While playing the game is easy, there are a few Powerball rules that you need to keep in mind, such as ensuring that you choose the correct amount of numbers and that you claim any prizes due on winning tickets within the claim period in your state. Powerball game rules can vary from state to state, so it is also important that you check with your state lottery.
Here is a brief guide on the Powerball game rules:
Players must select five main numbers between 1 and 69 and one Powerball number from 1 to 26 to be eligible to enter a draw. You can also choose the supplementary Power Play option, which multiplies any non-jackpot winnings. Prizes are awarded for matching the Powerball number upwards. You can find out more about Power Play and the prizes on offer by visiting the Powerball Prizes page.
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 online, 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.
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. Check the tax rate for your jurisdiction here. You should also 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.
In California, Powerball prizes are pari-mutuel, which means that prizes paid out vary depending on the number of winners and ticket sales. As a result, prizes in California can either be lower or higher than the amounts displayed on the Powerball Numbers section.
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 using the Number Checker to ensure that you never miss out on news of a big win!
To find out more on how to play Powerball including how to fill in a playslip and how to claim a Powerball prize if you are due a payout, visit the dedicated page.