Powerball Draw Timeline
Use this Powerball timeline to find out everything you need to know about draw nights. From ticket sales closing to the numbers being selected and the payouts being announced, the information below will answer all your questions if you've ever wanted to know exactly what happens during the Powerball draw.
Powerball drawing days are Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. The same schedule is followed each day. Be aware that the exact timings may change depending on various factors, and in many cases are different in each participating state. All the times below are shown in Eastern Time.
The cutoff time for ticket sales varies by state, but in most cases it is around 10pm Eastern Time (9pm Central Time, 8pm Mountain Time, 7pm Pacific Time). This gives you until around an hour before the drawing takes place to purchase your entries.
If you don't buy your ticket before the deadline, it will not be valid for the upcoming draw, even if you miss it by just a few seconds. There is a brief draw break before sales reopen for the following game.
The Powerball drawing is held at the Florida Lottery Studio in Tallahassee. The winning numbers are drawn using two separate ball machines - one for the main white numbers and one for the red Powerballs.
There are various people present at each draw to ensure it all runs smoothly, including multi-state lottery draw officials and a security official. There is also an independent auditor, with drawings supervised by certified public accountants.
Prior to the draw, all the equipment is kept in a double-locked alarmed vault, while the ball sets are sealed by the auditors. Regular tests are carried out to ensure it is all working as it should be, including measurements, X-rays and statistical tests to check the balls are being selected at random. As soon as the vault is opened, everything is audio and video recorded.
The draw is hosted by one of three or four regular presenters, and drawings are open to the public. It is shown on TV stations across the U.S. The five main numbers are drawn first, followed by the Powerball. The Power Play multiplier has already been selected in a separate draw and is announced as the numbers come out, along with confirmation of the jackpot. A separate Double Play draw is also held straight after the main draw.
Go to the payouts page to find out the latest winning numbers straight after they have been selected.
You can find out if you are a winner as soon as the numbers have been drawn by checking to see how many numbers you have matched. Unless you live in California, all the prizes below the jackpot are fixed at the same amount in every drawing, so you can tell exactly how much you have won.
To find out how many winners there have been in the draw, or whether the jackpot has been won, you'll need to wait until the payouts are announced. The time when this happens varies a lot, as the results have to be processed and verified first and this can take longer when more tickets have been sold. Each state lottery then publishes its own set of payouts.
As the drawing takes place late at night, it may not be until the following morning that you find out whether the jackpot has been won. The estimated value of the next jackpot will also be announced.
If you have won a prize, the next step is to come forward and claim your money. You have to receive your prize from the state lottery where you purchased your ticket, and each jurisdiction has its own rules about how you must do this, and the deadline for claiming.
New Mexico has the shortest claim period of 90 days, while many states allow one year and others fall in between. You need to make sure you redeem any wins while your ticket is still valid, otherwise you will miss out. Go to the How to Claim page for more information.