1. Local

Powerball Lottery - How to Play Powerball

Powerball Rules and Prizes

By

Powerball is a multi-state lottery game played in 43 states, Washington D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is a combined large jackpot game and a cash game with nine ways to win.

How do I play Powerball?
To play Powerball in Pennsylvania and other states, you begin by purchasing a $1 ticket and then selecting five numbers plus the Powerball. Powerball tickets can be purchased up to thirteen weeks in advance. Cut off time to purchase a Powerball ticket is 9:59pm Eastern Time on drawing days (Wednesdays and Saturdays).

  • Fill out a selection slip at a participating Powerball retailer and choose five white numbers, each between 1-55. Then choose a single red ball, the Powerball, from a second set of numbers that range from 1-42.

  • Like other PA lottery games, Powerball players may also choose to have the numbers generated randomly by the computer - called a Quick Pick. You can also select either the five white numbers or the red Powerball number and have the computer generate a Quick Pick for the other number(s).

What if there's a mistake on my Powerball ticket?
Unlike other PA state lottery games which allow a sales clerk to cancel a ticket at your request, you can't cancel a Powerball ticket after you purchase it. To eliminate any chance of entry error by the sales clerk, it is best to fill out an official Powerball betting slip that is read by the machine.

When are the Powerball drawings?
Powerball drawings are held at 10:59pm Eastern Time every Wednesday and Saturday.

How do I win a Powerball prize?
To win the Powerball jackpot, you must match all five numbers, plus the Powerball. The odds of doing so are approximately 1-in-146 million. Like other PA lottery games, varying amounts of money can also be won by matching fewer numbers, allowing for 9 different ways to win a Powerball prize, with overall odds of winning a prize being 1 in 36.61:

  • 5 white + Powerball = Powerball jackpot prize (Odds of winning 1 in 146,107,962)
  • 5 white = $1,000,000 prize (Odds of winning 1 in 5,153,633)
  • 4 white + Powerball = $10,000 prize (Odds of winning 1 in 648,976)
  • 4 white = $100 prize (Odds of winning 1 in 19,088)
  • 3 white + Powerball = $100 prize (Odds of winning 1 in 12,245)
  • 3 white = $7 prize (Odds of winning 1 in 360)
  • 2 white + Powerball = $7 prize (Odds of winning 1 in 706)
  • 1 white + Powerball = $4 prize (Odds of winning 1 in 111)
  • Powerball only = $4 prize (Odds of winning 1 in 55)

What is Power Play? How can it raise my winnings?
For an extra $1 per Powerball play, you can multiply your prize by 2, 3, 4, or 5 times the original prize amount by selecting the Power Play option when purchasing your Powerball ticket. Your prize winnings (does not include the Powerball jackpot and the match 5 bonus prize) will be multiplied by either 2, 3, or 4, depending on which prize you win. The $4 prizes are tripled to $12, the $10,000 prize is quadrupled to $40,000, and all the rest of the prize amounts are doubled.

What is the Powerball Match 5 Bonus Prize?
The Match 5+0 prize with Power Play option is worth $2,000,000.

How much is the Powerball jackpot?
The Powerball jackpot starts at $40 million and increases after each drawing with no Powerball jackpot hit. The largest Powerball jackpot on record, $590.5 million, was won by Gloria McKenzie of Zephyrhills, Florida, on May 18, 2013.

What are the payout options if I win the Powerball jackpot?
Can't decide how you want the money? That's OK. With Powerball you have 60 days to decide whether you want the entire winnings as an annuity paid out over a 25-year period, or half the amount paid immediately in cash.

How do I find the winning numbers for Powerball?

  • Watch the Powerball drawing live on KDKA Channel 2 (CBS). Other area news stations (WTAE Channel 4, WPXI Channel 11) also usually broadcast the winning numbers during their nightly newscasts between 11 and 11:30pm.

  • Sign up for daily email or text alerts from Powerball with winning numbers and jackpot information.

  • Visit a participating Pennsylvania Lottery retailer for the winning numbers

  • Visit the Pennsylvania Lottery Web site the day after the Powerball drawing

Do any numbers win more than others?
Statistically, your chances should be the same no matter what number you pick. If you like to play the numbers, then check out powerball number frequency to see which numbers come up the most and historical winning numbers to view past winners.

For more information:
PA Lottery Links, Rules, History and Tips

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.