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PowerPlay

Power Play is a multiplier option. For an extra US $1 per ticket you can add Power Play. You don’t have to choose any extra numbers for this. Rather than improving your chances of a win, Power Play increases the amount of prize money you receive if you do win.

One Power Play number is randomly selected from a pool of 42, marked with multipliers from 2x to 5x. If the jackpot is less than US $150 million, one extra 10x multiplier is added. Whichever multiplier is drawn, non-jackpot prizes are multiplied by that amount, for winning tickets with the Power Play option selected. This excludes the jackpot and any wins for five numbers matched (where the top prize is doubled to US $2 million).

How to Play

USA Powerball draws take place twice a week in Florida. They are held at 22:59 Eastern Time on Wednesdays and Saturdays — see the on this page for the draw schedule according to South Africa local time. To take part, you must select five main numbers between 1 and 69 and one Powerball number from 1 to 26. It costs $2 per board to play.

Playing from South Africa

Tickets are only available to buy from retailers in 45 states in the USA, plus the jurisdictions of Washington D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. However, you can also play online from South Africa and other countries by following the steps below:

  • Go to the Buy Tickets page and select USA Powerball
  • Choose your numbers or select a Quick Pick on as many boards as you want to play
  • Select whether to enter a single draw or multiple draws
  • Select ‘Add To Cart’ and pay for your purchase.

If it is your first time, you will be guided through how to set up an online account. Your numbers will be safely stored online and you will be notified automatically if you are a winner, with prizes paid straight into your account.

Power Play

When you buy a Powerball ticket, you can also add Power Play for an extra $1 per line. If you win any prize except the jackpot, it will be multiplied by 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x or 10x its original amount if you have selected the Power Play option. The multiplier is determined by a number that is randomly selected in the Power Play draw that takes place alongside the main game.

The 10x Power Play is not available once the jackpot exceeds $150 million. The second prize of $1 million is always doubled to $2 million regardless of which Power Play multiplier is in play.

The table below shows the odds of each Power Play multiplier being selected. The odds differ slightly depending on whether the 10x multiplier is available.

USA Powerball Power Play Odds
Multiplier Odds with 10x Odds without 10x
10x 1 in 43 N/A
5x 1 in 21.5 1 in 21
4x 1 in 14.33 1 in 14
3x 1 in 3.31 1 in 3.23
2x 1 in 1.79 1 in 1.75

Power Play may not always be available to players entering online from outside the USA.

The state lotteries and MUSL (the organization that runs Powerball) are all very firm in their assertion that playing the lottery in any manner over the Internet is illegal.  We are not lawyers and can’t provide legal advice, but we are not so sure about their position.  Their absolute certainty that it is illegal may have more to do with not wanting to lose control of the player interaction, and less to do with a firm legal footing.

When we assess the legality, we look at what has actually happened in court cases.  There have been people in the past who purchased a lottery ticket from an Internet Web site, subsequently won the jackpot, and the lottery attempted to block them from receiving the jackpot.  In each case, the winners took the lottery to court and won.  They received their jackpot as if they walked into a store and purchased a ticket.

You must keep in mind that any type of Internet-based lottery service is not risk-free.  From a legal standpoint, the services are dealing in loopholes in the current law, and the US Congress has taken steps to make those loopholes tighter, particularly in trying to prevent banks and credit cards from allowing Internet payments for lottery services.  But there is a much bigger threat when you use an Internet lottery service: getting ripped off.

By not making a purchase in a store, you may be doing something worse than throwing your money away: you may be helping to keep a scam operation running.  Stay away from anything referring to a «syndicate».  We are not aware of any site using that terminology that is not a scam.  Also beware of sites that state «Insured by ___» at the bottom.  It is like saying «We don’t really buy lottery tickets, but trust us, you’ll get paid if you win.»  Have you ever heard of an insurance company paying out a $200 million Powerball jackpot?  We haven’t.

We do allow some advertising on USA Mega for lottery services.  We recommend that USA residents stay away from such services, and make your purchases in a store.  The ads are directed at non-USA residents, who may not have the online lottery restrictions that exist in the USA.

Annuity vs. Cash

98% of Powerball jackpot winners chose to take the cash option. Or to put it another way, only 4 winners in the last 13 years (2003 — 2016) chose the annuity option.

If you win the Powerball jackpot, you have the option of taking an annuity — an annual payment over 30 instalments — or a cash lump sum paid to you in full. You’ll see there’s quite a difference between the two. This is because the cash lump sum pays out whatever’s in the jackpot fund, whereas the annuity includes both the cash sum and the interest generated by investing it over the next 29 years. The value of the annuity option also has the added benefit of increasing by 5% annually.

Power Play Prizes

The Power Play is an add-on that you can opt in to when you enter Powerball. For an additional stake, the Power Play increases any non-jackpot prizes won by up to 10 times their original value.

Alongside each main Powerball draw, a Power Play number – either 2, 3, 4, 5, or 10 – is also selected. If you opt in to Power Play, any non-jackpot prizes you win are multiplied by this number. The Power Play number is the same for all players, and is available in all territories that offer Powerball, with the exception of California. The following conditions apply for the Power Play add-on:

  • You must opt in to play Power Play at the point you purchase a Powerball ticket. You cannot elect to play at a later date.
  • The jackpot prize is not included in Power Play, so will retain its original value regardless of which Power Play number is selected.
  • The Match 5 prize will only be multiplied by a maximum of 2x its original value, regardless of which Power Play number is selected.
  • The 10x Power Play is only available when the jackpot value is less than $150 million.

The table below shows the prizes on offer when you play Power Play:

Power Play Payouts
Prize Tier 2X 3X 4X 5X 10X

5 + Powerball

Jackpot Jackpot Jackpot Jackpot Jackpot

5

$2 million $2 million $2 million $2 million $2 million

4 + Powerball

$100,000 $150,000 $200,000 $250,000 $500,000

4

$200 $300 $400 $500 $1000

3 + Powerball

$200 $300 $400 $500 $1,000

3

$14 $21 $28 $35 $70

2 + Powerball

$14 $21 $28 $35 $70

1 + Powerball

$8 $12 $16 $20 $40

Powerball

$8 $12 $16 $20 $40

If I live in a state that taxes prizes, but bought my ticket in a state with no tax on prizes, do I still need to pay state tax?

Yes, you do.  Think of lottery prizes as regular earned income from a job.  Just because you may work in a different state, that doesn’t permit you to get away with not paying state income tax in your state of residence.  The lottery works the same way.

Whether it’s income from a job or income from gambling, the state where the money is won will tax the prize first at their out-of-state tax rate (assuming the state taxes lottery winnings).  If your state of residence has the same or lower tax rate, then you won’t owe anything else.  But if your state has a higher rate, you will get a credit for what you paid in the other state, and pay the difference to your state.

If the other state has no tax, you just pay the entire tax bill to your state.

The net result is that you end up paying whichever tax rate is higher between your state of residence and the state where you purchased the ticket.  Of course, the tax law is quite complex and it’s possible that some condition or arrangement exists between the two states and a good tax attorney and/or accountant could discover a tax-saving loophole.  That’s why we always recommend that major prize winners do not make any major decisions before first hiring a good legal and financial team.

One other option to consider, depending on how much in taxes you’re looking to save: the residency requirements as they relate to prize claims, state taxes, and income reporting.  Since you aren’t responsible for paying taxes until you claim the prize, perhaps there is time to establish residency in the state where you purchased the ticket before the prize claim period expires.  However, that is something you would definitely need to explore with an attorney before taking any action to assess the feasibility.  You would also need to decide if it would be worth the risk of that important little piece of paper not getting lost, damaged, or destroyed in the time you spend arranging everything.

Can non-US citizens play? What if a non-US citizen wins?

Yes, non-US citizens can legally play, and non-US citizens are eligible to win any prize offered in the game.

If a non-US citizen wins, they would claim their prize in the same manner that a US citizen would, but the taxes withheld would be different. For example, federal withholding for non-US citizens is a flat 30%.  Also, individual states may have different tax structures for non-US citizens than they do for US citizens.  Depending on which country the person is a legal resident of, there also may be tax treaties between the US and that other country which could be helpful in offsetting whatever the US tax liabilities are.

In short, non-US citizens can play and win Powerball.  If a non-US citizen wins a large prize, they will be responsible for some amount of tax, which in the end will probably be an amount similar to what a US citizen would pay, but there are so many possible variations with international tax codes that you’ll need to consult with a local tax attorney if you need to know a precise amount of tax liability.

Number Frequency

Number Draw Frequency
No.

Freq.

Freq. Last Drawn
1 71 Sep 10, 1997
2 64 Oct 11, 1997
3 63 Aug 30, 1997
4 61 Jul 19, 1997
5 52 Oct 22, 1997
6 71 Oct 29, 1997
7 61 Oct 15, 1997
8 64 Sep 13, 1997
9 69 Oct 22, 1997
10 68 Oct 8, 1997
11 77 Oct 29, 1997
12 58 Sep 24, 1997
13 61 Oct 29, 1997
14 54 Oct 18, 1997
15 77 Oct 25, 1997
16 64 Oct 18, 1997
17 69 Aug 13, 1997
18 60 Oct 1, 1997
19 64 Oct 18, 1997
20 56 Oct 11, 1997
21 65 Oct 18, 1997
22 70 Nov 1, 1997
23 71 Oct 25, 1997
24 69 Oct 25, 1997
25 67 Nov 1, 1997
26 74 Oct 29, 1997
27 70 Aug 9, 1997
28 72 Nov 1, 1997
29 59 Aug 30, 1997
30 49 Jul 30, 1997
31 66 Oct 4, 1997
32 52 Oct 29, 1997
33 61 Nov 1, 1997
34 64 Oct 15, 1997
35 78 Oct 25, 1997
36 72 Oct 1, 1997
37 47 Nov 1, 1997
38 63 Aug 27, 1997
39 63 Sep 24, 1997
40 58 Oct 22, 1997
41 61 Sep 27, 1997
42 67 Oct 11, 1997
43 61 Oct 22, 1997
44 65 Oct 1, 1997
45 62 Sep 13, 1997
Powerball Draw Frequency
No.

Freq.

Freq. Last Drawn
1 16 Jul 19, 1997
2 9 Sep 21, 1996
3 13 Oct 11, 1997
4 10 May 7, 1997
5 10 Aug 10, 1996
6 16 Oct 18, 1997
7 9 Feb 15, 1997
8 10 Oct 15, 1997
9 20 Oct 1, 1997
10 21 Aug 6, 1997
11 15 Oct 8, 1997
12 24 Aug 9, 1997
13 14 May 24, 1997
14 7 Jul 12, 1997
15 9 Feb 10, 1996
16 12 Jun 25, 1997
17 10 May 31, 1997
18 14 Sep 17, 1997
19 16 Aug 27, 1997
20 12 Nov 1, 1997
21 9 Nov 16, 1996
22 15 Sep 13, 1997
23 9 Aug 20, 1997
24 14 Oct 22, 1997
25 6 Mar 29, 1997
26 20 Jul 24, 1996
27 13 Jan 25, 1997
28 13 Oct 4, 1997
29 16 Sep 6, 1997
30 8 Oct 25, 1997
31 11 Apr 19, 1997
32 7 Apr 30, 1997
33 13 Sep 20, 1997
34 12 Jan 18, 1997
35 14 May 10, 1997
36 11 May 17, 1997
37 17 Oct 29, 1997
38 10 Jul 2, 1997
39 11 Sep 28, 1996
40 14 Jun 4, 1997
41 9 Sep 9, 1995
42 18 Sep 3, 1997
43 14 Jun 21, 1997
44 14 Jan 1, 1997
45 13 Dec 21, 1996
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