What do I need to win?
To win the Powerball jackpot, players must match the five main numbers and the Power Ball number. The prize pot for matching the five main numbers is $1 million and $10,000 if you match four main numbers and the Power Ball number. The lowest tier prize is for $4 if you just match the Power Ball. There are nine prize tiers in total.
How is the prize pool determined? And how do rollovers work?
The Powerball jackpot is set at a minimum of $20 million. If there are no winners, the prize pot rolls over to the following week, rising by a minimum of at least $5 million each rollover, until someone wins. Whilst the jackpot total varies each week, the 2nd to 9th tiers are fixed cash prizes.
Where can I buy a Powerball ticket?
You must be at least 18 years of age to purchase a Powerball ticket in the majority of states. Players must be at least 19 years old to purchase a ticket in Nebraska and 21 in Arizona, Iowa and Louisiana. Tickets can be bought over the counter at most petrol stations, news agents and supermarkets in the USA as well as online.
To play the Powerball, you need to select five main numbers between 1 and 59 as well as one Power Ball between 1 and 35. These numbers can be selected manually or chosen electronically via the Quick Picks option. Tickets must be purchased before 9.59pm on the day of the draw.
When and where does the draw take place?
Powerball draws take place every Wednesday and Saturday at 10.59pm EST. The physical draw typically takes place at the Florida Lottery studio in Tallahassee. Results can be watched on local television channels at around 11.20pm. Channels and programs vary from state to state. Alternatively, the draws results will be posted online within a few minutes of the live draw.
How do I claim?
If you’ve won a prize under $600, you will be able to collect your prize money from any store that sells Powerball tickets in the same state in which you purchased your ticket. Some stores have the authority to pay out prizes of up to $25,000 but generally you will need to collect prizes over $600 from the state lottery headquarters. Depending on the state in which you purchased your ticket, you will have between 180 days and 1 year to claim your winnings.
Can you remain anonymous?
According to the Multi-State Lottery Association, players are only given the choice of anonymity in the following states: Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, Ohio and North Dakota. If you purchase your Powerball ticket outside of these states your identity is legally allowed to be published.
It’s possible for there to be more than one jackpot winner per draw if there are multiple players who have the same winning numbers. In these cases the total jackpot prize money is divided between the number of winning tickets purchased.
Draw History & Origins
The original Powerball game, launched in 1988, was called Lotto*America. In 1992 it was renamed Powerball and was the first lottery game to use two drums for the live draw. The Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) operates the Powerball, with tickets sold in 44 states as well as Puerto Rico, the U.S Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia. On 18th May 2013, Gloria MacKenzie from Zephyrhills was the sole winner of the biggest Powerball jackpot: an incredible $590.5 million.
The Powerball and Charity
50% of Powerball ticket sales go directly to pay winners prizes and the remaining 50% stays with the state lottery to help with local projects and causes. The nature of these projects varies between states but the money has been put towards economic development in Kansas, property tax relief in Wisconsin and education in Montana to name just a few.
On the 2002 Powerball Christmas Day draw, Jack Whittaker won $314.9 million on the jackpot. The win made headlines for two reasons. At the time, it was the biggest single lottery win in US history but in a further twist Jack was already a multi millionaire with a net worth of around $17 million. Unfortunately for Jack the money only brought him misery as he fell into various legal and personal problems including the tragic deaths of his beloved daughter and granddaughter.
On May 18th 2013, Gloria MacKenzie stole the record from Jack as the winner of the biggest single Powerball lottery prize. The 84 year old lady won $590.5 million when a stranger let her go ahead in the queue to purchase a Quick Picks ticket. Gloria has stayed out of the public eye since her win.