Powerball Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Powerball. Find out how to play, what your odds of winning are, and much more.

When are Powerball draws held?

Powerball drawings are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays in Tallahassee, Florida, at 10:59pm EST.

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When is the cut-off time for buying tickets?

Closing time for ticket sales varies between states, but sales generally tend to stop an hour or two before the draw takes place.

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What is the Power Play option?

Power Play gives you the opportunity to increase any non-jackpot prizes you win by up to 10 times their original value. It costs an additional $1 per line.

A Power Play number – either 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, or 10x – is selected at random before the main Powerball draw and all non-jackpot prizes won by players who opted in are multiplied by that number. The 10x multiplier is only available for selection when the advertised jackpot is $150 million or less. The ‘Match 5’ prize can only be multiplied to a maximum of $2 million, regardless of which Power Play number is selected.

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Why is Power Play not available in California?

State law in California dictates that all prizes must be paid on a pari-mutuel basis, taking into account ticket sales and the number of winners. This is not possible with the Power Play feature so the option is not available to players in that state.

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How can I win a prize?

You must match the numbers you chose with those drawn in the lottery. There are nine different ways to win a prize, and the more numbers you match, the more money you win. The smallest prize of $4 is awarded for matching just the Powerball, while the jackpot is won by matching all five main numbers and the Powerball. Go to the Prizes page to find out more information.

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How do I play Powerball from outside of the USA?

Non-US players can choose Powerball numbers online through the Lotto Tickets page. This allows you to win the same great prizes on offer to the residents of the participating jurisdictions.

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Will my prize expire?

Each state has its own rules on how long winners have to claim their prizes, and it can range from 90 days to a year after the relevant draw, so it is worth checking with your state lottery to find out when your ticket will expire.

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What if my ticket gets lost or damaged?

Your Powerball ticket is the only proof that you have played the game. You will not be able to claim a prize without presenting it. You are advised to sign your ticket so that any prize you win cannot be claimed by someone else. You may still be able to claim a prize with a damaged ticket, but it must meet certain requirements laid out by your state lottery. Many lotteries specify that tickets will not be valid if they have been ripped, defaced, altered, or tampered with in any way, and they must still be legible and intact.

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Is there an age limit for playing Powerball?

The age limit varies between states. In most you must be at least 18 years of age to play, but in Nebraska you must be 19, and in Arizona, Iowa, and Louisiana you must be 21 years old.

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Will I pay taxes on my prize?

U.S. citizens will be liable to pay federal taxes on any prizes of more than $5,000, and some states also withhold their own taxes from the total prize amount. In most states, a prize worth $600 or more is reported to the IRS as taxable income, even if it is not taxed at the point of claiming.

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Which states play Powerball?

Powerball is played in 44 states, plus the jurisdictions of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The only states which do not play Powerball are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, and Utah.

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What are my chances of winning a prize?

You have a 1 in 24.87 chance of winning any Powerball prize, with the odds of winning the jackpot standing at 1 in 292,201,338.

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Is there a minimum jackpot?

The minimum Powerball jackpot is $40 million, but it often rises quickly and hits nine figures on a regular basis due to rollovers. This means that there’s even more to win as time goes on!

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Is the jackpot capped?

There is no limit to the Powerball jackpot - it will continue to roll over until the point that someone matches all five main numbers and the Powerball, which often creates some of the largest jackpots ever seen!

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How much was the largest-ever jackpot worth?

The largest jackpot in the history of Powerball was won on 13th January 2016. It was worth $1.58 billion and was split three ways after winning tickets were sold in California, Florida and Tennessee. Each ticket holder won $528.5 million.

On Wednesday 23rd August 2017, Mavis Wanczyk of Chicopee, Massachusetts became the single biggest Powerball winner after ending a run of 20 consecutive rollovers to win $758.7 million. Head over to the Winners page to learn more about Powerball’s biggest jackpots.

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What are my payment options if I win the jackpot?

If you win the Powerball jackpot you can choose between an annuity or a lump sum. The annuity is the advertised amount of the jackpot and shows how much money you would receive if you are paid out in 30 annual instalments over 29 years. The reduced cash value represents how much money is available for a one-off payment at the point the draw takes place. Go to the Powerball Prizes page for more information.

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When will the next drawing be held?

Wednesday 12th December 2018.

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What is the current jackpot?

The jackpot for the next Powerball draw is estimated at $230,000,000.

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How much does it cost to buy a ticket?

A single ticket costs $2, with the Power Play option costing an extra $1.

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