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What is Powerball?

Powerball is a multi-state lottery: it’s run in every single state except for 8, and except in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The 8 states which don’t run the Powerball are Nevada, Utah, Mississippi, Alabama, Alaska and Hawaii.

There are no restrictions on Canadians (or indeed, any other non-US residents) playing Powerball from Canada.

In Powerball, 5 white balls are drawn from a drum of 69 balls. An additional 1 red ball is drawn from a drum of 26 balls.

Powerball - Combination

How many numbers do you need to match to win?

If you manage to match all six numbers, you hit the jackpot baby! Match just a few numbers, and you’ll still get other, smaller prizes. There is no particular order to the numbers drawn. As long as those 6 numbers are on your Powerball ticket, then you’re going to be laughing all the way to the bank.

Drawings for Powerball:

The draw itself takes place twice a week, every Wednesday and Saturday night at 10:59pm (Eastern Time). The location of the draw is the Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.

How to buy Powerball tickets

To participate in the Powerball lottery, all you have to do is purchase a ticket from a licensed vendor. For Canadian players – you’ll have to do this online.

Once you buy the $2 ticket, you’ll need to select 5 white ball numbers and 1 red number. You can either choose yourself – many people prefer this option out of sheer superstition – or let a machine do it.

You can also use Power Play to boost any non-jackpot prizes you win. This will only cost an extra US $1 per ticket, and will increase any prizes you win according to the number on the ball drawn – up to 10x!

From there, just keep track of those draws on Wednesdays and Saturdays to check if you’ve won anything.

How much do Powerball tickets cost?

Each ticket costs $2. $2 could mean the difference between you and a million dollar cash prize (or a multi-million dollar cash prize).

What are the prizes for winning Powerball?

There are varying cash winnings that you can get from the Powerball. Mainly, these fall under three types: the jackpot, the 2nd tier prize, and the average wins.

Jackpot Prizeimage of a crown

The jackpot prize is won by matching the 5 white balls + 1 red Powerball.

As a rule, the jackpot amount always starts off at a base of $40 million. From there on, it grows by $10 million every time it’s not won. If you’re the lucky person who does land the jackpot prize – there are two different ways you can choose to cash out on your millions.

Annuitized: When you choose to have your prize annuitized, it will be paid out over a period of 29 years. That’s a total of 30 payments (including the one you get instantly when you win). It also includes a 5% increase of the prize to cover the increase in the cost of living over the years. The great thing about annuitized payments is that you avoid the massive tax cut from the lump sum of the jackpot.

Cash Sum: Bonus – you get all your money at once. Down side – you have to pay tax on it. A lot of tax.

Second Prize

Deposit bonuses vs free spinsThe second largest prize you can get from Powerball is $1,000,000. This can only be paid out in cash (not an annuitized prize). If you’re using the Power Play option, which you can read up on further below, this figure goes up to double the amount.

Yep, just from the second prize, you can win an impressive $2,000,000.

You win the $1 million by matching the 5 white ball numbers.

Smaller Wins

Basically, when playing Powerball, you win anytime you match at least 3 white balls or 1 red ball. When purchasing a ticket, the odds are 1/25 that you’ll win some sort of small prize like this.

What are the odds of winning Powerball?

Currently the odds of winning Powerball stand at 1 in 292 million. That’s about the same as flipping a coin and getting the same result (heads or tails) 28 times in a row, according to the Associated Press.

There are total of 9 possible matches when playing Powerball. Each of these 9 matches will payout in some way, although some are obviously bigger than others.

Match Prize Odds
5 White balls + 1 Red ball Jackpot 1 in 292,201,338.00
5 White balls $1,000,000 1 in 11,688,053.52
4 White balls + 1 Red ball $50,000 1 in 913,129.18
4 White balls $100 1 in 36,525.17
3 White balls + 1 Red ball $100 1 in 14,494.11
3 White balls $7 1 in 579.76
2 White balls + 1 Red ball $7 1 in 701.33
1 White ball + 1 Red ball $4 1 in 91.98
1 Red ball $4 1 in 38.32

What Are The Luckiest Numbers In Powerball?

Statistically, the luckiest numbers are 32, 41, 16, 20 and 40.

The unluckiest numbers are 66, 68, 67, 60, and 65.

Oh, and it seems to help if you play the lucky numbers in Indiana – which has produced the highest number of jackpot winners (39) out of all the states!

How to increase your chances of winning

Green TickAs you’re probably aware, the Powerball lotto is largely a game of chance. That said, there are a few tips and tricks to vastly increase your chances of winnings. These are methods that have worked for many winners over the years, and which can really make a difference in the odds involved.

Take a look at our top three ways of how to increase your chances of winning Powerball even trying)

1. Lottery Pools: When playing online, these can be called ‘syndicates’, but it’s basically the same concept. Instead of going it solo, and buying perhaps a couple of tickets or more – you can join forces with others.

When playing in lottery pools with other people, you can afford to buy more tickets. More tickets = much better chances of winning. If you do win anything, you split the cash. Plenty of groups have won like this.

2. Cold Numbers: If you follow this extremely helpful page on the Powerball website, you’ll get a good idea of the cold and hot numbers. ‘Cold’ numbers are numbers that don’t come up often.

Although it might seem counter-productive to bet on cold numbers, there is a strategy to it. If you bet on a cold number, and that number goes up, then you’re likelier to be the only player to win the prize. This means you get to keep more money to yourself. You won’t need to split your winnings with anyone else.

3. Hot Numbers: Just like there are cold numbers, there are hot numbers. These are numbers that come up very frequently. Betting on these will increase your chances of landing a win. However, you should be prepared to split that win with a few other people.

The hottest white ball numbers are 32, 23, 16, 69 and 64.

The hottest red ball numbers are 9, 24, 21, 10 and 6.

Power Play add-ons

Another way to get the most out of your ticket – is to go for the Power Play add-on. When using the Power Play add-on, you’ll be able to substantially increase any win you get. This applies to all wins, except for the major jackpot prize (with one major exception).

With regards Powerball Lottery Slipto the second prize, the Power Play will increase winnings by a fixed double the amount. As mentioned above, this means that a $1 million prize can double up to a whopping $2 million prize! In fact, many people have benefited from this sort of deal.

With regards to smaller winnings, they are multiplied by a number that is also drawn by the Powerball corporation. The possible multipliers are: 2x, 3x, 4x, or 5x.

In 2015, a special 10x was added to the range. This multiplier can be applied to all jackpots worth $150 million or less. However, this multiplier is not always available.

And, you could too. All for the added cost of $1 to the standard $2 per ticket.

The payouts for Power Play are no joke. Take a look at this table for the statistics (taken from the Powerball site itself):

Multiplier Odds
10x 1 out of 43
5x 1 out of 21.5
4x 1 out of 14.33
3x 1 out of 3.31
2x 1 out of 1.79

So, when choosing which Powerball to buy – always go with the Power Play option. The extra $1 could actually make thousands more.

Powerball Lottery FAQ


What is the jackpot amount for Powerball?

The jackpot starts at $40 million and grows until someone wins. If more than one person wins, the jackpot is split evenly among the winners.


How many balls are drawn in Powerball?

Six balls are drawn in each draw. Five of those balls are white, and one is red. The red ball is the Powerball, and it is what gives the lottery its name.


How many numbers do you need to match to win Powerball?

To win the jackpot, you will need to match all 5 of the main numbers, plus the Powerball number.


What are the odds of winning Powerball?

There is no one definitive answer to this question as the odds of winning depend on a number of factors, including the number of tickets sold and the number of people playing. However, the odds of winning the jackpot are approximately 1 in 195 million.


How much does a Powerball ticket cost?

A ticket costs $2.00 per play.


When is the Powerball drawn?

The draw is held every Wednesday and Saturday at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time.


Where can I buy a Powerball ticket?

There are a few ways that you can buy a Powerball ticket. You can either go to a gas station, a grocery store, or a convenience store that sells lottery tickets, or you can buy them online. If you want to buy your ticket online, you can go to the website and purchase a ticket there. You will need to create an account and provide your credit card information.

Geraldine Nguyen
Geraldine Nguyen Author
Geraldine Nguyen is our online casino expert. She has 7 years of experience in online gambling as a whole, but her expertise lies in comparing different operators and providing valuable insights to players. Read more about Geraldine Nguyen