How many numbers are needed to win a prize in Powerball?
Even if you don’t win the jackpot, correctly guessing a few Powerball numbers can win you some cash.
The next Powerball jackpot drawing takes place at 11 p.m. ET on Wednesday Dec. 6. The estimated jackpot now stands at $435 million, with a cash value of $204.8 million.
How to play Powerball
A regular Powerball ticket costs $2. To play, one must pick five numbers from 1 to 69 and a Powerball number from 1 to 26.
To win the jackpot, the six numbers you select must be those drawn. For those who correctly selected some but not all the numbers, smaller prizes are available.
Power Play, Double Play
For an extra $1, you can add what’s called a Power Play. This multiplies winnings by two, three, four, five or 10, depending on the multiplier number picked out of the hat before the drawing takes place.
However, Power Play isn’t applied to the jackpot, and the multiplier is never higher than two if you win the $1m second prize.
In some states - Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Washington - you can also pay $1 for a so-called Double Play. This option sees players’ numbers added to a second draw after the Powerball draw, with a maximum cash prize of $10m.
Why are there two jackpot figures?
Powerball jackpot winners have the option to receive their winnings in a lump sum or spread out over 29 years through annual payments.
If they opt for the latter, known as the ‘annuity option,’ they get the jackpot in full, in steadily rising payouts.
If they go for the lump sum, they get the smaller ‘cash value’ figure.
Explaining the difference between the two jackpot amounts, the Powerball organizers say: “The annuity is invested in government bonds over 29 years, allowing payments to increase by 5% each year.”
Remember that winnings are pre-tax.
What are the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot?
According to Lottery USA, a single ticket has a one in 292,201,338 chance of matching five numbers and the Powerball. Your odds of getting five numbers without the Powerball are 11,688,053.52 to one.
For those seeking support for a gambling addiction, the national gambling hotline is staffed 24/7 at 1-800-GAMBLER.