It is worth knowing exactly how the lottery is played before buying a ticket, as improperly filled tickets are void. Powerball is played with a minimum bet of $2 dollars. There are two sets of balls: 59 white balls and 35 red Powerballs. Players are to select 5 numbers out of the white balls and 1 number out of the Poweballs. There are two options when selecting numbers. Players can either select numbers of their choosing, or have the numbers randomly selected via the “quick pick” option.
Winning numbers are selected out of two separate selection machines. One machine for the white balls and one machine for the Powerballs. In order to win, players have to match a minimum of three white balls or one Powerball. There are several combinations of matches that increase in rarity and provide proportionately higher payoffs.
The odds of winning the Powerball Lotto are as follows:
- Powerball wins $4 ($12 with Power Play). Odds are 1:55.41
- 1 Number +PB wins $4 ($12 with Power Play). Odds are 1:110.81
- 2 Numbers +PB wins $7 ($14 with Power Play). Odds are 1:706.43
- 3 Numbers wins $7 ($14 with Power Play). Odds are 1:360.14
- 3 Numbers +PB wins $100 ($200 with Power Play). Odds are 1:12,224.83
- 4 Numbers wins $100 ($200 with Power Play). Odds are 1:19,087.53
- 4 Numbers +PB wins $10,000 ($40,000 with Power Play). Odds are 1:648,975.96
- 5 Numbers wins $1,000,000 ($2,000,000 with Power Play). Odds are 1:5,153,632.65
- 5 Numbers +PB wins the Jackpot. Odds are 1:175,223,510,00
The Power Play is an additional option that can be bough for $1 per game. Since the Power Play does not affect the jackpot, the option poses a quandary. The Power Play was, until 2012, a random multiplier, which increases the value of the all the non-jackpot prizes. At the same time, the Power Play option reduces the probability of actually hitting the jackpot, which is the actual point of the game. As of 2012, the Power Play was modified so that the prize is predetermined, in stead of being based on a multiplier.
In the event one wins the jackpot, there are two options on how to be paid out. The fist option is the cash out, which is paid in two installments. The second option is the annuity, which is paid over 30 years. The annuity option guarantees a 4% increase each year due to inflation, so at the end of the 30 years more money has been paid out, but its value remains the same as the original prize.
Unclaimed jackpots are returned into the prize pool, which means it is imperative to keep up with the lottery results in a timely manner. www.Jackpot.com makes it easy to find out results. The service emails winners directly to notify them, so that it isn’t even necessary to keep up with the drawing results as they happen. We highly recommend this service to anyone planning to take part in the Powerball Lotto.