Powerball FAQs

Find the answers to frequently asked questions about Powerball.

When do Powerball drawings take place?

Powerball drawings take place every Wednesday and Saturday at approximately 22:59 EST in Tallahassee, Florida.

What is the cut-off time for ticket sales?

In most states, tickets are available until an hour before the drawings take place, but the exact cut-off time does vary between jurisdictions. You should check with your lottery provider to make sure you purchase tickets in time.

How do I win a Powerball prize?

In order to win the Powerball jackpot, you must match all five main numbers and the Powerball. There are eight additional prize tiers that allow you to win a prize by matching fewer numbers in the drawing. Rewards start from $4 for matching just the Powerball.

What is Power Play?

Power Play is a multiplier which boosts the value of non-jackpot prizes. You have to opt in to play Power Play for a small additional fee when you buy your ticket. If you win any non-jackpot prize, its value will be multiplied by the Power Play number selected just before the main drawing – either 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x or 10x. The only exception is the Match 5 prize, which is doubled to $2 million regardless of which Power Play number is selected. The 10x Power Play is only available when the advertised jackpot is $150 million or less.

If I win the Powerball jackpot, can I choose to stay anonymous?

Yes you can, depending on your home state. Currently, there are 13 jurisdictions that allow lottery winners to retain their anonymity - though some require you to meet certain criteria first: Arizona (if you win at least $100,000), Delaware, Georgia (if you win $250,000 or more), Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia (if you win at least $10 million), West Virginia (if you win at least $1 million, and allocate 5% of your winnings before tax to the State General Fund), and Wyoming.

There are other states which allow anonymity, but achieving it is a little more complicated. If you form a trust, you may be able to receive your winnings through it and protect your identity – but not all states allow complete anonymity through this process. Consult a lawyer, or your state laws, before proceeding.

Powerball tickets aren’t available in my state, can I still play?

Yes. You can play Powerball by visiting a participating state and purchasing a ticket. Please note, you will need to collect any prize money from the state in which you originally bought your ticket.

When do Powerball prizes expire?

The deadline for claiming a Powerball prize differs from state-to-state. Visit the How to Claim page for more information.

Can I claim a prize if my ticket gets lost or damaged?

You need to present a valid winning ticket to be able to claim a prize, so if you lose your entry you risk missing out on your winnings. If you sign the back of your ticket, it means that nobody else can claim any prizes it might have won, while it also improves your chances of being reunited with a lost ticket. You may be able to claim a prize even if your ticket has been damaged, but it must still meet validation requirements. For example, it must still be legible and can’t have been tampered with in any way.

Is there a minimum age limit to play Powerball?

Yes. Most states require Powerball players to be 18 or older, however, there are some exceptions. Consult the Powerball Rules page to find out more.

If I win a Powerball prize will I pay tax?

Yes. As Powerball prizes are classified as income, you must declare any winnings on your income tax form. Should you win a prize in excess of $5,000, a federal tax of 24 percent will be withheld. Certain areas will also exercise a state tax, with different states charging their own set tariff. For more information, head to the Powerball Rules page.

What are the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot?

Your chances of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338, while the overall odds of winning any prize stand at 1 in 24.9.

How much does it cost to buy a ticket?

The cost of a single line on Powerball is $2. Power Play is an additional $1 per line.

Is there a minimum Powerball jackpot?

Powerball jackpots begin at $40 million.

Does Powerball have a jackpot cap or rollover limit?

No, the Powerball jackpot will continue growing until it is won. The largest Powerball jackpot in history occurred in January 2016 when the prize total reached a staggering $1.58 billion.

How is the jackpot paid out?

If you win the top prize, you have a choice between accepting the advertised jackpot as an annuity or a reduced cash sum. The cash option pays out all the money that has accumulated in the prize pool at the time of the drawing. The annuity is paid out in 30 instalments over 29 years, and includes returns on the investments that the lottery has made for you.