How to Play Powerball: Your Ultimate Guide

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Adam Moelis
Oct 12, 2021
7 min read

The Powerball. It is a dream jackpot for many that play it but most go away empty-handed. You have better odds of becoming the president of the United States than to win the Powerball jackpot.

With that said, plenty of people still try to win anyway, you most likely being one of them if you are reading this.

So, is there a secret to winning the Powerball jackpot? How do you play?

This is your guide for how to play Powerball. Keep reading below.

How to Play Powerball

Before you can find out how to increase your odds of winning, you need to understand how to play the Powerball lottery. It is a lottery game that has a grand prize that varies from tens of millions to hundreds of millions of dollars.

This lottery game costs $2 to play, and what you have to do is select five numbers ranging from 1 to 69. Then, you would select the sixth number from 1 to 26 that acts as a bonus number, or the "red Powerball".

You can either select these numbers yourself or have a cashier have the system automatically select six numbers at random for your ticket.

Then, you must wait for the next drawing to happen to see if your numbers came out. These drawings usually happen three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays at 10:59 p.m. EST.

You have to be at least 18 years old in the United States in order to be able to buy a lottery ticket. If you hit certain numbers from the drawing, you could get a prize.

Prizes and Odds

You do not have to win the jackpot in order to cash in on a Powerball ticket.

The prizes vary based on the number of numbers you have that match with the drawing. What gets you the jackpot is if you match all five of the regular numbers plus the red Powerball.

Here are the prize amounts for other number matches:

  • Five numbers = $1 million
  • Four numbers plus Powerball = $50,000
  • Four numbers = $100
  • Three numbers plus Powerball = $100
  • Three numbers = $7
  • Two numbers plus Powerball = $7
  • One number plus Powerball =$4
  • Powerball = $4

As you can see, most of these match amounts offer very little return. You can argue four plus the Powerball and above are the only things that would get most people's attention.

However, in the long run, you should not forget about some of these other prize amounts, especially the $100 ones. Those can cover 50 tickets and some of your future expenses if you decide to keep buying lottery tickets.

With these prizes, you should know the odds of winning each one. This way, you can decide for yourself if it is worth the investment of playing Powerball. The odds for each combination are the following:

  • Jackpot = 1 in 292 million
  • Five numbers = 1 in 11.7 million
  • Four numbers plus Powerball = 1 in 913,000
  • Four numbers = 1 in 36,500
  • Three numbers plus Powerball = 1 in 14,500
  • Three numbers = 1 in 580
  • Two numbers plus Powerball = 1 in 700
  • One number plus Powerball = 1 in 92
  • Powerball = 1 in 38

As you can see, a lot of these odds are astronomical for what you get in return. Some are just nearly unattainable, so take this into consideration.

Power Play

Don't think the prizes above have enough of a return for the odds? One option you have to potentially increase the smaller prizes is the Power Play.

This is an option that Powerball offers on its tickets, and it costs an additional $1 to the normal $2 ticket. But in return, you can have a prize increased by two, three, four, five, or even ten times the advertised amount!

Keep in mind that these multiplier options only apply to lower prizes. The jackpot does not change if you play this and the maximum prize for matching five numbers with this option is $2 million.

Still, not bad for paying an extra buck to get $1 million in return right? But, you can turn a $100 prize into $1,000, a $7 prize into $70, and a $4 prize into $40.

Also, the 10x multiplier is not always available as an option. If it is not available, then that means that the odds for the other multipliers to come out can change.

Here are the odds of each multiplier for when the 10x multiplier is available:

  • 10x = 1 in 43
  • 5x = 1 in 21.5
  • 4x = 1 in 14.33
  • 3x = 1 in 3.31
  • 2x = 1 in 1.79

Here are the odds of each multiplier when the 10x multiplier is NOT available:

  • 5x = 1 in 21
  • 4x = 1 in 14
  • 3x = 1 in 3.23
  • 2x = 1 in 1.75

As you can see, the odds of the other multipliers coming out have little difference whether the 10x multiplier is available or not. So, keep an eye out for when the 10x multiplier is available, that way you can maximize your return.

Powerball Strategy

Is there a strategy to increase your odds of winning? Truthfully, there are no real secrets for how to play Powerball numbers besides limiting your costs per entry or increasing the number of entries that you have in the lottery.

One way to increase your entries is to play multiple tickets. Another simpler way is to participate in every drawing for the week rather than just one.

As for decreasing your costs, you can do this by entering a lottery pool. In theory, having a pool with say 10 people allows you to have 10 chances of winning that drawing rather than the one you would have by yourself or having to spend $20 to match the number of chances.

Play Powerball

These are some of the basics for how to play Powerball. The chances of winning the jackpot are almost slim to none but hey, you never know right?

Do you want to find out about another way to win weekly prizes? Register here to have your chance to win up to $10 million!

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