Powerball FAQs

Take a look at the most frequently asked questions about Powerball to learn everything you need to know about the game. These FAQs cover various topics, from understanding the prize structure to claiming your money.

  • Lottery Machine
    Draw Details
  • Stack of Coins
    Prize Details
  • Lottery Ticket
    Playing Powerball
  • Lottery Winner
    Winning Powerball
  • Winning Jackpot
    Powerball Jackpots
Draw Details

When do Powerball draws take place?

Powerball drawing days are Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. The draw time is 10:59pm EST, and draws are held in Tallahassee, Florida.

What is the sales cut-off time?

Depending on the location, sales generally stop around one hour before the draw time. Go to the Participating States page to find out the sales cut-off time in your state.

When is the next Powerball draw?

The next Powerball draw will take place on Wednesday, August 17.

How long does the draw take?

The actual drawing of the winning Powerball numbers takes only a few seconds. However, the process of calculating the number of winners can take some time. Head over to the Draw Timeline page to find out exactly what happens on draw nights.

When is the Double Play draw?

The Double Play draw takes place straight after the main Powerball drawing on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Can I watch the Powerball drawing live?

Yes, you can watch the Powerball drawing live. The draw is shown on TV stations across many of the participating states and is available online.

Prize Details

How do I win prizes?

You win prizes by matching the numbers you have selected to the winning numbers drawn. You need to match all six numbers to win the jackpot, but there are also eight other prize levels.

Is there a prize for matching one number?

You win a prize if the Powerball number on your ticket is the same as the winning Powerball number, even if you don't have any of the five main numbers. However, you do not win a prize for matching just one main number. You need to match at least three main numbers if you don't have the Powerball.

How long do I have to claim a prize if I win?

The claim period differs by state and can range from 90 days to 365 days. Go to the Participating States page to find out more about the specific rules for each jurisdiction.

What happens to unclaimed prizes?

Each state's lottery decides what to do with prize money that is not claimed in time. In most cases it will be returned to the state to help fund local education or good causes. Check out this comprehensive list of the current Unclaimed Prizes in the United States.

Playing Powerball

How do I play Powerball?

To play Powerball, you need to select five main numbers from 1 to 69, plus one Powerball from 1 to 26. You can choose your own numbers or opt for a Quick Pick if you want to have a set randomly generated. You also need to decide whether to add Power Play to your ticket.

How much is Powerball to play?

It costs $2 for a single Powerball entry. Power Play is an extra $1.

What is Power Play?

Power Play is a multiplier feature which increases the value of non-jackpot prizes if you have added it to your ticket. The Power Play number – 2x, 3x, 4x or 5x – is randomly selected ahead of the main drawing. This determines the value by which prizes will be multiplied. There's also a 10x multiplier, but this is only in play when the jackpot is $150 million or less. The Match 5 prize is automatically doubled to $2 million regardless of which Power Play multiplier is drawn. Find out more about Power Play.

What is Double Play?

Double Play is a game that is available in some states and gives your Powerball numbers another chance to win. It has all the same odds and prize levels, but it only costs an extra $1 to play, The Double Play jackpot is fixed at $10 million in every draw.

Do Powerball numbers have to be in order?

You don't have to match the main numbers in the order they are drawn. As long as your picks for the white balls match the five numbers drawn, in any order, and your Powerball choice matches the winning one, you'll take home the jackpot. However, you can't substitute a white ball number for the red Powerball or vice versa.

Do Powerball Quick Picks ever win?

Yes, the odds of winning are exactly the same regardless of which numbers you use, and how you pick them. Many of the biggest wins have come from Quick Picks, including Manuel Franco from Wisconsin, who landed $768 million in March 2019. This was the largest win ever seen on a single ticket. You can read about some of the biggest Quick Picks winners.

What are the odds of hitting the jackpot?

The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338. Your overall chances of winning a prize are 1 in 24.9. Go to the Odds page for more information.

Winning Powerball

Can I stay anonymous if I win a prize?

It depends on where you have purchased your ticket. Some state lotteries regard the identity of a winner as public information, whereas others allow winners to stay anonymous if they wish.

What's the difference between the cash and annuity options if I win the jackpot?

The advertised jackpot is the annuity value. It is how much you would receive in total over 29 years, and takes into account investments that would be made to the money before it is paid to you. The cash option is how much has accumulated in the jackpot prize pool at the time of the draw. It is paid as a lump sum and has been the preferred option of most winners in recent years.

Are Powerball prizes taxed?

All prizes above $5,000 are taxed at a federal level, while some states also have their own rate of withholding. The rate of tax may be different for non-US citizens. Big winners are always urged to consult a financial expert.

Can a foreigner win Powerball?

Yes, you can play and win Powerball even if you're not a US citizen or resident. You are eligible to play if you are visiting a participating state, or you can play through online services. There have been lots of foreign winners, for example, an Iraqi citizen who did not live in the US won a $1 million second prize when he matched all five white ball numbers in the record-breaking January 2016 draw.

What should I do if I find a lottery ticket?

A lottery ticket is a bearer instrument. That means that anyone who is in possession of the ticket (assuming it's not signed) can claim a prize it's won. If you find an unsigned ticket you may be able to claim a prize if it has not expired, but the best thing to do is to go to the authorities and tell them. It's possible that the original purchaser bought the ticket with a card, making it easier to trace it back to them.

Powerball Jackpots

What is the starting jackpot?

The starting jackpot has been based on ticket sales since 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic hit ticket sales and meant a minimum amount could not be guaranteed. However, it has always started at $20 million since those rule changes were made.

How much is the current Powerball jackpot worth?

The Powerball jackpot is currently worth $66,000,000. The cash lump sum amount is worth $38,300,000.

What is the biggest jackpot of all time?

The biggest Powerball jackpot of all time is also the biggest lottery jackpot for any game in history. The record was set in January 2016, with three winners splitting $1.58 billion. Discover the biggest Powerball jackpots of all time.