Powerball is a big-money lottery game known for record-breaking jackpots, reaching a high of $1.58 billion on Wednesday January 13th 2016, which was shared by three ticket holders from California, Florida and Tennessee. Find information on the latest Powerball numbers below as well as details on the history of the game and how to play Powerball in order to win one of the multimillion-dollar prizes on offer.
Latest Powerball Numbers
History of Powerball
Powerball is one of the biggest lotteries in the United States, with jackpots regularly reaching record-breaking levels. It is operated by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) in cooperation with 47 different jurisdictions across the country. Today, Powerball is played by millions of Americans who want to beat the odds and win great prizes. With no jackpot cap, the top prize can quickly grow to nine or even ten figures!
The history of this exciting lottery game began in September 1987 when lottery officials from Washington D.C., Iowa, Kansas, Oregon, Rhode Island and West Virginia joined to form the Multi-State Lottery Association. In February 1988, they launched a new game called Lotto*America and were joined by other state lotteries over the next four years. Eventually, the game was replaced by Powerball in 1992, with new ball sets and draw machines added on April 19th of that year. The new Powerball game held its first drawing a few days later on April 22nd, with jackpots starting at $2 million.
In July 1996, multiple Powerball drawings were held live at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. Special drawings take place across the country to commemorate specific events or anniversaries.
The rules of the game have changed over the last 23 years, with the latest large alteration taking place in early October 2015. The matrix changed and the odds of winning the jackpot lengthened, but the chances of winning any prize increased. This latest change led to the Powerball jackpot reaching $1.58 billion on Wednesday January 13th 2016, the biggest top prize ever to be offered by any lottery around the world.
How to Play Powerball
Powerball costs just $2 per play and drawings take place every Wednesday and Saturday at 10:59 PM EST in Tallahassee, Florida. Players pick five numbers from 1 to 69 and a Powerball number from 1 to 26. Aside from the jackpot, the prize tiers in Powerball have fixed cash amounts. Here's a breakdown of the prize tiers and the odds for winning in that tier:
|Prize Tier||Odds of Winning||Prize|
|Match 5 + Powerball||1 in 292,201,338||Jackpot|
|Match 5||1 in 11,688,053.52||$1 million|
|Match 4 + Powerball||1 in 913,129.18||$50,000|
|Match 4||1 in 36,525.16||$100|
|Match 3 + Powerball||1 in 14,494.11||$100|
|Match 3||1 in 579.76||$7|
|Match 2 + Powerball||1 in 701.32||$7|
|Match 1 + Powerball||1 in 91.97||$4|
|Powerball only||1 in 38.32||$4|
|Overall odds of winning a Powerball prize are 1 in 24.87.|
The only exception to this chart is California, where cash prizes in lower tiers are pari-mutuel. Their values are determined by the number of winners in each tier and the number of tickets sold.
For an extra $1 per play, ticket holders can participate in the Power Play game. This gives you the chance to exponentially increase your winnings in some of the fixed prize tiers. The table below demonstrates how much you could win if your prize is multiplied:
|Prize Breakdown||Powerball Prize Amount||Power Play x 2||Power Play x 3||Power Play x 4||Power Play x 5||Power Play x 10**|
|Match 5 + Powerball||Jackpot||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Match 4 + Powerball||$50,000||$100,000||$150,000||$200,000||$250,000||$500,000|
|Match 3 + Powerball||$100||$200||$300||$400||$500||$1000|
|Match 2 + Powerball||$7||$14||$21||$28||$35||$70|
|Match 1 + Powerball||$4||$8||$12||$16||$20||$40|
*A Power Play Match 5 prize will be set at $2,000,000 regardless of the Power Play number drawn.
**The Power Play x10 only applies when the advertised jackpot is $150 million or less.
When 10x Multiplier is in Place (Jackpot Worth $150 Million or Less):
|Power Play Multiplier||Odds|
|10x||1 in 43|
|5x||1 in 21.5|
|4x||1 in 14.33|
|3x||1 in 3.31|
|2x||1 in 1.79|
When 10x Multiplier is not in Place (Jackpot Worth More than $150 Million):
|Power Play Multiplier||Odds|
|5x||1 in 21|
|4x||1 in 14|
|3x||1 in 3.23|
|2x||1 in 1.75|
Claiming a Prize
If you've won a large Powerball prize, you should contact your state's lottery office straight away for information about to claim your winnings.
Jackpot winners will have the option to choose between a lump sum payout and a structured annuity payment plan. If you choose an annuity, then you will receive an immediate payment followed by 29 annual payments, with every payment being four percent higher than the last one. A lump sum option gives you an immediate payout, but this is usually lower than the advertised jackpot amount as it represents the amount of cash on hand at the time.
You'll pay at least 25 percent in federal taxes when you claim your lottery win as well as a variable amount of state taxes depending on where you live. However, you won't be responsible for any local taxes if you live in California, Delaware, Florida, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas Washington State or Wyoming.
Biggest Powerball Winners
On Wednesday January 13th 2016 Powerball hit $1.58 billion, the largest lottery jackpot of all time. The sum was shared by three players, meaning the $590.5 million won by Gloria MacKenzie of Zephyrhills, Florida on May 18th 2013 remains the biggest lottery win on a single ticket. MacKenzie chose a cash prize of $370.9 million.
A $587.5 million jackpot was split between two winning tickets after a drawing on November 28th, 2012. Both Matthew Good of Arizona and Missouri grandparents Mark and Cindy Hill chose a lump sum payout of $192 million before taxes.
In February 2015, three ticket holders from North Carolina, Puerto Rico and Texas split a Powerball jackpot of $564.1 million, with each receiving a $188 million share. The Puerto Rican winner remained anonymous, while the Texan player claimed their massive windfall through a trust in March 2015. Only Marie Holmes of North Carolina came forward to the press.
Here are the top Powerball winners of all time:
|$1.58 billion (cash option $983.5 million)||January 13th 2016||Three ticket holders from Tennessee, California and Florida|
|$590.5 million (took the cash option of $370.9 million)||May 18th 2013||Gloria MacKenzie of Florida|
|$587.5 million (shared the cash option of $384.7 million)||November 28th 2012||Matthew Good of Arizona and Cindy & Mark Hill of Missouri|
|$564.1 million (shared the cash option of $381.1 million)||February 11th 2015||Marie Holmes of North Carolina, TL Management Trust of Texas and an anonymous player from Puerto Rico|
|$487 million (took the cash option of $341.7 million)||August 7th 2013||Robin Egg 2016 Nominee Trust of New Hampshire|
The Powerball jackpot has been constantly breaking records throughout the history of this fantastic multistate game. July 2013 saw the first nine-figure top prize pool, when Colleen DeVries and Leslie Robbins of Wisconsin claimed $111.2 million, and new highs have been reached regularly since.
The Fine Print
Anyone who wants to play Powerball needs to be at least 18 years old in most U.S. states. Residents of Nebraska must be at least 19 years old in order to play and residents of Arizona, Iowa or Louisiana must be at least 21 years old.
If you do win a Powerball prize, then you will need to make your claim in the state where you bought your ticket.
You need to purchase a Powerball ticket if you want the chance to win a Powerball prize. Anyone who contacts you out of the blue with the news that you've won the Powerball jackpot is trying to set you up for a scam. Powerball officials will never directly contact a ticket holder to inform them of a lottery win – it is the player's responsibility to get in touch with lottery officials if they think they have a winning ticket. You can't win any sweepstakes, lottery, raffle or competition that you have never entered before.
Visit the Lottery scams page for more information on how you can protect yourself from lottery scams.