Powerball is a lottery game played in 42 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are every Wednesday and Saturday night at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time. The drawings are held in Orlando, FL.
The cost of a Powerball ticket was increased from $1 to $2 beginning on January 15, 2012. The cost of Power Play increased to $3 per ticket. The price hike was made to help boost jackpots to a minimum of $40 million from $20 million.
The Powerball game draws five white balls out of a drum with 59 balls and one red ball out of a drum with 35 red balls.
The jackpot (won by matching all five white balls in any order and the red PowerBall) is either an annuitized prize paid out over 29 years (30 payments) or a lump sum payment. Each ticket costs $1. If the winner chooses the annuity, the annual payment will be increased each year by the percentage set out in the Powerball game rules.
The second prize (won by matching five white balls in any order) is $200,000 paid in cash and any time you match the red PowerBall, you win. The overall odds of winning a prize in the game are approximately 1 in 35.
Power Play is a special feature that allows a winner to multiply the original prize amount. Powerball players can multiply their Powerball prizes by 2, 3, 4 or 5 times (does not include the jackpot). The Match 5 prize with Power Play option will always be multiplied 5X’s for $1 million cash. Note that any set prizes or Power Play prizes, including the Match 5+0 prize, may be reduced if wins exceed the available prize fund.
Powerball is run by the The Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) a non-profit, government-benefit association owned and operated by its member lotteries.
You must be 18 years or older to play.
If your 6-number combination matches the winning 6-number combination (5 winning numbers plus the Power Ball), then you win or share the First Prize Jackpot. If you match 5 winning numbers from the white section but fail to match the winning number from the Power Ball, you win the Second Prize. For other winning combinations, see chart as follows:
Matched Per Game
Winning per Game
||5 numbers + Power Ball
||1 in 175,223,510.00
||5 numbers only
||1 in 5,153,632.65
||4 numbers + Power Ball
||1 in 648,975.96
||1 in 19,087.53
||3 numbers + Power Ball
||1 in 12,244.83
||2 numbers + Mega Ball
||1 in 360.14
||1 in 706.43
||1 number + Power Ball
||1 in 110.81
||Power Ball only
||1 in 55.42
Where the Money Goes
Each participating state has its own laws regarding lottery profits. Most states use money towards education.
Ticket expiration periods vary from state to state - from 90 days to one year. They may also change from time to time. The back of your ticket will give the expiration period for your state.
Formed in 1987, the Multi-State Lottery Associaton's first multi-state game was "Lotto America". The game ran four years before being replaced. On April 22, 1992 the first "Powerball" drawing was held.
In 2009, MegaMillions and Multi-State Lottery Association agreed to allow states to sell both MegaMillions and Powerball games.
By 2010, Powerball is now available in 42 states and District of Columbia. California sells MegaMillions tickets but not Powerball.
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