Skip to content

Powerball lottery odds explained: How to play for the big $1B jackpot, 8 smaller prizes

Dreaming about winning tonight’s $1 billion Powerball jackpot — potentially the fifth-largest prize in U.S. lottery history? You might want to take a look at those steep odds

The overall odds of winning something after buying a $2 ticket are just shy of 1 in 25 — 24.87 to be exact. If you spend an extra $1 to exercise the Power Play option, you can double, triple, quadruple or on rare occasions quintuple your winnings on non-jackpot prizes.

If you still want to take a shot but have never played, Powerball works like this: Five white balls are drawn out of a drum containing 69 balls. Then one red ball is drawn out of a drum with 26 red balls. The red ball is also known as the Powerball. Here’s a breakdown of odds and prizes.

The odds of your ticket matching only the red Powerball are 38.32 to 1. If you do, you win $4.

1 number plus the Powerball – still $4

Matching one number and the Powerball is more difficult than just having the Powerball (1 in 91.98) but the prize is still a measly $4.

2 numbers plus the Powerball – $7

It’s a more than 700 to 1 shot (701.33 to be exact) to purchase a ticket containing two numbers and the Powerball. The payout? Only $7.

3 numbers – still $7

If your ticket matched three of the five white balls, you still win just $7. The odds of hitting three numbers, but not the Powerball are 579.76 to 1.

3 numbers plus the Powerball – $100

The good news is that the prize amount has finally reached triple figures – $100. The bad news is that the odds of buying a ticket that matches three numbers plus the Powerball are 14,494.11 to 1.

4 numbers – still $100

A ticket that matches four numbers from the white ball drawn (but not the Powerball) is tantalizing close to winning serious money, but is also worth only $100. It’s about a 1 in 36,525 shot to get even that lucky, though.

4 numbers plus the Powerball – $50,000

The prize climbs all the way to winning $50,000 if you manage to beat the roughly 913,129 to 1 odds and match four numbers plus the Powerball.

Four tickets bought in New Jersey for Saturday’s $822.3 million drawing defied those odds for Saturday’s drawing.

Powerball lottery odds explained. How to play Powerball

The Powerball lottery jackpot for Monday’s drawing is now $1 billion. Here’s how to play the Powerball and the odds explained.

5 numbers – $1 million

The life-changing money begins at this prize level. All you have to do to win at least $1 million is match the numbers on the five white balls drawn, but not the Powerball. Good luck overcoming the 11,688,053.52 to 1 odds, though.

5 numbers plus the Powerball – jackpot

The odds of this happening? More than 292 million to 1. But Powerball still offers a better chance than Mega Millions — the chances of buying a jackpot-winning ticket for Mega Millions are more than 301 million to 1.

The cash option for Monday’s Powerball drawing is worth an estimated $497.3 million.

There have been 37 drawings held since the jackpot was last won. A $206.9 million Powerball ticket was purchased in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, for the Aug. 3 drawing.

Five Powerball jackpots have been won in 2022. The largest was a $632.6 million jackpot hit on Jan. 5 and split by winners in California and Wisconsin.

The drawing will be held at 10:59 p.m. and televised on WABC-7 in New York City and Fox 29 in Philadelphia. NJ.com will publish the winning numbers immediately following the conclusion of the drawing.

Our journalism needs your support. Please subscribe today to NJ.com.

Jeff Goldman may be reached at jeff_goldman@njadvancemedia.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *