Powerball: Rules, Price & Odds

Giuseppe Faraone
Senior Author
clock badge 6 Min Read
NamePowerballTicket Price$2 - $3
DrawMon, Wed & SatBiggest Won$22 Million
Winning Odds1 in 292.201.338
CountriesUnited States
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If you’re familiar with Mega Millions, you should also be familiar with Powerball in the US. It surely follows a similar modality with similarly massive jackpot and non-jackpot prizes. It’s an extremely popular lottery program among the citizens of the US. In our guide today, we plan to dissect the lottery like never before! More than 1,300 second-prize Powerball winners have matched five white balls, but missed the Powerball, to win $1 million.

Read our complete guide about the Powerball

How to Play Powerball

Powerball is credited as an American lottery program that dates back to 1992. In retrospect, it's one of the oldest lottery programs in the country. Interestingly, the Powerball lottery and the Mega Millions lottery are considered the Powerball members.

As a result, many of the rules and characteristics overlap between the 2. For starters, Powerball is available pretty much in every location where Mega Millions is offered. It includes 45 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and even Puerto Rico!

There was a time when Powerball was only drawn twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Later, another drawing was included on Mondays due to public demand during the week. Like all other lottery programs in the U.S., Powerball is also partnered up with the state lottery programs. So, you can't purchase the tickets from the website directly. But some of the U.S. online casinos may let you buy them.

If you're not sure whether your state offers the game or not, the lottery website comes to the rescue. There's a sidebar on the website to select your state from a drop-down menu. Once done, click on the "Connect" button below. You'll find the same website that you need to navigate to.

For example, if you're a resident of Virginia, you need to visit the Virginia state lottery website, the VALottery, to buy tickets. Over the years, the game has changed its modality quite a few times. The current modality was devised in October of 2015.

You choose five numbers from a pool of 69 numbers in this modality, starting from 1 and ending at 69. These five numbers are your base lottery number. Then, you get to select another number from a pool of 26 numbers. The 2nd pool that you pick from is the Powerball pool.

Rules of Powerball

For any online lottery program anywhere in the world, there will always be a set of rules that you must adhere to. It includes the rules of purchasing the tickets, watching the draw, and applying for the prize. This is the section where you'll find all the major rules to keep in mind. We're also going to explore the entire journey for prospective players who play Powerball.

Odds to Win the Prizes

One of the things we liked the most about Powerball is the very informative website. We particularly refer to it because the entire list of prizes and the odds are listed on the website.

The jackpot is the biggest prize from the draw, but you already know it. But did you know that the odds for you to win the jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338! It's not a shock considering the potential $40 million jackpot! And it can shoot up to a mind-boggling $1 billion! Interestingly, the jackpot is not the only winning prize on the website. There are eight more positions that you can target. All of them have fixed value prizes and fixed odds.

For starters, the 2ndprize gives you the odds of 1 in 11,688,053, while the 3rdprize provides you with 1 in 913,129. From the 4th prize, things start to look up at 1 in 36,525 odds. For the 5th and 6th prizes, the odds are 1 in 14,494 and 1 in 579, respectively. For the 7th prize, the odds get longer again at 1 in 701.

You can expect to win something from the 8th and 9th prizes because the odds are 1 in 91 and 1 in 38. Compared to the jackpot odds, the last few prizes look very much achievable to use. All you need is a little push from luck. Apart from all of these odds, the highest odds to win a prize from the Powerball draw is 1 in 24.9.

However, the odds change a little when you have active Power Play. You can claim Power Play against your Powerball purchases. It's a way to multiply your winnings by 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, and 10x. For each Power Play session, the overall odds of winning change a little.

Price of Powerball Ticket

So, you're interested in the Powerball lottery, and you're looking for tickets, aren't you? You already know where to get them. Just visit your state's lottery program website, and you should find it.

The prices of the tickets are based on plays. If you want to participate in the draw, the least you have to spend is $2. That's the prize for 1 "play" or a set of 6 numbers. Similar to this, you can include up to 5 plays in your "payslip". You ultimately pay for it, and it's fully saturated; you need to pay $10 for the payslip.

Then there's the Power Play feature. You need to spend an additional $1 for each play if you want to activate this feature. As you already know, it can multiply your winnings from the non-jackpot prizes by 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, and 10x. The catch for the multiplier to shoot up to 10x is that the jackpot annuity must be $150 million or less.

The only prize that violates this standard is the 2nd prize of the match, five balls prize. It's always $2 million, no matter what Power Play is active. The remaining positions on the prize chart multiply according to the active powerplay.

Learn more about the Powerball jackpots

Powerball Jackpot

Everyone purchases lottery tickets hoping that they'll win the jackpot prize. Have you ever met anyone who bought a few plays just for its sake? The answer is most likely no.

So, what's the jackpot at Powerball all about? In every state where the lottery program is available, the jackpot prize is not declared in advance. It would help if you waited till the ticket sales were halted to know the exact prize. All other prizes are predetermined and are paid in full value.

However, in California only, the prizes of the draw are pari-mutuel. It means that none of the prizes for any positions is predetermined. It depends on the ticket sales and the number of winners during the draw.

According to the Powerball website, the jackpot roughly starts somewhere around $40 million. Once the ticket sales start, the jackpot prizes keep growing until it pays. This particular lottery pays quite frequently, considering it's drawn three times a week. The jackpot prize can grow up to $1 billion if there are no winners for a few months of not paying out. As the entire process is random, there's no way to know when a jackpot might pay out in advance.

The website has a very nice feature where you can check out the height of different jackpot prizes about famous buildings all over the U.S. The $40 jackpot in $100 bills is as high as the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. And the $1 billion jackpot goes more elevated than the Burj Khalifa!

The drawings take place every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You need to tune in at 10:59 PM Eastern time. The draws happen in the Florida Lottery draw studio in Tallahassee. You can catch the live streams on the Powerball website directly.

Biggest Win Made

Did you know that Powerball holds the world record for the biggest jackpot payout? It paid out a mind-blowing $1.586 back in 2016 to shared winners from Florida, Tennessee, and California.

Before that, there have been many instances of $40 million, $20 million, $365 million, etc., payouts. Powerball has always been quite prominent with its prize money, and it's unlikely to change in the coming future.

Results of Powerball

As we already mentioned, the lottery draw takes place at the studio in Florida at 10:59 PM sharp. You can visit the Powerball website to watch the draw live on the draw days. You can revisit previous results on the website homepage if you miss them. You can also access the winner stories from the website footer to learn more about previous winners.

How to Claim Powerball Prizes

To claim the draw prize, you need to contact the jurisdiction where you bought the tickets from. The interesting thing about the Powerball lottery is that you don't have to be a U.S. citizen to purchase the tickets. And you don't need to live in the state where you buy the ticket exclusively.

As long as you're physically present in the state, you're good to go. Prizes up to $600 can be claimed from any lottery retailer in the jurisdiction. For over $600 prizes, you need to visit the local lottery office. You'll need to complete the KYC process along the way.

Make sure you check the ticket's validity to make sure that you claim it before the expiry. Usually, it's 90 days from the date of purchase.

As for the jackpot, you have two options to claim the prize. You can either take a 1-time lump sum or go for the annuity. The annuity program pays the jackpot amount in 30 instalments over 29 years. Each year, the jackpot grows 5% from the previous year.

Taxes of These Prizes

Lottery winnings in the U.S. are taxable, so you'll never get the full amount of the prizes you win from Powerball. The actual tax values will vary from state to state. But considering all the aspects, you may have to pay 37% in taxes from your lottery winnings.

Our honest opinion about the Powerball lottery

Our Opinion on Powerball

Powerball is a great lottery for U.S. citizens and players crossing through the states where tickets are offered. Being the world record holder for the largest jackpot payer, you never know what Powerball may have in stock for you.

Powerball FAQs

We've tried to answer all your Powerball-related questions already. If there are some extras, let's target them now.

What time are the Powerball draws? Arrow
Who owns the Powerball? Arrow
What are the odds of winning the Powerball? Arrow
How to win the Powerball? Arrow
How much are the Powerball tickets? Arrow
How to check the Powerball results? Arrow
What are the Powerball number ranges? Arrow
Is there a Powerball multiplier? Arrow
What is the Power Play option? Arrow
How does the Powerball jackpot work? Arrow
What are the Powerball rules? Arrow
Giuseppe Faraone

Giuseppe Faraone

Author & Online Gambling Expert

1188 Articles
Being so close to the action in iGaming, Giuseppe is on top of any new developments the minute they come through the door, as his book is testament to. Published in October 2022, his first book; The Untold Story of Online Gambling is available on Amazon.
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Fact-checked by Julia Attard


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