The second-largest jackpot in Powerball history will be available on Wednesday evening after the estimated top prize was increased to a gigantic $700 million. As stores across the US open their doors to hordes of customers, here are some of the top misconceptions that players might have as they consider whether to buy a ticket.
Only American citizens can win
There are 44 participating states, plus the jurisdictions of Washington D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. However, you do not have to be a resident of these states to be able to play Powerball and your nationality does not matter. You just need to make sure that you claim any prize you win in the state where you bought your ticket.
If you don’t live in one of the participating states, or even in the US, you can still win all the same Powerball prizes by using online services to choose your numbers. Visit the Tickets page.
Winners can’t stay anonymous
Players in the states of Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina are all allowed to keep their identity private in the event of a jackpot win. For winners in other states, there are various other ways to stay anonymous, from setting up a private trust to altering your appearance at your press conference. Find out more about how to stay anonymous.
It’s harder to win when the jackpot is high
The odds of winning the jackpot are the same for every combination of numbers, and do not change from one draw to the next. The chances of winning do not depend on how many other players are taking part as you are not in competition, although if more tickets are sold it does make it more likely that the jackpot will be won.
It’s better to take the cash than the annuity
The vast majority of jackpot winners in recent years have chosen to take the one-off cash payment, worth an estimated $443.3 million for Wednesday’s draw, rather than the annuity. However, the decision is purely down to personal preference. If you are confident you can be sensible with your money and would like to splash out on some big purchases, the cash option might be the way to go. However, the annuity option does provide the peace of mind of knowing there will be a guaranteed large payment every year for the next three decades.
You cannot win the Powerball jackpot without taking part, so make sure to visit an authorised retailer before sales close or choose your numbers online. Good luck!