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How to play: Powerball Lottery
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Powerball is an American lottery game sold in 44 jurisdictions as a shared jackpot game. It is coordinated by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), a non-profit organization formed by an agreement with lotteries. Since the format change on January 15, 2012, Powerball's minimum advertised jackpot is &usd;40 million (annuity) with a potential of nine-figure prizes (prior jackpots began at &usd;20 million.) Its annuity option is paid in 30 graduated installments; winners may choose cash instead. Powerball drawings are held Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 p.m. Eastern time. The game uses a 5/59 (white balls) + 1/35 (Powerballs) matrix from which winning numbers are chosen. Each play costs &usd;2, or, with the Power Play option, &usd;3. (Prior to January 15, 2012, games cost &usd;1 each, or &usd;2 with Power Play; that option was added in 2001.)

The official cutoff time for ticket sales is 10 pm ET; some jurisdictions cut sales earlier. The drawings usually are held at the Florida Lottery's high-tech studio in Tallahassee. Before, the drawings were held at Universal Studios in Orlando (prior to 2009, its drawings usually were held in Iowa.) On the night of each drawing, there are 6 prerecorded draws: four "test" drawings, then the actual drawing, followed by a "post test" draw. Some drawings were held away from headquarters to promote the game's expansion to a new jurisdiction. The results of drawings are not official until they are audited by the accounting firm Harvey, Covington & Thomas, LLC

Powerball, on February 18, 2006, produced the third-largest prize awarded for one set of numbers drawn in a US lottery game. The prize was $364 million; the eight people sharing the ticket chose the cash option, splitting $177,270,519.67 before withholdings. (Mega Millions produced the two biggest jackpots in American history.)
How to play powerball
The minimum Powerball bet is $2. In each game, players select 5 numbers from a set of 59 white balls, and 1 number from 35 red Powerballs. Players can select their own numbers and/or have the terminal randomly select numbers (called "quick pick", "easy pick", etc. depending on the jurisdiction). In each drawing, winning numbers are selected using two ball machines; one contains white balls numbered 1 through 59; the other contains red Powerballs 1 through 35. Five balls are drawn from the first machine, and one from the second machine; these are the winning numbers. Games matching at least three white balls and/or the red Powerball win.

The drawing order of the five white balls is irrelevant; all tickets show the five white ball numbers in ascending order. Players do not have to match the white numbers in draw order, but they cannot use the drawn Powerball number to match one of their white numbers, or vice versa. Some drawings feature the red ball matching a white ball number.
Two identical machines are used for each drawing, randomly selected from four machines. The model of machine used is the Halogen, manufactured by Smartplay International of Edgewater Park, New Jersey. There are eight ball sets (four white, four red); one set of each color is randomly selected before a drawing. The balls are mixed by a turntable at the bottom of the machine that propels the balls around the chamber. When the machine selects a ball, the turntable slows to catch it, sends it up the shaft, and then down the rail to the display.

The double matrix has varied:

Starting date Pick 5 of Pick 1 of Jackpot odds Power Play multipliers
April 22, 1992 45 45 1:54,979,154 none
November 5, 1997 49 42 1:80,089,127 none
March 7, 2001 49 42 1:80,089,127 1x, 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x
October 9, 2002 53 42 1:120,526,770 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x
August 28, 2005 55 42 1:146,107,962 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x
January 7, 2009 59 39 1:195,249,053 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x
January 15, 2012 59 35 1:175,223,510 none

Please note the prices quoted are for buying directly from a retailer, the tickets priced on this website include syndicate management fees, credit card processing fees etc. and the purpose is to provide a fully managed syndication service for expats as well as anyone who wishes to run an office/private lottery pool and have their tickets managed by an independent and autonomous third party.
Lottery results and prize breakdown for: Powerball, Draw date: 2016-08-13
Draw results
Jackpot: $82 Million
Match + Bonus
Estimated Jackpot
5 + powerball
$82 Million
Match + Bonus
Prize Amount
Match 5
4 + powerball
Match 4
3 + powerball
Match 3
Match 2 + powerball
Match 1 + powerball
2010 expansion of Powerball and Megamillions
On October 13, 2009, MUSL and the Mega Millions consortium signed an agreement to allow US lotteries to sell both games, no longer requiring exclusivity. The expansion occurred on January 31, 2010, as 10 Mega Millions members began selling Powerball tickets for their first drawing on February 3; simultaneously, 23 Powerball members began offering Mega Millions tickets for their first drawing on February 2. On March 1, Montana (by joining Mega Millions) was the first jurisdiction to join the "other" game after the cross-selling expansion. Later in March, Nebraska, then Oregon, also joined Mega Millions; Arizona followed on April 18, with Maine joining Mega Millions on May 9. Colorado and South Dakota joined Mega Millions on May 16. The most recent MUSL member joining Mega Millions is Louisiana, in November 2011. Mega Millions and Powerball each are played in 44 jurisdictions; 43 offer both games. (California offers only Mega Millions, while Florida has Powerball.)
Powerball and Megamillions States
Jurisdiction Powerball Mega Millions
Arizona 1994 April 18, 2010
Arkansas October 31, 2009 January 31, 2010
Connecticut 1995 January 31, 2010
Colorado April 2001 May 16, 2010
Delaware 1991 January 31, 2010
Georgia January 31, 2010 1996
Idaho 1990 January 31, 2010
Illinois January 31, 2010 1996
Indiana 1990 January 31, 2010
Iowa 1988 January 31, 2010
Kansas 1989 January 31, 2010
Kentucky 1991 January 31, 2010
Louisiana 1995 November 16, 2011
Maine 2004 May 9, 2010
Maryland January 31, 2010 1996
Massachusetts January 31, 2010 1996
Michigan January 31, 2010 1996
Minnesota 1990 January 31, 2010
Missouri 1988 January 31, 2010
Montana 1989 March 1, 2010
Nebraska 1994 March 20, 2010
New Hampshire 1995 January 31, 2010
New Jersey January 31, 2010 1999
New Mexico 1996 January 31, 2010
New York January 31, 2010 2002
North Carolina 2006 January 31, 2010
North Dakota 2004 January 31, 2010
Ohio April 16, 2010 2002
Oklahoma 2006 January 31, 2010
Oregon 1988 March 28, 2010
Pennsylvania June 29, 2002 January 31, 2010
Rhode Island 1988 January 31, 2010
South Carolina 2002 January 31, 2010
South Dakota 1990 May 16, 2010
Tennessee April 21, 2004 January 31, 2010
Texas January 31, 2010 2003
US Virgin Islands October 2010 2002
Vermont 2003 January 31, 2010
Virginia January 31, 2010 1996
Washington January 31, 2010 2002
West Virginia 1988 January 31, 2010
Wisconsin 1989 January 31, 2010
For an additional $1 per game, a player may activate the Power Play option. Prior to January 15, 2012, Power Play prizes were determined by a random multiplier.

The dilemma for players is whether to maximize the chance at the jackpot, or reduce the chance at the jackpot in exchange for an increase in lower-level prize(s).

In 2006 and 2007, MUSL replaced one of the 5x spaces on the then-Power Play wheel with a 10x. During each month-long promotion, MUSL guaranteed that there would be at least one drawing where the 10x multiplier would be drawn. The promotion returned in 2008; the ball landed in the 10x space twice. After skipping 2009, the 10x multiplier returned in May 2010 (after the Power Play drawing was changed to RNG.) The promotion was extended for the only time, as the 10x multiplier was not drawn until June 12. The second prize 5x guarantee continued; the 10x applied to all non-jackpot prizes, as in previous promotions.

Power Play's success has led to similar multipliers in other games, such as the tripler in MUSL's smaller Hot Lotto, called Sizzler; and Megaplier, available in all Mega Millions jurisdictions except California.

The 2012 game change resulted in all eight lower-tier levels having "fixed" Power Play prizes.
Payouts and Odds
Matches Prize Odds of winning
Powerball only $4 1 in 55.41
1 number, plus Powerball $4 1 in 110.81
2 numbers, plus Powerball $7 1 in 706.43
3 numbers, no Powerball $7 1 in 360.14
3 numbers, plus Powerball $100 1 in 12,244.83
4 numbers, no Powerball $100 1 in 19,087.53
4 numbers, plus Powerball $10,000 1 in 648,975.96
All 5 numbers, no Powerball $1,000,000 1 in 5,153,632.65
All 5 numbers, plus Powerball Jackpot 1 in 175,223,510.00

Overall odds of winning a prize were 1 in 31.85. All non-jackpot prizes are fixed amounts; they may be reduced and paid on a parimutuel basis if the liability exceeds the funds in the prize pool for that drawing.

Some may notice that the odds of matching only the Powerball (1-35) are 1:55.41, instead of 1:35. This is because there is a chance of matching at least one white ball in addition to the Powerball. Additionally, some may erroneously calculate the jackpot odds at 1:17 billion versus the actual 1:~175 million. This is because the five white balls win in any order.
Jackpot accumulation and payout options
Jackpot winners have the option of receiving their prize in cash (in two installments; one from the winning jurisdiction, then the combined funds from the other 43 members) or as a graduated annuity paid in 30 yearly installments. Each annuity payment is 4% higher than in the previous year to adjust for inflation.

The advertised estimated jackpot represents the total payments that would be paid to a jackpot winner should they accept the 30-installment option. This estimate is based on the funds accumulated in the jackpot pool rolled over from prior drawings, expected sales for the next drawing, and market interest rates for the securities that would be used to fund the annuity. The estimated jackpot usually is 32.5% of the (non-Power Play) revenue of each base ($1) play, submitted by game members to accumulate into a prize pool to fund the jackpot. If the jackpot is not won in a particular drawing, the prize pool carries over to the next drawing, accumulating until there is a jackpot winner. This prize pool is the cash that is paid to a jackpot winner if they choose cash. If the winner chooses the annuity, current market rates are used to calculate the graduated payment schedule and the initial installment is paid. The remaining funds in the prize pool are invested to generate the income required to fund the remaining installments. If there are multiple jackpot winners for a drawing, the jackpot prize pool is divided equally for all such plays.

MUSL and its members accept all investment risk and are contractually obligated and liable to the winner to make all scheduled payments to annuity winners. If a jackpot ticket is not claimed, the funds in the prize pool are returned to members in proportion to the amount they contributed to the prize pool. The 44 jurisdictions have different rules regulating how unclaimed funds are used.

When the Powerball jackpot is won, the next jackpot is guaranteed to be $40 million (annuity). If a jackpot is not won, the next jackpot is guaranteed to be $5 million higher than the prior drawing. The cash in the jackpot pool is guaranteed to be the current value of the annuity. If revenue from ticket sales falls below expectations, game members must contribute additional funds to the jackpot pool to cover the shortage; the most likely situation is if the jackpot is won in consecutive drawings.

Claiming prizes
Although players may purchase tickets in other jurisdictions, all prize claims must be made where the ticket was bought.

The minimum age to play Powerball is 18, except in Nebraska, where it is 19, and in Arizona, Iowa, and Louisiana, where it is 21.

Generally, Powerball players do not have to choose cash or annuity unless they win a jackpot (then they usually have 60 days to choose.) There are exceptions: in Florida and Missouri, the 60-day "clock" starts with the drawing, so a jackpot winner who wishes to take the cash option needs to make immediate plans to claim their prize. (In Idaho, winners have only 30 days after claiming to choose.) New Jersey and Texas require the cash/annuity choice to be made when playing; in New Jersey, an annuity ticket can be changed to cash after winning; however, in Texas, the choice is binding. (When the cash option was introduced in 1997, all Powerball players had to make the choice when playing; this regulation was phased out by early 1999.) All Powerball prize winners must claim within a period ranging from 90 days to 1 year, depending on the rules where the ticket was bought.

Powerball winnings are exempt from local and state income taxes in Delaware, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and the District of Columbia. There is no state income tax in Florida, South Dakota, Texas, or Washington, and only on interest and dividends in Tennessee and New Hampshire. Winnings from tickets purchased in another jurisdiction may be subject to its income tax laws (with possible credit for taxes paid to one's own jurisdiction, or vice versa).

Secondary prizes

Unlike the jackpot pool, other prizes are the responsibility and liability of each participating lottery. All revenue for Powerball ticket sales not used for jackpots is retained by each member; none of this revenue is shared with other lotteries. Members are liable only for the payment of secondary prizes sold in their jurisdiction.

Since the secondary prizes are defined in fixed amounts, on rare occasions, if the liability for a given prize level exceed the funds in the prize pool for that level the amount of the prize may be reduced and the prize pool be distributed on a parimutuel basis and result in a prize lower than the fixed amounts given in the prize tables.[15] Because the secondary prize pools are calculated independently, it is possible prizes may be lower in one jurisdiction, yet remain at their advertised level in the other Powerball jurisdictions.
Winning exceptions
Because the quoted jackpot amount is an annuity of 30 graduated annual payments, its cash value relative to the annuity fluctuates. The actual ratio depends on projected interest rates and other factors. MUSL starts with the cash value, built from a percentage of sales and then calculates the advertised jackpot amount from that value based on the average costs of the three best securities bids.
Largest payout for Powerball
The largest Powerball jackpot of $365 million occurred on February 18, 2006 and was won by a single ticket in Nebraska. It was shared by eight persons who worked for a Conagra meatpacking plant. They elected to receive their winnings in cash, sharing $177,270,519.67 (after taxes). This is the largest prize awarded for a single ticket in an American lottery.

On July 29, 1998, a $295.7 million jackpot was won by 13 machinists. Adjusted for inflation, this prize would be worth $421 million, "larger" than the 2006 jackpot mentioned above.

On October 19, 2005, the West family of Jacksonville, Oregon won that evening's $340 million jackpot. However, the cash pool for their winnings was actually smaller than the $314.9 million jackpot from December 25, 2002. Their cash share was "only" $164,410,058.03. The family won less than two months after the rules were changed to generate larger estimated annuity jackpots. Had the December 2002 jackpot been estimated under the current rules, it would have been $352.6 million.

On August 25, 2007, a jackpot worth $314.3 million was won by a retired auto worker from Ohio; that ticket was bought in Richmond, Indiana, a community that has sold two jackpot-winning tickets of at least $200 million each.

In November 2011, three male Greenwich, Connecticut financial executives won $254.2 million, the largest prize on a ticket bought in Connecticut. Choosing the cash option, the men split nearly $104 million after withholdings. The jackpot was the 12th largest in Powerball history.

Indiana and Pennsylvania have produced the most Powerball jackpot winners.
Fortune cookie payout
The Powerball drawing on March 30, 2005 produced 110 second-prize winners. The total payout to these winners was $19,400,000, with 89 winners each receiving $100,000. The other 21 winners received $500,000, as they were Power Play selections.

MUSL officials initially suspected fraud or a reporting error. However, all 110 winners had played numbers from fortune cookies made by Wonton Food Inc. of Long Island City, New York. The factory had printed the numbers "22, 28, 32, 33, 39, 40" on thousands of fortunes. The "40" in the fortune did not match the Powerball number of "42." None of the employees of Wonton Food played those numbers; at the time, the closest jurisdiction with Powerball was Connecticut. Since the ticket holders had won as result of a coincidence rather than foul play, the payouts were made.

Had these 110 winners shared the then $25 million jackpot, each ticket would have been worth about $227,272 annuity or $122,727 cash.

The fortune on the inspiring fortune cookie read: "All the preparation you've done will finally be paying off."
With thanks to the WikiPedia