Mega Millions madness has come and gone, leaving in its wake a single player with a winning ticket and a slightly larger number of disappointed non-winners. While the identity of the Mega Millions Winner remains a mystery, we do know he or she will not have to split the prize with any other ticketholders and now has nearly a billion dollars coming his or her way.
The good news for literally everyone else is that now it is Powerball’s turn to take the limelight as its jackpot has since grown to hit a near-record of $750 million after nobody won the jackpot in Wednesday’s drawing. The current estimated lump sum payout sits just shy of $430 million.
That makes it 21 straight drawings without a winner and the 4th-largest in lottery history. So while this is still just half as large as last week’s Mega Millions jackpot, it makes for a mighty haul nonetheless for whoever manages to snag the newest Powerball prize.
Just like Mega Millions, Powerball can be played online or tickets bought in-person depending on where you live. Today, we’ll discuss all of that and more for anyone interested in taking a crack at yet another record jackpot.
Where to Play Powerball Online
As we discussed in our recent Mega Millions post, where you can play Powerball online depends on whether you live in the United States where Powerball is based or if you live anywhere else.
For anyone living in the United States, you can buy Powerball online in Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina and North Dakota from your state’s official lottery website. If you live in any other state, you can only buy tickets in-person at your local gas station, grocery store, etc.
There are a handful of lottery sites that do sell tickets online to US customers, but those are best avoided due to those sites being unregulated and not associated with any lottery governing body. Would trust a site based in Costa Rica or somewhere else with lax online gaming laws to pay out a half -a-billion-dollar jackpot if you’re the lucky one? Save yourself the heartburn and get your tickets from an authorized retailer if your state does not sell tickets online.
TheLotter and Jackpot.com both operate similarly to one another aside from one key difference: TheLotter sells actual Powerball tickets online by sending people located in the United States to buy physical tickets, which are then scanned and uploaded to your account.
Jackpot.com works by taking wagers on the outcome of the next drawing rather than actually going out and buying Powerball tickets. It’s sort of like betting on sports; you’re simply betting on which numbers will be drawn. Jackpot.com can afford to pay even the biggest of jackpots by maintaining special insurance contracts that cover the eventuality of a major jackpot win.
How Powerball Works
Whether you plan to buy Powerball tickets online or in-person, it helps to know what you’re getting into. If you played Mega Millions last week, you’re already ahead of the curve there because the differences between both games are minor.
Powerball tickets cost $2 per play and will have you select five numbers from 1 through 69 plus one additional number from 1 though 26 for the red Powerball. You can pick your own numbers or let the lottery pick numbers at random for you.
Drawings are held twice a week: Wednesday and Saturday at 10:59 PM EDT / 2:59 AM GMT. Jackpots start at $40 million and rollover from drawing to drawing until someone claims the top prize. As we’ve seen, these jackpots can grow quickly as drawings go by without a winner.
You win the top payout by matching all five of your main numbers plus the red Powerball number. The current jackpot of $740 million is the third-largest in Powerball history and the fourth-largest in US history.
In addition to the main jackpot, secondary prizes can be won as well by matching some but not all of your numbers:
|5 Numbers + Powerball||Jackpot||1 in 292,201,338|
|Five Numbers||$1 Millions||1 in 11,688,053.52|
|4 Numbers + Powerball||$50,000||1 in 913,129.18|
|4 Numbers||$100||1 in 36,525.17|
|3 Numbers + Powerball||$100||1 in 14,494.11|
|3 Numbers||$7||1 in 579.76|
|2 Numbers + Powerball||$7||1 in 701.33|
|1 Number + Powerball||$4||1 in 91.98|
|Powerball Only||$4||1 in 38.32|
Powerball also offers a Power Play feature for an extra $1 that multiplies all non-jackpot prizes by 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x or 10x. The Power Play multiplier is randomly selected prior to each draw and the 10x multiplier is only possible when the main jackpot is $150 million or less and the Match 5 prize is always $2 million regardless of the multiplier.