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 $40 million and grows by a minimum of $10 million each time a drawing has no jackpot winner(s). (The starting jackpot amount was lowered to $20 million during the 2020 pandemic.)
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.
In most jurisdictions that sell Powerball tickets you can choose to add the Power Play feature for an extra $1.00 per play. (The Power Play is not available in California.) The 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. (Mega Millions does not share this restriction for second prize.) 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.
Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 pm Eastern Time (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.