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What is Powerball? Powerball is a multi-state lottery game played across 44 states of the US as well as the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. In 1992, Powerball became the first lottery game to use two drums to draw winners, replacing the Lotto* America. The first drum is used to draw white balls, whereas the second drum is used to draw a red “power ball” which gives the Powerball Lottery its name. Drawings for Powerball are held twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday nights at 10:12 PM ET at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Winning numbers are broadcasted on the official Powerball website, television, newspapers and other channels as well. To win the jackpot, players are required to match all five numbers and the red ball as well to win. The jackpot is progressive in nature and there is no guarantee that the jackpot will be awarded in every drawing. The jackpot starts at $40 million and keeps on rolling until someone wins it. It increases by at least $10 million after every drawing without a winner. The largest jackpot value recorded so far is $1.5 billion. Powerball rewards substantial prize money to players who pick some correct numbers. These prizes range between $4 and $1,000,000 depending upon how many correct numbers are selected by the players. How much it costs to play Powerball? the base cost of a Powerball ticket is $2 but to add the special feature, PowerPlay, players need to pay an additional $1. PowerPlay increases the size of the non-jackpot prizes. This feature does not apply to the jackpot prize and on matching all five numbers. The PowerPlay can multiply the prize by 2 to 5 times. And if the jackpot is lower than $150 million, the PowerPlay can multiply prizes by 10 times. The PowerPlay multiplier is drawn randomly by the computer just before the Powerball number drawing. How to play Powerball? As mentioned before, there are two drums, one with white balls and another with the red balls. There are 69 white balls in the first drum, with digits from 1 to 69 printed on them. A total of five balls are drawn from the first drum. In the second drum, there are 26 red balls, labeled from 1 to 26. Only one ball is drawn from this drum. When a player purchases Powerball lottery ticket, they can either fill out a playslip or let the sales kiosk randomly select their numbers for them. On the playslip, players select five numbers from 1 to 69 and a Powerball number from 1 to 26. Do you need to match the numbers in the exact order to win? The order of the 5 numbers drawn in the Powerball numbers doesn’t affect your chances of winning. But the number you picked for the Powerball does. Suppose you picked 2, 4, 61, 17 and 3 as your five “white ball” numbers and for your Powerball, you picked 6. If the drawn numbers are 3, 17, 61, 4, and 2 with a Powerball of 6, you’re still a Jackpot winner. But if the drawn numbers are 3, 17, 61, 4, and 6 with a Powerball of 2 then you’re not the jackpot winner. In short, the white ball numbers and the red ball number are not interchangeable. What are the prizes? When you match all five numbers and the Powerball as well, you’re a jackpot winner. But there’s more to Powerball than just the jackpot. You can win $4 by just guessing the correct Powerball number. Odds of getting the correct Powerball are 1 in 26 as there are 26 red balls in the drum. Basic Powerball payouts are: When all five numbers and the Powerball matches: Jackpot (starting from $40 million) When all five numbers match (but not the Powerball): $1,000,000 When 4 white balls and the red ball matches: $500,000 When 4 white balls match (not the Powerball):$100 When 3 white ball matches and the red ball as well: $100 When the 3 white ball matches (not the Powerball): $7 2 balls with Powerball: $7 1 ball with Powerball: $4 No white ball, just the Powerball: $4 What Payout Options Does Powerball Jackpot Offer? After being a winner for Powerball Jackpot, you have 2 payout options to select from. The Annuity Option Opting for the annuity payout, your jackpot amount will be paid over 29 years, with 5% more each year, than the year before. If a winner passes away, the heirs will continue to receive the annuity payments. For the annuity option, you need to pay the taxes according to your winnings per year. The Cash Option Opting this payout option means that you will receive the entire jackpot at once. Bagging the entire amount also means that you are responsible for taxes on the whole amount at once. What exactly is the Powerball Multi-Draw Option? This feature is offered to players as an additional convenience. It lets them enter future drawings in advance. If you consistently play the same numbers, this option saves you from visiting the lottery retailer again and again. You can also choose certain dates to play in the future with this option. If your birthday or anniversary in upcoming and you want to make sure that you don’t forget to play on that day, go for Multi-Draw option. How Can You Claim Powerball Winnings? The claiming of your winning ticket should be done in the same jurisdiction from where it was purchased. The prize amounts should be claimed within a period ranging from 90 days to a year, depending on where the ticket was bought. The rules and regulations of the Powerball Lottery state that winnings from tickets purchased outside of one’s home state will be subjected to the income tax laws of both the states. Prizes up to $599 can be redeemed at any aurhorised lottery retail store. Whereas prizes above $599 can be claimed at the office of Powerball by filling out the claim form. Is there a secret to win Powerball? Try purchasing 26 Powerball lottery tickets and pick all 26 Powerball numbers with each ticket. This guarantees the minimum cash prize of $4 for an investment of $52. But other than that, there is no secret to win Powerball. There is no way to predict the next winning number but you can improve your chances of winning. To improve your chances to win Powerball, read: 5 Tips to Play Powerball Lottery Is playing it worthwhile? The answer to this question is based on your personal tolerance for risk and reward. The odds of winning the Powerball lottery are pretty long but cost to buy a ticket is very low. As the jackpot value goes up, more people try their luck by purchasing lottery tickets. When Powerball jackpot reached $1.5 billion, the lottery fever was so high that almost 89% of the possible combinations were sold. Even though the odds of winning are 1 in 292,201,338 someone is going to win. And you should always be prepared to win! To learn more about why people play the lottery, read: 5 Reasons to Play Lottery Which states do not participate in Powerball? The states which do not participate in Powerball are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, and Utah. For more information on the Powerball along with results and frequency analysis, Sign Upon The Lottery Lab.