Known for producing one of the biggest jackpot prizes in history, the Powerball is a hugely popular American lottery with a minimum jackpot of a cool $40 million and now you can get involved in this exciting Powerball action, with our top lottery sites.
Established in 1992, the Powerball began with just 15 participating lotteries. However, today there are currently 47 Powerball participants, including other territories such as Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. In October 2015, Powerball underwent some changes, introducing bigger prizes and allowing more players to win. Since its launch, Powerball has grown increasingly popular and is played by millions every week.
How does Powerball lottery work?
Traditionally, players buy a Powerball ticket from their lottery retailer. However, it’s also possible to buy tickets for Powerball— and bet on Powerball — online. Draws take place every Wednesday and Saturday evening at 10.59pm EST and each state has its own jurisdiction regarding how soon in advance you must purchase a ticket.
Players choose two sets of numbers for this draw. First, you’ll pick five white balls, numbered from 1 to 69, and one red Powerball from numbers 1 to 26. You can also have the lottery terminal randomly select your numbers if you don’t want to pick them for yourself. You’ll also have the Power Play option which, for $1 dollar extra, gives you the chance to skyrocket your potential winnings.
Payouts will depend on the numbers players match, and the top prize is awarded for players matching all five white numbers and the red powerball.
There are nine different ways to win a prize in the Powerball, which means the odds of winning any payout stand at around 1 in 24. Each of these prizes is set cash amounts, ranging from $1 million to $4 dollars, depending on which numbers you match. Of course, this is with the exception of the Grand Prize, which starts at $40 million but increases after rollovers. In fact, in January 2016, the Powerball jackpot reached an eye-watering $1.6 billion. The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338.
Players can boost their winnings by choosing the Power Play option, which gives you the opportunity to multiply winnings by two, three, four, five or ten. It’s worth noting that, regardless of the multiplier amounts, the prize for matching all five white numbers will always be $2 million and that the 10x multiplier is only available in the jackpot annuity is less than $150 million.
Players lucky enough to land a Powerball win have two options:
With annuity payments, lottery winners will receive one payment each year for 30 years, which increases by 5% each year to match the increase in the cost of living. Of course, you’ll still be required to pay taxes on these winnings.
Choosing the lump sum option means you’ll receive the entirety of your lottery winnings— after taxes— in one amount. However, it’s often the case that lump sum winnings tend to work out smaller than the total of annuity payments.
In California, Powerball payouts are pari-mutuel. This means winnings are determined by the sales for the draw and the number of winners in it.
Ready to bet on Powerball?
Now you know the ins and outs of Powerball lottery, you’re probably ready to join in on the action yourself. While you’ll need to be in one of the participating states to buy a ticket for yourself, you’ll still have a chance to land one of the nine ways to win when you bet on US Powerball lottery. So what are you waiting for? Use our list of the best lottery sites to play Powerball today.