What is Powerball

Powerball is part of the Multi-State Lottery Association which first began in 1987. The lottery game itself appeared in 1992. In July of 1996, multiple drawings were broadcast from the Olympic Games in Atlanta. The game has had some of the largest jackpots in lottery history.

Powerball is played in the following states:

Arizona Kansas New Hampshire South Dakota
Arkansas Kentucky New Jersey Tennessee
Colorado Louisiana New Mexico Texas
Connecticut Maine New York Vermont
Delaware Maryland North Carolina Virginia
Florida Massachusetts North Dakota Virgin Islands
Georgia Michigan Oklahoma Washington D.C.
Idaho Minnesota Oregon West Virginia
Illinois Missouri Pennsylvania Wisconsin
Indiana Montana Rhode Island
Iowa Nebraska South Carolina


Draw Days

Wednesday and Saturday 22:59 EST

Minimum Jackpot

$40 million

*Each ticket add $1 into the potential winning jackpot.

Record Jackpot

$587 million (28/11/2012)


Choose 5 numbers out of possible 59 + 1 Powerball number from a pool of 35. The jackpot winner needs to match all 6 numbers.

The first drum has fifty-nine white balls, and five are chosen for the drawing. The second drum has thirty-five red balls, and one ball is chosen for the winning Powerball number.

If there are no jackpot winners, the money is rolled over to the next drawing.

If the player chooses to pay an extra dollar when choosing the numbers (“Power Play”), it can add to the overall winnings. The big jackpot is the same, but the other prizes are doubled. For example, the one million dollar prize would become two million dollars.

Ticket Cost

Each ticket costs $2 unless the participant wants to pay an extra $1 dollar for “Power Play”.

Revenue Breakdown

Of that $2, $1 is taken out of the jackpot. Half of that is given to the state government where the ticket was purchased. The lottery funds are applied towards state improvements, new technology for schools and other community benefits depending on individual state policy. The other half is kept for administrative lottery purposes and to fund the smaller prizes.

Payment Methods

The jackpot can be paid out in one lump sum at 50% of the jackpot amount, or it can be paid out in an annuity plus 4% for inflation over 30 years.

Game Odds

Prize Main Numbers Bonus Odds Expected Prize
1st 5 1 1:175,223,510 Jackpot
2nd 5 1:5,153,633 $1,000,000
3rd 4 1 1:648,976 $10,000
4th 4 1:19,087 $100
5th 3 1 1:12,245 $100
6th 3 1:306 $7
7th 2 1 1:707 $7
8th 1 1 1:111 $4
9th 1 1:56 $4


  1. Powerball official site