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Distribution of Revenue

When you buy a Powerball ticket, the money you spend is used to pay prizes and also help good causes in the state where you are playing. Find out here how much of the revenue goes to the prize fund from different locations across the United States, along with information about how the rest of it is distributed.


How Much Goes To Prizes?

The precise breakdown of where the money goes varies from state to state, but at least half must be returned to players in the form of prize money. Powerball jackpots start at $40 million and grow quickly between draws when there are no winners, but this is only possible because of the large player pool and the fact that at least $1 from every $2 spent on a ticket goes straight into the prize pot.

Where Does The Rest of the Money Go?

Apart from giving players the chance to win prizes, the main focus for each state lottery is to support good causes within its own borders. Many of the lotteries are devoted to helping the local education system, while others focus on the environment or health services, or split the money across several sectors. In these instances, the proceeds may be handed over to the state treasury for allocation or go to a general fund which oversees lots of different areas.

The remainder of the revenue in each state is used for retailer commissions or to cover operating costs. Retailers are rewarded for selling the tickets and receive bigger bonuses when players win big prizes through them. Operating costs include all the different expenses involved in running a lottery, such as marketing, salaries to employees, business contracts and general administration.

Each state distributes the money in slightly different ways, and you can use the following table to see just where the cash you spend on a ticket goes in your state. Select a state from the list to find out more information about where the money goes, along with details of how Powerball is played in that specific jurisdiction.

The figures in the table below refer to the distribution of revenue from all the games played in the state, not just Powerball.

State Prizes Operating Costs Retailer Commissions Public Services and Good Causes
Arizona 63.4% 5.6% 6.8% 24.2%
Arkansas 68.1% 3.4% 9.8% 18.7%
California 63.0% 5.2% 6.9% 24.9%
Colorado* 50.0% 9.0% 6.0% 35.0%
Connecticut 62.0% 5.0% 6.0% 27.0%
Delaware 55.0% 5.0% 10.0% 30.0%
Florida 64.8% 2.7% 5.6% 26.9%
Georgia 63.9% 4.2% 6.2% 25.7%
Idaho 67.0% 7.0% 6.0% 20.0%
Illinois 64.0% 5.5% 5.5% 25.0%
Indiana 60.0% 6.0% 7.0% 27.0%
Iowa 61.2% 9.4% 6.5% 22.9%
Kansas 58.2% 8.5% 5.8% 27.5%
Kentucky 61.0% 6.0% 6.0% 27.0%
Louisiana 53.7% 5.7% 5.6% 35.0%
Maine* 50.0% 9.0% 6.0% 35.0%
Maryland 62.0% 3.4% 7.5% 27.1%
Massachusetts 72.5% 1.9% 5.8% 19.8%
Michigan 60.0% 3.0% 9.0% 28.0%
Minnesota 62.2% 7.5% 6.0% 24.3%
Missouri* 50.0% 9.0% 6.0% 35.0%
Montana* 50.0% 9.0% 6.0% 35.0%
Nebraska 58.1% 11.1% 6.4% 24.4%
New Hampshire 63.0% 6.0% 6.0% 25.0%
New Jersey 60.5% 3.2% 5.3% 31.0%
New Mexico 53.3% 10.2% 6.5% 30.0%
New York 60.7% 3.0% 6.0% 30.3%
North Carolina 63.0% 4.0% 7.0% 26.0%
North Dakota 51.0% 8.0% 5.0% 36.0%
Ohio 60.0% 5.0% 5.0% 30.0%
Oklahoma* 50.0% 9.0% 6.0% 35.0%
Oregon 91.6% 3.1% 0.0% 5.3%
Pennsylvania 65.0% 2.0% 7.0% 26.0%
Puerto Rico* 50.0% 9.0% 6.0% 35.0%
Rhode Island 80.5% 0.4% 9.3% 9.9%
South Carolina 63.6% 4.5% 6.9% 25.0%
South Dakota* 50.0% 9.0% 6.0% 35.0%
Tennessee 63.0% 4.0% 7.0% 26.0%
Texas 64.2% 4.2% 5.4% 26.2%
U.S. Virgin Islands* 50.0% 9.0% 6.0% 35.0%
Vermont 65.1% 7.8% 6.2% 20.9%
Virginia 61.1% 4.9% 5.7% 28.3%
Washington State 62.5% 8.5% 5.0% 24.0%
Washington, D.C. 63.9% 6.4% 7.0% 22.7%
West Virginia 50.1% 4.2% 7.0% 38.7%
Wisconsin 56.7% 6.9% 6.3% 30.1%
Wyoming* 50.0% 9.0% 6.0% 35.0%

*These are estimated percentages; the state lottery does not disclose the exact figures.