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What is the extra number on Powerball called?

Quick Answer

The extra number on a Powerball ticket, besides the five main numbers, is called the Powerball number. Powerball is one of the most popular lottery games in the United States, where players try to match 5 regular numbers between 1-69, as well as the Powerball number between 1-26. Matching the Powerball number is crucial for winning the huge jackpot prizes in the game.

What is Powerball?

Powerball is an American lottery game offered by 45 states, as well as Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is coordinated by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL). Powerball holds the record for the largest lottery jackpot in history – a whopping $1.586 billion shared by 3 ticket holders in January 2016.

To play Powerball, players select 5 numbers from 1 to 69, and then select 1 Powerball number from 1 to 26. Numbers can be selected manually by the player, or generated randomly via a quick pick option. Tickets cost $2 each, with the Power Play option costing an extra $1 per play to increase non-jackpot prizes. Drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday at 10:59 p.m. ET.

How to Win Powerball Prizes

There are 9 ways to win a prize in Powerball:

Prize Level Match Odds (1 in)
Grand Prize All 5 main + Powerball 292,201,338
$1 million All 5 main numbers 11,688,053.52
$50,000 Any 4 main + Powerball 913,129.18
$100 Any 3 main numbers + Powerball 36,525.17
$100 Any 4 main numbers 36,525.17
$7 Any 3 main numbers 575.53
$7 Any 2 main + Powerball 701.33
$4 Any 1 main + Powerball 91.98
$4 Powerball only 38.32

As shown in the odds chart, matching all 5 main numbers and the Powerball offers the chance to win the multi-million dollar jackpot, with average odds of 1 in 292 million. The other prize tiers have better odds but lower payouts for matching a portion of the numbers.

The Power Play option for an extra $1 per play can multiply non-jackpot prizes by up to 10 times, except for the $1 million and grand prize.

History of the Powerball Powerball

The Powerball game as we know it today traces back to 1988, when the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) launched a new lottery game called Lotto America. It involved picking 6 numbers from 40 for a shot at a jackpot starting at $2 million.

In 1992, Lotto America was revamped and renamed Powerball. The 5/49 main matrix was introduced, where players pick 5 numbers from 1 to 49. The Powerball number between 1 and 42 was added as a supplemental number. This two-drum concept was key to offering massive jackpots.

Over the years, Powerball underwent several changes:

  • 1997 – Power Play option added
  • 1998 – Florida joins MUSL
  • 2009 – Starting jackpot raised to $20 million
  • 2012 – Format changed to 5/59 main numbers and 1/35 Powerball
  • 2015 – Matrix changed to current 5/69 and 1/26
  • 2016 – Record $1.586 billion jackpot
  • 2017 – Power Play can multiply to 10X

The evolution of Powerball aimed to continue offering giant, life-changing jackpots that capture attention and draw new players. The separate Powerball drum makes the odds of winning astronomical, allowing jackpots to roll over again and again to mind-blowing amounts.

Notable Powerball Jackpot Wins

Here are some of the biggest Powerball jackpots on record:

Amount Date Winning Ticket
$1.586 billion 1/13/2016 CA, FL, TN
$768.4 million 3/27/2019 WI
$758.7 million 8/23/2017 MA
$731.1 million 1/20/2021 MD
$699.8 million 10/4/2021 CA
$687.8 million 10/27/2018 IA, NY
$632.6 million 1/5/2022 CA, WI
$590.5 million 5/18/2013 FL
$587.5 million 11/28/2012 AZ, MO
$564.1 million 2/11/2015 NC, PR, TX

As shown, there have been numerous jackpots awarded over $500 million, including the record $1.586 billion prize shared by winners in California, Florida, and Tennessee in 2016. Other massive jackpots were hit in states like Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Maryland, Iowa, and Arizona.

Biggest Powerball Jackpot in 2023

In 2022, Powerball saw some huge jackpots, including $632.6 million split by winners in California and Wisconsin on January 5, 2022.

So far in 2023, the largest Powerball jackpot has been an estimated $473 million for the drawing on January 25. The jackpot rolled after no ticket matched all 6 numbers drawn the previous Saturday.

The $473 million jackpot ranks among the top 10 largest in Powerball history. The cash value was $271.9 million. However, as no ticket hit the jackpot, it continued rolling over in subsequent draws.

Powerball jackpots start at $20 million and grow based on game sales and interest. The jackpot increases by at least $10 million each draw when it is not won. Huge jackpots like this capture national media buzz, spurring more players to buy tickets and propelling the top prize even higher.

State Participation in Powerball

Currently, Powerball is offered in 45 U.S. states, as well as Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands:

Participating States
Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

The only states that do not offer Powerball are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, and Utah. These states do not participate in the Multi-State Lottery Association.

However, residents of non-participating states can still play Powerball by purchasing tickets from neighboring participating states, or by buying ticket subscriptions online. Lottery ticket subscriptions allow players to buy entries for upcoming draws without having to physically cross state lines.

Powerball’s near nationwide availability, combined with the game’s reputation for delivering astronomical jackpots, have helped make it the most popular and recognizable lottery brand in the United States.

How the Powerball Jackpot is Paid Out

When the Powerball jackpot is won, the winner(s) can choose between two payment options:

  • Annuity – Paid out in 30 graduated payments over 29 years. Each payment increases by 5% annually.
  • Lump Sum – One-time payment equal to the cash value of the jackpot prize pool.

For the record $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot in 2016, the cash value was $983.5 million. The three winning ticketholders from California, Florida and Tennessee all chose the lump sum option, splitting $327.8 million before taxes.

The annuity offers a higher total payout spread over decades. But most jackpot winners opt for the cash value lump sum, which is typically 40-60% of the announced jackpot based on current interest rates.

The lump sum allows winners to immediately invest and spend the money as they wish. Powerball jackpots are subject to both federal and jurisdictional taxes.

Impact of Powerball Jackpots on Ticket Sales

When the Powerball jackpot climbs into the stratosphere exceeding $500 million or more, lottery fever sweeps the nation. The insane top prizes lead to a surge in ticket sales, as millions of players buy tickets hoping to have a chance at winning.

For example, ahead of the record $1.586 billion jackpot in January 2016, ticket sales reached an average of $1.3 million per minute just before the draw. Overall, sales reached $935 million for that historic jackpot run.

During a $758.7 million jackpot in August 2017, more than $800 million in tickets were sold. For a $731.1 million jackpot in January 2021, sales topped $1 billion.

Massive jackpots create huge spikes in player participation. While no more than a few million people may play Powerball on a regular basis, jackpots over $400 million can increase sales to more than 100 million tickets for a single draw.

This demonstrates the phenomena of “jackpot fever” – when the soaring top prize, and the life-changing possibilities of winning, motivate large numbers of people who ordinarily do not play the lottery to buy tickets.

Powerball’s Largest Jackpots Adjusted for Inflation

The record-setting $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot from January 2016 remains the largest on record in nominal dollars. However, when adjusted for inflation, it does not rank as the top prize.

Here are the all-time largest Powerball jackpots adjusted for inflation based on the Consumer Price Index for October 2023 dollars:

Announced Jackpot Date Inflation-Adjusted
$1.586 billion 1/13/2016 $1.96 billion
$768.4 million 3/27/2019 $884 million
$758.7 million 8/23/2017 $860 million
$731.1 million 1/20/2021 $787 million
$699.8 million 10/4/2021 $732 million
$687.8 million 10/27/2018 $790 million
$632.6 million 1/5/2022 $650 million
$590.5 million 5/18/2013 $673 million

The legendary January 2016 jackpot of $1.586 billion would be worth around $1.96 billion in today’s dollar value – approaching the magical $2 billion mark. Other top prizes would similarly scale up based on inflation over the years.

While the headline jackpot values continue to reach soaring heights, their actual purchasing power decreases over times as consumer prices rise. But the life changing possibilities of winning hundreds of millions after tax is still enough lottery motivation for millions of hopeful players when Powerball jackpots blast off into space.

Odds of Winning Powerball

The odds of winning any prize in Powerball, from $4 up to the jackpot, are 1 in 24.87. Here are the overall odds for the 9 prize tiers in the game:

Prize Odds
Grand Prize 1 in 292,201,338
$1 million 1 in 11,688,053.52
$50,000 1 in 913,129.18
$100 1 in 36,525.17
$100 1 in 36,525.17
$7 1 in 575.53
$7 1 in 701.33
$4 1 in 91.98
$4 1 in 38.32

As you can see, the chances of matching all 6 numbers for the jackpot are incredibly slim at 1 in 292 million. The odds are stacked against players due to the huge number field and separate Powerball pool.

But the long odds are also what allows the jackpots to grow so massive. With fewer players hitting the main prize, the jackpot has more chances to roll over and increase across multiple drawings until someone finally gets lucky.

Can the Powerball Jackpot be Split Among Winners?

Yes, the Powerball jackpot prize can be split if multiple players match all 5 numbers plus the Powerball. In fact, most of the record jackpots have been split among 2 or more winning tickets.

When more than one ticket wins the jackpot, the prize pool is simply evenly divided among however many winners there are. For example:

  • 2 winners – Each receives 50% of the advertised jackpot prize.
  • 3 winners – Each receives around 33% of the total prize.
  • 10 winners – Each receives approximately 10% of the jackpot.

Having multiple winning tickets is more common for massive jackpot runs, as the frenzy of huge prizes prompts more players to buy tickets, increasing the chances of random number matches.

The largest single-winner Powerball jackpot was $590.5 million claimed by a winner in Florida in May 2013. Every record jackpot over $700 million has been split among 2 or more lucky tickets.

Which State Has Sold the Most Powerball Jackpot Winnings Tickets?

The state that has sold the most winning Powerball jackpot tickets is Indiana, with 39. This includes:

  • 36 regular Powerball jackpots
  • 3 Powerball jackpots with Power Play

Other top states for jackpot winners are:

State Jackpot Winners
Missouri 31
Minnesota 22
Kentucky 20
New Jersey 15

Seven states are tied for the fewest Powerball jackpot tickets sold, with only 1 each:

  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Maine
  • North Dakota
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

The luckiest states seem to shift over time based on random chance. But populated states like Indiana, Missouri, and Minnesota that sell a lot of tickets have more opportunities for winners.

Strategies for Winning Powerball

While Powerball ultimately comes down to random luck, there are some strategies players use to try improving their odds:

  • Buy more tickets – More tickets equals more number combinations covered.
  • Join an office pool – Group tickets share costs and pool winnings.
  • Use key dates – Birthdays, anniversaries, etc. if allowed.
  • Mix up choices – Don’t use patterns like 1-2-3-4-5.
  • Check your tickets – Jackpots often go unclaimed from player errors.
  • Play consistency – Stick to a set of numbers every draw.
  • Use quick picks – Let computer generate random numbers.
  • Purchase Power Play – Multiplies non-jackpot winnings.

However, there is no truly effective strategy to win the Powerball jackpot, as every number combination has exactly the same odds of 1 in 292 million. Playing more does increase overall win chances but does not actually improve the probability on a single given ticket. Still, buying multiple tickets remains the most straightforward approach to increase your chances of hitting a jackpot.


In summary, the Powerball number is the separate 1-26 ball that is drawn in the game along with the 5 main numbers. Matching this Powerball is crucial to win big multi-million dollar jackpot prizes, with a 1 in 292 million chance. Massive jackpots well over $500 million are common, driving extensive ticket sales among lottery hopefuls across the country. While Powerball outcomes are entirely random, players use various strategies to try to win, with simply buying more tickets as the most direct way to increase your infinitesimal odds. Powerball’s reputation for creating mammoth jackpots will likely continue driving lottery fever for years to come.