Powerball FAQs

Have you got a question about when Powerball is drawn, how the game works or how you claim prizes? Find the answers to the most frequently asked queries about Powerball here:

Powerball Draws

  • Which days do draws take place?

    Powerball drawings are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
  • What time are Powerball draws?

    Draws take place at 10.59pm Eastern Standard Time
  • Can I watch the draw live on TV?

    Powerball drawings take place in a studio in Tallahassee, Florida, and are shown on major TV networks such as ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC. Find a full list of stations where you can watch the drawings.

Buying Tickets

  • When do ticket sales close?

    The cut-off time for ticket sales varies from state to state, but is typically an hour or two hours before the draw takes place. Go to the State Numbers page to find out more about playing Powerball where you live.
  • How much are tickets?

    A single play on Powerball costs $2. Power Play costs an additional $1.
  • What is Power Play?

    Power Play is an optional extra which gives players the chance to boost the value of non-jackpot prizes. The Match 5 prize is automatically doubled from $1 million to $2 million if you include Power Play, while all other non-jackpot prizes are multiplied by either 2, 3, 4 or 5, depending on the Power Play ball drawn before the main game. A 10x multiplier is also available when the advertised jackpot is less than $150 million. The only state where Power Play is not available is California.
  • Quick Pick or my own numbers?

    You can choose to either select your own numbers for a Powerball draw or opt for a Quick Pick, otherwise known as a computer pick. With Quick Pick tickets, you are given a random set of Powerball numbers.
  • Can I buy tickets outside the USA?

    You can only buy physical tickets from authorized retailers in participating states in the US, but you can choose numbers online from other countries. Find out more at the Lottery Tickets page.
  • Can I buy tickets if my state doesn’t play Powerball?

    Yes, you can visit a participating state and play without being a resident. Alternatively, you can use an online lottery service to take part online without to having to cross state borders. Find out more about playing online.

How to Play and Win

  • How do I play Powerball?

    To play Powerball, you must pick five main numbers from 1 to 69 and one Powerball number from a choice of 26. You can also decide to add Power Play. Read more about how to play Powerball.
  • How do I win Powerball?

    You must match all five main numbers and the Powerball to win the jackpot, but there are also eight other prize tiers so you can pick up cash just by matching the Powerball alone. Visit the Powerball Prizes page for more information.
  • What are the odds of winning any prize?

    The odds of winning any Powerball prize are 1 in 24.87.
  • Can I increase my odds of winning?

    The odds of winning a prize are the same for every single line of Powerball numbers and the only way to increase your chances is to play more lines. One way to boost your chances without having to spend more on tickets would be to join a lottery pool, although winnings would then also have to be shared between members of the group.

Powerball Jackpot

  • Is there a minimum Powerball jackpot?

    Yes, the minimum Powerball jackpot is $40 million
  • Is there a maximum jackpot?

    There is no limit to how high the Powerball jackpot can grow. It can keep rolling until it is won, and will then reset to $40 million for the following draw.
  • What are the odds of winning the jackpot?

    The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338.
  • Are Quick Pick tickets more likely to win the jackpot?

    No. The odds of winning the jackpot are the same whether you choose your own numbers or use a Quick Pick.

Claiming Powerball Prizes

  • How do I know if I have won?

    You can look at the Powerball Winning Numbers page to see all the latest results. If your numbers are a match, then you are a winner!
  • How long do I have to claim a prize?

    The claim period depends on where you bought your Powerball ticket, and varies between 90 days in some states and a year in others. Go to the State Numbers page to see how long you have to claim a prize.
  • Where can I claim my Powerball prize?

    It depends how much you have won. Powerball prizes of up to $600 can generally be claimed from any authorized lottery retailer in the same state where you bought your ticket. For larger amounts, you will need to visit a regional claims center or the state’s lottery headquarters.
  • I’ve been contacted about a prize, is it real?

    You can only win a Powerball prize if you have entered the draw. Legitimate lotteries do not contact people out of the blue via email and do not charge fees before money can be transferred. Look at the Lottery Scams page for more information.
  • How do I claim a prize if I played online?

    If you played Powerball online, you will be automatically notified of any win and most prizes will be paid directly into your account. For larger amounts, you will be guided through the process so you can claim the prize in person.
  • Can I claim my prize in another state?

    You must claim your Powerball prize in the state where you bought your ticket.
  • Cash vs. Annuity?

    Jackpot winners can choose to either accept an annuity payout, where they receive the full advertised amount in 30 annual installments, or a one-off cash sum. The cash option is lower because it represents the amount of money available in the jackpot fund at the time of the draw, whereas the advertised jackpot value shows how much it would be worth with 29 years of interest. Read more about cash vs annuity.

State Specific Rules

  • Which states tax Powerball winnings?

    Large Powerball prizes such as the jackpot are all subject to federal tax obligations, but the overall levy depends on where you bought your ticket. New York imposes the highest state rate of withholding at 8.82% and most other states do tax lottery winnings at a lower level. However, there is no state tax in the following places: California, Florida, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, U.S Virgin Islands, Washington State, Wyoming.
  • Can you stay anonymous if you win?

    You can play Powerball anonymously in Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina. All other states will announce the identity of a jackpot winner and hold a press conference, although it may be possible to claim the prize through a trust fund.
  • How old do you have to be to play Powerball?

    Players in Arizona, Iowa and Louisiana have to be 21 years old to buy Powerball tickets. The minimum age in Nebraska is 19, while in all other states it is 18.
  • Which states don’t play?

    The six states which do not sell Powerball tickets are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah.
  • Why is there no Power Play in California?

    Californian law states that all lottery prizes in the state must be pari-mutuel, which means they are determined by the number of tickets won and the number of winners in each tier. The Power Play can therefore not be applied.
  • Which state has the most Powerball winners?

    Indiana has so far had the highest number of jackpot winners, but the odds are the same for players from every state!

Are you still looking for the answer to your Powerball question? Contact us to submit your query.