Guide to Winning the Powerball Jackpot | theLotter
 
 
 

The Ultimate Guide to Winning the US Powerball Jackpot

The American Powerball lottery is the most popular lottery game in the world, a title it has held ever since it awarded a record-breaking $1.586 billion jackpot in January 2016. Powerball fever swept the world as people everywhere, including some who had never previously played the lottery, rushed to purchase their tickets. Luckily you, too, can play Powerball, no matter where you are. Purchase your Powerball tickets online now!


It is difficult, but certainly not impossible, to win the Powerball jackpot. Of course you have to play the game to have a chance of winning. And if you want an edge on winning, read the following in-depth informative guide which just may help you win the biggest lottery prize in the world!

how to win the powerball jackpot

Powerball Rules

To play the US Powerball you need to pick five numbers from a range of 1-69 and an additional Powerball number from a range of 1-25. The lottery has nine prize divisions and a multiplier feature called the Power Play that can increase secondary prizes as high as ten times. The Powerball jackpot (matching the five main numbers as well as the additional Powerball), starts at $40 million and continues to roll over until it is eventually won. Powerball draws take place twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Powerball Jackpots and other Prizes

Match Prize Power Play *

5+PB

Jackpot

Jackpot

5

$1,000,000

$2,000,000

4+PB

$50,000

X Power Play

4

$100

X Power Play

3+PB

$100

X Power Play

3

$7

X Power Play

2+PB

$7

X Power Play

1+PB

$4

X Power Play

0+PB

$4

X Power Play

* The Power Play number multiplies the prize by 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X or 10X. The 10X multiplier is only possible with jackpots of $150 million or less.

Powerball prizes start at $4 for matching just the Powerball. The sky’s the limit for how high the Powerball jackpot can climb as there is no jackpot cap. In January 2016, Powerball’s record-breaking $1.586 billion jackpot was shared by three winning tickets. Even if you don’t win the top prize, you can still be a huge Powerball winner. Match the five numbers drawn and you will win the second division prize and become an instant millionaire!

When you add the Power Play option to your tickets you can increase your non-jackpot prizes. Your prize is multiplied 2 to 10 times, depending on the Power Play number chosen randomly for that draw. The 10X multiplier is only possible with jackpots of $150 million or less. No matter what Power Play multiplier is selected, the maximum second prize is $2 million instead of the usual $1 million.

Powerball jackpot winners have the option to take their prize as an annuity or as a one-time lump sum payment. Most winning players select the lump sum payment option, possibly because getting it all at once seems like a lot more money.

If the annuity option is chosen, the winner is guaranteed to receive 30 graduated payments over 29 years. The annual payments increase by 5% each year until the 30th and final payment is made. The 30 payments together are equal to the total value of the annuity.

Read additional information that will help you decide whether to take the lump sum or annuity when you win the Powerball jackpot.

Lottery prizes won in the United States are subject to taxation at both the state and federal level and non-residents are sometimes taxed at a higher rate than inhabitants of the participating states themselves. Furthermore, you may be liable for taxation in the country where you live. For more information on the taxes you may be liable for when you win big Powerball prizes, check the US Powerball information page.

As a result of these tax deductions, the amount that Powerball jackpot winners actually receive is much less than the advertised jackpot.


Can You Play Powerball from Overseas?

When you see that Powerball is offering a jackpot worth hundreds of millions of dollars, you probably wonder if it is possible to play Powerball from overseas, especially if you are not an American citizen. Luckily, you can!

According to the official Powerball rules, anyone can “purchase a Powerball ticket...play the game and...collect prizes.” And more than that, the Powerball website clearly states that “you do not have to be a [US] citizen or a resident to play the game.”

That leaves you with one small problem. You probably can’t afford, and certainly don’t have the time, to travel to the United States to purchase Powerball tickets. Luckily, that’s where theLotter comes in.

When you purchase official Powerball tickets here, our local agents in the United States will buy tickets on your behalf. When you win a prize, it is entirely yours as commissions aren't taken from winning tickets.

The system works, as you can see in the stories of our many lucky lottery winners. See below for the stories of our biggest Powerball winners. In addition, read about our biggest overseas lottery winners: A man from Iraq won $6.4 million playing Oregon Megabucks in August 2015 and a woman from Panama won a $30 million Florida Lotto jackpot in July 2017.

What Are the Odds of Winning the Powerball Jackpot?

Prize Category Match Winning Odds

Jackpot

5+PB

1:292,201,338

2nd Prize

5

1:11,688,053

3rd Prize

4+PB

1:913,129

4th Prize

4

1:36,525

5th Prize

3+PB

1:14,494

6th Prize

3

1:579

7th Prize

2+PB

1:701

8th Prize

1+PB

1:92

9th Prize

0+PB

1:38

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot seemed stacked against you (1 in 292 million!) and Powerball certainly doesn’t have the best jackpot odds, but somebody eventually wins the lottery’s incredible prize. You can win Powerball prizes even if you don’t win the jackpot as there are nine prize divisions in total. The odds of winning a Powerball prize are 1 in 24.9, and that doesn’t change if the jackpot up for grabs is $40 million or $1 billion.

Improve Your Odds of Winning the Powerball

Is there a guaranteed way to win the Powerball jackpot? Of course not, but there are ways to increase your chances of winning. The first one is quite obvious. You have to play the game if you want to win. Purchasing Powerball tickets is just a click away.

We have prepared for you a full list of methods to help you improve your odds of winning the US Powerball lottery. Good luck in the next draw!

Biggest Powerball Jackpots of All Time

Rank Date Amount # of winners

1

January 13, 2016

$1,586.4 million

3

2

August 23, 2017

$758.7 million

1

3

May 18, 2013

$590.5 million

1

4

November 28, 2012

$587.5 million

2

5

February 11, 2015

$564.1 million

3

6

January 6, 2018

$559.7 million

1

7

July 30, 2016

$487 million

1

8

March 17, 2018

$456.7 million

1

9

August 7, 2013

$448.4 million

3

10

June 10, 2017

$447.8 million

1

Top 5 Powerball Jackpots in History

  • 13 January 2016 – A world-record jackpot of $1.586 billion is shared by three ticket holders: Marvin and Mae Acosta from California; Lisa and John Robinson from Tennessee; and the Nickel 95 Trust from Florida (the trustee is Maureen Smith). Each of the winners elect to take a lump sum cash payment of $327,835,000.Read more information about the winners of Powerball’s record jackpot.

  • 23 August 2017 – A single ticket holder from Massachusetts, Mavis Wanczyk, wins $758.7 million. This sets a record for highest annuitized jackpot and cash value for a single ticket. Read more about Mavis’s incredible win!

  • 18 May 2013 – Gloria McKenzie scoops up a gargantuan $590.5 million prize! She makes headlines all over the world because someone was kind enough to let her go first in purchasing a lottery ticket.

  • 28 November 2012 – Arizonan Matthew Good shares a $587.5 million jackpot with Cindy and Mark Hill of Missouri.

  • 11 February 2015 – Three winners share $564 million. One of them is Marie Holmes of North Carolina, an unemployed mother of four.

Powerball’s jackpots are huge and rank among the biggest American jackpots ever. Lottery fans everywhere are eager to play Powerball with hopes that it will soon offer a new record-breaking jackpot prize.

winning the powerball jackpot

Is It Possible for Powerball Winners to Stay Anonymous?

Let’s say that you just won the Powerball jackpot! Congratulations! Publicizing your big lottery win might not be in your best interest and you’re probably wondering if your name needs to be made public. Powerball rules regarding staying anonymous depend on the rules of the state where the tickets were purchased.

There are legal ways to keep your Powerball windfall private but you should consult your lawyer for detailed information. And as can be seen in the court case of a New Hampshire jackpot winner in January 2018, despite that state’s lottery rules a judge ruled in the winner’s favour and allowed her to keep her identity private.

Read our informative article about staying anonymous when you win the lottery.

Comparison of Powerball and Mega Millions

The two leading American lotteries have a lot in common. They are both offered in most of the American states; their jackpots start out at $40 million and can roll over to astronomical heights; and the odds of winning their jackpots are quite low. Even so, there are significant differences between the two lotteries. The following table highlights some of those differences.

US Powerball vs Mega Millions

$40 million

Starting Jackpot

$40 million

5/69 + 1/25 Power Ball

Game Format

5/70 + 1/25 Mega Ball

Wed & Sat

Draw Days

Tue & Fri

$1.6 billion world record

Record Jackpot

$656 million

Power Play multiplies secondary prizes up to 5 times but doubles the 2nd prize*

Multipliers

Megaplier multiplies secondary prizes up to 5 times including the 2nd prize

9 categories

Prize Categories

9 categories

1:292.223,510

Winning Odds

1:302,575,350

* The 10X multiplier is only possible with jackpots of $150 million or less.

Click to read detailed information about the Mega Millions lottery.


Powerball Lotteries around the World

The Powerball game format (main numbers plus an additional ‘Powerball’ number) is so popular that it has been copied by other lotteries around the world:

  • The South Africa Powerball draws 5 main numbers from a range of 1-50 and 1 Powerball number from a range of 1-20. The SA Powerball has 9 prize categories. Draws take place on Tuesdays and Fridays.

  • The Australian Powerball draws 7 main numbers from a range of 1 to 35 and a Powerball number from a range of 1 to 20. The Oz version of the Powerball has 8 prize categories and draws take place on Thursdays,

  • The New Zealand Powerball draws 6 main numbers from a range of 1 to 40 and a Powerball number from a range of 1 to 10. The NZ Powerball has 12 prize categories and draws take place on Saturdays!

History of the Powerball

The Powerball lottery was launched in April 1992, replacing Lotto America as the leading multi-state lottery. Powerball introduced a revolutionary two-drum format, enabling it to offer a higher jackpot and many more prize levels as winning odds were lower. In this format, even when a player matched just one number they would end up winning a prize.

Fifteen state lotteries participated in the first draw. Over the years additional lotteries began selling Powerball tickets and today they can be purchased in 44 states as well as the Virgin Islands, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. It is also possible to purchase Powerball tickets from anywhere in the world thanks to theLotter's online ticket messenger services.

Here are a few of the red letter days in Powerball's colourful history:

  • 22 April 1992 - First Powerball draw held with a game matrix of 5/45 + 1/45. The jackpot on offer was $6 million.

  • 5 November 1997 - Game matrix changed to 5/49 + 1/42 and the starting jackpot raised to $10 million.

  • 7 March 2001 - Introduction of the Power Play number.

  • 9 October 2002 - Game matrix changed to 5/53 + 1/42.

  • 31 August 2005 - Game matrix changed to 5/55 + 1/42 and the starting jackpot raised to $15 million.

  • 7 January 2009 - Game matrix changed to 5/59 + 1/39 and the starting jackpot raised to $20 million.

  • 18 January 2012 - Game matrix changed to 5/59 + 1/35 and the starting jackpot raised to $40 million.

  • 7 October 2015 - Game matrix changed to 5/69 + 1/26.

  • 13 January 2016 - Powerball set a new world record when it awarded $1.586 billion jackpot, a prize split between three winning tickets.

  • 23 August 2017 - Powerball awarded a $758.7 million jackpot to a single ticket holder.

theLotter's Powerball Winners

Canadian wins US Powerball prize online at theLotter

Scores of theLotter's players have won Powerball prizes over the years but unfortunately, none of them has yet won the Powerball jackpot. Even so, a number of players have become Powerball millionaires after they matched the five main numbers in a lucky draw. Read below to meet our biggest Powerball winners!

G. from Australia has been playing with theLotter since he discovered our ‘convenient and easy to use’ ticket purchasing service in 2003. He has scored more than 450 wins over the years, but all pale in comparison to the prize he won on 19 October 2016. Coming just one number away from winning the Powerball jackpot, G. was compensated with a very nice $1 million second division prize. Read more about the Australian who won $1 million playing the US Powerball online.

Like many other Canadians, P from Quebec started playing lotteries online through theLotter when the US Powerball jackpot hit $1 billion. Luckily for P, he kept playing Powerball after the billion-dollar jackpot fell and won the $1 million second prize on 27 February 2016! Read more about the Canadian who won $1 million in the US Powerball online.

Another winner in the 2nd prize division of the US Powerball comes from Central America. On the eve of the record $1.6 billion Powerball, grandfather H. from El Salvador, a first-time player on the site, won $1 million. His first thought was that now he finally had enough money to go and visit his grandchildren and great-grandchildren who live... in the United States of all places! Find out more about the El Salvador pensioner who won $1 million in the US lottery online.

B.U., a theLotter player from London in the United Kingdom, won the 2nd division Powerball prize in 2012 and he collected his $1 million prize in the United States. B.U was fascinated by the American Powerball lottery and played only a few times before his dreams became a reality. He became a millionaire overnight! Find out about our British Powerball winner.

For in-depth stories about all our champions, check the page dedicated to theLotter’s biggest winners.

Powerball Play Options at theLotter

There are many ways to play Powerball at theLotter!

Purchase one-time standard tickets and select the number of lines you want to play. Use a systematic form to play more numbers than a standard ticket. Choose your numbers manually or allow the computer to randomly select them in a quick pick. Boost your Powerball prize money by including the optional Power Play multiplier feature in your tickets.

Play more Powerball lines while spending less if you join a Powerball syndicate. Read the story about our prize-winning Powerball syndicate that won over $100,000 in November 2017. Enjoy the benefits of a lottery syndicate while playing your own personal entry if you purchase a Powerball Bundle.

Never miss another Powerball draw when you take out a Powerball subscription. You can purchase a multi-draw package which lets you play your lucky numbers in multiple draws. There are plenty of benefits in multi-draw packages!

Good Luck Playing Powerball Online!

We hope we were able to answer all the questions about the biggest lottery on the planet! And we hope that this Powerball information will bring you one step closer to winning an amazing Powerball jackpot! Play Powerball today and good luck!