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Can you win Powerball if you live in Nevada?

Quick Answer

No, you cannot purchase Powerball tickets or play Powerball if you live in Nevada. This is because Nevada does not participate in the multi-state Powerball lottery game. Powerball is not available in Nevada due to state laws prohibiting participation in out-of-state lottery games. So while you can visit other states to purchase Powerball tickets, Nevada residents are not eligible to win Powerball prizes.

Overview of Powerball and State Lotteries

Powerball is a multi-state lottery game operated by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL). It is offered in 45 states, as well as Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Powerball draws occur twice per week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. To play, players select 5 main numbers between 1-69 and one Powerball number between 1-26. The jackpot starts at $40 million and continues to grow until there is a winner.

In the United States, state lotteries are regulated at the state level. Some states like Nevada have laws prohibiting participation in out-of-state or multi-state lottery games. Other states may choose not to participate in a multi-state game based on budget or legislative restrictions. For example, Alabama does not offer Powerball because their state legislature has not authorized funds to join the game.

So in order for residents of a state to play Powerball legally, their state must be signed on as an official member of the MUSL agreement and actively sell Powerball tickets.

Nevada State Lottery Laws

Nevada has offered its own state lottery since 1989. However, Nevada law prohibits the state from participating in multi-jurisdictional or out-of-state lottery games. This includes huge jackpot games like Powerball and Mega Millions.

The relevant state law is NRS 462.160 which states:

“The State of Nevada, through the Commission, may enter into compacts or agreements with other states to offer and pay prizes awarded by those states to ticket holders of Nevada lottery games in connection with multistate games and multistate lottery associations and to offer prizes awarded by Nevada in connection with Nevada lottery games to ticket holders in other states.”

This statute specifically restricts Nevada to only being able to coordinate in-state game prizes with other states. It cannot participate in common multi-state lottery games.

There was a push in 2015 to get a measure on the 2016 ballot that would allow Nevada to join Powerball. However, this effort did not receive enough signatures to make it to a vote. The Nevada attorney general also issued an opinion that legislative approval would be required before Nevada could join MUSL.

So as it stands currently, Nevada law prohibits the Nevada lottery from joining Powerball or selling Powerball tickets within the state. Residents and visitors must travel out-of-state to play.

Can You Drive to Nearby States to Buy Tickets?

Since Powerball is not offered in Nevada, many residents will drive to nearby states to purchase their Powerball tickets. This is perfectly legal.

States that border Nevada and offer Powerball include:

– Arizona
– California
– Idaho
– Utah

Residents of cities like Las Vegas can drive 1-2 hours to border cities in these states to buy Powerball tickets. You can purchase tickets on the same day as the drawing.

However, you must be physically present in a participating Powerball state at the time of ticket purchase. Lottery officials will not sell you tickets over state lines by phone, mail or online. And tickets purchased abroad are not valid.

So while Nevadans can absolutely drive to neighboring states to play Powerball, they must actually travel there and buy tickets in person. They cannot purchase from Nevada.

Can You Still Win Powerball Jackpots When Purchasing Tickets Out-of-State?

Yes, Nevadans who travel to purchase Powerball tickets in eligible bordering states can absolutely win Powerball prizes. This includes the record-breaking jackpots.

Some key things to know:

  • You must buy tickets in person while physically located in an eligible Powerball state.
  • Tickets purchased abroad or remotely by phone, mail or online are not valid.
  • You can claim and receive Powerball prizes as a Nevada resident.
  • Jackpots and prizes are subject to federal and state taxes based on where you purchase and claim winnings.

So while Nevadans cannot buy locally, they have the same shot as everyone else at winning huge Powerball jackpots. As long as they drive to California, Arizona, Utah, Idaho or elsewhere to buy tickets in person.

Many recent record jackpots like the $1.586 billion prize in 2016 have been won by residents who crossed state lines to purchase their lucky ticket.

Tips for Nevada Residents Playing Powerball

If you are a Nevada resident who wants a chance at winning Powerball, here are some tips:

  • Always buy tickets in person while physically in an eligible state.
  • Make sure to buy before the 1-2 hour pre-draw sales cut-off.
  • You can improve odds by buying more number combinations.
  • Joining an office or pool group can allow you to afford more tickets.
  • Use quick pick to avoid duplicate numbers.
  • Review different payment options and tax implications.
  • Always sign the back of your ticket for security.
  • Keep your ticket very safe until claiming any prizes.

While winning is a long-shot, driving to neighboring states gives Nevada residents a legal way to play for big jackpots. Just be sure to buy tickets within state lines and avoid remote purchases.

Will Nevada Ever Join Powerball?

Currently, there is no active legislation to allow Nevada to participate in Powerball. The Nevada attorney general has said this would require a change in state law.

In the past, Nevada has declined to participate in multi-state games due to budget concerns and a desire to maintain their own independent lottery. However, with Powerball frequently posting record jackpots, some Nevada lawmakers have expressed interest in revisiting the issue.

Here are some key considerations as to whether Nevada may eventually join Powerball:

  • Increased sales and tax revenue – Powerball brings in enormous revenue for participating states.
  • Boost to state education funding – Nevada lottery profits fund education programs.
  • Tourism impacts – Visitors flock to buy tickets when jackpots are high.
  • Competition with local games – Powerball may overshadow Nevada’s own games.
  • Upfront costs – Nevada would need to pay to become a member.
  • Legislative and regulatory changes – The state constitution may need to be amended.

So while allowing Powerball would have financial upside, there are also concerns to weigh. Any change would need extensive review and legislative action.

For now, Nevadans must continue driving out-of-state to play. But the massive growth of Powerball could increase pressure on Nevada lawmakers to eventually consider joining in the future.

Powerball in Nearby States

Since Nevadans have to travel to nearby states to purchase Powerball tickets, here is some helpful information on playing Powerball in bordering states:


  • Began Powerball in April 2013
  • Tickets can be purchased until 7:45 pm PT on draw nights
  • Also offers Mega Millions
  • Prizes over $600 must be claimed at California Lottery offices

Key cities and towns near the Nevada border where you can buy Powerball tickets include Barstow, South Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Susanville, and more.


  • Began Powerball in April 1994
  • Tickets can be purchased until 9:59 pm MT on draw nights
  • Also offers Mega Millions
  • Prizes up to $100,000 can be claimed at any Arizona Lottery retailer

Major cities near Nevada where you can buy Powerball tickets are Bullhead City, Kingman, and Lake Havasu City.


  • Began Powerball in March 2010
  • Tickets can be purchased until 9:59 pm MT on draw nights
  • Prizes over $100 can only be claimed at Utah Lottery offices

Some Utah cities bordering Nevada include Wendover, St. George, and Cedar City.


  • Began Powerball in July 1989 as a founding member
  • Tickets can be purchased until 8:59 pm MT on draw nights
  • Also offers Mega Millions
  • Prizes up to $600 can be claimed at any Idaho Lottery retailer

Key border cities where you can purchase Powerball tickets are Jackpot and Twin Falls.

So Nevadans in cities from Las Vegas to Reno have reasonably close access to purchase Powerball tickets in bordering states. Just be sure to buy tickets within state lines before sales cutoff times.

Recent Nevada Residents Who Crossed State Lines and Won Big Powerball Prizes

While Nevadans can’t play Powerball at home, some clever residents have crossed state lines and won huge Powerball prizes over the years:

Henderson Man Wins $1 Million in California

In December 2016, a man from Henderson drove to purchase a Powerball ticket in Nipton, California just prior to a major $121.6 million drawing. His ticket matched all five main numbers that night, entitling him to a $1 million 2nd prize. California lottery officials said he was the only jackpot winner in the state for that draw.

Mesquite Woman Claims $50,000 Prize in Utah

A woman from Mesquite, Nevada travelled to Utah to buy a Powerball ticket in January 2020. Her ticket matched four numbers plus the Powerball. This was enough to win a $50,000 prize. She claimed her third-tier winnings at the Utah Lottery offices in Salt Lake City.

Elko Doctor Wins $2 Million Jackpot in Idaho

An optometrist from Elko drove to Twin Falls, Idaho to purchase a Powerball ticket in September 2016. That ticket ended up matching all 5 main numbers in a $323 million drawing. For matching 5 without the Powerball, he won a massive $2 million prize. Idaho lottery officials presented him with an oversized check at their Boise offices.

These examples show that while Nevadans can’t play Powerball locally, they absolutely have a shot at jackpots and prizes if they travel to nearby states to purchase tickets.

Powerball Winners from Other States Who Bought Tickets in Nevada

Just as Nevadans cross state lines to play Powerball, residents of eligible Powerball states often buy tickets when visiting Nevada. And some of those visitors have gone on to win big:

Idaho Man Wins $2 Million Jackpot with Ticket Bought in Mesquite

A man who resides in Malad City, Idaho was on a golf trip with friends in Mesquite, Nevada in May 2015. While visiting, he drove across the border to St. George, Utah to purchase a Powerball ticket. That ticket ended up matching all 5 main numbers in a $124 million drawing, entitling him to a $2 million prize. He claimed his jackpot winnings when he returned to Idaho.

California Tourists Buy Ticket in West Wendover and Win $1 Million

A married couple from Roseville, California travelled to West Wendover, Nevada for a weekend getaway in December 2016. While there, they crossed into Utah and bought a Powerball ticket. Their ticket matched 5 numbers in a $121 million drawing to win $1 million. The California Lottery presented them with an oversized check upon their return home.

$50,000 Winner Bought Ticket in Jackpot en Route from Oregon to Colorado

An Oregon man driving through Jackpot, Nevada on his way to Colorado decided to purchase a Powerball ticket across the border in Idaho in January 2020. He ended up matching 4 numbers plus the Powerball to win a $50,000 prize. The man travelled to Boise to claim his third-tier Powerball winnings.

So visitors from Powerball states regularly drive across state lines and buy tickets in border towns when travelling through places like West Wendover and Mesquite. And they often take home big jackpot winnings from tickets purchased in Nevada border towns.

Taxes on Powerball Winnings for Nevada Residents

If you win a Powerball jackpot, taxes can take a significant chunk depending on where you purchase and claim the ticket. Here is how taxes work for Nevada residents:

  • Nevada does not have a state income tax.
  • Other states tax winnings based on where you buy and claim the ticket.
  • The federal government takes 24% tax withholding on prizes over $5,000.
  • The top federal tax rate of 37% applies to prizes over $500,000.
  • You can expect around 1/3 of a jackpot prize to go to federal taxes.

Some examples for Nevada residents:

  • Tickets bought and claimed in California have no state tax withholding.
  • Tickets bought and claimed in Idaho have state tax withholding of 6% of winnings.
  • Tickets bought in Nevada but claimed in Utah have state taxes ranging from 5-8% withheld.

Consult a tax professional to maximize deductions and minimize amounts due. But expect to pay federal and possibly state taxes, depending on where you play and claim winnings.


In summary, while Nevada does not participate in Powerball, residents can absolutely still win jackpots and prizes by travelling to nearby states to purchase tickets in person. State lines and physical location requirements must be followed. But Nevadans who take the time to drive to California, Arizona, Utah or Idaho for ticket purchases have the same shot as anyone else at taking home a massive Powerball jackpot.