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Can foreigners play Australian Powerball?

The Australian Powerball is one of the largest and most popular lottery games in Australia. It offers enormous jackpot prizes that can be won by matching all 7 winning numbers drawn from two separate drum machines. With jackpots frequently exceeding AU$50 million, it’s no wonder that the Australian Powerball attracts interest from people all around the world. But can foreigners actually play and win the Australian Powerball? Let’s take a closer look.

Basic Eligibility Requirements

To play any Australian lottery game, including Powerball, you must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Purchase a ticket from an authorized lottery retailer within Australia
  • Be in Australia at the time of ticket purchase

So right off the bat, we can see that foreigners face some immediate challenges when trying to play the Australian Powerball. You must be physically present in Australia to buy tickets, which precludes most foreign players from participating unless they happen to be visiting Australia when ticket sales are open for a particular draw. Some key points:

You Must Purchase Tickets in Person from Authorized Retailers

There is no way to play the Australian Powerball online, over the phone, or via mail from other countries. This differs from lotteries like Mega Millions and Powerball in the United States, which allow customers to purchase tickets online through authorized lottery websites regardless of their location. For the Australian Powerball, you must buy tickets in-person.

There Are No Ticket Agents or Services for International Customers

Some lotteries allow the use of ticket agents or concierge services that will purchase tickets on your behalf locally and then send you copies or a claim receipt. However, there are no such services available for the Australian Powerball due to strict local lottery laws. All ticket purchases must be directly from an approved retailer by the player themselves.

Foreign Visitors Can Play While in Australia

While purchasing tickets remotely is not permitted, foreign visitors who are temporarily in Australia are indeed allowed to buy Australian Powerball tickets at local retailers. So tourists, business travelers, students studying abroad in Australia, and other short-term visitors can participate in the lottery while they are in the country.

Proof of Eligibility and Claiming Prizes

In order to claim any lottery prizes, you must be able to prove you meet the eligibility criteria and are the rightful holder of a winning ticket. For Australian players, this generally requires a form of valid local photo identification. Foreign winners would need to provide a passport and potentially any other documentation required to prove legal residency in order to claim a prize.

Taxes Apply to All Prizes

One important consideration is that Australian lottery winnings are considered taxable income by the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Local residents are subject to tax withholding directly from their prize amount before payout. Foreign winners are also subject to Australian tax laws and will have applicable taxes withheld from any prizes claimed while visiting Australia. So don’t expect to take home the full advertised jackpot!

Can You Avoid Restrictions via a Syndicate?

Lottery syndicates involve groups of players pooling their money to purchase more tickets and increase their chances of winning. Syndicate groups will often have agreements in place specifying how any prizes will be split among members.

Some foreigners may wonder if joining an Australian lottery syndicate could be a loophole to play Powerball without being in the country. Unfortunately, this does not work for a few key reasons:

Syndicate Tickets Still Must Be Purchased in Person

Even if you join a syndicate group, the actual ticket purchase on behalf of the syndicate still must take place in person at an authorized Australian retailer. So there is no way to remotely join a syndicate located in Australia from other countries. You or your appointed syndicate manager would still need to be physically present in Australia to buy the ticket.

Syndicates Follow the Same Tax and Prize Claim Rules

Syndicates do not exempt players from eligibility requirements, taxes, and prize claim regulations. As a foreign member of an Australian syndicate, you still must pay applicable taxes on any prizes and meet identification/residency requirements to make a claim.

Overseas Lottery Syndicates Do Not Work

On the flip side, joining a lottery syndicate based outside of Australia does not allow you to claim Australian Powerball prizes. Even if the syndicate purchases tickets within Australia, any winning tickets – and therefore prizes – would remain the property of the actual ticket purchaser, in this case the syndicate manager. As a foreign syndicate member, you have no right to claim Australian lottery prizes.

Are There Any Legal Options for Foreigners?

Unfortunately, the rules are very clear that foreigners must be physically present in Australia as individuals to directly purchase any Australian lottery tickets. The only legal way for foreign players to participate in the Australian Powerball lottery is to travel to Australia as a visitor and buy tickets from local vendors.

There are currently no options for remotely purchasing Australian lottery tickets while overseas. Any services claiming to facilitate ticket purchases on behalf of international customers are likely fraudulent.

Some workarounds like lottery syndicate membership also do not bridge the gap given rules still requiring in-person ticket purchases and prize claims. In short, traveling to and being present in Australia remains the only way for foreigners to legally play Australian Powerball.

The Reasons for Australian Powerball Restrictions

The Australian lottery has very strict regulations against foreign and remote participation. But why are these rules in place?

Government Oversight of Lotteries

In Australia, lotteries are run by the state government. They are subject to very specific laws and regulations that exist primarily to protect consumers and ensure fair play. Allowing unregulated access like foreign ticket sales would make monitoring and enforcement much more difficult.

Security and Validation of Tickets

Rules require lottery tickets to be purchased with cash only from approved vendors for security and tracking purposes. Remote sales make validating and securing tickets more challenging. All winning tickets must be presented and validated in-person.

Prevention of Scams or Unfair Advantages

A further consideration is that foreign agent services allowing ticket purchases on behalf of customers are more susceptible to fraud and scams. And permitting only in-person sales means players cannot use computer bots or questionable strategies to unfairly obtain more tickets.

Geographic Limitations

Australia also restricts lottery participation to be fair to its own citizens. Lotteries are designed to redistribute money within that society. Allowing unlimited foreign players would reduce Australian players’ odds and potential prizes.

Taxation Requirements

Australia also limits remote play to ensure that applicable taxes can be imposed and collected on prizes. Foreign players avoiding Australian taxes would otherwise deprive the government of substantial revenue.

In summary, the rules ultimately exist to uphold fairness, security, and legal oversight of Australian lotteries.

The Biggest Powerball Prizes Won by Aussies

While foreigners unfortunately can’t play remotely, Australian citizens have won staggering sums of money over the years playing the local Powerball. Some of the biggest Aussie jackpot winners include:

AU$150 Million in 2019

In 2019, a Sydney woman won the entire $150 million (AU$107 million) Australian Powerball jackpot. She was the sole winner for that draw, taking home the country’s biggest ever lottery prize claimed by a single entry.

AU$110 Million in 2018

An elderly woman from inner Sydney picked the winning numbers on a Powerball ticket her friend purchased for her. Her AU$110 million prize was the largest individual amount ever won in Australian lottery history at the time.

AU$70 Million in 2016

A Powerball division one prize of AU$70 million was split between three ticket holders from New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania in 2016. Each winners’ share was AU$23.3 million. At that time it equaled Australia’s fifth biggest ever lottery win.

AU$50 Million in 2013

In 2013, a lucky Australian man won a $50 million Powerball jackpot, which he collected in a lump sum payout of nearly AU$33 million. It was considered one of Australia’s biggest ever lottery wins.

AU$40 Million in 2012

A $40 million Powerball prize was claimed by a couple from Cairns, Queensland in October 2012. At the time, it was the second largest Powerball jackpot ever won in Australia.

Famous Australian Powerball Winners

While most Australian Powerball winners opt to remain anonymous, several big jackpot winners have had their identities revealed publicly over the years:

Trevor Speirs – AU$50 million

In 2005, Essendon AFL footballer Trevor Speirs won AU$50 million on Powerball. His record win as a sports figure made headlines across Australia.

Gary Baron – AU$30 million

Powerball winner Gary Baron became famous in Australia for his AU$30 million jackpot prize in 2006. His “Lotto King” persona was widely covered in the media afterward.

Ivan Howarth – AU$16 million

Ivan Howarth shot into the spotlight by winning AU$16 million playing Powerball in 1996. He later became an author and motivational speaker.

Louise Haigh – AU$13 million

Melbourne woman Louise Haigh appeared on national television to discuss her $13 million Powerball win in 2012. She said she planned to share it with her sons.

Notable Powerball Group and Syndicate Wins

While individual winners take home the biggest Australian Powerball prizes, there have also been some impressive jackpots claimed by lottery syndicates and pool groups:

AU$50 Million Won by 14 Fishermen

In 2009, a syndicate of 14 commercial fishermen jointly won a $50 million Powerball jackpot. Their group ticket purchased at Eden Pier Hotel in Eden, NSW delivered them each AU$3.57 million.

AU$16.7 Million Office Pool Win

A 2012 Powerball division one prize of AU$16.7 million went to a pool of 12 healthcare workers at Australian Hearing in Perth. Each syndicate member collected AU$1.39 million.

AU$16.2 million Won by 10 Victorian Families

In 2016, ten families who were part of a syndicate scored AU$16.2 million in a Powerball lottery. Their lawyer collected the prize on behalf of the group.

AU$55 million Among 350 Strangers

In 2019, complete strangers won AU$55 million after buying syndicate shares on online lottery platform 350 players had purchased a share of the ticket that won.

Biggest Overall Australian Powerball Jackpots

Here are some of the biggest total jackpot amounts that have been offered in the Australian Powerball lottery draw to date:

Total Jackpot Date
AU$150 million January 2019
AU$110 million July 2018
AU$100 million May 2017
AU$80 million July 2016
AU$70 million July 2016
AU$50 million August 2013
AU$50 million May 2009

The current Australian Powerball record is the epic AU$150 million jackpot won by a single ticket holder in 2019. Powerball fever gripped the country as the prize pool swelled over multiple draws without a division one winner. It built to become Australia’s biggest ever lottery jackpot.

How Does the Powerball Work?

To understand the Australian Powerball game, let’s quickly review how it works:

Choose 7 Numbers

To play, you choose 7 numbers in total – 6 from a barrel of balls numbered 1-45, plus a 7th Powerball number from a separate barrel with numbers 1-20.

Wait for the Draw

Draws are held every Thursday night at 8:30pm AEST, where the 7 winning numbers are randomly drawn from the two barrels.

Match all 7 to Win the Jackpot

To win the division one jackpot, you must match all 7 numbers drawn on your ticket. Lower tier prizes are also available for partially matching numbers.

Jackpots Keep Growing

If there are no division one winners, the top prize jackpot will continue to grow over multiple draws until it is finally won. This is why jackpots can sometimes reach gigantic sizes.

So in summary, match all 7 numbers drawn and you could become Australia’s next multi-millionaire Powerball winner!

Other Australian Lotteries Open to Foreigners

While the major national games like Powerball and Oz Lotto are restricted to Australian residents, some smaller state-based lottery games do allow foreign entrants who purchase tickets while visiting. These include:


Lottoland sells betting products on the outcomes of lotteries like Powerball online to punters worldwide. However, it is not an official lottery itself. Prizes are cash amounts based on official lottery results, not the actual jackpots.

SA Lotteries

Lotterywest allows visitors to Western Australia to purchase tickets online for games like Saturday Lotto and Oz Lotto. However, major games like Powerball offered by SA Lotteries are still restricted.


Some smaller games by lottery operators like TattsLotto allow ticket purchases by foreigners and tourists while visiting permitted Australian states or territories.

So while the major national lottery games are off limits, traveling Aussies and visitors can sometimes partake in certain state lottery games and similar betting products. But Powerball itself remains restricted to permanent Australian residents only.

Final Thoughts

In summary, foreign entrants are prohibited from playing the popular Australian Powerball lottery unless they are physically present in Australia and purchase an official ticket in person. Remote ticket sales are strictly forbidden, so there is no legal way to play from overseas countries.

While lottery syndicates and group play agreements may seem like potential loopholes, they provide no workaround since all ticket purchases must still take place locally. Any services claiming to facilitate Powerball ticket purchases from abroad for international customers are likely scams.

The only way foreigners can play is to visit Australia as a tourist or short-term resident. But they should remember to bring a passport and other documentation in case they get lucky and need to provide identification to claim a major prize! Although taxes will still apply.

For now, enormous jackpots like the record AU$150 million prize in 2019 remain the exclusive domain of Aussie residents playing Powerball within Australia’s borders. But who knows, maybe in the future, rule changes could allow more global participation. For now foreign players will need to dream from afar or hop on a flight to Australia to get in the game.