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 on this exciting Powerball action, with our top lottery sites.
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The Powerball lottery has been a part of US culture for quite a while now. Launched in 1988 under the name Lotto America, it was rechristened Powerball in 1992, with 15 states participating. Over the years, Powerball has expanded to many more territories, including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, and has hit the news repeatedly thanks to the monumental size of the prizes awarded to lucky ticket holders.
In October 2015, Powerball underwent some changes, introducing bigger prizes and allowing more players to win.
How does the 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 10.59 pm EST— which is 4 am GMT on Thursday and Sunday— and each state will have 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.
It’s worth noting that, regardless of the multiplier amounts, the prize for matching all five white numbers on the Power Play option will always be $2 million, and the 10x multiplier is only available if the jackpot annuity is less than $150 million.
How to bet
How to play from UK
If you’re a UK resident betting on the outcome of the US Powerball lottery, prizes will be in line with those of the games itself. However, technically speaking you’re not purchasing Powerball tickets when you play from UK. Instead, you’re betting on the outcome of the lottery through a third-party lotto betting site.
This means that any prize money is given by the lotto betting site itself rather than by the US Powerball lottery operators. The betting sites pay out smaller winnings from revenues they generate through sales, while the big jackpot wins are covered by their insurance policies.
How to choose
What makes a good lotto betting site?
They may not be as well known as the big-name casino sites, but there’s actually a wide range of lotto betting sites around right now. When it comes to picking the best, we look out for ones which:
- Boast a good spread of international lotteries, such as US Powerball, Mega Millions and El Gordo
- Have a clear, user-friendly interface to make placing bets a simple process
- Offer good customer service, ideally with live support
- Don’t charge any commission on winnings
- Accept a variety of banking methods, from debit cards to e-wallets like PayPal and Skrill
The biggest Powerball winners
The US Powerball has certainly seen some jaw-dropping jackpots in its history. Take one of the draws in March 2019, which saw 24-year-old Wisconsin man Manuel Franco bag an astonishing $768 million. Although Franco had been struggling to make ends meet at the time of his win, he’d somehow sensed that fortune was about to smile on him as he bought the fateful ticket. “I honestly felt so lucky that I did look up at the camera and I wanted to wink at it cause I just had that lucky feeling,” he later told reporters.
A few years before that, in January 2016, a momentous $1.586 billion prize pot was split between three winning tickets. One ticket belonged to a Tennessee couple, John and Lisa Robinson, who bravely embraced the limelight by appearing on NBC’s Today show. Another ticket belonged to Florida couple Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt, who’d been playing the lottery diligently for years before striking gold. The holders of the third ticket, Mae and Marvin Acosta of California, were a bit more discreet, waiting a whopping six months before announcing their win to the media. They said they were grateful for the “rare gift that has been placed in our care”.
Thanks to lotto betting sites, people outside the United States have also felt the euphoria of US Powerball windfalls. Indeed, the January 2016 billion-dollar draw we just mentioned yielded a big win for a player over in El Salvador. A 73-year-old great-grandfather named as “H” in the media landed $1 million when his five white ball numbers came up.
In October of that year, an Australian man known as “G” also bagged the $1 million prize after betting through a lotto site and getting five matched white balls. His words of wisdom to would-be winners? “Just keep your faith. Never doubt yourself and keep your faith, that’s the only thing that you can do.”
What can I win?
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 are 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.
If you’re a UK resident betting on the outcome of the Powerball draw, prizes will be in line with those of the games itself. However, rather than being paid out by the lottery funds, lottery betting winnings are paid out by the lotto betting site.
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 increase 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 on 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 start your journey to winning big with the Powerball today.
Are Powerball tickets sold in all states?
The sale of Powerball tickets is not permitted in Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah. Residents of these states can still play Powerball lottery, they’ll just need to travel to a state that sells tickets to do so.
What's the difference between playing US Powerball lottery and betting on Powerball lottery?
Playing a US lottery like Powerball involves buying a ticket from a lottery retailer— either land-based or online— and any winnings are paid out by the lottery funds. Betting on US Powerball, on the other hand, involves placing a bet through a betting operator. This means your stakes go towards this individual operator, rather than lottery funds, and any winnings are paid out by the operator’s insurance provider.
Do I have a better chance of winning if I choose my own numbers?
No. As with any lottery, winning Powerball is purely down to chance, as the numbers are drawn randomly. So whether you carefully pick out your own favoured series of numbers, or have them picked automatically for you by the betting site, your odds of winning will be the same. The only way to increase your chances is to buy more tickets with different number variations, but there’s never going to be a guarantee of a win.
Can I make a Powerball lottery bet on my mobile?
Yes, most lottery sites offer either mobile-optimised versions of their site or mobile apps. In fact, many new lottery sites are even developing their services with a mobile-first approach, just like other gambling sites. This means you can bet on the same great lottery draws, from the US Powerball to El Gordo, wherever you are.
How can I pay for my US Powerball bets?
The top licensed lotto betting sites offer a range of different banking options , which means it’s easy to make deposits and withdraw winnings from your account. Popular banking options include debit cards and prepaid cards, as well as e-wallet options , such as PayPal.