The US Powerball lottery is the biggest lottery draw in the world, played across the USA and also online by players across the globe. This huge multi-state lottery boasts the record largest jackpot to have ever been won, weighing in at a mighty $1.5 billion.
And if that jackpot isn’t big enough for you, in October 2015 further Powerball rule changes came in, increasing the odds of winning the jackpot further promising even bigger jackpots.
After the changes in 2015 the main ball pool extended by ten numbers giving players 69 balls to choose from. Conversely, the Powerball ball pool reduced from 35 to 26, improving the overall odds of winning a prize. While overall odds are now better for winning any prize, the odds of winning the jackpot have lengthened significantly and we suspect this will be the start of some of the biggest jackpots the world has ever seen.
The US Powerball lottery has been around in one form or another since April 1992, when it took over from its predecessor Lotto*America and since then has grown to become the giant draw that it is today.
Powerball is drawn twice a week, every Wednesday and Saturday night at 22:59 (ET). To play the Powerball lottery you must choose five main numbers between 1-69 and a Powerball selection of between 1-26.
What can I expect to win?
With the exception of the jackpot, all US Powerball prizes are a fixed amount. No matter how many players win a prize tier, the payout per player is always the same, unlike the South African Lotto, Lotto Plus and PowerBall draws that have pari-mutuel payouts. The US version of Powerball pays out on a wide combination of numbers matched, giving you even more chances of winning. Simply match the Powerball on its own to walk away with a cash prize.
|Numbers Matched||Average Payout|
|5 + Powerball||Jackpot amount based on sales|
|4 + Powerball||$50,000|
|3 + Powerball||$100|
|2 + Powerball||$7|
|1 + Powerball||$4|
Powerball payouts and odds of winning
Powerball offers a $40,000,000 starting jackpot, which makes the South African PowerBall’s R 22,000,000 seem like pocket change but the odds of winning the US Powerball jackpot are on the steep side, coming in at 1 in 292,201,388. This is around twelve times greater than the 1 in 24,435,180 odds of winning the South African PowerBall jackpot, but this is more than compensated for with the monster-sized top prizes on offer each week.
|Numbers Matched||Odds of Winning|
|5 + Powerball||1 in 292,201,338.00|
|5||1 in 11,688,053.52|
|4 + Powerball||1 in 913,129.18|
|4||1 in 36,525.17|
|3 + Powerball||1 in 14,494.11|
|3||1 in 579.76|
|2 + Powerball||1 in 701.33|
|1 + Powerball||1 in 91.98|
|Powerball Only||1 in 38.32|
Just like the South African PowerBall, when playing the US version the all-important ball to be drawn is the Powerball. If you match all five main lottery balls but not the Powerball, you walk away with $1,000,000. However, add the lucky Powerball into the equation and you can win more than 500 times the amount.
Winning the US Powerball jackpot
If you manage to match all five main lottery balls drawn along with the all-important Powerball, you will join millionaire’s row. In fact, if calculated in Rand, if you win the Powerball jackpot, you will be joining BILLIONAIRE’S ROW!
Be aware, the advertised Powerball jackpots are based on the winner opting for 30x annuity payments. The cash option for these jackpot payouts is far less. For example, a $50,000,000 jackpot based on annuity payments would actually equate to around the $31,000,000 mark. However, regardless of cash or annuity, the Powerball lottery jackpots are still the biggest lottery prizes up for grabs anywhere in the world.
The Power Play Multiplier
Although the huge hundred million dollar jackpots should serve as enough reason to play US Powerball, there’s also a multiplier available that sweetens the deal. The Power Play feature costs a little bit extra but multiplies all prizes (excluding the top two prize tiers) by 2, 3, 4, 5 or even 10 times. Although, the 10x multiplier can only come into play when prizes are $50,000 or less and when the jackpot is less than $150 million. The multiplier value is determined by a draw made at the same time as the real draw.