One of the most famous lotteries in the world is Powerball, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2017. The lottery is offered by 44 states as well as Colombia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The jackpot basically starts from a minimum amount of $40 million, which gets bigger every time it is not hit. Both U.S. citizens and foreign players can participate, but both groups must pay taxes. Americans pay 25 percent, non-Americans 30 percent tax on a lottery win.
The largest jackpot to date was nearly $1.5 billion at the beginning of 2016, which was split between a gambling syndicate and a pair of parents.
You don’t have to have passed a state exam to play Powerball, because the rules are quickly explained and easy to understand. There are two ways to play Powerball, with a difference of only one dollar. Either get a Powerball ticket for $2 or a Powerball ticket for $3 with Power Play. Those who choose the last option multiply their chances of winning up to 10 times on all prize levels except the Jackpot and Match 5 + 0 prizes, depending on which multiplier is randomly selected (2X, 3X, 4X, 5X, or 10X). If Power Play is selected, the multiplier is automatically set in the case of the Match 5 + 0 prizes and increases the prize to $2,000,000. The jackpot prize is never multiplied.
For all other prize levels, the Power Play multiplier is randomly determined during the Powerball draw and can range from 2 to 10. The 10X option is only available when the advertised jackpots are between 40 million and 150 million. The selected number becomes the Power Play number used to multiply winnings for the bottom seven prize levels in that drawing.
Choosing the numbers
Once you have chosen Powerball or Powerball with Power Play, choosing your numbers is easy. You can either pick your numbers yourself or get a ‘Quick Pick’ ticket where a computer randomly selects the numbers. One can fill in a total of 5 sets of numbers on his lottery ticket.
One can also choose to use the same ticket in future draws for up to 26 consecutive draws. To participate in these draws, one must select the ‘Multi-draw’ boxes on the ticket or ask the dealer for multiple draws at the time of purchase. A Powerball ticket cannot be cancelled once it has been generated. The ticket itself, not the game ticket, is the proof of purchase.
All sales for Powerball will stop at 9:59 p.m. on the days of the drawings and will resume once the drawing is over. Drawings take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 PM (5am CET).
You have 180 days to collect your winnings, after which the right to do so expires.
9 ways to win
There are 9 additional ways to win in Powerball. The jackpot prize is won by playing five white balls (1 to 69) in any order, plus the red Powerball number (1 to 26), for a total of 6 balls. There are 8 more ways to win by drawing fewer numbers. With 9 prize levels, including a Match 5 + 0 second level prize of $1 million, Powerball definitely offers some chances to win really big!