The object of Powerball is to choose a total of six (6) numbers and hope that the numbers drawn match the ones you chose.
The easiest and quickest way to play is to choose a "quick pick", which is set of numbers randomly selected by the lottery machine.
If you choose to specify the numbers yourself, you select five distinct numbers between 1 and 69, and one "Powerball" number between 1 and 26. The Powerball can be the same as one of the first five numbers, because it is drawn from a separate number pool from the first five numbers.
The jackpot starts at $20 million and grows each time a drawing has no jackpot winner(s).
When you play Powerball, you must select either the Cash Option or the Jackpot Annuity. With the Cash Option you choose to receive your portion of the Present Cash value of the advertised jackpot in one lump sum. The Jackpot Annuity awards you your portion of the full amount of the estimated jackpot, payable in 30 annual installments (over 29 years). Note: in some states you do not specify the cash option until you redeem your winning ticket.
Each play is $2.00 (or $2.00 + service fee online).
To find the nearest official lottery retailer, try the free Lottery Places app, which can find official lottery retailers in any state.
Power Play: In most jurisdictions that sell Powerball tickets you can choose to add the Power Play feature for an extra $1.00 per play. (Power Play is not available in California.) Power Play increases your non-jackpot prize winnings by 2, 3, 4, 5, or 10 times, depending on the Power Play number drawn that evening. (The 10 times Power Play is only available when the jackpot is $150 million or less.) The only exception is second prize, which is always multiplied 2X rather than the Power Play number drawn. The Power Play number is randomly drawn from a pool of multipliers that includes two 5X, three 4X, 13 3X, and 24 2X, plus one 10X when the jackpot is $150 million or less. Mark the "YES" box under "Power Play" to select this feature for all playboards on the playslip.
Double Play: Some jurisdictions offer another opportunity to win in each drawing called Double Play. When you purchase the Double Play feature for an additional $1 per play, your numbers are entered into a second Powerball drawing that occurs just after the first/primary drawing, with a top cash prize of $10 million. (See the Ways to Win Powerball page for a full list of Double Play prizes available.) Double Play is currently available in 17 jurisdictions: Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Washington
Power Play only applies to the first/primary Powerball drawing, not the Double Play drawing.
Drawings are held at 10:59 pm Eastern Time on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. (9:59 pm Central; 8:59 pm Mountain; 7:59 pm Pacific)
The ticket purchase cutoff time varies by state, so check with a local lottery retailer for the precise ticket cutoff time in your state.
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To see the different combinations of numbers that win, see the Ways to Win page.