you’ve got to play it. So, submit your ticket and you could be that 1 in 292 million who takes home the fabulous Powerball jackpot.
Changes to the Powerball game rules came into effect on October 4th 2015 for the October 7th draw. The changes reduced the chances of a jackpot win and improved the chances of winning any other prize as the table below illustrates. The changes ensured that the Powerball jackpot grows faster and higher that it did prior to the October 7th 2015 draw.
|Draws||Main Number Range||Powerball Number Range||Winning Jackpot Odds||Winning Any Prize Odds|
|Pre October 7th 2015||1 — 59||1 — 35||1 in 176 million||1 in 31.85|
|October 7th 2015 Onwards||1 — 69||1 — 26||1 in 292 million||1 in 24.87|
Some states have variations to certain aspects of the game; for example, the amount of time you have to claim your prize might depend on where you bought your ticket. The closing time for ticket sales changes between different states. Officially it can be anywhere from an hour or more before the draw takes place. California’s prize dividends are pari-mutuel meaning the prize amount will vary depending on the number of winners and tickets sold (this excludes the jackpot which is the same as the national publicised jackpot). To be clear, the game play is exactly the same from state to state.
Contrary to popular belief, the official Powerball site stipulates that non-residents of the United States can participate in the Powerball lottery.
Canadians can participate in the Powerball lottery by using an online lottery service – a relatively new phenomenon that gives players access to numerous lottery games no matter where they’re based. It’s important to note that any online lottery service linked to or from Powerball.ca has been tested and vetted by the Powerball.ca editorial staff.
Find out more about PowerBall in the frequently asked questions below. Visit the general FAQs page for more information about playing lotteries in South Africa.
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+ What time does the draw take place?
The winning PowerBall numbers are drawn at approximately 21:00 every Tuesday and Friday.
+ How much does it cost to play?
PowerBall costs R5 per board and PowerBall Plus costs an additional R2.50 to play.
+ When was the first PowerBall draw?
PowerBall was introduced in 2009 by then-lottery operator Gidani as another opportunity for players to win multi-million rand prizes. The first draw took place on 23rd October that year, with a R30 million jackpot on offer – which was won that very draw.
+ What is the biggest ever jackpot?
The record for the highest ever PowerBall jackpot was set in February 2019, when a man from Capetown matched all five main numbers and the PowerBall to win R232 million. He chose to remain anonymous; the only information revealed about the winner was that he was a man in his fifties who worked in a blue collar job.
The Power Play Multiplier
The US Powerball offers a multiplier called Power Play, which is an optional feature that can increase the prizes in the game 2, 3, 4, 5, or even 10 times. You have to pay an additional $1.00 fee to add the multiplier to your ticket, but it can take your winnings to new heights. The Power Play number is drawn from a separate barrel during the Powerball draw. The multiplier does not apply to the Powerball jackpot, it only increases the secondary prizes in the game. It can double the $1 million second prize and it can increase the other prizes in the game 2, 3, 4, or 5 times. When the jackpot is below the amount of $150 million, a 10x Power Play number is also entered in the game.
The Powerball Jackpot
Over the years, the US Powerball lottery has established itself as the leader in the lottery world due to its enormous jackpots. It holds the world record for the largest jackpot ever awarded in a lottery game, with a massive prize of $1.58 BILLION, reached on January 13th, 2016.
The most important thing to know about the Powerball jackpot is that for each draw that does not have a jackpot winner, the amount rolls over and increases without any cap. There is no established prize limit for the first prize, so it can go up many times over.
As such, if there are no players claiming the jackpot, it will get bigger and bigger until one or more lucky players finally match the 5 main numbers and Powerball. This has made the Powerball lottery popular with players all over the world because everyone wants a share of the enormous prizes in America’s biggest lottery.
Prizes and Odds of Winning
You win prizes by matching the numbers you picked to the winning ones drawn. There are fixed prizes in eight of the nine divisions, so you know exactly how much you will receive. The only prize that changes is the jackpot, which starts at a minimum of $40 million (approximately R560 million) and rolls over to the next draw when it is not won. The jackpot is shared if there are multiple winners.
The following table shows the prizes you can win, what they’re worth with each of the Power Play multipliers, and the odds of winning:
|Prize Division||Numbers Matched||Odds of Winning||Prize||With 2x Power Play||With 3x Power Play||With 4x Power Play||With 5x Power Play||With 10x Power Play|
|1||5 + Powerball||1 in 292,201,338||Jackpot||Jackpot||Jackpot||Jackpot||Jackpot||Jackpot|
|2||5||1 in 11,688,054||$2 million||$2 million||$2 million||$2 million||$2 million||$2 million|
|3||4 + Powerball||1 in 913,129||$50,000||$100,000||$150,000||$200,000||$250,000||$500,000|
|4||4||1 in 36,525||$100||$200||$300||$400||$500||$1,000|
|5||3 + Powerball||1 in 14,494||$100||$200||$300||$400||$500||$1,000|
|6||3||1 in 580||$7||$14||$21||$28||$35||$70|
|7||2 + Powerball||1 in 701||$7||$14||$21||$28||$35||$70|
|8||1 + Powerball||1 in 92||$4||$8||$12||$16||$20||$40|
|9||0 + Powerball||1 in 38||$4||$8||$12||$16||$20||$40|
USA Powerball prizes are subject to differing levels of tax depending on where you play the game. For players in the USA, a federal tax of at least 24 percent is withheld on any prize greater than $5,000, while some states also withhold their own tax on winnings. If you play the game from South Africa, you could also be taxed on Powerball prizes. Go to the Taxes page for more information.
How to Win Powerball
Now that you have your tickets, it’s time to wait for the twice-weekly drawings to see if your Powerball numbers come up. How do you win Powerball?
If you’ve matched all five numbers plus the Powerball number, you win the current jackpot. Congratulations! It’s important to note, however, that the Power Play multiplier doesn’t apply to jackpot wins.
According to Powerball rules, if you match five numbers but miss the Powerball, you can win $1 million (if you do not purchase Power Play) or $2 million (if you do purchase Power Play). Note that the Power Play multipliers do not apply here. Selecting Power Play just increases your win from $1 million to $2 million.
Without Power Play, four numbers plus the Powerball number wins $50,000. With Power Play, you can win between $100,000 and $250,000. Without the Powerball, matching four numbers wins between $100 and $500 — the same amount you’ll win if you match three balls and the Powerball.
Three balls by themselves, or two balls and the Powerball, wins between $7 and $35. One ball plus the Powerball or the Powerball by itself wins between $4 and $20.
If the annuity jackpot is equal to or more than $150 million, the 10x Power Play ball is removed from the drawing.
We’ve gathered a few of the most frequently asked questions about the US Powerball, along with the answers to them. Take a look!
How do you play the Powerball lottery?
To play Powerball, you have to choose 5 main numbers from 1 to 69 and a Powerball number from 1 to 26. You have to choose a different set of numbers for each line you want to play.
Do you win with just the Powerball?
Yes, you can win a prize in the US Powerball by only matching the Powerball number. With this, you qualify for the 9th prize category, which amounts to $4.00.
How late can I buy Powerball tickets?
You can buy your Powerball tickets up until the cutoff time, which is 22:00 EST. When you play Powerball online, you can set to receive notifications about upcoming draws or you can set up subscriptions to never miss a draw.
Do you have to be a US citizen to play Powerball?
No, you do not have to be a US citizen to play Powerball. As per the official rules of the game, there is no citizenship restriction regarding participation.
How many draws is a Powerball ticket good for?
Each Powerball ticket can be used for one draw only. The number selection on the ticket will be compared to the drawn numbers from that day.
Do the Powerball numbers need to be in order?
No, there is no specific order that the Powerball numbers must be in. You only have to match the drawn main numbers and Powerball to qualify for the prizes in the game. However, the main numbers and the Powerball are not interchangeable as they come with separate guess ranges.
Do Quick picks ever win the lottery?
Yes, there are many Powerball jackpot winners who have won their fortunes by playing with random combinations of numbers. Probably the best-known example is Gloria MacKenzie, who was 85 at the time of her win. She scooped $590 million back in 2013 on a Quick Pick ticket that she bought after a good Samaritan let her cut in line at the lottery retailer’s office. Sometimes winning is fate!
Now that you know how Powerball works, it is high time you join the lottery players community and play Powerball online!
Prizes and Odds of Winning
You must match all five numbers and the PowerBall to win the jackpot, but you can win a prize even for just matching the PowerBall on its own. The table below shows how many numbers you need to match to win in each prize division, as well as the odds of winning:
|Prize Division||Numbers Matched||Odds of Winning*||Percentage of Prize Pool||Average Prizefor the past 365 days’ draws|
|1||5 + PowerBall||1 in 42,375,200||70.73%||R52,852,137.40|
|2||5||1 in 2,230,274||5.19%||R208,577.63|
|3||4 + PowerBall||1 in 188,334||3.25%||R18,014.30|
|4||4||1 in 9,912||5.51%||R1,082.59|
|5||3 + PowerBall||1 in 4,280||6.23%||R513.57|
|6||3||1 in 225||5.19%||R22.28|
|7||2 + PowerBall||1 in 299||3.9%||R21.91|
|8||1 + PowerBall||1 in 57||Fixed R15||R15.00|
|9||PowerBall Only||1 in 35||Fixed R10||R10.00|
The prizes in the eighth and ninth division are fixed at R15 and R10 respectively. The prizes in the upper seven divisions are pari-mutuel, meaning each division receives a percentage of the total Prize Pool. Fixed prizes are paid out first, with the remainder of the Prize Pool divided between the seven other divisions according to the percentages in the table. The value of a prize in these divisions can vary, depending on how many winners there are and how much money is in the Prize Pool.
Do you think you’ve won a PowerBall prize? Visit the How to Claim page to find out more about claiming prizes, whether you played online, with your bank or through a retailer.
How to Play Powerball
Powerball is easy to play — simply pick five main numbers from 1 to 69 and a Powerball number from 1 to 26. There are nine different prize tiers available in the main game, with the overall odds of winning any Powerball prize set at 1 in 24.87. All non-jackpot prizes have a fixed value.
For an additional US$1 per line, you can add the Power Play multiplier to your ticket, which could increase the value of any non-jackpot prize you might win. A separate Power Play number is drawn alongside the main balls in every game. The second-tier prize for matching five main Powerball numbers is typically US$1 million (DKK6.6 million), but if you match the Power Play number on the same ticket, your prize will increase to US$2 million (DKK13.3 million). With lower-tier prizes, your winnings could be multiplied by as much as five times if the 5x Power Play is drawn and you match it. However, the 10x feature is only an option when the advertised jackpot is worth US$150 million or less.
How to Play Powerball from Denmark
You can play Powerball from Denmark, with or without Power Play, by joining a syndicate of international players. When more people group together to buy tickets, they can better their odds of winning a Powerball prize. A syndicate of international players will link you to people across the globe in the hopes of landing a huge prize or even the coveted jackpot!
Powerball Prizes and Odds of Winning
There are a number of different prizes to be won on Powerball, starting with a fixed prize of US$4 for matching just the Powerball number itself and climbing all the way to the jackpot, which can easily reach nine figures in USD. Here are the different prize tiers, the odds of winning and the prizes available:
|Prize Tier||Odds of Winning||Prize|
|Match 5 + Powerball||1:292,201,338||Jackpot|
|Match 5||1:11,688,053.52||$1 million|
|Match 4 + Powerball||1:913,129.18||$50,000|
|Match 3 + Powerball||$1:14,494.11||$100|
|Match 2 + Powerball||1:701.32||$7|
|Match 1 + Powerball||1:91.97||$4|
Even Non-US Citizens Can Play Power Play
You don’t need to be a US resident to purchase Powerball tickets and opt-in for the Power Play multiplier option. Provided you’re the minimum age to play, you’re eligible for Power Play.
What’s more, tickets are available every single day of the week until the cut-off time, which is on the night of the Powerball draws, typically about two hours before the draw.
You can also play several games on a single ticket, giving you more chances to win. However, when you opt-in for Power Play, it’s just the once for $1 and applies to all your games for that draw. On the other hand, you can choose to play several upcoming draws, too, and choose the Power Play multiplier option.
Power Play is an add-on feature that allows players to multiply their non-jackpot prizes, for just $1 more per play! With Power Play, players can win $2 million for matching the five white balls or multiply his/her other non-jackpot prizes two to five times when the advertised jackpot is over $150 million, and up to 10 times when the advertised jackpot is $150 million or less. A player must choose the Power Play option on his/her POWERBALL playslip or tell the retailer that he/she wishes to purchase a Power Play ticket. The multiplier number will be selected just before the draw.
($1) POWER PLAY
On Jackpots upto $150 million
|5 of 5 + PB||*$20,000,000||1:292,201,338||—||—||—||—||—|
|5 of 5||$1,000,000||1:11,688,053.52||$2,000,000||$2,000,000||$2,000,000||$2,000,000||$2,000,000|
|4 of 5 + PB||$50,000||1:913,129.18||$100,000||$150,000||$200,000||$250,000||$500,000|
|4 of 5||$100||1:36,525.17||$200||$300||$400||$500||$1,000|
|3 of 5 + PB||$100||1:14,494.11||$200||$300||$400||$500||$1,000|
|3 of 5||$7||1:579.76||$14||$21||$28||$35||$70|
|2 of 5 + PB||$7||1:701.33||$14||$21||$28||$35||$70|
|1 of 5 + PB||$4||1:91.98||$8||$12||$16||$20||$40|
*Jackpots start at $20 million and roll over until won. The jackpot prize will be shared among jackpot winners in all POWERBALL states. All non-jackpot prizes are set payouts. If funds are insufficient to pay set prizes, non-jackpot prizes maybe paid on a pari-mutuel basis and could be lower than the amount shown.
How to Win
Prior to the official POWERBALL drawing conducted by MUSL, a Power Play multiplier number (between 2 and 5; 10 is included when the advertised jackpot is $150 million or less) is selected and will be displayed during the draw, in which five out of 69 numbers (white balls) and a Powerball number between 1 and 26 (red ball) will be drawn at random. There are nine ways to win POWERBALL prizes by matching the winning numbers drawn in the official drawing for the date played. Match all five numbers plus the Powerball to win the jackpot or match any of the non-jackpot-winning combinations to win other great cash prizes!
All POWERBALL prizes are set payouts, except the jackpot. The jackpot prize will be shared among winners in all POWERBALL states. The jackpot will be paid in 30 annual payments or a one-time cash payment of a reduced amount. If there is no jackpot winner, the money in the jackpot pool rolls over to the next POWERBALL drawing.
All POWERBALL prizes must be claimed in the state where the ticket was purchased. POWERBALL prizes must be claimed within 180 days after the winning drawing date. Federal income taxes will be withheld from POWERBALL prizes as required by the Internal Revenue Code at the time payments are made. Any additional federal, state and/or local taxes shall be the responsibility of the winner. Prizes of up to $1 million may be claimed at a Florida Lottery district office. Prizes of more than $1 million must be claimed at Lottery Headquarters in Tallahassee. Read more about claiming Lottery prizes.
How to Play
While picking numbers every week is one way to play, it’s not your only option. Let’s take a closer look at the different ways to play the game.
First, you have Easy Pick, which lets the computer choose six random numbers for you. You can also do a combination; you select some numbers, and the computer picks the rest.
You also can purchase Power Play. For an additional $1 per play, you can earn between two and 10 times more money if you win a non-jackpot prize. The Power Play can multiply your winnings by two, three, four, five or 10 times based upon the Power Play ball that is drawn in a given drawing. There are 24 2x balls, 13 3x balls, three 4x balls and 5x balls each and one 10X ball.
A Multi-draw play means you’re playing with the same numbers over and over again. You can play up to 26 times in a row with the same six numbers.
A Repeat play means you’re getting the same numbers repeatedly for one drawing. You can purchase the same numbers up to 20 times per drawing.
There are Game Machines in 1,500+ stores across Virginia that allow you to skip the checkout lines and get your Powerball tickets without the hassle of going to a cashier. You can also create a Virginia Lottery account and purchase your tickets online while you are anywhere in Virginia.
The Powerball PowerPlay Multiplier
For a very low extra cost, you can play Powerball with the Power Play multiplier. Let us tell you how the multiplier works! All you have to do is check the Power Play option on your ticket and you will be on your way to getting bigger prizes.
During the Powerball draw, lottery officials also draw a random number from 2 to 5, which will be the multiplier for that draw. If you have the multiplier option on your ticket, your winnings will be increased by the number of times indicated by the Powerball PowerPlay number.
Please note that according to Powerball rules, the multiplier does not apply to the US Powerball jackpot. Even the second prize in the Powerball lottery, which is worth $1,000,000, can only be doubled for winners who have played Power Play on their ticket.
However, all other secondary prizes can be increased 2, 3, 4, or even 5 times, depending on that draw’s multiplier. Additionally, when the US Powerball jackpot is lower than $150 MILLION, secondary prizes (except the $1 million second prize) can be increased 10 times.