Since the first state-sponsored lottery was launched in New Hampshire in 1964, nearly all of the states subsequently discovered that selling lottery tickets was very good at generating major revenues that the states could then spend on education, to help needy senior citizens or for many worthy purposes. Today, Powerball is a very popular multi-state lottery option that was first launched in 1992. Buyers choose a sequence of five “white ball” numbers, followed by the one red Powerball number.
The winner correctly guesses the exact right sequence of the balls. Each number may be a two-digit number up to a maximum number. As of this writing in October 2015, you can choose five white ball numbers from 1-69 each and then select a Powerball number from 1-26.
States that offer Powerball—Or don’t
Managed by the Multi-State Lottery System (MSLS) based in Des Moines, Iowa, most states, along with the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, offer Powerball lottery tickets to adults ages 18 years and older. If you live in a state where Powerball games are offered ( in 45 states), then you can buy one or more tickets. If you do not live in a state offering a Powerball lottery (or even if you do), you can travel to another state where Powerball lottery tickets are available and purchase your tickets at an available retail site or other location. If you win—and lucky you!—you must travel to the state where you purchased your Powerball ticket in order to collect your winnings. Be sure that you sign the back of your tickets as soon as you purchase them so that no one else can claim your winnings.
Where can you buy Powerball tickets?
In most states, Powerball tickets can be purchased in convenience stores, supermarkets, liquor stores, smoke shops, gas stations, and at many other locations. Sometimes the American Legion or other private organizations sell these lottery tickets.
To discover exactly where Powerball tickets are available for purchase in your state, go to the map of the United States at this site offered by the MSLS: http://www.powerball.com/powerball/pb_map.asp. Click on your state (or another state where you would like to purchase a Powerball ticket), and then click on “retailers” or similar options. Some states offer a search option where you can type in your zip code or your city to find out where you may purchase your (hopefully!) winning ticket.
Some lotteries sell Powerball tickets over the Internet, but the service is only available to residents of that jurisdiction. The sale of Powerball tickets over the Internet or by mail across jurisdictional borders is restricted. Lotteries may refuse to pay out prize money on Powerball tickets purchased on any website other than their own.
What is the cost of tickets?
Powerball tickets cost $2 each, although it may be very hard for many people to buy just one ticket, sort of like eating just one potato chip. For an additional dollar, you may purchase a “power play” option on your ticket which will multiply the prize you win–if you win– by up to ten times. Pay $2 per play for each Powerball ticket. Your ticket is your receipt. Once it prints, the play cannot be cancelled or refunded.The 10X multiplier is only in play when the advertised jackpot annuity is $150 million or less. Powerball tickets print the white ball numbers in numerical order of a given play. You can match the white ball numbers in any order of a given play to win a prize. The red Powerball number of a given play on your ticket must match the red Powerball drawn. Each play on a ticket is separately determined; players cannot crisscross play lines on a ticket or combine numbers from other tickets.
How to play Powerball?
Using a Lottery playslip, which you can find at any Lottery retailer, pick 5 numbers between 1 and 69 and 1 Power Number between 1 and 26. You can also select Quick Pick, or just ask the cashier for a Powerball Quick Pick, and the random number generator will choose the numbers for you.
To play the same numbers for consecutive draws, just mark Advance Play.
Advance Play allows you to play multiple draws with one purchase.
You can play up to 10 consecutive draws on one playslip by marking the Advance Play box.
Following the April 8, 2020 drawing, minimum jackpot amounts and minimum jackpot increases will be eliminated. Future jackpots will instead be determined by sales and the estimated amount for each draw will be advertised as usual. Powerball has made these changes due to the effect on sales of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.
How to know if you have won?
Powerball draws take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 7:59 p.m. Draw entry closes at 7 p.m. on the day of the draw. Winners are announced on major media, such as on television or radio stations. You really can’t be anonymous if you win. The state wants people to know that there are winners, so that other people will be inspired to buy Powerball tickets too.
Remember that Powerball has 9 winning ball combinations. The more numbers on your ticket that match the numbers drawn, the more you win.
However, it is up to you to find out whether or not you won, because no one will contact you if you did. That may sound unfair, but tickets are purchased anonymously, so sellers really don’t know who won. You have about a year to cash in your ticket. So pay attention.
- Look on the Lottery website for winning numbers and prize amounts.
- Download the Lottery mobile app to see winning numbers.
- Scan your ticket using the Check-A-Ticket feature on the mobile app.
- Use the Check-A-Ticket machine at a local Lottery retail location.
How will you get the prize?
You’ll receive your prize in 30 graduated annual installments unless you choose the Cash Option. This is the current cash value of the annuity prize and is paid out in a single cash payment instead of annuity installments. You must select this option within 60 days after the Lottery authorizes payment.
Collect your prize of up to $599 at any participating Lottery retail location.
Collect your prize over $599 at any Lottery District Office or by mail. Bring your winning ticket and a completed Claim Form to a District Office. Pick the Claim Form up at any Lottery retail location,
You have 180 days from the date of the draw to claim your Powerball prize. If you’ve won the Powerball jackpot, you have up to a year from the date of the draw to claim it.
Your winning ticket must be redeemed in the state where it was purchased.