Powerball generates some of the biggest and best lottery prizes in the world, making it one of the most exciting and popular lotteries available. It is currently played across 44 states in America as well as Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and the U.S Virgin Islands, and regularly gives away jackpots topping $200 million. On 18th May 2013, Gloria MacKenzie from Zephyrhills, Florida scooped $590.5 million after matching all five main numbers plus the Powerball.
Players must choose five main numbers from a possible 69, followed by one Powerball number from a separate pool of 26. The numbers are drawn at 22.59 EST on Wednesday and a Saturday, and players participating in the lottery that night are advised that ticket sale cut-off times on the night are, on average, an hour prior to the draw. However, cut-off times vary from state to state, so players are advised to check exact times with their own state lottery provider.
How to Play Powerball
Powerball tickets cost $2 per line and are usually sold in retail outlets in participating states alongside their own lottery games. However, it is also possible to play online from other countries such as the UK, thanks to online lottery messenger services which employ agents in participating states to buy tickets on behalf of those who want to play from overseas.
There is also a Power Play option on non-jackpot prizes, giving players the chance to increase the amount they win for the cost of an extra $1 per ticket. The prize for matching five main numbers without the Powerball grows from $1 million to $2 million with the Power Play, while other non-jackpot prizes will be multiplied by a factor of two, three, four or five. When the jackpot is estimated to be less than $150 million, there is also a 10X Power Play feature available.
Prizes must be claimed within 90 to 365 days of the date of the draw, depending on the state, and participants must be at least 18 years old to take part through a lottery concierge service or when playing in most participating states. Some jurisdictions in the US require players to be either 19 or 21 years old if they want to play Powerball.