While playing Powerball is easy, there are a few rules to the game that you need to keep in mind.
- You must be old enough to play Powerball in your state or jurisdiction. In most participating U.S. states, you must be 18 years old, but in Nebraska you will need to be at least 19 years old. If you want to buy tickets in Arizona, Iowa or Louisiana, you must be at least 21 years old. If you play Powerball through a concierge service, you will need to be at least 18 years old.
- Powerball prizes must be claimed in the state where the tickets were purchased. For example, if you bought your Powerball ticket in Florida while on vacation, and only found out that you won the jackpot when you returned home to New Hampshire, you would need to return to Florida to claim the prize. If you used a concierge service and win a large prize, you would need to visit the state in which the Powerball ticket was bought on your behalf.
- The Powerball jackpot is subject to federal, and sometimes state, taxes. The base federal tax rate for the top prize is 25 percent, while each state that taxes lottery prizes will also apply its own levy to the money. Larger prizes, such as those awarded for matching five main numbers or four main numbers and the Powerball, may also be subject to tax. You should consult a tax official in your jurisdiction if you win the Powerball jackpot or a larger prize to determine what you might owe in terms of taxes.
- If you win the Powerball jackpot, you will need to decide whether to take the cash as a lump sum, which is usually less than the advertised jackpot, or receive yearly annuity payments that will give you more money in the long run, but in gradual amounts. Visit the Cash vs Annuity page to learn more.
- Powerball tickets expire if they are not claimed within a certain period of time after the drawing. This varies by state; for example, in Iowa players have 365 days from the date of the drawing to claim a prize, but in Missouri players have just 180 days. You should check the rules of your local state lottery to find out how much time you have to claim a prize. Of course, you can always check your Powerball numbers online to ensure that you never miss out on news of a big win!
To find out more on how to play Powerball and to view game rules, visit the dedicated page.