Sales cut-off times vary by selling jurisdiction. Please check with your local lottery for more information.
Some lotteries sell Powerball® tickets over the Internet, but the service is only available to residents of that jurisdiction. The sale of Powerball tickets over the Internet or by mail across jurisdictional borders is restricted. Lotteries may refuse to pay out prize money on Powerball tickets purchased on any website other than their own. Please contact your lottery with any further questions.
You do not have to be a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident to play Powerball®. Players from jurisdictions where Powerball tickets are not sold, either in the United States or outside the country, when visiting a selling jurisdiction, can purchase Powerball tickets from a retailer licensed or authorized by the selling jurisdiction, if they meet the legal age requirement in the jurisdiction of purchase. Federal and jurisdictional income taxes may apply to any claimed prize money.
While there are many factors that determine the advertised Grand Prize estimate in the Powerball® game; two important ones are games sales and the annuity factor.
A number of variables can affect game sales, such as seasonality or a big Mega Millions jackpot. Traditionally, game sales are stronger for a Saturday drawing versus a Wednesday drawing.
The annuity factor, or the cost to fund an annuity prize, is another key component. The annuity factor is made up of interest rates for securities purchased to fund prize payments. The higher the interest rates, the higher the advertised Grand Prize. You might not realize that an economic reality like interest rates impact even the Powerball jackpot, but they do!
Most players think the odds of matching the Powerball to win a prize are 1 in 26, since the Powerball is drawn from a field of numbers from 1 to 26.
But consider this…
The odds of matching the Powerball ALONE are harder than 1 in 26, because there is also the chance you could match one or more white balls, in addition to the Powerball, to win another prize.
Powerball numbers are drawn from two sets of numbers, so the odds of winning a prize are calculated by combining the odds for both sets of numbers for all prize levels. The odds for matching just the Powerball are calculated by combining the odds of selecting the Powerball and the odds of not selecting any of the five numbers from the first set of numbers drawn.
Every jurisdiction has its own law on winners remaining anonymous. Some jurisdictions are required by law to provide the winner's name, city of residence, game won and prize amount to any third party that requests the information. Some jurisdictions allow winners to claim a prize as a trust or other legal entity thus allowing some anonymity from public disclosure of their information. Check with your lottery to see if taking a photo of the winner is required and what its rules are on prize claims. Regardless of how a prize is claimed, the person who purchased the winning ticket must be known to the lottery so officials can confirm you are eligible to play and to comply with other legal requirements.
Check with your lottery for its rules on how to claim a jackpot prize and the correct procedure for selecting the annuity or cash value option.