The Powerball lottery is one of the most high-paying lotteries on the planet (right up there with Mega Millions). Recent changes to the way in which drawings are held have led some to predict that we’ll see our first $1 billion winner by the year 2020. That’s not as far-fetched as it may sound, by the way. In recent years, numerous people have won single prizes worth more than $500 million.

Best Powerball Lottery Sites

The smart way to play Powerball online is to do it at a trusted and reputable lottery website. Powerball officials do not endorse online lotto websites, so it is absolutely vital that you buy your tickets from a website that has a verifiable history of paying all winners without exception. These are my top picks based on trust and history of payouts.

Powerball sites offer two distinct advantages over buying your tickets in person. Most importantly, they open the lottery to people located outside the USA. This means you can test your luck in the next Powerball drawing no matter where you live. Secondly, Powerball sites offer convenience and instant purchases from the comfort of home.

When you buy Powerball tickets online, your lottery site actually sends real people out to go and buy tickets with the numbers you want. Your tickets are scanned and e-mailed to you for confirmation and then all you have to do is wait for the drawing. If you win a prize, they will contact you to arrange full payment of whatever you won.

Note: Legitimate Powerball sites will never keep a percentage of your prize as commission. You pay for the service up front when you purchase tickets. Once you have a ticket, 100% of anything you win is yours to keep. If you decide to play Powerball online at a website not recommended on this page, proceed with caution.

Powerball Subscriptions and Syndicates

Powerball lottery sites do offer both subscriptions and syndicates. You can purchase a subscription on the same screen where you buy tickets. To purchase a subscription, all you have to do is specify how many weeks you want to participate in and how many drawings per week you want (one or two per week). The lottery website will then collet your payment and automatically enter you in all upcoming drawings for the duration of your subscription.

You can also go with the syndicate option for more chances to win. In a syndicate, your lottery website pools the money from numerous people and then splits prizes equally among everyone involved in a syndicate. You can read more about Powerball syndicates below.

You should check the laws in your jurisdiction to be safe, but every country I’ve researched does not have any laws against buying lottery tickets online. However, Powerball officials do not endorse or support online sales except in a few specific states in the US. What this all means for most people is you’re free to buy Powerball tickets online, but you better be sure you do it at a reputable lottery website.

Powerball Jackpots Explained

Powerball jackpots are so big because the lottery is set up as a coordinated effort between 44 states plus D.C., Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Millions of people buy tickets each week and prizes grow to outrageous levels if a few drawings go by without producing a jackpot winner.

In some cases, the jackpot exceeds half a billion dollars before it is won. When this happens, people tend to buy tickets in even greater numbers, which in turn pushes the jackpot even higher. Every jackpot begins with at least $40 million up for grabs and then grows from there. The single largest jackpot to date was hit for more than $590 million in 2013.

How to Win the Powerball Jackpot

You win the grand jackpot if you match all five numbers plus the Powerball pick within a single line on your Powerball ticket. This is the best possible outcome as it results in you winning the biggest prize on offer. The minimum you could possibly win would be $15 million, but that rarely happens. The jackpot has usually had enough time to grow and be worth $100 million or more.

Most grand jackpot winners take home something in the range of $100 million. Sometimes it is more, sometimes it is less. It is always a life-changing amount of money in any case. There are also secondary prizes that are paid if you hit some but not all of the numbers. The following chart shows all potential prizes.

Numbers MatchedPrize2x Multiplier3x Multiplier4x Multiplier5x Multiplier10x Multiplier
5 + PowerballJackpotJackpotJackpotJackpotJackpotJackpot
5$1,000,000$2,000,000$2,000,000$2,000,000$2,000,000$2,000,000
4 + Powerball$50,000$100,000$150,000$200,000$250,000$500,000
4$100$200$300$400$500$1,000
3 + Powerball$100$200$300$400$500$1,000
3$7$14$21$28$35$70
2 + Powerball$7$14$21$28$35$70
1 + Powerball$4$8$12$16$20$40
Powerball Only$4$8$12$16$20$40

You can see that this chart includes Power Play payouts as well. Remember, you can take the Power Play option when you buy your ticket for an extra $1. If you do, all non-jackpot prizes will be multiplied by a factor of 2x to 10x based on a randomly-drawn multiplier number.

Annuity or Lump Sum Payout?

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The Powerball lottery is one of the most high-paying lotteries on the planet (right up there with Mega Millions). Recent changes to the way in which drawings are held have led some to predict that we’ll see our first $1 billion winner by the year 2020. That’s not as far-fetched as it may sound, by the way. In recent years, numerous people have won single prizes worth more than $500 million.

Best Powerball Lottery Sites

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The smart way to play Powerball online is to do it at a trusted and reputable lottery website. Powerball officials do not endorse online lotto websites, so it is absolutely vital that you buy your tickets from a website that has a verifiable history of paying all winners without exception. These are my top picks based on trust and history of payouts.

Powerball sites offer two distinct advantages over buying your tickets in person. Most importantly, they open the lottery to people located outside the USA. This means you can test your luck in the next Powerball drawing no matter where you live. Secondly, Powerball sites offer convenience and instant purchases from the comfort of home.

When you buy Powerball tickets online, your lottery site actually sends real people out to go and buy tickets with the numbers you want. Your tickets are scanned and e-mailed to you for confirmation and then all you have to do is wait for the drawing. If you win a prize, they will contact you to arrange full payment of whatever you won.

Note: Legitimate Powerball sites will never keep a percentage of your prize as commission. You pay for the service up front when you purchase tickets. Once you have a ticket, 100% of anything you win is yours to keep. If you decide to play Powerball online at a website not recommended on this page, proceed with caution.

Can I Purchase Subscriptions or Participate in Syndicates Online?

Yes. Online Powerball sites do offer both subscriptions and syndicates. You can purchase a subscription on the same screen where you buy tickets. To purchase a subscription, all you have to do is specify how many weeks you want to participate in and how many drawings per week you want (one or two per week). The lottery website will then collet your payment and automatically enter you in all upcoming drawings for the duration of your subscription.

You can also go with the syndicate option for more chances to win. In a syndicate, your lottery website pools the money from numerous people and then splits prizes equally among everyone involved in a syndicate. You can read more about Powerball syndicates below.

Is it Legal to Buy Powerball Tickets Online?

You should check the laws in your jurisdiction to be safe, but every country I’ve researched does not have any laws against buying lottery tickets online. However, Powerball officials do not endorse or support online sales except in a few specific states in the US. What this all means for most people is you’re free to buy Powerball tickets online, but you better be sure you do it at a reputable lottery website.

Powerball Jackpots Explained

The first question lottery officials will ask you if you win the big one is “annuity or lump sum?” There’s really not a wrong answer to a question like that when you’ve just won a half-a-billion-dollar lottery, but it is still something to consider.

The lump sum payout gives you instant gratification and control over your own money. You get it all right now, pay your taxes and may then go live your life however you see fit. You don’t get as much money overall, but you also don’t have to wait 30 years to get it all. The lump sum payout is worth less money because the lottery just takes all the money currently in the prize pool and gives it to you.

The annuity option is worth more money because you are paid in installments while the state invests the rest in government-backed securities. Thus, the annuity option is only an estimate of what those securities will be worth as they are liquidated and paid to you.

The state agrees to pay you the full amount no matter what happens to its investments, but you still have to consider the risk of the state going bankrupt or some other disaster occurring within the next 30 years that somehow results in the state not paying what you’re owed. The advantages are that your spending is kept under control and you have a guaranteed income for the next 30 years no matter how poorly you manage your money. This is something to seriously consider because we all know the horror stories of lottery winners going broke later down the road.

You can read more at the official Powerball website.

Online Powerball Syndicates

A Powerball syndicate is just a group of people who agree to pool their money, buy a bunch of tickets and split the prizes equally no matter whose ticket wins. Doing so gives you more chances to win at the cost of having to split your money with other people in the syndicate. That’s the trade-off: you get more chances to win less money.

Syndicates are definitely worth a look for large lotteries like Powerball in which prizes routinely exceed $100 million. The best Powerball sites also offer syndicate programs that you can join. If you do so, all you have to do is pay in your share and the lottery website handles the rest. Winning tickets are automatically claimed and split evenly among the winners.

Changes Made in 2015

Powerball lottery organizers changed the way drawings are held in 2015. They decided to increase the main pool of numbers from 59 to 69 and to decrease the pool of Powerball numbers from 35 to 26.

This has resulted in several changes. First, it allows for more overall winners due to it now being easier to hit Powerball numbers. Second, it made it less likely for anyone to win the big jackpot by increasing the main pool of numbers. These changes result in the following:

  • It is now easier to win smaller non-jackpot prizes
  • It is now more difficult to win the grand jackpot
  • Grand jackpot prizes are expected to grow in size due to being hit less frequently