Beginning in October, 2015, Powerball® became an even larger combined large jackpot game and cash game.
Every Wednesday and Saturday night at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time, we draw five white balls out of a drum with 69 balls and
one red ball out of a drum with 26 red balls. This change means bigger jackpots. It also means that your odds of winning some prize are improved.
The jackpot - won by matching all five white balls in any order and the red Powerball - is either an annuitized prize paid out over 29 years (30 payments counting the first immediate payment) or a cash lump sum payment. If you choose the cash, then you get the cash, pay the tax, and can invest what is left over. If you choose the annuity, then we can invest the cash amount pre-tax, less an immediate first payment (more to invest means more earnings). With the annuity, you get an annual payment that is increased by 5% each year to keep up with the cost of living.
The second prize - won by matching five white balls in any order - is $1,000,000 paid in cash (no annuity option). You win by matching at least three white ball numbers. Any time you match the red Powerball, you win a prize. The overall odds of winning a prize in the game are approximately 1 in 25. Players win a prize by matching one of the 9 Ways to Win.
Each ticket costs $2. Draw sales cut off at least 59 minutes before the draw, but a state may cut off sales earlier. Check with your state lottery for your cut-off time.
Power Play® is a special add-on feature that allows a winner to increase the original prize amounts (except the jackpot). The Power Play option costs $1 and must be selected when you buy your Powerball ticket. Powerball players with the Power Play option winning any prize other than the jackpot will win a larger cash prize. The Match 5+0 prize with Power Play option grows to $2,000,000 paid in a cash lump sum (no annuity option is offered). All other lower prizes (below Match 5) will be multiplied by a number that we draw (2X, 3X, 4X, or 5X). In October 2015, a 10X multiplier was added to the mix with a chance to be drawn for all jackpots at $150 million or less. As with any lottery prize, if an extremely popular number is drawn and there is not enough money in the prize pools or reserves to cover it, we may need to reduce the prize.
Click here to learn more about prizes and odds.