US Powerball

US Powerball
The World's Biggest
Ever Lottery Jackpot

The US Powerball has been making dreams come true for Americans for decades, with jackpots the size of which have never been seen from any other lottery. Now, Australians can play online and get a chance to win from draws of this unrivalled lottery.
US PowerballUS
Powerball

Next Jackpot

AUD$108 Million

Closes in: 1 day, 18 hours, 46 minutes

US Powerball History

The US Powerball was previously known as Lotto America, a now-defunct lottery game that was first drawn in 1988. After the rename, US Powerball first launched way back in April 1992, with only 15 US states initially taking part. US Powerball was an early pioneer in lottery innovation. It was the first lottery to use the two-barrel system, which requires players to select their lottery numbers from 2 separate pools. Since this unique innovation many other lotteries have followed suit, and the two-barrel system is now commonly used the world over.

Originally, US Powerball required players to select 5 numbers from 45 and 1 Powerball number from a second barrel of 45 numbers. Since 1992 the mechanism has been revised several times, and today it’s 5/69 and 1/26. In August 2021 US Powerball expanded its weekly draws from 2 to 3. Today 48 US jurisdictions in total (45 US states, as well as Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands) participate in selling US Powerball. With 35% of all ticket sales going towards good causes in the community, it’s not only prize winners that stand to gain from the US Powerball.

How US Powerball Works

When playing US Powerball, you are required to select 5 main numbers from a barrel of 69 numbers and a single Powerball number from a separate barrel of 26 numbers. Players can opt to have their numbers selected at random, or they can select their numbers themselves.

Hand-marked paper entries can be purchased at selected retailers throughout the USA, or entries can be purchased online.

During the draw, a randomised mechanism pulls the winning numbers from the two barrels. The first barrel contains the main numbers and the second barrel contain the Powerball.

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How US Powerball Works
How US Powerball Works

How Big Can US Powerball Jackpots Get?

For each draw where the lotto Powerball jackpot is not won, the jackpot prize increases and rolls over to the next draw.

There is no limit to how big the jackpot can get, and this means it can reach into the billions, which it has done several times.

It will keep increasing each draw until it’s won. Once the jackpot has been won, it will revert to the minimum of USD$20 million in the next draw.

US Powerball Draws

The US Powerball is drawn three times each week. Draws take place in Tallahassee, Florida every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday (USA time). In Australian time, this is every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

US Powerball tickets sales in the USA close one hour before each draw, which is conducted at 10:59 PM Eastern Time (USA).

US Powerball Draws

US Powerball's
World Record Jackpots

The US Powerball holds the world record for the highest lottery jackpot of all time. On the 7th of November 2022, USD$2.04 billion was won by one lucky player in California. This is by far the world’s biggest lottery prize.

Not only is this the largest win of all time, it’s also by far the largest win from a single lottery ticket! The US Powerball also has the second highest jackpot of all time, a USD$1.586 billion prize shared by 3 winners. This record stood for almost 7 years, before being eclipsed by the current world-record holding prize. It was topped by a staggering USD$450 million!

Notable US Powerball Wins

As well as holding first and second place for the world’s biggest ever lottery jackpots, the US Powerball boasts an abundance of other winners who claimed well over USD$500 million each.

Top 10 Biggest US Powerball Jackpots

JackpotDate WonUS State Of Winner
USD$2.04 billionNovember 7, 2022California
USD$1.76 billionOctober 11, 2023California
USD$1.586 billionJanuary 13, 2016California, Florida, Tennessee
USD$768.4 millionMarch 27, 2019Wisconsin
USD$758.7 millionAugust 23, 2017Massachusetts
USD$731.1 millionJanuary 20, 2021Maryland
USD$699.8 millionOctober 4, 2021California
USD$687.8 millionOctober 27, 2018Iowa, New York
USD$632.6 millionJanuary 5, 2022California, Wisconsin
USD$590.5 millionMay 18, 2013Florida

US Powerball Prizes and Divisions

There are 9 prize divisions in the US Powerball. Matching the drawn Powerball number is required to win 6 of the 9 divisions, including the jackpot prize.

DivisionMatchPrize*
Division 1(jackpot)5 main numbers & Powerballvaries each draw
Division 25 main numbers$1 million
Division 34 main numbers & Powerball$50,000
Division 44 main numbers$100
Division 53 main numbers & Powerball$100
Division 63 main numbers$7
Division 72 main numbers & Powerball$7
Division 81 main numbers & Powerball$4
Division 9Powerball$4
*all prizes are in US dollars.

Aside from the jackpot, the prizes for each division do not change from draw to draw, so players know in advance exactly how much they could potentially win in each division.

This is the prize structure for most US states, with California being an exception. California uses a pari-mutuel prize system. This is a common way of determining prizes and is used by most lotteries. It means that instead of being pre-determined, divisional prizes are calculated for each draw as a percentage of ticket sales. This results in fluctuating prizes for all divisions from draw to draw.

The overall odds of winning any prize in the US Powerball are 1 in 24.9.

How Players Can Multiply US Powerball Winnings

The US Powerball has an optional add-on called the Powerplay that lets players win larger than normal prizes. It gives players the chance to take home prizes far larger than they would otherwise be able to. For example, the 5x Powerplay boosts the division 3 prize from USD$50,000 to USD$500,000.

The Powerplay number is drawn at random before each US Powerball draw.

The Powerplay number corresponds to how many times prizes are multiplied. For example, the 3x Powerplay means that prizes are multiplied by three times.

Some Powerplay numbers are more likely than others to be randomly chosen prior to each draw, as shown below:

Powerplay NumberPrizePowerplay Odds (10x in play)Powerplay Odds (10x not in play)
10xPrize multiplied by 101:43n/a
5xPrize multiplied by 51:21.51:21
4xPrize multiplied by 41:14.331:14
3xPrize multiplied by 31:3.311:3.23
2xPrize multiplied by 21:1.791:1.75

The Powerplay feature has the following conditions:

  • Powerplay does not apply to the lotto Powerball jackpot prize
  • The 10x Powerplay is not available when the jackpot is over USD$150 million
  • The 2nd division prize with Powerplay will always be USD$2 million, no matter which Powerplay number is drawn

Double Play

Double Play is an optional feature that gives US Powerball players an extra chance to win prizes. The odds of winning prizes are the same for each division as they are for the primary US Powerball draw, however the prizes differ. The Double Play jackpot is also different to the main US Powerball draw, with a set-in-stone jackpot of USD$10 million on offer for each Double Play draw.

Double Play draws take place three times each week, after the main US Powerball draws on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

DivisionMatchPrize*
Division 15 main numbers & Powerball$10 million
Division 25 main numbers$500,000
Division 34 main numbers & Powerball$50,000
Division 44 main numbers$500
Division 53 main numbers & Powerball$500
Division 63 main numbers$20
Division 72 main numbers & Powerball$20
Division 81 main number & Powerball$10
Division 9Powerball$7
*all prizes are in US dollars.

The Double Play feature is currently offered only in the following 14 US jurisdictions: Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Washington. It’s possible that additional states will offer Double Play in future.

US Powerball Payments

US Powerball jackpot winners are required to make a choice to determine how they wish their prize to be paid. There are two available options: annuity and lump-sum. When jackpots are advertised before a draw, they are estimates based on forecast ticket sales for the draw. Only once all ticket sales have been finalised will the exact jackpot prize amount be known. Both payment options are subject to US federal and state taxes.

Annuity

This is when the jackpot winner elects to take one immediate payment, much smaller than the total jackpot prize. Then, once a year for the next 29 years they then receive another payment, until the entire prize is paid. The payment they receive each year is 5% bigger than the previous year’s payment. For the annuity, the lottery authorities invest the jackpot prize money, and use the investment returns to fund the winner’s ongoing annual payments. Due to this investment, the total of the 30 annuity payments will always be larger than the lump-sum payment option. The total value of the annuity option will be close in total size to the advertised amount (less taxes and depending on how many tickets are sold).

The advantage of the annuity is that not only do you receive a larger prize overall, but the annual payments can be a way of forcing winners to be more conservative with their winnings. This can help ensure winners don’t blow through all of their prize money in a short period of time.

Lump-sum payment (cash option)

For the lump-sum option, the winner receives one single payment. The lump-sum will generally be equal to the amount that would have been invested to fund the 30 incremental payments, had the winner selected the annuity option. This means that the lump-sum option will be smaller than the annuity. The upside is that the winner gets to receive their entire prize immediately, instead of over 29 years. This is by far the option most US Powerball jackpot winners choose.

The advantage of the lump-sum option is that winners don’t run the risk of ill health or death before they can enjoy their full prize. They also have more funds up front with which to invest themselves and potentially eclipse the annuity prize amount.

US Powerball Taxes

US lotto Powerball jackpot wins are subject to both federal and state income taxes. How much tax you pay will depend on which state the winning ticket was purchased in, as each state has its own income tax rate. Taxes on lottery jackpot winnings can be significant. However, given that the minimum US Powerball jackpot is worth USD$20 million and can reach into the billions, there’s no reason taxes should prevent winners from enjoying the best life has to offer for the rest of their days.

US Powerball FAQs

Where is US Powerball Played?

Can Australians Play US Powerball?