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Where does the Powerball take place?

Powerball is one of the most popular lottery games in the United States. It is coordinated by the Multi-State Lottery Association and played in 45 states, as well as Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The game has created many multi-millionaires since it began in 1992. With giant jackpots that continue to roll over when there is no winner, Powerball captures the attention of people across the country who dream of winning big. But where exactly does the Powerball take place?

Powerball Basics

Powerball is a multi-state lottery game that is coordinated by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL). The MUSL has member lotteries that sell Powerball tickets and participate in the game. The proceeds from Powerball ticket sales are shared among the member lotteries to fund prizes and support good causes in each jurisdiction.

Powerball draws occur twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time. The draws take place at the Florida Lottery’s draw studio in Tallahassee, Florida. This central draw location is used for efficiency and security purposes.

To play Powerball, players select five main numbers between 1 and 69, and one Powerball number between 1 and 26. Prizes are awarded for matching various combinations of the main and Powerball numbers. The jackpot is won by matching all five main numbers and the Powerball. Rollover jackpots can grow into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Where Powerball Tickets are Sold

Powerball tickets are sold in 45 U.S. states, as well as Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The participating jurisdictions are:

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

As you can see, Powerball has an extensive reach across most of the United States. Only Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah do not participate at this time. The lottery game is also played in Washington D.C. and the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In total, there are 48 lotteries that are members of the Multi-State Lottery Association and participate in Powerball. This wide participation is what helps create the game’s huge jackpots. With more ticket sales occurring across multiple states, the jackpots can continue rolling over to astronomical amounts when there is no winner.

Powerball Draw Procedures

As mentioned, the Powerball drawings are held at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The draws take place at the draw studio located at the headquarters of the Florida Lottery in Tallahassee.

Here is an overview of how the Powerball draws are conducted:

Drawing Equipment

The drawings utilize a number of pieces of equipment:

– Two draw machines containing numbered balls – One machine holds the white balls numbered 1 to 69, while the other machine holds the red Powerballs numbered 1 to 26.

– An electronic random number generator – This is connected to the draw machines and used to select the winning numbers.

– A control monitor – Displays the numbers as they are drawn.

– Ball sets – The white and red balls are loaded into the draw machines. There are multiple sets that are rotated for each drawing.

Drawing Oversight

The Powerball drawings involve layers of observation and security:

– An independent auditing firm oversees the entire drawing process.

– Members of the Multi-State Lottery Association observe every drawing.

– The drawings are open to the public to view in person.

– The drawing studio has numerous security cameras that provide surveillance.

Drawing Process

On draw nights, the following steps are taken to select the winning numbers:

1. Prior to each drawing, the ball sets are inspected and loaded into the draw machines. The machines are sealed.

2. Just before the drawing, the independent auditor will release the seals on the machines to allow operation.

3. At 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time, the lottery host activates the random number generator which mixes the balls and selects the five main numbers between 1 and 69.

4. The five white balls are dropped into the tray at the front of the machine. The numbers are verified and displayed.

5. Next, the red Powerball is selected from the second machine in the same manner.

6. The Powerball number is verified and results are certified by the auditor.

7. Winning numbers are distributed to the participating lotteries and announced publicly.

The drawn balls are inspected following each drawing before being reloaded into the machine. The entire process is meticulously conducted and monitored to ensure complete randomness, security and accuracy.

Notable Powerball Jackpots

Part of the appeal of Powerball is the opportunity to win massive jackpot prizes. Over the years, the game has produced some truly staggering jackpots that capture national attention. Here are some of the most significant Powerball jackpots to date:

World Record $1.586 Billion Jackpot – January 2016

The current world record lottery jackpot of all time is a $1.586 billion Powerball prize won on January 13, 2016. The jackpot rolled over 25 times before being won with the winning numbers 4, 8, 19, 27, 34 and Powerball 10. The ticket was purchased in California and was split by three winning tickets.

$768.4 Million – March 2019

On March 27, 2019, a sole ticket purchased in Wisconsin won a Powerball jackpot of $768.4 million. It was the third largest jackpot in U.S. lottery history at the time. The winning numbers were 16, 20, 37, 44, 62 and Powerball 12.

$758.7 Million – August 2017

The massive jackpot of $758.7 million was hit on August 23, 2017 by a single ticket in Massachusetts. It was the largest grand prize won with a single ticket at the time. Winning numbers were 6, 7, 16, 23, 26 and Powerball 4.

$731.1 Million – January 2021

On January 20, 2021, the Powerball jackpot reached $731.1 million. It was won by a single ticket in Maryland with the numbers 40, 53, 60, 68, 69 and Powerball 22.

$699.8 Million – October 2021

Most recently, a jackpot of $699.8 million was up for grabs on October 4, 2021. A single ticket purchased in California won the life-changing prize with numbers 12, 22, 54, 66, 69 and Powerball 15.

These enormous jackpots demonstrate how Powerball is able to create multimillionaires in a single draw. With continued excitement over the game, it is likely that more jackpot records will be broken in the future.

Notable Powerball Winners

While winning Powerball is extremely rare, there have been some very lucky ticketholders over the years who have struck it rich. Not only have individuals won huge prizes, but various workplace groups and pools have also hit big jackpots. Here are some of the most notable Powerball winners to date:

The Nandlall Family – $758.7 million

In August 2017, the Nandlall family from Chicopee, Massachusetts won a $758.7 million jackpot which was the largest ever won with a single ticket at the time. They chose the cash option of $480.5 million.

Mark and Cindy Hill – $587.5 million

Mark and Cindy Hill from Dearborn, Missouri won half of a $587.5 million jackpot in November 2012. The Hills split the prize with another winner who remained anonymous.

‘The Three Amigos’ – $550 million

A group of 20 co-workers at a manufacturing plant in Trenton, New Jersey called themselves “The Three Amigos.” In March 2018, the syndicate won $550 million. Each member received a $22 million share after taxes.

The Robinson Family – $543 million

In June 2019, the Robinson family in North Carolina won a $543 million jackpot. They elected to take the lump sum payment of $340.6 million.

‘The Ocean’s 16’ – $451 million

In January 2018, a group of 16 hospital workers in New York dubbed themselves “The Ocean’s 16” after winning $451 million. Each person took home a $7.7 million lump sum.

These past winners show that either individuals or even entire groups can win huge Powerball jackpots. While extremely lucky, they all purchased tickets with the same hope of hitting it big. Their stories help fuel the Powerball dreams of other players.

Powerball Odds and Probabilities

The chances of winning any Powerball prize are about 1 in 24.9. However, actually winning the jackpot is much more difficult. Here are the odds for the various Powerball prizes:

Prize Odds
Match 5 + Powerball Jackpot 1 in 292,201,338
Match 5 1 in 11,688,053.52
Match 4 + Powerball 1 in 913,129.18
Match 4 1 in 36,525.17
Match 3 + Powerball 1 in 14,494.11
Match 3 1 in 579.76
Match 2 + Powerball 1 in 701.33
Match 1 + Powerball 1 in 91.98
Match Powerball 1 in 38.32

As you can see, the odds of winning the jackpot are extremely small at 1 in nearly 300 million. To put this in perspective, a person is more likely to be struck by lightning or become a movie star than win the Powerball jackpot. While tough odds, it is still possible to defeat them.

Probability Comparison of Other Events

To further understand the remote odds of a jackpot win, it is helpful to compare the probability to other rare events:

Event Probability
Powerball Jackpot 1 in 292 million
Mega Millions Jackpot 1 in 302 million
Being Killed by a Meteorite 1 in 1.6 million
Death from Bee Sting 1 in 6.1 million
Hole in One Golf Shot 1 in 12,500
Perfect March Madness Bracket 1 in 120 billion
Flipping Heads 20 Times in a Row 1 in 1,048,576

As shown, the odds of winning Powerball or Mega Millions are astronomical compared to many other unlikely events. However, overcoming improbable odds is what makes winning so exciting and remarkable.

Factors Affecting Probabilities

Some key factors actually affect a player’s probability of winning Powerball:

– Number of Tickets – More tickets equals more chances to win. A player who buys 100 tickets has 100 times better odds than a player who buys just 1 ticket.

– Number Selection – Winning odds do not change no matter what numbers a player chooses. However, choosing unique numbers reduces the chance of having to share the prize.

– Consecutive Draws – The longer the jackpot rolls without a winner, the greater the number of tickets sold. This increases overall chances of a winner.

– Multiple Drawings – Playing with the same numbers over multiple draws improves the chances of finally matching the winning numbers.

So while the stated odds are long, players definitely have ways to try to better their probability through smart play. However, luck is still arguably the biggest factor in hitting a jackpot win.

How to Play Powerball

Playing Powerball only requires a few simple steps:

1. Select Five Main Numbers: Choose five numbers between 1 and 69 that will appear on your ticket. This can be done with a play slip or by asking for a Quick Pick from the lottery terminal.

2. Select One Powerball Number: Choose one Powerball number between 1 and 26 that will appear on your ticket. This can also be chosen or randomly Quick Picked.

3. Purchase Ticket: Present your completed play slip or ask for Quick Pick numbers from the lottery retailer. Tickets cost $2 each, or more with add-on features.

4. Check Your Ticket: After the drawing, match the numbers on your ticket to those drawn to determine if you have a winning match.

5. Claim Your Prize: Prizes up to $600 can be claimed at any authorized lottery retailer. Larger prizes must be claimed at a designated lottery office.

Winning a prize comes down to the numbers on your ticket matching those drawn. The more numbers matched, the bigger the prize won. Matching all 5 + the Powerball wins the jackpot.

Selecting Numbers

When playing Powerball, players have different approaches to choosing their numbers:

– Quick Pick: Have the lottery terminal randomly select your numbers. This ensures complete randomness.

– Birthdays: Use birth dates or ages for yourself or loved ones.

– Anniversaries: Try wedding anniversaries or other special dates.

– Lucky Numbers: Pick digits you consider lucky like 7, 13, 4 and 8.

– Number Patterns: Try number combinations or patterns that are meaningful.

– Hot and Cold: Check for frequently drawn “hot” numbers and “cold” overdue numbers.

– Computer Programs: Use number generator programs to pick random numbers.

– Pool Selection: Have your office pool members each pick a number then combine them.

There is no proven better way to select numbers, as all have an equal chance of winning. The important thing is playing with numbers you feel comfortable with.

Ticketing Options

For an extra $1 per play, Powerball offers additional ticketing options:

– Power Play – Multiplies non-jackpot winnings by 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X or 10X.

– Double Play – Gives a second chance to match numbers in a separate drawing.

– Multi-Draw – Allows play for consecutive draws up to 8, 10, 16 or 20 ahead in some states.

These provide ways to win even more prizes for players willing to spend a little extra. The Power Play and Double Play options are certainly worthwhile for potentially bigger payouts.

How to Win Powerball

Winning Powerball requires matching the numbers selected on your ticket to those drawn. Prizes are awarded for matching various combinations. Here are the Powerball matches needed to win prizes:

Prize Match Combination
Jackpot Match 5 Main + Powerball
$1 million Match 5 Main Numbers
$50,000 Match 4 Main + Powerball
$100 Match 3 Main Numbers
$100 Match 2 Main + Powerball
$7 Match 1 Main + Powerball
$4 Match Powerball

The jackpot starts at $40 million and continues growing based on ticket sales and rollovers. The second prize of $1 million can multiply to higher amounts if the Power Play add-on is purchased.

Powerball also has fixed secondary prizes of $2 million for matching 5 main numbers using Power Play, and $1 million for matching 5 main numbers in Double Play. Overall odds of winning any prize are 1 in 24.9.

Claiming Prizes

Powerball prizes must be claimed properly following these guidelines:

– Smaller prizes up to $600 can be claimed at any authorized lottery retailer in participating states.

– Larger prizes between $601 and $99,999 can be claimed at designated lottery offices in the state where the ticket was purchased.

– Jackpot and grand prizes of $100,000 and over must be claimed at the lottery headquarters of the state where the winning ticket was bought.

– Prizes of $600 or less can be claimed up to 90 days after the drawing. Larger prizes must be claimed within 180 days after the draw.

– Jackpot winners can choose between annuity payments over 30 years or a one-time lump sum cash payment.

– Tickets, identification and social security number are required to claim prizes. Winners are also subject to tax withholding requirements.

Following the proper prize claim procedures ensures you receive full payment on your Powerball winnings. Be sure to sign the winning ticket and keep it very safe.

Powerball Taxes

Powerball winnings are subject to both federal and state taxes. Tax rates vary depending on the prize amount, where you live, and other factors. Some general Powerball tax guidelines:

– Federal tax withholding is 24% for prizes over $5,000. State taxes vary from 0% to over 8%.

– Jackpots over $600 million with the lump sum may incur 37% to 40% in federal taxes alone. State income tax can add another 10%.

– There is no tax on prizes less than $600, or tickets purchased in states with no income tax like Florida or Texas.

– Gambling losses can be reported up to the amount of winnings to help offset taxes owed. Detailed records are required.

– Powerball annuity payments are taxed annually on the installment amounts received by winners.

Consulting a tax professional is highly recommended to navigate federal and state taxes on significant Powerball winnings. Proper planning is key to minimize how much tax is owed.

Remaining Anonymous

For major prize winners, remaining anonymous can be desired for privacy and security reasons. Here are some key ways Powerball winners can keep their identity secret:

– Claim prize through a trust. The named trustee can collect the winnings on behalf of an anonymous beneficiary.

– Use a limited liability company (LLC) to claim the ticket while shielding identities of the members.

– Hire a lawyer to claim the ticket for you to help maintain anonymity.

– Wear disguises and keep public appearances limited when required.

– Choose the cash option rather than annuity payments to avoid annual publicity.

– Move away or take security precautions if concerned about safety.

– Only tell those who need to know about the win and avoid press conferences.

While full anonymity is not possible in all participating states, there are definitely strategies winners can utilize. Maintaining privacy enhances enjoyment of the life-changing prize.

Scams and Frauds

Unfortunately, big lottery winners often attract scammers and fraudsters. Some protectives measures include:

– Ignore social media messages asking for money from strangers or organizations. Delete unsolicited emails requesting your banking and personal details.

– Do not pay any fees to individuals claiming they can help you collect your prize. Contact official lottery offices only.

– Shred all expired tickets, bet slips and receipts to prevent someone finding them and falsely claiming a prize.

– Never provide your PIN number or banking information to anyone offering lottery related “help.” Keep account details secure.

– Talk to financial planners, lawyers and other advisors to avoid risky investments or being taken advantage of.

Exercising caution protects lottery winners from becoming victims. Avoiding shady offers, sales pitches and phishing ploys is essential. Stick to reputable advisors.

Statistics and Records

Some interesting Powerball statistical facts and records include:

– **Biggest Jackpot:** $1.586 billion on January 13, 2016 won by 3 tickets (current lottery world record)

– **Most Common Main Numbers:** 61, 32, 63, 21, 59, 69, 36

– **Most Common Powerballs:** 24, 18, 4, 21, 10, 6, 26

– **Most Draws Without a Winner:** 41 rollovers (March 2021)

– **Most Tickets Sold:** over 280 million for $1.5 billion jackpot in January 2016

– **Most Winners in One Drawing:** 8 second prize winners on August 31, 2021

– **Youngest Jackpot Winner:** 21 year old in Florida won $450 million in January 2018

– **Oldest Jackpot Winner:** 84 year old in North Carolina won $188 million in February 2015

The statistics highlight interesting facts about past drawings, winners, and Powerball’s biggest prizes. More records will certainly be set as the lottery continues.

Powerball FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about playing Powerball:

How much does a Powerball ticket cost?

Powerball tickets cost $2 per play. Optional features like Power Play and Double Play cost $1 extra per play.

What nights are the Powerball drawings held?

Drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

Where can I buy Powerball tickets?

Powerball tickets can be purchased at over 50,000 authorized retailers in 45 participating states, and Washington D.C, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.

Can Powerball numbers be purchased online?

Powerball tickets cannot be purchased online. You must buy them in person from a certified retailer. Some states do allow online lottery subscriptions.

What is the biggest Powerball jackpot ever?

The current Powerball record jackpot is $1.586 billion from January 2016. It is the biggest lottery jackpot in world history.

Has anyone won Powerball more than once?

Some people have defied the odds and won Powerball two or more times. However, multiple jackpot wins by a single player is extremely rare.

What are my chances of winning Powerball?

Your overall chance of winning a Powerball prize is about 1 in 25. The odds for the jackpot are approximately 1 in 292 million.

Do Powerball numbers have to be in numerical order?

No, the main and Powerball numbers can be in any order of your choosing. The balls are drawn and displayed in ascending order.

Can I play Powerball if I live outside the U.S.?

Unfortunately Powerball tickets can only be purchased within the United States in participating jurisdictions. You must be physically present to play.

How many numbers do I need to match to win a prize?

Match just the Powerball for a $4 prize. Match one main number plus the Powerball to win $7. Jackpot is won by matching all 5 main numbers and Powerball.


In review, Powerball is an exciting multi-state lottery game that has created millionaires across most of the United States with its epic jackpots. Drawings for the game take place twice weekly, coordinated by the Multi-State Lottery Association. While winning the top prize is slim, it is possible to beat the long odds. Smart play, picking personal lucky numbers, and utilizing additional ticketing options can help improve your chances. Powerball will continue to capture attention nationwide as lottery players dream of the next giant jackpot.