Powerball is one such lottery which like Mega million has number of players and a big grand jackpot prize. The changes made to Powerball in January 2012 and October 2015 meant that the Powerball lottery now consistently awards the biggest lottery jackpots in the world. In the year after the 2012 changes just under one in two; the actual amount: 50 out of 104; Powerball draw jackpots were more than $100,000,000.
The odds of winning any Powerball prize are now just 1 in 24.87, while the chances of winning the jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338.
So if you are interested in playing this lottery you need to understand how to play and how slim the odds of winning really are.
How do you play?
You choose five numbers between 1 and 69, then one “Powerball” number between 1 and 26. The drawing consists of five “white” balls being drawn, then one “red” ball — the Powerball – being chosen.
- Buy tickets for online or from your local Powerball retailer.
- Pick five regular numbers from 1–69 and the Powerball from 1–26
- Draws take place on Wednesday and Saturday evenings as 10.59 p.m. ET.
- Check the Powerball and other winning numbers.
- Odds of winning a payout stand at 1 in 24.87.
- Win huge jackpots of more than $40,000,000.
- Claim prizes by within 180 days or online the next day.
Choose five numbers from between 1 and 69. Like nearly all lotteries, none of these five numbers can be the same and the order doesn’t matter. You’ll also choose a Powerball number between 1 and 26. Once you’ve bought a ticket, you’re going to have to wait for the drawings to take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 p.m. (EST). It’s that simple and will take you one step closer to hunting down that big win.
How do you win?
There are a few ways. Match all the “white” numbers and match the Powerball and you win the grand prize. Suppose the grand prize is approximately $1.5 billion. Then you need to match five numbers without the Powerball and win $1 million; match four plus the Powerball and you get $50,000; match three and the Powerball and you get $100; match three without the Powerball and you get $7; match two and the Powerball and you get $7; match one and the Powerball and you get $4; match the Powerball and you get $4.
How much does it cost?
Tickets are $2. You can “upgrade” the ticket to something that increases the potential prize amounts. It’s called a “Power Play” and it costs an addition $1 per ticket. Click here to see the potential additional winnings.
How much would you actually get if you hit the grand prize?
That depends on how you want to collect your money – a lump sum or a 30-year annuity. The highest federal tax rate for 2017 is 39.6 per cent for income above $ 418,400, depending on your filing status. So suppose with a $1.5 billion jackpot, you’re looking at a lump sum payout estimated at $903 million before federal and state taxes. The federal government will take 25 percent off the top of the lump sum – about $225.75 million – before you even see the check, leaving around $677.25 million. Of that $677.25 million, you will owe tax on it at a rate of 39.6 percent rate.
In addition to federal taxes, your winnings will be subject to varying state tax rates, unless you live in a state such as Florida which does not tax lottery winnings. Click here to see the rate per state for lottery winnings.
If you decide to take the annuity, you are in rare company. Most people opt for the lump sun. The annuity, paid out over 30 years is annuitized – meaning it starts out at a lower amount and increases each year by about 4 to 5 percent. You would be subject to federal tax — the same formula as if you take the lump sum — on the annual amount and state taxes if they apply.
Which states participate in Powerball?
Only six states in the United States do not participate in Powerball. You cannot buy Powerball tickets in Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada or Utah.
Is there advantage to using the “quick pick” system as opposed to using numbers you pick yourself?
About 70 percent of past winners used “Quick Picks,” numbers randomly chosen by the computer system that spits out tickets. Technically, however, numbers you chose have the same odds of winning as Quick Pick numbers do. Though some winners say to avoid Quick Picks.
What are the odds of winning the Powerball?
According to the Multi-State Lottery Association, your odds of matching all the winning Powerball numbers are 1 in 292.2 million.
Where and when is the draw done? Can anyone tamper with it?
The Powerball numbers are drawn in Tallahassee, Fla., at 10:59 p.m. ET on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The machine that draws the numbers is kept in a vault armed with two locks and an alarm. Audio and video recordings are made of the area surrounding the vault every time it is opened.
If you do win, can you remain anonymous?
Only six states — Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina – allow jackpot winners to remain anonymous. In some states, you can create something called a limited liability company. That means that when the winner is presented, the company would be identified, not the individuals. Georgia legislators are trying to push a bill that would let you remain anonymous, but at a fee.
Thinking of playing Powerball lottery? There you go.