Powerball Odds: What Are The Odds Of Winning The Powerball?
If you’ve ever wondered what the odds of winning Powerball are, we can tell you right away that they’re not very good. Statistically, you’d have much better chances of becoming president of the United States than winning the Powerball jackpot.
But what exactly are your chances of winning? Read on as we walk you through the numbers and statistics behind one of the biggest lotteries today.
What are the odds of winning the Powerball?
Your chances of winning the Powerball – if you were to play only one set of numbers, would be 1 in 292,201,338.
You can of course improve your odds of winning by purchasing more tickets and playing more combinations, but realistically speaking, it won’t make much of a difference.
No matter how you look at it, Powerball odds just aren’t very favorable. After all, in a game that features a $40 million minimum jackpot, it’d be unreasonable to expect otherwise.
Powerball Odds Math and Calculations
This section contains the math behind the Powerball odds we provided. We tried to keep our calculations as simple as possible, so you should be able to easily follow along. Ready for some statistics? Here we go.
For every Powerball drawing, 5 white balls are drawn, followed by a single red ball. These 6 balls represent the winning numbers for that draw.
First, let’s start by solving for the total number of possible combinations for the first 5 main (white) numbers.
There are 69 possible numbers in the pool for the first ball. For the second ball, there are only 68 possible numbers left. That’s because the same number can’t be drawn more than once. For the third, only 67 possible numbers remain – and then so on.
This gives us the following computation:
69*68*67*66*65 = 1,348,621,560 possible white ball combinations
But wait a minute, that doesn’t look right. That’s because the order of the numbers isn’t important to winning the game. You’d win if the numbers are drawn as <1, 2, 3, 4, 5>and also if they were drawn as <3, 2, 5, 4, 1>.
So to account for this, you’ll need to include an extra step in the formula. The way to do this is to simply divide the number of possible combinations with the number of possible orders in which 5 numbers can be drawn, which can be computed similarly like this:
5*4*3*2*1 = 120 possible orders for a set of 5 numbers
Or you can express the entire computation as this: Plug those figures into your calculator and you’ll get 11,238,513.
Still with us? Great, but we’re not quite done yet. The above calculations only account for the first 5 numbers. We still have to include the probability of matching the red Powerball if we want to find our odds of winning the jackpot.
Since the red Powerball number is drawn separately from a pool of 26 numbers, you have a 1 in 26 chance to match it. The final step is then to divide the previous number with this probability, or simply: This should give you 292,201,338. And there you have it!
So what are my chances of winning the Powerball?
1 in 292,201,338 to be exact, but that’s only for the grand prize. The math above shows us that there are over 292 million possible winning number combinations that can be drawn, and those represent your odds of matching them perfectly.
However, if you take into consideration that there are eight other prize tiers up for grabs, then the chances of winning Powerball don’t seem too bad after all. There’s about a 1 in 25 chance that you can earn any prize. Read more about that in the next section.
Find out exactly what the odds of winning are for Powerball, one of the biggest lotteries in the world, and learn more about the math behind the international lottery sensation.