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What is the most amount of money in Powerball?

Powerball is one of the most popular lottery games in the United States, known for its incredibly large jackpot prizes that can grow into the hundreds of millions of dollars. The game is coordinated by the Multi-State Lottery Association and is available in 45 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Powerball holds the distinction of having awarded the largest lottery jackpot in world history.

How the Powerball Jackpot Grows

The Powerball jackpot starts at $40 million and continues to grow each drawing until it is won. The jackpot grows from the sale of Powerball tickets, which cost $2 per play. A portion of each ticket sale goes into the jackpot prize pool. If no one wins the jackpot by matching all 5 white ball numbers and the red Powerball number, the jackpot rolls over to the next drawing and continues growing. This creates enormous jackpots over periods of time when no winner is selected. The odds of winning the jackpot are incredibly steep at 1 in 292.2 million.

10 Largest Powerball Jackpots

Here are the top 10 record Powerball jackpots to date:

Rank Amount Draw Date Winning Ticket
1 $1.586 billion January 13, 2016 California, Florida, Tennessee
2 $768.4 million March 27, 2019 Wisconsin
3 $758.7 million August 23, 2017 Massachusetts
4 $731.1 million January 20, 2021 Maryland
5 $699.8 million October 4, 2021 California
6 $687.8 million October 27, 2018 Iowa, New York
7 $656 million March 30, 2012 Kansas, Illinois, Maryland
8 $648 million December 17, 2013 California, Georgia
9 $590.5 million May 18, 2013 Florida
10 $587.5 million November 28, 2012 Arizona, Missouri

The Record $1.586 Billion Powerball Jackpot

The largest Powerball jackpot to date was a whopping $1.586 billion, won on January 13, 2016. The winning ticket was sold in Chino Hills, California. Two other winning tickets were sold in Melbourne Beach, Florida and Munford, Tennessee. The three lucky tickets split the world record prize evenly, with each ticket winning around $528.8 million lump sum. The historic jackpot rolled over 16 times over the course of 3 months before it was finally won.

The winning numbers drawn were 4, 8, 19, 27, 34 and Powerball 10. The mind-blowing jackpot caught the attention of people across the country and the world. Ticket sales reached unprecedented levels, leading to the giant prize. Over $974 million in tickets were sold for that single drawing alone once the jackpot reached astronomical levels.

Powerball Odds and Probabilities

To have won the record $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot, the odds were 1 in 292,201,338. Here is a breakdown of the probabilities:

  • Odds of winning $1 million (matching 5 white balls): 1 in 11,688,053.5
  • Odds of winning $50,000 (matching 4 white balls + Powerball): 1 in 913,129.18
  • Odds of winning $100 (matching 3 white balls + Powerball): 1 in 14,494.11
  • Odds of winning $100 (matching 4 white balls): 1 in 36,525.17
  • Odds of winning $7 (matching 3 white balls): 1 in 579.76
  • Odds of winning $4 (matching 1 white ball + Powerball): 1 in 91.98

As you can see, the odds are extremely low to win the jackpot, though the prize money is so immense that many people can’t resist trying their luck. The Powerball game is designed this way intentionally to allow the jackpots to grow very large, tempting more people to play for a chance at life-changing winnings.

Other Notable Big Jackpot Winners

While the $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot stands far and above every other lottery jackpot in history, there have been some other exceptionally large prizes awarded in the game:

$768.4 Million – March 27, 2019

The third largest Powerball jackpot was won on March 27, 2019 at the staggering amount of $768.4 million. The sole winning ticket was purchased in New Berlin, Wisconsin for the drawing on that date. The winner chose the cash lump sum option of $477 million.

$758.7 Million – August 23, 2017

On August 23, 2017, a single ticket sold in Chicopee, Massachusetts won the massive $758.7 million Powerball jackpot. It was the largest ever won on a single lottery ticket. The lump sum cash payout was $480.5 million for the lucky winner.

$731.1 Million – January 20, 2021

Just last year on January 20, 2021, an anonymous winner from Maryland won the $731.1 million Powerball prize. It was the fourth largest jackpot in the game’s history at the time. The cash value was $546.8 million which the winner opted to take.

$699.8 Million – October 4, 2021

On October 4, 2021, a single Powerball ticket purchased in Morro Bay, California matched all the numbers to win the staggering $699.8 million jackpot. The cash option was chosen for $496 million. This remains the largest lottery jackpot ever won in the state of California.

$687.8 Million – October 27, 2018

In October 2018, two Powerball tickets matched all the numbers for the $687.8 million jackpot. One winning ticket was bought in Iowa and the other in New York. The lucky winners split the prize 50/50, each collecting a $343.9 million cash payout.

State Statistics on Powerball Wins

Though Powerball tickets are sold across most of the country, some states have had more luck winning the huge jackpots than others. Here is a look at the states with the most Powerball jackpot wins to date:

State Number of Jackpot Wins
Indiana 39
Missouri 31
Minnesota 22
Kentucky 19
Louisiana 18

These states have had the most luck winning the top prize, though Powerball jackpots can be won from any participating location. Some states have laws disallowing the anonymity of lottery winners, so jackpot wins are publicly announced. Other states like Delaware allow winners to remain anonymous if desired.

Taxes on Powerball Jackpot Wins

It’s important for Powerball winners to keep in mind that jackpot winnings are taxed. There are both federal and state taxes that apply. The federal tax rate on Powerball wins is 37% on amounts over $597,400 for single taxpayers and $1,194,800 for married couples filing jointly. State taxes vary across jurisdictions but generally range from 2.9% to 8.82%.

There are ways winners can reduce their tax burden, such as setting up trusts or limited liability companies to claim the prize. Winners are wise to consult professional tax strategists to maximize their lottery earnings.

Changes to Powerball Game and Winning Odds

Over the years, the Powerball game has undergone some changes affecting the odds and chances of winning. When the game debuted in 1992, players chose 5 numbers from 1 to 45 plus 1 Powerball from 1 to 45. This format led to average jackpots of $20 million.

The game went through various changes in the ensuing years. In 2015, the 5 white balls increased to 69 while the Powerball pool decreased to 26. This change dramatically increased the odds against winning from 1 in 146 million to 1 in 292 million. The move was designed to offer bigger prizes while making it harder to win. It paved the way for the world record $1.586 billion jackpot.

Advice for Powerball Players

Here are some tips for those trying their luck at winning a Powerball jackpot:

  • Stick to your budget – only spend what you can comfortably afford on tickets
  • Avoid selecting all one number (like all 1s) which has very low probability of winning
  • Consider using a quick pick rather than choosing your own numbers
  • Join a lottery pool or syndicate to purchase more tickets at an affordable price
  • Always check your tickets carefully after the drawing to confirm you didn’t miss a prize
  • If you win, immediately sign the back of the ticket for security
  • Consult financial advisors before publicly claiming a jackpot prize
  • Understand your tax obligations on winnings

Powerball Fever Sweeps the Nation

When Powerball jackpots escalate into the hundreds of millions, it’s not uncommon for lottery fever to sweep across the U.S. Stores can sell dozens of tickets a minute when the prizes grow exceptionally large, like the record $1.586 billion jackpot. People line up outside retailers on drawing days to purchase last-minute tickets, hoping to change their lives with a big win.

Water cooler talk and news reports also focus heavily on the game when the jackpots are unusually high. It provides a thrilling form of entertainment, as people enjoy imagining how they might spend a half billion or even billion dollar prize. The chances are incredibly small, but Powerball still manages to captivate the public imagination.

Controversy and Criticism

While Powerball is undoubtedly popular, some controversy and criticism have surrounded the game:

  • Some consider state-run lotteries a form of regressive tax on lower income groups
  • Studies show lottery ticket purchases tend to be higher in poor neighborhoods
  • Winners of giant jackpots are often deluged with requests for money from friends, family and strangers
  • Wealthy winners may still qualify for public assistance programs unless assets are carefully shielded
  • Financial advisors caution winners to avoid rash spending and invest wisely
  • Winners can become targets of increased crime, lawsuits and scams

There are certainly many issues that sudden lottery winners must navigate. Most experts agree responsible financial planning and avoiding publicity are wise choices after a big win.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you play Powerball?

Powerball players select 5 white ball numbers from 1 to 69 plus 1 red “Powerball” from 1 to 26. Tickets cost $2 per play. Drawings are held each Wednesday and Saturday night for a chance to win jackpots starting at $40 million and rolling over until won.

What are the odds of winning Powerball?

The overall odds of winning any prize are 1 in 24.9. The odds for the jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338.

Has anyone ever won the Powerball jackpot?

Yes, there have been hundreds of jackpot winners over the history of Powerball. The record stands at $1.586 billion split by 3 tickets on January 13, 2016.

Can you remain anonymous if you win Powerball?

Rules vary by state. Some require full publicity, others allow winners to remain anonymous.

How many numbers do you need to win Powerball?

You must match all 5 white balls plus the red Powerball to win the jackpot. Lower tier prizes can be won by matching some numbers.

What happens if no one wins the Powerball jackpot?

If there are no jackpot winners, the prize rolls over to increase for the next drawing until it is won.


In summary, Powerball holds the world record for the largest lottery jackpot in history at $1.586 billion, won in January 2016 and shared by 3 lucky tickets. Though the odds of winning are incredibly high at 1 in 292 million, players are tempted by the prospects of life-changing windfalls from hitting the jackpot. State lotteries do generate some controversy, but there is no denying the enthusiasm Powerball generates when its top prize climbs into the stratosphere. For anyone trying their luck, responsible play and cautious financial planning are always wise strategies to keep in mind.