Odds of winning the Powerball and Mega Millions are NOT in your favor
Odds of hitting the jackpot in Mega Millions or Powerball are around 1-in-292 million. Here are things that you’re more likely to land than big bucks.
Scott L. Hall, USA TODAY
It’s that time again. Powerball players are checking their tickets after Wednesday night’s drawing.
The Powerball jackpot climbed to an estimated $526 million, with a cash option of $284 million, for Wednesday. No one has won Powerball’s top prize since Nov. 19, causing the jackpot to grow larger and larger in recent months.
If someone finally wins the jackpot on Wednesday, the over half-a-billion-dollar prize would only be distributed if a winner selects an annuity option paid gradually over 29 years – but opting for the cash option has historically been more common, and the final amount winners take home largely depends on state and federal taxes.
Of course, winning the jackpot means beating extremely slim odds. According to Powerball, the odds stand about 1 in 292.2 million.
Here’s a look at the winning numbers for Wednesday.
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The winning numbers for Wednesday night’s drawing were 9, 17, 20, 38, 40,, and the Powerball was 18. The Power Play was 2X.
What are my chances of winning Powerball?
While many lottery players may be tempted by an estimated $526 million jackpot, it’s important to note that the odds of winning Powerball’s grand prize are incredibly slim.
- The odds of winning a Powerball jackpot are about 1 in 292.2 million.
- The overall odds of winning a Powerball prize (across all tiers) are about 1 in 24.9.
Where is Powerball played?
Powerball can be played in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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How do I play Powerball?
Powerball tickets cost $2 per play. To enter the game, players select (or opt to randomly receive) five numbers from one to 69 for the white balls, and one number from one to 26 for the red Powerball.
To win the jackpot, you need to match the numbers for all five white balls and the red Powerball.
Aside from the grand prize, depending on how many balls are matched, there are eight additional ways you can win a Powerball prize across the game’s non-jackpot tiers.
Tempted by the jackpot? Here’s how to play Powerball.
Non-jackpot prizes start at $4 and go up to $1 million. For an extra $1, you can opt into “Powerplay” – which multiplies non-jackpot winning prizes by 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10.
The 10X Powerplay is only available when the jackpot is $150 million or less, Powerball notes. The game’s second-tier “Match 5” prize is capped at $2 million for the Powerplay.
An additional add-on feature called “Double Play,” which gives players another chance to match their numbers after each Powerball drawing, is available in some jurisdictions for $1 per play.
Largest lottery prizes in US history
- $2.04 billion, Powerball, Nov. 7, 2022: Won in California.
- $1.586 billion, Powerball, Jan. 13, 2016: Three winners in California, Florida, Tennessee.
- $1.537 billion, Mega Millions, Oct. 23, 2018: Won in South Carolina.
- $1.348 billion, Mega Millions, Jan. 13, 2023: Won in Maine.
- $1.337 billion, Mega Millions, July 29, 2022: Won in Illinois.
- $1.05 billion, Mega Millions, Jan. 22, 2021: Won in Michigan.
- $768.4 million, Powerball, March 27, 2019: Won in Wisconsin.
- $758.7 million, Powerball, Aug. 23, 2017: Won in Massachusetts.
- $730 million, Powerball, Jan. 20, 2021: Won in Maryland.
- $699.8 million, Powerball, Oct. 4, 2021: Won in California.
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