Powerball is an American lottery held simultaneously in forty-four jurisdictions. It is a famous gambling game with a progressive jackpot. The jackpot amount starts at twenty million dollars and can reach several hundred million. Its popularity can be compared only with Mega Millions, also famous for its huge payouts.

Powerball Lottery History

Its predecessor was the famous Powerball Lottery Lotto America, launched in 1988. The name was changed to Powerball on April 19, 1992, and it had its first game three days later.

It became the first Powerball lottery using two drums, which made drawing the jackpot prize more flexible. Other lotteries later borrowed this principle: Mega Millions, Thunderball, Australia's Powerball, Euroetc and so on.

The main Lottery of the US Powerball

Powerball Rules

Draws of the Powerball Lottery are made on Wednesdays and Sundays. They are usually broadcasted from Universal Studios studio in Orlando, Florida.

  • The minimum bet in Powerball is one dollar.
  • Players choose five numbers among 69 white balls and one among 26 red balls called Powerballs. These balls have numbers from 1 to 69 and 1 to 26, respectively.
  • Participants can manually put zero numbers on a ticket.

During the game, five balls are taken from the first drum and one from the second. To win some money, the player must guess at least three numbers on white balls and/or the number on the red ball. The sequence of the balls taken out from the drum does not matter.

Having paid an extra dollar, the player can trigger the Power Play.

This means that the random number generator activates the option that increases the odds of winnings by 2-5 times. This can be done with any prize besides the jackpot and second prize.

Odds of Winning and Payouts

The table below shows the coefficients of payments and data about the chances of getting them (at a rate of one dollar).

Matches Prize Odds
Powerball $4

1 in 38

1 number plus Powerball $4

1 in 92

Two numbers plus Powerball $7

1 in 701

Three numbers without Powerball $7

1 in 580

Three numbers plus the Powerball $100

1 in 14,494

Four numbers without Powerball $100

1 in 36,525

Four numbers plus Powerball $50,000

1 in 913,129

All five numbers without Powerball $1,000,000

1 in 11,688,054

All five numbers plus the Powerball Jackpot

1 in 292,201,338

Winning Powerball Jackpot

Lucky holders of the jackpot in the Powerball lottery can get the whole amount at once (in the organization of the jurisdiction where they won the pot and the remaining funds from other organizations) or in the form of annual payouts in thirty years. In the latter case, the payouts will increase by 4% per year to cover the inflation.

The prize is divided into equal proportions if several people win the jackpot.

After winning, the jackpot is twenty million dollars, increasing by five million with each draw. If the proceeds from ticket sales do not cover this amount, lottery organizers must add the required funds. But, as a rule, only a few win the jackpot or a row in a short time.

  • The record win of one player was $315 million. Mr. Whittaker of West Virginia was the lucky player.
  • The maximum amount shared between several participants was $365 million. This happened on February 18, 2006, in Nebraska.

Finally, we should note that some of the conditions and rules of the Powerball lottery (the minimum age of participants, taxation, payment order, and so on) differ in some states.

Frequently asked Questions

🤑 What is Powerball?

Powerball is one of the two most popular American lotteries featuring huge jackpots.

💎 How many balls are there in the Powerball lottery?

There are 69 regular balls and 26 powerballs.

🍀 What are the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot?

The chances of winning are 1 in 292,201,338.

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