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1 April 2021
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How Does the Powerball Work?

The Go-To Guide For Playing and Winning the Powerball!
How Does the Powerball Work?

What is the Powerball Lottery?

The Powerball lottery is a multi-state lottery. It is available in all but six of the United States and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands.

Powerball took the place of the Lotto* America lottery in 1992, and it was the first lottery game to employ two drums to select winners. The white balls are placed in one drum, while the red "Power" ball, which gives the lottery its name, is placed in another. It has a single jackpot that grows larger every time no winning jackpot ticket is sold, as well as a number of lesser cash rewards. The Powerball is one of the most popular lottery games for offering one of the largest jackpot prizes in comparison to other lottery games and for how many states you can play in. If that state has a lottery and gaming commission, then they definitely have a Powerball.

How Do the Drawings Work?

The winners are chosen at 10:12 p.m. Central Time on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Recently the Mississippi Lottery Commission announced they are adding another night of drawings starting August 23, 2021, on Monday nights! The drawings take place at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. The winning numbers are revealed on television, on Lotto.com, in newspapers, and on the internet.

Players must properly match all five white balls as well as the red Powerball to win the jackpot. There is no assurance that the jackpot will be won in every drawing. If no one correctly selects all six winning numbers, the jackpot is carried over to the next drawing. As jackpot values rise, an increasing number of individuals purchase tickets, resulting in a higher percentage of the available number combinations being sold. Eventually, it becomes nearly impossible for a drawing to occur without a winner. 

The jackpot in the Powerball Lottery starts at $40 million and increases by at least $10 million each time the jackpot is not won. The prize may, and frequently does, reach hundreds of millions of dollars. In 2016, the biggest lotto prize in history was a Powerball jackpot of more than $1.5 billion dollars. 

However, Powerball is more than simply the jackpot payouts. Other cash prizes ranging from $4 to $2,000,000 are also awarded in each drawing. The value of the prizes is determined by how many numbers a player successfully predicts, and the number of prizes granted in each drawing is limited solely by the number of other accurate guesses. 

What Does It Cost to Play Powerball?

The basic Powerball cards cost $2 each. You can add the PowerPlay option for an extra $1, which raises the value of your reward if you correctly predict one to five eligible numbers. As a result, the most a single Powerball ticket may cost is $3.

Powerplay?

If you select the PowerPlay option, the amount of any reward you receive for matching fewer than five balls will be doubled by a value between two and five chosen at random. A 10x multiplier will be applied to the pot if the jackpot is less than $150 million. The PowerPlay option operates differently when it comes to rewards for matching five or six balls. With the PowerPlay option, the million-dollar reward for matching five white balls without the PowerBall is always doubled to $2 million. The other multipliers have no effect.

How Does the Powerball Work?

Now that you know how it works, How Do You Play?

As previously stated, Powerball is a lottery game with two drums. One drum has 69 white balls, while the other contains 26 red balls. There will only be one red ball drawn, and that red ball is known as the Powerball.

When you buy a ticket on Lotto.com, you choose five numbers from the first drum with white balls, as well as one Powerball number. The winning red Powerball number will be chosen at random from the second drum. You can choose your Powerball numbers or you can use our Quick Picks, which draws your numbers for you at random. We also have a Lucky Number Generator found at the bottom of the page which will randomly generate and select your numbers for you.

How Many Numbers Do You Need to Win?

To win a Powerball jackpot, you must properly select only one number: the red Powerball. Simple as that. Picking the Powerball alone will result in a $4 reward, which means that with a $2 purchase, you have a one in 26 chance of double your investment (there are 26 red balls to choose from). How many white balls you select that match the 5 balls coming out of the first drum changes the monetary value of your prize. If you select all 5 white balls correctly and the red Powerball, you win the jackpot! It does not matter what order you select your picks or what order they come out of the drum in, as long as all of the numbers match you win! 

Powerball Payouts

  • No White Balls, Just the Powerball: $4

  • 1 White Ball and Correct Powerball: $4

  • 2 White Balls and Powerball: $7

  • 3 White Balls, No Powerball: $7

  • 3 White Balls and Powerball: $100

  • 4 White Balls, No Powerball: $100

  • 4 White Balls and Powerball: $50,000

  • 5 White Balls, No Powerball: $1,000,000

  • 5 White Balls and Powerball: JACKPOT! Starts at $40,000,000 and only goes up!

Powerball Payouts with Powerplay

  • No White Balls, Powerball only

  • $8 - $40*

  • 1 White Ball and Powerball

  • $8 - $40*

  • 2 White balls and Powerball

  • $14 - $70*

  • 3 White Balls, No Powerball

  • $14 - $70*

  • 3 White balls and Powerball

  • $200 - $1,000*

  • 4 White Balls, No Powerball

  • $200 - $1,000*

  • 4 White Balls and Powerball

  • $100,000 - $500,000*

  • 5 White balls, No Powerball

  • $2,000,000

  • 5 White balls and Powerball

  • JACKPOT! 

*The exact payment will be determined by whether a 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X, or 10X multiplier was selected at random. Only when the prize is less than $150 million is the 10X multiplier available.

Odds of Winning Prizes with Powerball

These numbers are provided by Powerball themselves

  • 5 White Balls and Powerball (Jackpot): 1 in 292,201,338

  • 5 White Balls, but no Powerball: 1 in 11,688,053.52

  • 4 Correct White Balls and the Powerball: 1 in 913,129.18

  • 4 Correct White Balls, but no Powerball: 1 in 36,525.17

  • 3 Correct White Balls and the Powerball: 1 in 14,494.11

  • 3 Correct White Balls, but no Powerball: 1 in 579.76

  • 2 Correct White Balls and the Powerball: 1 in 701.33

  • 1 Correct White Ball and the Powerball: 1 in 91.98

  • No White Balls, Just the Powerball: 1 in 38.32

  • Overall Odds of Winning Any Prize: 1 in 24.87 

Are There Tricks or Tips to Winning?

Of course there are! None of these tips or tricks will guarantee you win the jackpot or any prize value, but they can’t hurt! Click here for 7 tips and tricks given to us by serial lottery winners!

Is It Worth Playing?

When the Powerball jackpot reaches a certain size, a large number of individuals begin to enter for the opportunity to win hundreds of millions of dollars. After all, one in every five individuals believes that winning the lottery is the best way to get rich. But is it a good idea to play Powerball? Well, that’s up to you! There is no definitive answer to push people one way or the other. There are studies and statisticians on both sides of the argument and at the end of the day it comes down to the value you personally place on a dollar. $2 for a shot at never having to work again? Doesn’t sound too bad to us!

If You Do Decide to Play:

Make sure you’re playing with us! Lotto.com provides every states' lottery games, their drawings, recent winning numbers, and their jackpots! Don’t worry about ever losing a lotto ticket again by signing up! We handle notifying you if you’ve picked a winner and if the prize is less than $600 we can directly deposit it into your account for you!

Never worry about lost tickets, checking the drawing, or making it to a convenience store before the cutoff times. Lotto.com handles all of that for you, so you can focus on planning out the rest of your days after hitting the jackpot!

Ethan Garsman
By Ethan Garsman