9 ways you can win money in the Powerball lottery
With a $1.4 billion Powerball lottery up for grabs, even those who don’t normally play the lottery are throwing their hats in the ring.
For the uninitiated Powerball players who may have impulsively purchased a ticket, we decided to break down all the possible ways you can win. You know, just in case.
First, the basics. The Powerball lotto is made up of 6 total numbers randomly selected twice per week. Every Wednesday and Saturday at 10:59 p.m. EST, a live drawing is held. All the numbers are printed on white or red balls, and placed into an automated machine which spits out the winning digits.
The first 5 numbers (white) are between 1 and 69. The final number (red) is called the Powerball. It can be anywhere between 1 and 26.
When purchasing a ticket, players can select all 6 numbers themselves or do a “quick pick” and receive a randomly generated set of numbers. Tickets are $2 each, but you can pay an extra $1 at the time of purchase to upgrade your ticket to “Power Play.”
The “Power Play” add-on means your cash prize will, at minimum, double if you have a winning ticket for anything other than the grand prize jackpot.
So, what exactly are the winning tickets (aside from the jackpot)? The possible winning tickets and their cash prizes are as follows:
- Match all 5 white numbers only — $1 million
- Match 4 out of 5 white numbers + Powerball — $50,000
- Match 4 white numbers only — $100
- Match 3 white numbers + Powerball — $100
- Match 3 white numbers only — $7
- Match 2 white numbers + Powerball — $7
- Match 1 white number + Powerball — $4
- Powerball only — $4
The “Power Play” bonus is announced at the drawing time, and does not apply to the jackpot winnings. If you’ve matched all 5 white numbers and selected “Power Play” at the time of your ticket purchase, you will win $2 million (instead of the standard $1 million). For all other prizes, the “Power Play” bonus with either be 2x, 3x, 4x, or 5x your winnings.
Overall odds of winning any of the prizes starting at $4 is 1 in 24.87. On the off-chance you do take home a lump sum, don’t forget to hire a lawyer.
The next Powerball drawing takes place Wednesday, January 13 at 10:59 p.m. EST.
UPDATE: The winning numbers drawn Wednesday were 8, 27, 34, 4, 19 — Powerball 10. Reports indicate three jackpot winners will split the grand prize of $1.5 billion.
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The winning ticket prizes start at $4, so at least you'd get your money back.