Skip to Content

Has anyone won the Powerball in Pennsylvania?

Quick answer

Yes, there have been Powerball jackpot winners from Pennsylvania over the years. The most recent was in May 2021 when someone won a $516 million jackpot after purchasing a ticket in Levittown. Prior to that, a $456 million jackpot was won by a Pittsburgh resident in March 2018. Pennsylvania has had several other jackpot winners as well as many winners of smaller Powerball prizes.

The Powerball lottery game is played in 45 states nationwide, including Pennsylvania. Powerball jackpots start at $40 million and roll over when there is no grand prize winner. Tickets cost $2 each, and players pick 5 main numbers between 1-69 and one Powerball number between 1-26. To win the jackpot, you must match all 6 numbers. Lesser prizes are awarded for matching some of the numbers.

Powerball jackpots have continued to grow to staggering amounts in recent years as more states have joined the game. This has led to more potential customers and thus bigger prize pools. Jackpots now frequently surpass half a billion dollars when there is a prolonged period without a winner. Naturally, this captures public interest and leads to intense media coverage when the jackpot gets especially large.

Pennsylvanians have won their fair share of Powerball riches over the years. Powerball tickets went on sale in Pennsylvania beginning in 2002. Since then, there have been some notable jackpot winners as well as countless others who have won smaller prizes.

Notable Pennsylvania Powerball Jackpot Winners

Here are some of the biggest Pennsylvania Powerball jackpot winners:

– May 2021: $516 million – A ticket sold in Levittown (Bucks County) matched all 5 numbers and the Powerball to win a massive $516 million prize. The Speedway gas station that sold the winning ticket received a $100,000 bonus. The winner has not yet come forward.

– March 2018: $456 million – A Pittsburgh resident won a $456.7 million jackpot, choosing a lump-sum cash option of $213.2 million. The winner was identified as 48-year-old Paul Long. Long purchased the lucky ticket at a Sheetz gas station in New Stanton (Westmoreland County).

– August 2017: $150 million – Fred Topous Jr., a maintenance worker from Mechanicsburg (Cumberland County) hit the $150 million jackpot. Topous opted for the lump-sum payment of $65.2 million after taxes.

– February 2015: $128 million – The widow of a Vietnam vet won a $128.8 million prize with a ticket she purchased at Ernie’s Beverage & Deli in New Oxford, Adams County.

– December 2007: $76 million – A retired Pennsylvania couple in their 50s won a jackpot of $76 million. The ticket was sold at the Giant Eagle supermarket in New Castle.

– May 2004: $110 million – A young Pennsylvania couple claimed a $110.5 million jackpot after purchasing a ticket at a convenience store in South Williamsport, Lycoming County.

Other Notable Pennsylvania Powerball Winners

In addition to the jackpot winners, there have been many Pennsylvania residents who became instant millionaires after matching 5 numbers, just missing the Powerball. Some recent examples:

– May 2021: $2 million – A ticket sold in Warminster (Bucks County) matched 5 numbers but not the Powerball, earning a $2 million prize. The ticket was sold at a Wawa on East County Line Road.

– January 2021: $1 million – A Lancaster County man won $1 million after purchasing a ticket from the Turkey Hill gas station on Main Street in East Petersburg.

– December 2020: $1 million – Someone purchased a winning ticket worth $1 million from Rico’s Pizza Shop in Ridley Township, Delaware County.

– November 2019: $1 million – An Allentown woman won a $1 million prize from a ticket she purchased at Ahart’s Market in Lehighton, Carbon County.

– October 2019: $1 million – A Delaware County man purchased a winning $1 million ticket from Wawa on Edgemont Avenue in Brookhaven.

There are countless other examples of Pennsylvanians winning prizes ranging from $50,000 up to $1 million. Nearly every Powerball drawing results in winners somewhere in the state.

Smaller Pennsylvania Winners

While the jackpots understandably generate the most buzz, there are actually far more winners of smaller Powerball prizes in Pennsylvania on a regular basis:

– $50,000 (match 4 numbers + Powerball) – Won frequently, sometimes multiple times per drawing.

– $100,000 (match 4 numbers + Power Play) – Also common, Power Play multiplier makes prize $100,000.

– $10,000-$20,000 (match 4 numbers or 3 + Powerball) – Very common.

– $7 (match just the Powerball) – Tens of thousands win this prize in a typical drawing.

The overall odds of winning any Powerball prize are about 1 in 24. However, the chances are just 1 in 292 million of hitting the jackpot. Lottery officials frequently remind people that Powerball is a game of chance and to play responsibly.

Where Jackpot Winners Have Bought Tickets in Pennsylvania

Winning Powerball tickets have been sold from all sorts of Pennsylvania retailers over the years:

– Gas stations – Many jackpot tickets have been sold at convenience stores attached to gas stations, such as GetGo, Sheetz, Turkey Hill, and Wawa.

– Supermarkets – Grocery stores like Giant Eagle and Wegmans have also sold winning Powerball tickets.

– Small markets – Some jackpots have come from smaller neighborhood markets like Ahart’s Market in Lehighton.

– Restaurants – Winning tickets have also been purchased at eateries like Rico’s Pizza Shop in Ridley Township.

– Big box stores – Retail giants like Walmart and Sam’s Club have produced some jackpot winners as well.

Basically, Powerball tickets can be purchased at thousands of licensed retailers across the entire state of Pennsylvania. There is really no common trait among stores that have sold the winning tickets. It is largely just luck of the draw wherever Powerball is available.

How Jackpot Winners Spend Their Winnings in Pennsylvania

For most jackpot winners, the first purchase is a new home, often a luxury property. Many opt for vehicles like expensive sports cars. Charitable donations are also common, with some winners even starting their own foundation. Other popular expenditures include:

– Lifelong dream vacations – Trips to places like Hawaii, Europe, Fiji, etc.

– Paying off debts & bills – Mortgages, student loans, credit cards.

– College savings for kids – Starting trust funds.

– Helping friends & family – Buying houses or paying off debts.

– Starting a business – Opening a restaurant or other ventures.

– Luxury shopping sprees – Designer clothing, jewelry, electronics.

– Event tickets/trips – Super Bowl, World Series, Masters, etc.

Of course, not all winners spend lavishly right away either. Some invest conservatively or try to maintain a low profile. However, most winners do treat themselves to some luxuries at first. Over time, jackpot winners tend to settle into more normal long-term spending habits after the initial excitement phase wears off.

Frequency of Pennsylvania Powerball Jackpot Winners

In the 20 years since Pennsylvania started participating in Powerball drawings in 2002, the state has had:

– 6 jackpot winners
– 18 winners of $1 million or more
– Hundreds of winners of $50,000 to $100,000
– Thousands of winners of smaller prizes

Looking at the jackpot specifically, Pennsylvania has averaged a grand prize winner about once every 3-4 years. However, there have been long gaps without a winner, such as between 2015-2021.

The most recent winner was just in May 2021. Prior to that, the last Pennsylvania jackpot winner was in March 2018.

Despite gaps between jackpot winners, Pennsylvania residents collectively win significant prizes totaling millions of dollars every single year from Powerball. Lesser prize winners are much more frequent than jackpot victors.

Remaining Anonymous as a Powerball Jackpot Winner in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania allows lottery winners to remain anonymous when claiming jackpot prizes. Winners can utilize a trust or other legal entity to claim the money in order to shield their identity. Powerball winners in the state have the following options:

– Claim as an individual – Lottery will publicly announce winner’s name, hometown at press conference. Most jackpot winners in PA still go public.

– Claim through a trust – Maintain anonymity using a legal trust to collect winnings. Name and location are not made public.

– Claim through an LLC – Can form a limited liability company to claim prize anonymously.

– Claim through other legal entities – Can use partnerships, corporations, etc. to keep identity private.

Even when winners stay anonymous, some details must be disclosed to Lottery officials for tax and administrative purposes. However, the public info is limited compared to identified individual winners.

There are advantages and disadvantages to remaining anonymous. Anonymity provides privacy and security. However, going public allows you to openly enjoy the winnings and some winners seek the public celebrations.

Odds of Winning the Powerball Jackpot in Pennsylvania

The overall odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338. This unfavorable probability is precisely why the jackpots have the ability to roll over for months before someone finally wins.

The odds are based on having to match all 5 numbers from 1-69 plus the Powerball from 1-26. The chances break down as follows:

– 5 main numbers odds – 1 in 11,688,053.52
– Powerball number odds – 1 in 26
– All 5 + Powerball odds – 1 in 292,201,338

With long odds like that, it is no surprise that there are long periods of rollovers between winners. California resident Edwin Castro famously won a record $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot in November 2022 after a prolonged 41 rollovers without a winner.

The overall 1 in 292 million Powerball probability compares to odds of just 1 in 302 million for Mega Millions. Both games offer similar chances for jackpot winners.

Ways to Improve the Odds of Winning in Pennsylvania

While the odds are overwhelmingly against hitting the jackpot, there are some simple strategies Pennsylvania lottery players use to try improving their chances:

– Buy more tickets – More number combinations increase probability.

– Join an office pool – Group tickets boost odds.

– Buy consecutive tickets – Scooping up sequential plays helps a little.

– Select overdue numbers – Use numbers that haven’t hit in a while.

– Mix odd/even numbers – Balancing picks sometimes helps.

– Use key dates – Birthdays, anniversaries as numbers.

– Avoid patterns – Don’t use obvious patterns on playslips.

– Check your tickets – Confirm you didn’t make mistake entering numbers.

– Use fortune cookies – Some people get ticket number ideas from fortune cookies!

Of course, Powerball remains random no matter what. But there are some easy things Pennsylvania players try in hopes of gaining an extra edge. Avoiding duplicate numbers across plays is also advised.

Powerball Changes That Have Impacted Pennsylvania Players

Over the years, the Powerball game has undergone some rule and format changes that impacted players in Pennsylvania:

– 2009 – Powerball starting jackpot increased from $15 million to $20 million.

– 2012 – Price doubled from $1 per play to $2. Jackpots also grew due to higher ticket sales.

– 2015 – Added 10X Power Play multiplier for draws with huge jackpots. Made odds of winning any prize 1 in 24.98.

– 2015 – Went from 59 regular numbers to 69 regular numbers.

– 2018 – Removed Power Play multiplier cap so jackpots can grow faster.

– 2021 – Added Monday night drawings to go with Wednesdays and Saturdays. Went from 3 to 6 drawings per week.

The price increase to $2 per ticket in 2012 led to significantly larger jackpots. The addition of the Power Play option also boosted payouts. Overall, the changes resulted in bigger potential prizes for Pennsylvania lottery players.


In summary, Powerball lottery jackpot winners have come from all across Pennsylvania since the state joined the game in 2002.Notable winners include individuals, couples, families, and groups who have claimed jackpots ranging from $76 million up to over $500 million.

Lesser prizes of between $50,000 and $2 million are much more common. Nearly every drawing produces smaller winners somewhere in Pennsylvania.

Although jackpots are rare, they can quickly grow into the hundreds of millions thanks to lengthy rolls without a winner. Tickets have been purchased at gas stations, markets, convenience stores, and more over the years. Winners have spent their windfalls on dream homes, vacations, charity, friends and family, investments, and more.

Winning Powerball numbers are purely random, but players try to improve their slim odds by buying more tickets and choosing advantageous number combinations. Rule changes over the years have increased jackpot sizes and overall player chances.

Powerball lottery fever will surely continue in Pennsylvania when the jackpot rolls to astronomical levels. For now, the state waits for its next big jackpot winner to emerge!