What is Powerball and how is it different?

Powerball rules are not much different from many other lotteries you might have seen. The biggest feature is the fact that it employs two different drums that contain the regular white balls and the red Powerballs. It is the red Powerballs that unlock the big prizes, although players will also need to correctly match the white balls with their selections to truly elevate their prize. Each ticket allows players to pick five numbers that must be matched with the white balls and one for the red. This will definitely be familiar to anyone who’s already played two-drum lotteries before and will be incredibly easy for anybody else to pick up. The biggest fact that makes Powerball so different and popular is the truly life-changing prizes that it is able to payout. How many lotteries can really boast of jackpots that cross into the billions of dollars?

How to play – Powerball rules

There isn’t much to figure out when discovering how to play Powerball. One thing that makes lotteries so popular is their inherent simplicity. Participants are simply tasked with picking five numbers from a choice of 1 to 70. An additional selection for your red Powerball must also be made in a range of numbers from 1 to 25. This selection is important, as correctly guessing it is the only way to attain any of the jackpot prizes. Furthermore, a Power Play option is also present. This costs an additional $1 per ticket. This feature increases the win potential of non-jackpot prizes and adds a win multiplier of between two and 10 times. Tickets cost $2 and with the Power Play option comes to $3 in total per ticket.

So, all you need to do is buy your ticket(s), make your selections, submit them and wait for the draw. Powerball draws happen every Wednesday and Saturday, providing two chances to win a week. It’s all pretty simple, making it clear why this lottery is able to claim millions of tickets sold at every drawing.


To effectively formulate a good Powerball strategy, you’ll first need to know what makes it all worthwhile: the payouts! The lowest possible prize a player can attain is $4, which isn’t too bad considering the standard price of a ticket is $2. The $4 is earned through getting a correct pick on your Powerball, but getting no matching white selections. On the other end of the spectrum, the top jackpot prize starts at a minimum of $40 million and rolls over after every draw with no eligible claimants. Other cash prizes will vary between the aforementioned minimum of $4 and can go up to $2,000,000. 

The biggest win of all time happened on the 13th (Not a Friday) of January 2016. Standing at a colossal $1.586 billion, it was split between three winners. The next biggest win was more recent, being in 2019 and granting one lucky participant $768 million. The third biggest was in 2017 and was only slightly smaller than the second place with $758 million. That slightly smaller payout does equate to $10 million, let’s not forget! Winning these amounts is the dream and is something that keeps hopefuls coming back for more each and every week.

Powerball strategies and other helpful tips

Most tips regarding lotteries are usually in the form of different number-picking strategies. Looking at previous draws, forming patterns, and other such systems. The truth of the matter is, the results of any given lottery are truly random and you can only glean so much insight by looking at draw history and statistics. With that in mind, you can still take on some practices that can improve your chances, like the commonly formed syndicates aim to do.

GoodLuckMate’s best tips for playing Powerball:

  • Buying more tickets will increase your chances BUT…
  • Make sure you have a budget in mind before playing and stick to it
  • Forming syndicates allows groups of people to purchase more tickets
  • Check out number picking systems like the Pyramid Plan and Soul Path methods
  • Powerball’s FAQ guarantees at least one prize will be won for players who cover all red balls with individual Powerball cards

House edge – what are your chances of winning?

We’re not going to lie, your chances of ever hitting the jackpot are slim to none. In fact, it’s calculated as being around one in 292 million. To try and put that into perspective, the chances of being struck by lightning are often cited for being famously unlikely and are calculated at one in 500,000. That isn’t to try and discourage you, though. There are lots of other giant prizes with much more likely odds. The fourth prize can be up to $1,000 without taking into consideration the random multiplier that can go up to 10 times if the jackpot currently stands at less than $150 million. Those odds are one in 36,525. This is still high but naturally goes down the more tickets you add into the mix. 

The most effective way to enhance your odds is to simply buy more tickets. However, this isn’t always feasible considering the number of tickets needed to truly shift things in your favor. That’s why many people form groups, also known as syndicates. By doing this, they pool together their resources to buy more tickets and then evenly share any prizes resulting from it. 

Play Powerball at online casinos

Powerball is a very US-centric lottery. However, as their terms state, it is not necessary to be a citizen or resident of the US to either play or collect any potential payouts. The Powerball game does remain its own intellectual property and, therefore, you shouldn’t expect to find it freely available at casinos. You can instead find Powerball online available at authorized resellers. These sites, which do include some casinos, allow you to purchase the tickets and make your selections via a website, where a small service charge is then added to keep them in business. Otherwise, you can enjoy free Powerball online as if you were in a shop in the US. This is all legal and comes from a country that has been surprisingly strict on all forms of online gambling in the past.

Live dealer games and RNG games

As mentioned, it is unlikely that the site you are playing at is a Powerball casino. The lottery is run by its own organization that is already in a position to be picky on who it allows to re-sell its tickets. You can, however, find a lot of online casinos that do offer live and virtual lotteries in various shapes and sizes. These can either come in the live format where a croupier in a studio is live-streamed directly to your monitor, allowing for instant and immersive action. RNG games are instead virtual platforms where you can play against the computer at your own pace. 

The Powerball organization has made no secret though that it is happy to move into the business of working alongside these virtual and live dealer games though. The company is in the process of expanding to Australia and the UK, while already having a firm base in South Africa. So, it could well be that you’ll be seeing Powerball sitting alongside your favorite slots and live tables in the near future.

Nerijus Grenda
Nerijus Grenda
Last Update: 13 Mar 2023
Nerijus Grenda is a prolific contributor to the GoodLuckMate site. With a deep understanding of the online casino industry, gained from his own experience as an avid player, he offers valuable insights on what sets the best casinos apart from the rest. As a writer, Nerijus shares his expertise through expert analysis and thoughtful commentary on various topics related to online gambling, including casino reviews, game guides and industry trends.

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