According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Powerball has the highest average number of jackpot winners than any other lottery aside from the Spanish Christmas Lottery.
Prize categories and odds
The Powerball is America's premier lottery game, offering the potential for some fantastic prize giveaways. There are nine ways of winning and the simple premise of the game is to select five white balls (from a choice of one to 69) and one red Powerball (from a choice of one to 26).
The jackpot is won if all five white balls match in any order, as well as the red Powerball. However the drawn Powerball number cannot be used to match one of the white balls numbers or vice versa. The jackpot prize money can either be paid out in one lump sum, or over 29 years in 30 separate payments.
The Powerball has encouraging overall odds with a 1 in 25 chance of winning a prize. The guaranteed minimum jackpot is $40 million, increasing by a minimum of $10 million with each rollover when there fails to be a winner. The popularity of the game has soared due to the huge values that the jackpots have reached as a result of various rollovers. The second tier prize (for matching the first five numbers but not the Powerball) is an attractive $1 million.
Below is a breakdown of all nine prize categories and the Powerball odds:
|Rank 1||5 + 1||Jackpot||1 in 292,201,338|
|Rank 2||5 + 0||$1,000,000||1 in 11,688,053.52|
|Rank 3||4 + 1||$10,000||1 in 913,129.18|
|Rank 4||4 + 0||$100||1 in 36,525.17|
|Rank 5||3 + 1||$100||1 in 14,494.11|
|Rank 6||3 + 0||$7||1 in 579.76|
|Rank 7||2 + 1||$7||1 in 701.33|
|Rank 8||1 + 1||$4||1 in 91.98|
|Rank 9||0 + 1||$4||1 in 38.92|
The draws for the game take place every Wednesday and Saturday night at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time in Tallahassee, Florida. To claim prizes, ticket expiration periods vary from state to state, from 90 days to one year.
Winners and losers of the Powerball lottery
Past winners of the Powerball have provided us with both great success stories as well as some more disastrous tales. Eighty-four year-old Gloria MacKenzie is a great example of the former. She purchased a "quick pick" random ticket which resulted in her winning a mammoth $590 million, which is the largest Powerball jackpot in history. An instance of where someone used their winnings wisely was reported by the Oregon Post, who said of how one winner increased their wealth, turning $18 million winnings into $33 million in ten years through property investment.
In 2013, the most successful states in regards to winning players were New Jersey and Florida with two each, while Missouri, Nebraska, Massachusetts, New York , California, South Carolina, Minnesota, Pensylvania, Texas, Delaware, Louisiana, Illinois, and Virginia all had one winner each.
HISTORY & BACKGROUND
Powerball Game History
The Powerball’s predecessor was known as ‘Lotto America’ and began in 1988, before changing to ‘Powerball’ on April 19th, 1992. A significant change was seen in November of 1997, when the annuity was changed from 20 to 25 yearly payments and the option to receive cash winnings was added. In a re-structuring operation in 2009, the format of the game was changed by adding four white ball numbers and dropping three red ball numbers in order to increase the odds. This effectively increased probability, which in turn had a positive effect on jackpots and saw the quantity of cash prizes increase by over 3.5 million. The starting jackpot increased to $20 million, with at least $5 million being added from each rollover. This saw the Powerball overtake much of its competition to become one of the most popular lotteries in the US.
A little more background
The Powerball is part of the Multi-State Lottery Association (MSLA) which is a non-profit, government owned association, operated by an agreement with various U.S lotteries. The MUSL was formed by seven American lotteries in 1987, launching its first game in 1987. The money retained by the MSLA is used by state legislature towards charity funds for positive causes, and the Powerball lottery has donated nearly $882 million itself since 2002.
The Powerball is able to boast the biggest ever jackpot giveaway of $590 million for a single ticket holder. To put that into context, that amount is what the 20 poorest countries in the world combined spend annually on health and education.