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.
New Zealand Powerball
- The first historical draw of New Zealand Powerball took place in 2001. Since then, the rules of the lottery have changed a little with the aim of improving the conditions for participants in the draws. In particular, the size of the minimum guaranteed jackpot has been increased.
- Information on the main features of NZ Powerball:
- Lottery players have to select six numbers from 1 to 40 from the main set of numbers and one additional number between 1 and 10;
- The minimum jackpot is NZD 4 million (approximately 2.6 million US dollars);
- National Lottery NZ runs twice a week — on Wednesdays and Saturdays;
- The odds of of winning the minimum prize of the last category are 1:38.
Since the launch of the lottery, the maximum size of the NZ Powerball jackpot has been NZD 44 million.
South Africa Powerball
- South Africa Powerball was launched in 2009, with the first game of this most famous Africa lottery, which soon gained an enviable popularity in many countries around the world.
- Key features of SA Powerball:
- Players have to select five numbers from 1 to 50 from the first block of numbers and a single number between 1 and 20 from an additional block of numbers;
- The minimum National Lottery SA jackpot is ZAR 3 million, equivalent to approximately $175,000 US;
- Powerball Lotto South Africa draws are held twice a week — on Tuesdays and Fridays;
- The odds of winning the minimum lottery prize of the last category are 1:35.
The maximum size of the jackpot played in the entire history of the African version of the lottery was ZAR 103 million.