US Powerball

  • Next Estimated Jackpot USD 191,000,000
  • USA
  • 10/26/2017 02:59:00
For information purposes only

The US Powerball is one of the most talked-about lotteries in the world, with huge rollover prizes and truly life-changing payouts. It is not quite nationwide - 44 states participate - but other US territories including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands also join in.

It is a 5 from 69 game, with a 1 from 26 Powerball pot - unlike many lotteries, this is not just a 'bonus' ball, but must be matched as well in order to claim the jackpot, leading to long odds of nearly 300 million to one.

When it was first introduced in 1992, the odds of winning the jackpot were about 55 million to one, and players had to choose 5 from 45 and 1 from a secondary pot of 45. Over the years these odds have lengthened - to 1 in 80 million in 1997, 1 in 175 million in 2012, and finally 1 in 292 million in 2015.

How to Play

Under the rules introduced in October 2015, players must select five main draw balls from a pot of 1-69, as well as one Powerball from 1-26. To win the jackpot, all six numbers must match with those drawn. Tickets cost US$2, with the option to add Power Play for a further US$1.

When Power Play is selected, any lower-tier prizes will be multiplied by the number shown on the Power Play ball that is drawn - in a pot of 42 balls, there are 24 balls of 2x, 13 balls of 3x, 3 balls of 4x, and 2 balls of 5x. If the main draw jackpot is less than US$150 million, a single 10x multiplier ball is also added to the pot.

Draws are among the latest in the world in their local time, taking place at 10:59 p.m. Eastern time - which of course is several hours earlier for players on the west coast of the USA. Equally unusually, the cut-off time for sales can vary from state to state, and officially is only described as "at least 59 minutes" before draw time.

Fast Facts

US Powerball began in 1988 as Lotto*America, and got its current name in 1992.

Power Play was introduced in March 2001.

The current 5 from 69 + 1 from 26 format was introduced on 4th October 2015.

Trivia

Shortly after the shift to the current format, a record-breaking rollover jackpot of around US$1.5 billion had accumulated. This was eventually shared by three winning tickets in January 2016.

Due to local laws in some states, the payouts for lower tiers can vary. For instance, in California, fixed-sum prizes are not allowed, so all prize tiers must be calculated using a sum shared evenly between all winning tickets at that level.

Prize Tiers

Exact prizes may vary from state to state. Prizes may also be boosted by selecting the Power Play option, at an extra US$1 per ticket.

Match Odds Prize
5 + Powerball 1 in 292,201,338 Jackpot
5 1 in 11,688,054 US$1,000,000
4 + Powerball 1 in 913,129 US$50,000
4 1 in 36,525 US$100
3 + Powerball 1 in 14,494 US$100
3 1 in 580 US$7
2 + Powerball 1 in 701 US$7
1 + Powerball 1 in 92 US$4
0 + Powerball 1 in 38 US$4