US Powerball is one of the world’s most popular lotteries, and for good reason. It’s known as a rollover lottery, which means that if no one wins the previous jackpot, it will simply rollover into the next one. In other words, the longer no one wins the jackpot, the higher it will get in succeeding draws. It’s one of the most lucrative lotteries around because of this. Itching to play US Powerball yet? Read on to find out more about it, first!
US Powerball was first known as Lotto America back in 1988, but changed the name to what it is now back in April 19, 1992. 3 days later, it would hold its first drawing. Its format would then undergo two changes – first in 2012, and then later in 2015 – that would help shape it into its current form. The non-profit Multi-State Lottery Association (or MUSL, for short) owns and operates US Powerball. This means that over 40+ member states run the games, with each one keeping the profits from tickets bought in their particular state. It also means that taxes on lottery wins will differ from state to state.
In US Powerball, you pick five numbers (i.e. the white balls) from a selection pool consisting of 1-69 and one number (i.e. the red ball) from a selection pool of 1-25. Take note that the red ball can be the same number as one of the white balls. You can pick numbers manually or via a Quick Pick option – which means you let a system randomly pick the numbers for you.
Winning numbers are drawn at 10:59pm every Wednesday and Saturday at Universal Studios, in Florida. Two drums, one containing the white balls, and the other containing the red balls, are used to randomly select the winning numbers. Matching all 6 numbers awards you the jackpot, while matching 5 gives you the 2nd place prize category, and so on.
Each ticket line costs $1, but some online lottery sites may charge higher to cover for the service of purchasing, scanning and safekeeping tickets.
Beyond that, you also have the option to include a Power Play number in your entry. For an additional $1 on top of the $1 per line (again, prices may vary on lottery sites), the Power Play number multiplies prizes for non-jackpot winnings by up to 5 or 10 times. The second prize with the Power Play multiplier activated, for instance, is automatically doubled to $2,000,000. Check out the table below to see how Power Play affects each prize category.
Prize with Powerball Multiplier
Winning the Powerball isn’t easy, especially when it comes to the jackpot. Check out the table below for a quick reference.
Powerball jackpots are split between anyone who has a winning lottery ticket, while all other prizes are of a fixed amount. That said, non-jackpot prizes could be reduced if the number of winners exceed the prize fund the lottery operator has on tap. Winners have the option to choose whether to collect their payment as an annuity paid over a 29-year period, or as a lump sum.
Winners have a year to claim their prize, otherwise the money will go to the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund. They will then funnel that money to charity and/or other good causes. It’s also important to note that this won’t always be the case, as each MUSL member have different rules that dictate how unclaimed prize funds are handled.
One of the best things about the US Powerball is that if a jackpot is not won in a drawing, it’s carried over to the next one and – get this – accumulates until someone wins. Theoretically, if no one wins the jackpot in several consecutive drawings, the resulting prize amount could be astronomical!
I’ve told the stories of the world’s biggest lottery winners before, but here’s three of the biggest Powerball winners for your reading pleasure:
You Could Be The Next Powerball Winner!
Winning in Powerball is not easy – but what lottery is? The great thing about the US Powerball is that, if you win, you win big, especially if you shell out extra for the Power Play. And even if you don’t win the jackpot, the fixed prize amounts for other categories ensure that you don’t have to split the winnings with other players. So, to answer the question of whether Powerball is worth it or not: it absolutely is. It’s one of the world’s most popular and lucrative lotteries for a reason, after all.
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