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How does the Powerball work in Arizona?

The Powerball is one of the most popular lottery games in the United States, with players hoping to win jackpots that can reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars. The game is coordinated by the Multi-State Lottery Association and is played in 45 states, including Arizona. Here is a look at how the Powerball lottery works specifically in Arizona.

Powerball Basics

The Powerball game is played by selecting five main numbers between 1 and 69 and one Powerball number between 1 and 26. To play, players purchase a Powerball ticket for $2 and choose their numbers, either by quick picking which generates random numbers, or by manually selecting the numbers.

Tickets can be purchased in Arizona at any Arizona Lottery retailer location. There are over 3,000 retailers throughout the state including gas stations, grocery stores, convenience stores and more. Tickets can also be purchased online through the Arizona Lottery website or mobile app.

Drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday night at 7:59 p.m. Phoenix time. Players can watch the drawings live online or on local TV stations in Arizona. During the drawing, five main numbers are drawn from one drum and the Powerball is drawn from a second drum.

In order to win the jackpot, a player must match all five main numbers and the Powerball number. There are also several smaller prizes for matching some of the numbers. The overall odds of winning any prize are 1 in 24.9.

How the Jackpot Grows

One unique aspect of Powerball is that the jackpot keeps growing until there is a winner. The starting jackpot amount is $40 million, but if there are multiple drawings in a row without a jackpot winner, the amount increases based on Powerball ticket sales. This allows the jackpot to grow to massive amounts before someone finally wins it.

The jackpot increases by a set amount each drawing depending on sales figures. Of the $2 cost for a Powerball ticket, 50 cents goes towards the jackpot pool. Powerball estimates that the jackpot increases by approximately $10 million for every drawing where it isn’t won. However, larger jackpot amounts tend to spur more significant increases in ticket sales, which accelerates the rate at which the jackpot grows. When the jackpot reaches astronomical amounts, increases between drawings can be $30 million or more.

Arizona Powerball Jackpot Winners

There have been several notable Powerball jackpot winners from Arizona over the years. Some of the biggest Arizona winners include:

  • November 2012 – Two winners split a $587.5 million jackpot, with one of the winning tickets being sold in Fountain Hills, Arizona. The Arizona winner opted for a lump sum payment of $192 million before taxes.
  • May 2013 – An Arizona couple from Peoria won a $142.2 million Powerball jackpot. They also chose the cash option, netting them $116.5 million pre-tax.
  • July 2016 – The 9th largest Powerball jackpot in history at the time was won by a family in Maricopa County, Arizona. The $473.1 million jackpot was split three ways, with the Arizona family receiving $55 million as their share after taxes.

Due to Arizona state law, Powerball winners cannot remain anonymous and their names and city/town are made public. This allows Arizona Lottery officials to promote that big winners do come from Arizona Powerball players.

Where Arizona Lottery Proceeds Go

Proceeds from all Arizona Lottery games, including Powerball, go towards supporting various state beneficiary funds. Under Arizona law, no less than 50% of lottery game proceeds must be transferred to one or more of the following funds:

  • The state general fund
  • The Commerce Authority Fund for economic development programs
  • The Court Appointed Special Advocate Fund
  • The Internet Crimes Against Children Enforcement Fund
  • The Tribal College Dual Enrollment Fund
  • The Local Transportation Assistance Fund
  • The State Infrastructure Fund

In fiscal year 2022, the Arizona Lottery raised over $265 million to support these state funds through proceeds from draw games like Powerball and scratcher games. Out of this amount, $80.4 million went to the general fund, $39.2 million went to economic development, and smaller amounts went to the other funds. Since its inception in 1981, the Arizona Lottery has contributed over $4 billion to the state.

Can Arizonans Play Powerball Online?

Arizona does allow state residents to purchase Powerball tickets online through the Arizona Lottery website and mobile app. To play online, players must:

  • Be physically located within Arizona state borders
  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Create an Arizona Lottery account and deposit funds
  • Enter ticket selections digitally instead of on a play slip

Powerball tickets purchased online have the same odds, prizes, and drawing schedule as those bought at retail locations. Players get a digital record of their purchases and any winnings are deposited directly into the online account. The Arizona Lottery allows online play as long as proper age and identity verification is conducted.

Key Facts About Arizona Powerball

Here are some key facts about playing Powerball in Arizona:

  • Launched in April 1994
  • $2 per ticket
  • Drawings at 7:59pm Phoenix time on Wednesdays and Saturdays
  • Jackpot starts at $40 million and grows until won
  • Match 5 main numbers + Powerball to win jackpot
  • Overall odds of winning any prize are 1 in 24.9
  • Second prize is $1 million for matching 5 numbers only
  • Can be played in-person at retailers or online through Arizona Lottery
  • Proceeds benefit Arizona state funds and causes

Claiming an Arizona Powerball Prize

For prizes under $600, winning Powerball tickets can be cashed at any Arizona Lottery retailer location. Prizes up to $100,000 can be claimed at Arizona Lottery offices in Phoenix, Tucson, or Yuma.

Jackpot and grand prizes over $100,000 must be claimed at the Lottery’s Phoenix office. These major prizes require claiming within 180 days of the drawing. To claim, the player will need to complete a claim form and present photo ID and their winning ticket.

For jackpot winners, the Arizona Lottery recommends consulting a financial advisor and attorney before proceeding. There is the choice between a lump sum cash payment or an annuity with yearly installments over 30 years. Cash prizes are subject to federal and state taxes.

History of the Arizona Lottery

The Arizona Lottery began after a voter referendum approved its creation in November 1980. The Lottery officially commenced operations and held its first drawing in April 1981. Originally, the Lottery only offered scratcher instant win games. Draw games like Pick 3, Powerball, and Mega Millions were added later.

Powerball was rolled out in Arizona in April 1994, becoming one of the first states to launch the multi-state game. Arizona has participated in Powerball ever since as a member of the Multi-State Lottery Association. Over its history, the Arizona Lottery has awarded over $5 billion in prizes to players and contributed billions to education, environmental conservation, and other public causes in the state.

Is Powerball Legal in Arizona?

Yes, Powerball is fully legal to play in the state of Arizona. The Arizona Lottery operates Draw games like Powerball under the authority and oversight of Arizona Revised Statutes Title 5, Chapter 5.1. Powerball sales and participation must strictly follow all lottery statutes and regulations.

Key laws include:

  • Lottery participation is limited to individuals 21 years or older.
  • All lottery games must be approved by the Lottery Commission.
  • No elected officials or Lottery employees can play the lottery.
  • Lottery retailers must be licensed and can have that license revoked for violations.
  • False statements on winning claims can lead to disqualification.

As long as players are of legal age and follow all rules, playing the Powerball in Arizona is completely lawful and fair. The Arizona Lottery maintains high standards of integrity, transparency, and responsible play.

Powerball Winnings and Taxes in Arizona

Powerball prizes in Arizona are subject to both federal and state taxes. At the federal level, gambling winnings over $600 are taxed at a rate of 24%. For state taxes, Arizona applies a rate of 4.8% to lottery prizes over $5,000.

For example, let’s say a player in Arizona wins a $100 million Powerball jackpot and opts for the cash option. Here is a breakdown of taxes on the prize:

  • Cash Option: $100 million prize reduced to $61.1 million cash lump sum after federal withholding
  • Federal tax (24% of $61.1 million): $14.6 million
  • State tax (4.8% of $61.1 million): $2.9 million
  • Final prize after federal and state taxes: $43.6 million

Arizona does not allow lottery winners to remain anonymous. However, a trust can claim a prize so the individual winner’s name is not publicized. Players may want to meet with tax professionals to minimize their tax burden before claiming substantial lottery prizes.

Odds of Winning Powerball in Arizona

The overall odds of winning a prize in Powerball are 1 in 24.9 in every drawing. The odds for each of the prize levels in Arizona are as follows:

Prize Level Odds (1 in x)
Jackpot 292,201,338
$1 million (match 5 numbers) 11,688,053
$50,000 (match 4 numbers + Powerball) 913,129
$100 (match 3 numbers + Powerball) 36,525
$100 (match 4 numbers) 14,494
$7 (match 3 numbers) 580
$4 (match 2 numbers + Powerball) 701

As shown, the odds of winning the jackpot are extremely high, at 1 in over 292 million. Players stand the best odds of winning $7 for matching 3 numbers or $4 for matching 2 numbers plus the Powerball. With odds like this, hitting a jackpot is a thrilling but rare occurrence.

Frequently Asked Questions About Arizona Powerball

Can you play Powerball online in Arizona?

Yes, Arizona residents can purchase Powerball tickets digitally through the state’s official lottery website and mobile app. Players must set up an account and deposit funds to play.

What time is the Powerball drawing in Arizona?

Drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday night at 7:59 p.m. Phoenix local time in Arizona.

What are the biggest Powerball jackpots won in Arizona?

The largest Powerball prizes won in Arizona include a $587.5 million jackpot split in November 2012, a $473.1 million jackpot split in July 2016, and a $142.2 million jackpot in May 2013.

Can Powerball tickets be purchased in other states?

To play Powerball legally, tickets must be purchased either in Arizona or via the Arizona Lottery website/app while physically located in Arizona. Tickets bought across state lines are not valid.

How old do you have to be to play Powerball in Arizona?

You must be at least 21 years old to legally purchase Powerball tickets in Arizona, whether in-person or online.


In conclusion, the Powerball is a hugely popular draw game offered by the Arizona Lottery, with jackpots that can grow to astronomical amounts. Players in Arizona pick 5 numbers and a Powerball for a chance to win prizes ranging from $4 up to hundreds of millions. Top prizes can completely transform a player’s life in an instant. Responsible play is encouraged as the odds are stacked against hitting the jackpot. Proceeds go towards supporting public state causes to benefit Arizona communities. With strategically selected numbers, any player has a fighting chance of coming out on top and joining the list of big Arizona Powerball winners.