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What days of week is Powerball?

Powerball is one of the most popular lottery games in the United States. It is coordinated by the Multi-State Lottery Association and is available for play in 45 states, along with Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Powerball draws occur twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, at 10:59 p.m. EST. Here is a quick overview of what days Powerball drawings take place:

Day of Week Powerball Drawing?
Monday No
Tuesday No
Wednesday Yes
Thursday No
Friday No
Saturday Yes
Sunday No

As shown in the table, Powerball drawings take place every Wednesday and Saturday evening. Tickets can be purchased up until 9:59 p.m. EST on those days. There are no Powerball drawings on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday.

More Details on Powerball Drawing Days

Powerball has held to the Wednesday and Saturday drawing schedule since it began in 1992. When it was launched, Powerball only included 15 individual lotteries. Over the years it has expanded to include a total of 45 state lotteries, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. But the drawing schedule has remained unchanged.

Here are some more details on the Powerball drawing days:

– Powerball drawings are held at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesdays and Saturdays. This drawing time applies to all participating lottery jurisdictions, regardless of their local time zones.

– Tickets can be purchased up until 9:59 p.m. local time on the day of the drawing. But the tickets are valid for the drawing held at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time, even though that may be earlier than the ticket cutoff time based on local time.

– Wednesday and Saturday were chosen as the Powerball drawing days when the game was designed. Having two weekly drawings allows jackpots to build up more quickly compared to a weekly game. It also helps generate excitement and interest in the game.

– Having midweek and weekend drawings provides players with flexibility. A Wednesday night drawing gives people something extra to look forward to earlier in the work week. While the Saturday drawing provides a chance to play over the weekend.

– The Wednesday/Saturday drawing schedule creates a pattern that players can easily remember and build Powerball play into their weekly routines.

– No drawings are held on Christmas Day. The drawing schedule is pushed back a day, with the drawing held on Thursday, December 26. But all other federal holidays do not impact the Powerball drawing calendar.

So for the last 30 years, Powerball has kept to its long-established policy of holding drawings on Wednesday and Saturday nights at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time. And that schedule will likely continue far into the future.

Playing Powerball on Drawing Days

Powerball tickets can be purchased in a variety of ways, both on and before the drawing days. Here are the main options for players:

– Play at Local Retailer – Players can buy Powerball tickets at local convenience stores, gas stations, and other licensed retailers. This option is available during normal business hours for each retailer, until the 9:59 p.m. local time deadline on drawing nights.

– Lottery Terminal – Many grocery stores and large retail chains have lottery terminals where players can buy Powerball tickets. These terminals have longer hours than independent retailers and are also available on drawing days.

– Online/Mobile App – In some states that allow online lottery sales, Powerball tickets can be purchased 24/7 online or through mobile apps. Players can use this option up until 9:59 p.m. local time on drawing days.

– Subscription/Advance Play – Some lotteries sell Powerball tickets through subscription plans or advance play. This allows players to buy tickets for many future draws in advance. An easy way to ensure you don’t miss playing on drawing days.

– At Drawings – Powerball tickets are sold at some lottery draw studios immediately prior to the live drawings. For players wanting that up-close experience on Wednesday and Saturday nights.

The most popular options tend to be local retailers and lottery terminals. These allow players to buy tickets throughout the day leading up to the 9:59 p.m. cutoff on drawing days. Many players also take advantage of online/mobile access to purchase tickets the day of the drawing.

No matter how you choose to buy your ticket, the important thing is just being sure to purchase before the deadline on Wednesday or Saturday to take part in that night’s multi-million dollar drawing.

Changes to Powerball Drawing Schedule

In its 30 year history, Powerball has never made any permanent changes to its long-standing Wednesday and Saturday drawing schedule. The drawings have always taken place at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time on both nights. And that is unlikely to ever change.

There have been some rare instances, however, where drawings needed to be temporarily rescheduled or postponed:

– Hurricane Sandy (2012) – Powerball drawings were moved to Sunday and Wednesday in the week following Hurricane Sandy’s disruption along the East Coast. The change accommodated several lotteries that could not transmit sales data.

– Christmas Day (observed) – When Christmas Day falls on a Wednesday or Saturday, the Powerball drawing is always pushed back a day to Thursday or Sunday to allow employees to enjoy the holiday with family. This will next occur on Saturday, December 25, 2021 with the drawing on Sunday.

– Coronavirus Pandemic (2020) – Some COVID-related postponements impacted Powerball in the early months of the pandemic. Drawings shifted between Florida and Iowa until operations could resume in the California draw studio.

– Technical Issues – Very rarely, a major technical glitch has caused a drawing to be delayed. Backup procedures allow the drawing to proceed once resolved.

Other than situations like these, players can count on Powerball sticking to its regular schedule. And occasional temporary changes are announced well ahead of time.

So outside of a major national holiday or emergency, Powerball drawings always proceed as planned at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time every Wednesday and Saturday night.

jackpot Winners on Drawing Days

Over the years, there have been hundreds of jackpot winners across the various Powerball drawings. Winners are spread across the two weekly drawings in proportion to overall ticket sales for each.

Let’s take a look at how many jackpot winners have matched all 6 numbers on the various drawing days since Powerball began in 1992:

Drawing Day Number of Jackpot Winners
Wednesday 193
Saturday 168

As shown in the table, Wednesday drawings have produced a few more jackpot winners than Saturday drawings over 30 years of Powerball play. About 53% of all jackpot wins have occurred on Wednesdays compared to 47% on Saturdays.

The slight edge for Wednesday drawings makes sense given that all workdays lead up to it, potentially resulting in higher sales than Saturdays. But there have been plenty of big Saturday jackpot winners as well.

No matter which night jackpots are won, all Powerball players can feel confident that there is an equal chance of winning on both drawing days. Tickets purchased by the stated deadline for any Powerball drawing all have the same odds for that drawing.

The next Powerball jackpot winner could come any Wednesday or Saturday night. That’s why playing on both drawing days maximizes your chances to win it big.

Notable Powerball Jackpots Won on Each Drawing Day

Let’s take a look at some of the most memorable Powerball jackpots won on Wednesday and Saturday drawings over the years:

Top Wednesday Jackpot Wins

  • $1.586 Billion – January 13, 2016 – California, Florida, Tennessee
  • $758.7 Million – August 23, 2017 – Massachusetts
  • $730 Million – January 20, 2021 – Maryland
  • $699.8 Million – October 27, 2021 – California
  • $564.1 Million – February 11, 2015 – North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas

Some of Powerball’s biggest jackpots, including the current world record, have been won on Wednesday drawings. All of the top 5 record jackpots were hit on Wednesdays.

Top Saturday Jackpot Wins

  • $768.4 Million – March 27, 2019 – Wisconsin
  • $758.7 Million – August 23, 2017 – Massachusetts
  • $731.1 Million – January 20, 2021 – Maryland
  • $699.8 Million – October 4, 2021 – California
  • $590.5 Million – May 18, 2013 – Florida

Saturday drawings have produced many massive jackpot winners as well. The top 2 record Powerball jackpots were split winners with tickets also sold on Wednesday.

Should You Play Powerball on Wednesday or Saturday?

Is one drawing day better than the other in Powerball? Should you focus your play exclusively on either Wednesday or Saturday? The answer is that both drawing days present equal opportunities to win.

The two drawings offer identical odds of claiming the jackpot or any other prize. There are no strategic advantages to playing one over the other. With two drawings a week, it simply doubles your chances versus a weekly game.

That said, here are some things to consider when deciding whether to play Powerball on Wednesdays, Saturdays or both:

  • Stick to your routine – If you regularly play lottery games on the same day(s) each week, keep doing so! Consistency can pay off.
  • Maximize your chances – If your goal is simply to win as often as possible, playing on both Wednesday and Saturday gives you two shots each week.
  • Fit your schedule – Choose drawing days that are most convenient for buying tickets around your work/life commitments.
  • Increase jackpots – Playing when jackpots are highest can optimize your potential payout if you win.
  • Spread out play – Alternate drawing day play to avoid overspending on tickets every week.

In the end, playing on both Wednesday and Saturday drawings or sticking to just one day each week are equally valid strategies. Find the approach that fits best with your lottery budget and schedule. Then play consistently on those days to maximize your odds of winning Powerball prizes.

Should Powerball Change its Drawing Schedule?

There has been occasional debate around whether Powerball should add more weekly drawings or change to a daily draw schedule. Similar to games like Mega Millions and Cash4Life which draw more frequently. What are the potential pros and cons of Powerball moving away from its long-standing Wednesday and Saturday drawing calendar?

Potential Advantages of More Frequent Drawings

  • Jackpots may grow faster with quicker rollovers
  • Player excitement and engagement could increase
  • Provides lottery more brand exposure
  • Maximizes revenue for beneficiary programs
  • Reduces player fatigue waiting for next chance to play

Potential Disadvantages of More Frequent Drawings

  • Changes player habits accustomed to existing schedule
  • Risk of overplaying/overspending with more drawings
  • State oversight and security harder with daily games
  • Technical/logistical issues with more frequent drawings
  • Retailer burden handling daily lottery sales

There are good arguments on both sides. While more drawings could grow the game and maximize revenue, changing a 30 year tradition also carries risk. And the current twice-weekly cadence seems to have struck an effective balance.

Powerball will likely continue weighting these factors carefully. But for now, the Wednesday and Saturday drawing schedule remains unambiguous. And Powerball players can keep looking forward to playing twice a week for the chance at giant jackpot winnings.


In summary, Powerball holds its drawing twice a week – every Wednesday and Saturday night at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time. This drawing schedule has remained constant since the game’s introduction in 1992.

Playing on both drawing days gives you two chances each week to win Powerball prizes. Tickets must be purchased before the deadline on the night of the drawing you wish to play. Many jackpot winners have emerged from both the Wednesday and Saturday drawings over the years.

While some occasional schedule tweaks have occurred, Powerball’s weekly calendar remains steady. So you can reliably play the game you love each Wednesday and Saturday for your shot to win huge payouts and make your lottery dreams come true!