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Lottery Systems

A lottery system is a method of choosing numbers which allows you to cover more of the possible combinations and increase your chances of winning. Find out about some of the strategies that can be used for Powerball and how they boost the odds of picking up prizes.

How Powerball Systems Work

If you buy a single Powerball line, you are entering one combination of numbers into the draw. There are five numbers between 1 and 69 plus one Powerball from 1 to 26 on your ticket, and the odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338. By playing a Powerball system, you can cover a greater range of numbers than this.

It is not possible to do this on a single play board, however, as marking off more than five main numbers or one Powerball will invalidate your playslip. However, you can work out a system to enter at least six main numbers in such a way that you will cover every combination within your selected range.

For example, if you wanted to play a system that covered all possible combinations of the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, plus a Powerball of 26, you would not be able to enter all the main numbers on one play board. Instead, you would need to use six sets of five numbers, as follows:

  • 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Powerball 26
  • 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, Powerball 26
  • 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, Powerball 26
  • 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, Powerball 26
  • 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, Powerball 26
  • 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Powerball 26

You could also use a system where you play the same five main numbers but change the Powerball number on each line. If you enter 26 lines, each with a different Powerball, you are guaranteed to match the Powerball on one of them and will definitely win a prize. The award will then just depend on how many of the main numbers you match, and whether or not you added the Power Play.

Systems vs Quick Picks

The main advantage of playing a system is that your chances of winning improve with each combination that you enter. This is also the case if you just enter the same amount of Quick Picks, but the benefit of a system is that you stand to win multiple prizes if some of your numbers do appear.

For instance, if you cover all of the possible combinations of six main numbers and four of them are drawn, all six of your lines will deliver a prize. If you opted for six Quick Picks and the best line matched four numbers, it is unlikely that the other five tickets would also deliver prizes because they are all randomly generated so would feature completely different numbers.

System Costs

The following table shows how many lines you would need to enter into a Powerball draw for the most basic system combinations. The cost of playing increases as you play more combinations, so if you need to enter six lines to complete your system, the total cost will be $12 ($18 if you include Power Play).

Numbers Selected (Main + Powerball) Number of Lines Entered Into Drawing Total Cost of Entry (Without Power Play) Total Cost of Entry (With Power Play)
6 + 1 6 $12 $18
6 + 2 12 $24 $36
6 + 3 18 $36 $54
7 + 1 21 $42 $63
5 + 26 26 $52 $78
8 + 1 56 $112 $168
7 + 3 63 $126 $189
9 + 1 126 $252 $378
6 + 26 152 $304 $456
10 + 1 252 $504 $756

Lottery Pools

Playing in a Powerball pool with other players is also an effective technique for boosting your chances of winning. It is easier to enter multiple lines when there is a group of you playing together, so you are giving yourselves more possible ways to win while also keeping costs down. Go to the page on Lottery Pools to find out more about how should run a Powerball group, how prizes are paid out and what you should include in your pool agreement. Your lottery pool may even wish to consider playing a system as you go in search of the latest jackpot.