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Can you play Powerball overseas?

Quick Answer

Yes, it is possible to play Powerball from outside the United States, but there are some restrictions. The main ways to play Powerball abroad are:

  • Purchase tickets online through official lottery websites
  • Use ticket courier services to buy tickets on your behalf
  • Travel to the US to buy tickets in person

However, you must check if Powerball lottery tickets can be legally purchased in your country. Only residents of participating U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands can purchase tickets and claim prizes. Overseas players must have a U.S. mailing address to buy tickets online or receive mailed tickets. Winnings are still subject to U.S. tax requirements.

Can you legally play Powerball outside the US?

Whether you can legally play Powerball as a non-U.S. resident depends on the laws where you live. Most countries do not prohibit their residents from participating in foreign lotteries that are legal in the jurisdiction where they are based and operated. However, some countries do have restrictions in place, so you’ll need to check your local laws before playing. A few notable examples:

  • Canada – Powerball tickets cannot be purchased in Canada. However, Canadians are not prohibited from purchasing tickets online at or using third-party courier services.
  • United Kingdom – UK residents are allowed to enter most foreign lotteries, including Powerball. Online and ticket courier services facilitate this.
  • Australia – It is illegal for Australians to participate in any lottery not licensed or authorized by their own government. This effectively bans Powerball ticket purchases.
  • Germany – Germans are allowed to participate in state-authorized lotteries throughout the European Union and in other foreign countries.

So in summary, playing Powerball from outside the U.S. is permitted by law in many countries, but prohibited in some. Check your local laws first before trying to play.

Purchasing Powerball tickets online

Purchasing official Powerball tickets online is the easiest way to play from overseas. allows lottery ticket purchases online for residents of the 48 participating U.S. states and jurisdictions.

To purchase tickets on, you must:

  • Be physically located in a participating Powerball jurisdiction when making the purchase
  • Provide a U.S. residential mailing address (P.O. boxes can’t be used)
  • Have a U.S. credit/debit card or U.S. bank account for payment

It does not matter if you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. When the purchase is complete, a scanned copy of the ticket will be viewable in your account. If you win a prize, the physical ticket can be mailed to your U.S. address or held for you at a participating lottery office in the U.S.

Some third-party websites also sell official government-issued lottery tickets online. However, make sure to verify the legitimacy of any site before providing personal information and purchasing. Avoid any unofficial lottery ticket websites.

Using ticket courier services

If you are unable to purchase Powerball tickets online yourself, you can enlist services like theLotter or Lotto Agent to purchase tickets on your behalf. Here’s how these Powerball courier services work:

  1. You register and fund an account with the courier service website.
  2. Choose the Powerball tickets you want to purchase and pay for them through your account.
  3. The service uses its U.S. representatives to go purchase physical Powerball tickets from official retailers on your behalf.
  4. Ticket scans are uploaded to your account for your records.
  5. If you win a prize, they will collect the funds and transfer them to you, for a fee.

The advantage of using a ticket courier is that there is no need for you to be physically present in the U.S. The courier handles everything on your behalf. However, you will pay more in fees and commissions this route. Ensure any courier service you choose is reputable and draws winning tickets regularly.

Buying tickets in person

If you have the ability to travel to the United States, you can always purchase Powerball tickets in person while there. Tickets are sold at over 48,000 retail locations across 45 participating states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Common places to buy include:

  • Convenience stores
  • Gas stations
  • Grocery stores
  • Liquor stores
  • Lottery retailers
  • Newsstands

If you win a prize with your ticket and are not a U.S. resident, you will need to fill out tax forms while in the U.S. before collecting your winnings. Powerball prizes over $600 need to have taxes immediately withheld before the prize can be paid.

Claiming Powerball prizes internationally

As an overseas Powerball player, you do need to give special consideration to claiming any potential prizes you might win:

  • For small prizes up to $600, you can usually claim by mail. Fill out a claim form and lottery will mail a check to your U.S. address.
  • Larger jackpot wins need to be claimed in person at the lottery headquarters for that particular state.
  • You may need to have winnings transferred to a U.S. bank account in order to collect. Check with the lottery.
  • Taxes of at least 24% will be immediately withheld from U.S. non-resident prize claims before you receive any winnings.

Make sure you understand the claims process and tax implications before playing Powerball overseas. It may require a trip to the U.S. to complete claims and collect substantial prizes.

Powerball Odds and Prizes

Powerball is a nationwide lottery game drawn twice weekly, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Here is an overview of how it works:

  • Odds: 1 in 292,201,338 overall chance to win a prize
  • Tickets: $2 per play
  • Prize Structure:
    Match Odds Prize
    5 white balls + Powerball 1 in 292 million Jackpot
    5 white balls 1 in 11.7 million $1 million
    4 white balls + Powerball 1 in 913,000 $50,000
    4 white balls 1 in 36,500 $100
    3 white balls + Powerball 1 in 14,500 $100
    3 white balls 1 in 580 $7
    2 white balls + Powerball 1 in 701 $7
    1 white ball + Powerball 1 in 92 $4
    Powerball only 1 in 38 $4
  • Drawings: Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 p.m. ET
  • Jackpot: Starts at $40 million and rolls over if no winner. Cash value option available.

The overall odds of winning a Powerball prize are 1 in 24.9. The record jackpot to date is $1.586 billion shared by 3 tickets in January 2016. Powerball jackpots frequently exceed $100 million.

Strategies for winning Powerball prizes

While the odds of hitting the jackpot are astronomically low, there are some strategies players can use to increase their chances of winning smaller Powerball prizes:

  • Buy multiple tickets – More tickets equals more chances to win, which improves your odds.
  • Join an office pool – Pooling money with others allows the group to buy more tickets.
  • Mix up numbers – Avoid only using significant dates and spread numbers across the field.
  • Use Quick Pick – Letting the computer randomly assign numbers gives a wider range.
  • Try different Powerball numbers – Don’t stick to just one Powerball number. Vary it.
  • Purchase consecutive tickets – Buying tickets with consecutive numbers could win on multiple tickets if the right numbers hit.
  • Check your tickets! – Make sure to always verify whether you’ve won. Unclaimed prizes happen.

While it’s very tough to win huge Powerball prizes, employing some of these tips can improve your chances of winning something. With multiple smaller prizes up for grabs, savvy play matters.

The history and evolution of Powerball

Powerball has been through several format and rule changes since it was first launched in 1992:

  • 1992 – Powerball begins as Lotto*America with 15 regular numbers, 1 Powerball, and 9 prize levels based in Iowa.
  • 1996 – Power Play multiplier add-on introduced.
  • 1997 – Game renamed Powerball. Matrix changes to 5/49 + 1/42.
  • 1999 – 10 regular balls added. 5/50 + 1/42 matrix begins.
  • 2001 – Power Play feature modified.
  • 2006 – 5 regular balls reduced to 5/59 matrix.
  • 2009 – Overall odds changed from 1 in 146 million to 1 in 195 million.
  • 2012 – Powerball doubles price to $2 per play. Jackpots start at $40 million minimum.
  • 2015 – Format expanded to 5/69 + 1/26.
  • 2021 – Adds Monday night drawings

These changes to the game format, ball pool, ticket price, and drawings schedule have all contributed to some record-breaking jackpots over Powerball’s history. Additional states joining Powerball has increased interest and ticket sales.

Notable winners of Powerball jackpots

Here are some of the luckiest Powerball jackpot winners over the years:

  • Joe and Sue Kainz – The first-ever Powerball jackpot winners in 1992, taking home $5.9 million.
  • Ronald Dooley – Won a $91.2 million jackpot in 2003.
  • Pearlie Smith – At age 70, won $27 million with her granddaughter in 2004.
  • Jack Whittaker – West Virginia builder won a $315 million jackpot, at the time the largest single ticket prize, on Christmas 2002.
  • The Putnam Avenue Family Trust – Anonymous winners in Connecticut who claimed a $254.2 million prize in 2011.
  • Gloria MacKenzie – 84-year-old Florida widow won a $590.5 million Powerball jackpot in 2013.
  • Lisa and John Robinson – Tennessee couple who hit a $533 million jackpot in 2018.
  • “Powerball Three” – Anonymous winners in Maryland, Florida and North Carolina who split a $1.586 billion record prize in 2016.

These lucky individuals beat the overwhelming odds and won life-changing Powerball fortunes. The jackpot continues growing until someone finally hits the magic numbers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common Powerball questions from international players:

Is Powerball legal outside the U.S.?

Playing Powerball is legal in most countries. However, some jurisdictions prohibit participation in foreign lotteries. Check your local laws before playing from overseas.

Can tourists buy Powerball tickets?

Yes, anyone who is visiting the U.S. can purchase Powerball tickets at licensed retailers during their trip. Tickets cannot be brought back across international borders, however.

Do I need a Social Security number to play?

No, a Social Security number is not required to purchase Powerball tickets or claim prizes. You just need a U.S. address and phone number.

Are Powerball prizes taxed for non-residents?

Yes, U.S. tax law requires 24% tax withholding on Powerball prizes claimed by non-residents before any winnings are paid out.

Can I use a P.O box to play?

No, a residential mailing address is required for ticket purchase and claims. Business P.O. boxes cannot be used.

Is there an age requirement to play?

Yes, you must be at least 18 years old to buy Powerball tickets either online or in person in the U.S.


In summary, playing Powerball lottery as an international player is certainly possible but does require some extra planning. Make sure it is legal where you live, use reputable online ticket services, and understand how prize claiming and taxes work for overseas winners. Powerball tickets should never be purchased through unregulated channels. While winning the jackpot is a long shot, with the right approach you can take part in this iconic American lottery from anywhere around the world.