There are a huge number of lotteries operating around the world, but amongst them, Powerball is probably the biggest. This lottery is operated by the non-profit organization named the Multi-State Lottery Association and is offered by 45 states and three territories in the USA. The lottery was first introduced in 1992 when it replaced Lotto America.
Basic Powerball tickets cost 2 dollars, and the player can add a PowerPlay option for an additional 1 dollar. The player selects 5 numbers from 1 to 69, and a Powerball number from 1 to 26, selecting a total of 6 numbers. Players can choose the PowerPlay number from 2,3,4,5 or 10, which multiplies their non-jackpot winnings. The 10x multiplier is only in play when the advertised jackpot is less than 150 million dollars. In case you are too lazy to pick your own numbers, you can select the option of Quick Pick, where the computer will randomly select and fill in the numbers for you.
The draws for Powerball is held every Wednesday and Saturday at 10:59 Eastern time, in Orlando, Florida. Two drums are used for the draw, one containing 69 white balls and another containing 26 red balls for the PowerBall number. The PowerPlay number is drawn separately using 42 or 43 balls, depending on the jackpot size.
In order to claim a prize, you just need to select the red Powerball number correctly. There are nine ways to win: choosing a correct Powerball number gives you a 4 dollar prize. Choosing one correct white ball and the PowerBall number also wins you 4 dollars. Choosing 2 correct white balls and the PowerBall or choosing 3 correct white balls wins you 7 dollars, while choosing 3 correct white balls and the PowerBall or 4 correct white balls wins you 100 dollars. Choosing 4 correct white balls and the correct PowerBall number will win you 50,000 dollars. If you choose 5 correct white balls, but not the PowerBall, you can win 1 million dollars. And guessing all the six numbers correctly earns you the jackpot.
In case you have opted for the PowerPlay option, your winnings will get multiplied accordingly. But there is a cap of a maximum prize of 2 million dollars in case you choose 5 white balls correctly.
Powerball offers one of the biggest jackpots amongst all lotteries played around the world. The minimum advertised jackpot is 40 million dollars and keeps on growing until a player has won it. The world record for the biggest jackpot payout ever is held by Powerball. It paid out 1.586 billion dollars shared between three lucky winners in January 2016.
The jackpot amount announced is before the state and federal taxes. Winners have the option of either taking the entire amount lump sum or to spread out the winnings as an annuity of 30 payments over 29 years.
What are the odds of winning a prize?
According to Powerball, the overall odds of winning at least one prize is 1 in 24.9, while the odds of winning a jackpot are one in 292.2 million.
In case you are of a forgetful nature or do not have the time to select numbers for each draw, PowerBall allows you to use the same numbers for up to 26 consecutive draws.
If you feel that the draw on a particular date will be lucky for you, you can use the future draw option to select a particular drawing date for your ticket.
How to claim the prizes
Depending on the state where you bought your ticket from, you should have anywhere from 90 days to a year, from the date of the draw, to claim your prize. Smaller prizes of up to 600 dollars can be claimed directly from the lottery retailer, while prizes bigger than 600 dollars need to be collected from the district lottery office. The exact procedure differs from state to state.
In conclusion, Powerball is one of the biggest lotteries in the world. With the option of buying tickets online, players from anywhere in the world can stand a chance to win millions of dollars.