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How does power play and double play work in Powerball?

Powerball is one of the most popular lottery games in the United States, with jackpots that can grow into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Two features that make Powerball unique are the Power Play and Double Play options. These options provide players with the chance to increase their non-jackpot winnings in the main Powerball drawing for an additional $1 per play. Understanding how the Power Play and Double Play work can help you make the most of your Powerball ticket purchase.

What is Power Play?

The Power Play is an add-on feature in Powerball that costs an extra $1 per play. When you purchase the Power Play option, the second prize levels (for matching 4 white balls + Powerball or 5 white balls without Powerball) are multiplied by a number ranging from 2x to 10x, increasing your lower-tier winnings. Here’s how it works:

  • If you win a non-jackpot prize in the main Powerball drawing, your prize amount will be multiplied by the Power Play number drawn for that drawing.
  • The Power Play number is randomly selected from a weighted field of 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, and 10x each drawing.
  • The 10x Power Play multiplier is only in play when the advertised annuitized Powerball jackpot is $150 million or less.
  • The Match 5 (5 white balls only) prize is multiplied from $1 million to $2 million with the standard 2x Power Play. The 10x Power Play can multiply this prize up to $10 million.
  • The Match 4 + PB (4 white balls and Powerball) prize starts at $50,000. This can be multiplied up to $500,000 with the 10x Power Play.
  • Power Play does not increase the size of the grand prize jackpot.

In summary, adding Power Play gives you the chance to have your lower-tier winnings increased by a factor of 2x-10x for an extra $1 per ticket. While it does not affect the jackpot, it can significantly boost prizes in the Match 4 + PB and Match 5 prize tiers.

When is the Power Play 10x multiplier in effect?

The 10x Power Play multiplier is only available when the advertised Powerball jackpot is $150 million or less. Once the jackpot goes over $150 million, the 10x multiplier will be removed from the pool until the jackpot drops back down below that threshold again. Here are some key points on the 10x Power Play availability:

  • When the jackpot is $150 million or below, the Power Play pool is: 2x (6/42); 3x (13/42); 4x (12/42); 5x (11/42); 10x (10/42)
  • Once the jackpot exceeds $150 million, the 10x is removed and the pool becomes: 2x (24/43); 3x (13/43); 4x (3/43); 5x (3/43)
  • After the jackpot drops back below $150 million, the 10x multiplier is added back into the Power Play pool for the next drawing.
  • The 10x has the best odds of being drawn when available at 1 in 5.4 chance.
  • Match 5 prizes can be multiplied to $10 million and Match 4 + PB up to $500,000 with the 10x Power Play.

Keeping an eye on the current Powerball jackpot size can help you know when the lucrative 10x Power Play multiplier is in the mix. With jackpots starting at $40 million and frequent rollovers, you’ll often find the 10x in play when you go to purchase Powerball tickets.

How does Double Play work?

Double Play is another optional add-on for Powerball players available in select states for an extra $1 per ticket. Double Play gives you a second chance to win with your Powerball numbers in a separate drawing held after the main Powerball draw. Here are the key things to know about Double Play:

  • After the main Powerball drawing occurs, your ticket numbers are entered into the Double Play drawing.
  • The Double Play drawing uses the same 5 numbers from 1-69 and Powerball from 1-26 as the main draw.
  • Double Play has 9 ways to win prizes ranging from $7 up to $10 million.
  • You can win both on your main Powerball ticket and also in Double Play with the same numbers.
  • Double Play prizes are set amounts – only the $10 million top prize can potentially have multiple winners.
  • Power Play can be added on Double Play to multiply non-jackpot wins up to 10x.

In summary, Double Play gives Powerball players a second shot at lower tier prizes for just $1 more. While the odds of winning remain long, matching even just the Powerball on both your main ticket and Double Play draws can net you $14. And with the top Double Play prize a set $10 million, it’s a inexpensive way to double your fun.

What are the Powerball Power Play prize multipliers?

Here are the Power Play multipliers that may be drawn and how they effect non-jackpot prize amounts in Powerball:

Power Play Multiplier Prize Multiplication
2x Doubles all prizes except jackpot
3x Triples all prizes except jackpot
4x Quadruples all prizes except jackpot
5x Quintuples all prizes except jackpot
10x* Multiplies all prizes except jackpot by 10x

*10x Power Play only in effect when jackpot is $150 million or below

The Power Play number is drawn after the main Powerball draw takes place. A single number of 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, or 10x is selected on a weighted random basis. Checking the Power Play number can quickly reveal if your lower-tier winnings have been increased. With a starting Match 5 prize of $1 million, the Power Play offers the opportunity to win $2 million to $10 million for matching just 5 numbers.

What are the odds of winning Powerball prizes?

The odds of winning any prize or the jackpot in Powerball depend on the numbers matched. Here are the Powerball odds breakdown:

Prize Won Match Odds (1 in)
Grand Prize Jackpot 5 White + 1 Powerball 292,201,338
$1 million (with 2x Power Play $2 million) 5 White only 11,688,053
$50,000 (with 10x Power Play $500,000) 4 White + 1 Powerball 913,129
$100 4 White only 36,525
$100 3 White + 1 Powerball 14,494
$7 3 White only 579
$7 2 White + 1 Powerball 701
$4 1 White + 1 Powerball 92
$4 Powerball only 38

As you can see, matching all 5 white balls and the Powerball offers the biggest prize but the lowest odds of 1 in 292 million. The odds improve substantially for lower tier prizes. While still unlikely, you have a 1 in 701 shot of winning $7 for matching just 2 numbers plus the Powerball.

How do I claim Powerball prizes?

Claiming Powerball prizes differs slightly depending on how much you have won:

  • Prizes up to $599 – You can redeem directly through any authorized lottery retailer in the jurisdiction where you purchased your ticket.
  • Prizes $600 to $99,999 – Prizes at this level must be claimed at the lottery office in the state where you bought your ticket. An official claim form and your winning ticket will be required.
  • Prizes $100,000 and over – For large Power Play prizes, you must contact the lottery office to begin the claims process. They will guide you through the redemption procedure for substantial wins.
  • Jackpot Prizes – Winning the jackpot requires working directly with lottery officials to verify your win and collect your prize. You’ll need to determine if you want to take the annuity or lump sum option at this time.

Be sure to sign the back of your winning Powerball tickets right away and keep them very safe until ready to claim. Prize redemptions follow the laws and regulations in place where you made your ticket purchase. Congratulations on your big Powerball win!

Can you win both the main Powerball jackpot and Double Play in the same draw?

Yes, it is possible with the same set of numbers to win prizes in both the main Powerball drawing and the Double Play drawing held afterward. For example:

  • If you match all 5 white balls + Powerball in the main draw, you win the jackpot. Then those same numbers could also match a lower tier Double Play prize.
  • Matching 5, 4, or 3 white only in the main draw could win $1 million, $100, or $100 respectively. You could win those same amounts again with Double Play.
  • Even just matching 1 white ball + Powerball could pay $4 in the main draw and another $4 in Double Play.

The Double Play drawing uses the exact same 5 numbers from 1-69 and 1 Powerball from 1-26 you picked for the main Powerball game. Any matches also found in Double Play mean extra prizes. The only restriction is you cannot win the $10 million Double Play top prize twice in one night.

How old do you have to be to play Powerball?

You must be at least 18 years old to purchase Powerball tickets. This is the legal age requirement in all participating jurisdictions. Some key points on playing age include:

  • If you are 17 years old or younger, you cannot legally buy Powerball tickets, including tickets as gifts for others.
  • Some states allow Powerball purchases at 18 years old. Others require you to be at least 19.
  • You must verify your age at time of ticket purchase by showing a valid government-issued ID like a driver’s license, passport, or non-driver ID card.
  • If you try to claim a prize and cannot confirm you were legally eligible to play, you may be denied the payout.
  • Powerball tickets cannot be awarded to or claimed by anyone under 18 years old.

While most US lotteries like Powerball set an age minimum of 18, be sure to check your local state’s requirements. For example, Arizona requires players to be at least 21 years old. Responsible play also involves setting a budget and playing for fun versus investing for retirement.

Do you have to be a US citizen to play Powerball?

You do not have to be a US citizen or resident to purchase Powerball tickets and play. Powerball can be played by anyone worldwide as long as some requirements are met:

  • You must be physically located in a participating Powerball jurisdiction when buying tickets.
  • A legal US state or district residency is not required.
  • Lottery purchases are limited to cash transactions only.
  • Any required tax withholding would be taken from prizes prior to award.
  • You would need to be able to receive any prize winnings in the US or deposit in a US bank.
  • You must meet the minimum age requirement based on the state of ticket purchase.

Powerball tickets cannot be purchased by mail, telephone, or online from outside the US. But if visiting the US, non-citizens and non-residents can buy tickets in person just like anyone else. Taxes or other restrictions may impact the final amount received if you live outside the US and win a Powerball prize.

What are rollover jackpots in Powerball?

When the Powerball jackpot is not won, the prize rolls over to increase for the next drawing. Here is an overview of how Powerball jackpot rollovers work:

  • The minimum starting jackpot in Powerball is $40 million.
  • If no player matches all 6 numbers, the jackpot rolls over to the next drawing.
  • For each consecutive rollover, the jackpot increases by at least $10 million.
  • As the jackpot grows, more players buy tickets hoping to win big.
  • Rollover jackpots frequently surpass $400 million and sometimes over $1 billion.
  • The record Powerball jackpot to date is $1.586 billion shared by 3 tickets in 2016.
  • Once the jackpot is won, the next one resets to the $40 million base.

Rollover jackpots result in massive top prizes but the same long odds each draw. No matter the size, you have the same 1 in 292 million chance of hitting the jackpot. With jackpots starting at a guaranteed $40 million, even one rollover creates very large prizes.

What are the tax implications of winning Powerball prizes?

As with most lottery winnings, taxes can take a significant bite out of large Powerball prizes. Some key tax points include:

  • Federal taxes of 24% are withheld from Powerball prizes of $5,000 or more.
  • State taxes can be withheld, ranging from 2.5% to 8% depending on jurisdiction.
  • For huge jackpots, the top federal tax rate of 37% applies to the amount over $500,000.
  • Some states like California do not tax lottery winnings.
  • Choosing the lump sum cash option results in more taxes withheld up front.
  • Annuity payments spread some tax liability over more years.
  • Consulting a tax professional helps manage large lottery payouts.

While state requirements vary, expect to lose around a third of a Powerball jackpot to taxes. Lower tier prizes have a flat 24% federal tax taken out. It’s wise to plan for the taxman when playing because Powerball’s advertised jackpots are the pretax amounts.


Powerball’s optional Power Play and Double Play features help increase the excitement and possibilities for players. Power Play can multiply lower-tier winnings by up to 10 times to award bigger prizes. Double Play provides a second chance to win with the same numbers in a separate drawing. Understanding how these work along with the game’s odds and payouts allows you to make the most of every Powerball ticket. Just remember to play responsibly and always confirm your tickets – you don’t want to miss out on a giant jackpot win!