Powerball is one of America’s biggest lottery games, both in terms of jackpots and geographic footprint. With tickets sold in 48 jurisdictions and a starting jackpot of $40 million, Powerball is famous for its quickly growing jackpots that routinely dip into the hundreds of millions of dollars if not $1 billion plus.

Today, Powerball is sold in 45 US states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The only states that do not sell Powerball tickets are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah.

Lottery players in some states can play Powerball online while players in the rest of the country can purchase tickets at any authorized retailer for $2.00 per play. Drawings are held twice a week and the jackpot grows by at least $10 million every drawing until there is a winner.

Rank
Lottery
Bonus
Rating
Visit
2
50% up to $100
3
100% up to $250

Note: Powerball reduced its starting jackpot to $20 million with a mandatory $2 million rollover in April 2020 for the duration of the Coronavirus pandemic to ensure all prize levels are properly funded amid decreased ticket sales. 

Quick Reference

  • Ticket price: $2.00 + $1.00 for the optional Power Play feature
  • Starting jackpot: $40 million
  • Record jackpot: $1.585 billion (2016)
  • Jackpot odds: 1 in 292.2 million
  • Any prize odds: 1 in 24.9
  • Can play Powerball in: 45 states, DC, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands
  • Powerball Drawings: Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 PM ET

How to Buy Powerball Online

A growing number of states are turning to the internet to boost lottery sales amid changing demographics that value convenience. Currently, there are two major avenues by which players in some states may buy Powerball tickets online.

Straight from the Source

In some states, players may buy Powerball online directly from the state lottery. Players located in the following states may purchase Powerball tickets from the state lottery’s website or through its official mobile app.

StateMinimum PurchasePayment Methods
   
Georgia1 ticket / $2.00Debit card, ACH and PayPal
Illinois1 ticket / $2.00Debit or credit card
Kentucky1 ticket / $2.00Credit card, debit card or iGift/iFunds purchases made in-person at a retailer
Michigan1 ticket / $2.00Credit card, debit card, PayPal, ACH or online game card purchased in-person
North Carolina1 ticket / $2.00Debit card, ACH and PayPal
North Dakota1 ticket / $2.00Debit card, credit card and ACH
New Hampshire1 ticket / $2.00Debit card, ACH and PayPal
Pennsylvania1 ticket / $2.00Debit card, credit card, ACH, PayPal, Play+ prepaid card, PayNearMe and WebCash
Virginia1 ticket / $2.00Debit card, ACH and PayPal
Maine26 drawings (13 weeks) / $52.00Check or money order by mail
Maryland26 drawings (13 weeks) / $52.00Check or money order by mail

Buy Online Through the Jackpocket App

A handful of states that have not yet launched their own online lottery platforms are served by the Jackpocket app for iOS and Android. Jackpocket is a US-based company that purchases tickets on behalf of players in a growing number of jurisdictions:

  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • Oregon
  • Texas
  • Washington, DC

Click Here to Download the Jackpocket App

Note: Unlike some unauthorized, offshore websites that purport to sell lottery tickets online, Jackpocket works with regulators in various states to ensure compliance with all state laws. For example, the NJ Lottery considers Jackpocket a “regulated courier service.”

Jackpocket does not add a premium to ticket sales nor does it keep a percentage of players’ winnings. All tickets purchased through Jackpocket are priced the same as if they were purchased in-person from an authorized retailer and all prizes are paid in full. Jackpocket instead charges a small fee on deposits, which is always disclosed up front.

Powerball Rules

Powerball is a simple draw game with nine prize levels ranging from $4 to $2 million plus the progressive jackpot.

Tickets cost $2.00 plus an additional $1.00 to activate the optional Power Play feature. Upon purchase, players select five numbers from 1 to 69 that correspond to the white balls and one number from 1 to 26 that corresponds to the red Powerball.

Players may also choose to let the lottery terminal pick numbers at random on their behalf.

Power Play Feature

Players who elect to purchase the Power Play feature for an additional $1.00 per ticket qualify for enhanced prizes at the drawing. At the beginning of each Power Ball drawing, a multiplier of 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x or 10x is drawn at random and multiplies all non-jackpot prizes by the corresponding amount.

For example, if a 10x multiplier is drawn, a player who matches the Powerball only would win $40 instead of the standard $4 prize.

Note: The 10x multiplier option is only in play when the advertised jackpot is $150 million or less and the Match 5 payout with Power Play is always $2 million.

Drawings

Powerball drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday at 10:59 PM ET.

In each drawing, Powerball draws five white balls numbered 1-69 at random from one drum and one red Powerball numbered 1-26 from the other drum.

A multiplier of 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x or 10x is also randomly selecting during each drawing for players who purchased the Power Play feature.

Powerball Prizes

Powerball prizes are determined by the number of matches on each player’s ticket and range from $4 for matching the red Powerball number only up to the grand prize jackpot for matching all five white numbers and the red Powerball number.

MatchesPrizePower Play
2x
Power Play
3x
Power Play
4x
Power Play
5x
Power Play
10x
JackpotJackpotJackpotJackpotJackpotJackpot
$1 Million$2 Million$2 Million$2 Million$2 Million$2 Million
$50,000$100,000$150,000$200,000$250,000$500,000
$100$200$300$400$500$1,000
$100$200$300$500$500$1,000
$7$14$21$28$35$70
$7$14$21$28$35$70
$4$8$12$16$20$40
$4$8$12$16$20$40

Odds of Winning

MatchesPrizeOdds of Winning
   
 Grand Prize1 in 292,201,338.00
 $1 Million1 in 11,688,053.52
 $50,0001 in 913,129.18
 $1001 in 36,525.17
 $1001 in 14,494.11
 $71 in 579.76
 $71 in 701.33
 $41 in 91.98
 $41 in 38.32
Odds of winning any prize 1 in 24.87

Annuity vs. Lump Sum Payout

Powerball jackpot winners have the choice of receiving their prize as an annuity paid out over a course of 30 years or as a one-time, lump sum payment.

Anyone fortunate enough to be facing this decision should speak to a qualified financial advisor as the choice has major tax, legal and practical implications.

Annuity Payments

Winners who choose the annuity payout option receive are paid in 30 payments over a course of 29 years, beginning with an immediate initial payment. Each annual payment thereafter increases by 5%.

When this option is chosen, Powerball invests the entire cash value into various government-backed securities to secure payments for the next 29 years.

The advertised value of each jackpot is calculated based on interest rates and the expected return from the annuity option. Thus, choosing the annuity option results in the winner receiving a bigger payout than he or she would have received with the lump sum option but paid over a much longer time frame.

If the winner dies before the annuity has been paid, the remaining payments go to the winner’s estate or heirs.

Lump Sum Payout

Winners who choose the cash option receive an immediate lump sum payment. Choosing the lump sum payment option results in a payout that is significantly smaller than the advertised jackpot amount because the amount that would have been invested in interest bearing securities with the annuity option is instead paid to the winner all at once.

The lump sum option gives winners more control over their money, including the freedom to (potentially) invest in higher-yield investments. However, stories abound of lottery jackpot winners going bankrupt just a few years later due to poor money management.

Powerball Numbers and Results

Powerball numbers are drawn twice a week (Wed & Sat at 10:59 PM ET) and results are published immediately. Players can view the numbers from the latest drawing at the official website here:

Players may also view past Powerball results at the same website linked to above. Just select a start date and an end date to view results from a specific drawing or from all drawings held over the selected date range.

States Where Powerball Tickets Are Sold

Lottery players may buy Powerball in 45 US states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

In some states, players may buy Powerball online from the official website or through the Jackpocket app (scroll up for more on that). However, in most states today, Powerball tickets are only sold in-person through authorized retailers.

The full list of jurisdictions in which Powerball is sold:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • US Virgin Islands
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Powerball Jackpot Records

Unlike many lotteries, Powerball is subject to no rollover limit or jackpot cap. If a drawing is held and no one is able to match all five numbers plus the Powerball number, the top prize rolls over to the next drawing, and to the next after that until someone hits the jackpot.

Occasionally, by random chance, enough drawings come and go without a winner that the jackpot reaches new heights. Thus begins the positive feedback loop in which news coverage of the record jackpot initiates a buying frenzy, which in turn spurs even more ticket sales and even more press as the looming jackpot balloons out of control.

This continues until some lucky winner makes the perfect pick and a new record Powerball payout is set. Sometimes, the jackpot is paid entirely to a single winner and sometimes multiple people just happen to pick the same winning numbers to split the jackpot equally. In all cases, the end result is a massive payout.

Here’s a look at the 10 biggest Powerball jackpots of all time:

Jackpot AmountDrawing DateWinning Numbers
   
$1.585 Billion13 January 20164-8-19-27-34 (10)
$768.4 Million27 March 201916-20-37-44-62 (12)
$758.7 Million23 August 20176-7-16-23-26 (4)
$687.8 Million27 October 20188-12-13-19-27 (4)
$590.5 Million18 May 201310-13-14-22-52 (11)
$587.5 Million28 November 20125-16-22-23-29 (6)
$564.1 Million11 February 201511-13-25-39-54 (19)
$559.7 Million6 January 201812-29-30-33-61 (26)
$488 Million7 August 20135-25-30-58-59 (32)
$487 Million30 July 201611-17-21-23-32 (5)

Powerball FAQs

When is the cutoff to purchase Powerball tickets in time for the next drawing?

Last call for Powerball tickets for the next drawing varies by state but is generally 1-2 hours prior to that evening’s drawing.

What is the minimum age to play Powerball?

The minimum age to buy Powerball tickets online or in-person in most states is 18. Mississippi is the lone exception with a minimum age of 21 to play.

Is it legal to buy Powerball tickets online in states that do not offer online Powerball sales?

The simple answer to this question is no, but with two caveats:

  • State law varies; it is not necessarily illegal to purchase Powerball tickets online, but states that lack online sales do not provide any guarantees that tickets purchased elsewhere are legitimate or that winnings will be paid
  • Some states allow lottery courier service Jackpocket to purchase lottery tickets on behalf of players

Can I buy Powerball tickets online from one state while in a different state?

No. Federal law prohibits interstate lottery ticket sales.

Do I have to match the numbers in the same order in which they are drawn?

No. Powerball numbers are printed in numerical order on each ticket and the order of the white balls does not matter. However, the red Powerball number on the ticket must match the red Powerball number drawn in each drawing.

Can I claim my prize anonymously?

Each state determines the rules regarding prize claims and anonymity. Some states allow players to claim Powerball prizes anonymously, but most require the disclosure of winners’ identities.

Where can I watch Powerball drawings?

Powerball players can watch drawings on the Powerball YouTube channel or see this page at Powerball.com for a listing of TV stations by state that broadcast each drawing live.

Do I have to be a US citizen to play Powerball?

No. Non-US residents and visitors may purchase Powerball when visiting a jurisdiction that sells tickets.

What is the quick pick option?

Players who do not wish to pick their own numbers may ask for the quick pick option to have the system pick numbers at random.