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Powerball FAQs

When is the cutoff to purchase Powerball tickets in time for the next drawing?

Last call for Powerball tickets for the next drawing varies by state but is generally 1-2 hours prior to that evening’s drawing.

Is it legal to buy Powerball tickets online in states that do not offer online Powerball sales?

The simple answer to this question is no, but with two caveats: State law varies; it is not necessarily illegal to purchase Powerball tickets online, but states that lack online sales do not provide any guarantees that tickets purchased elsewhere are legitimate or that winnings will be paid Some states allow lottery courier service Jackpocket to purchase lottery tickets on behalf of players

What is the minimum age to play Powerball?

The minimum age to buy Powerball tickets online or in-person in most states is 18. Mississippi is the lone exception with a minimum age of 21 to play.

Can I buy Powerball tickets online from one state while in a different state?

No. Federal law prohibits interstate lottery ticket sales.

Do I have to match the numbers in the same order in which they are drawn?

No. Powerball numbers are printed in numerical order on each ticket and the order of the white balls does not matter. However, the red Powerball number on the ticket must match the red Powerball number drawn in each drawing.

Can Powerball prizes be claimed anonymously?

Can Powerball prizes be claimed anonymously?

Do I have to be a US citizen to play Powerball?

No. Non-US residents and visitors may purchase Powerball when visiting a jurisdiction that sells tickets.

What is the Powerball quick pick option?

Players who do not wish to pick their own numbers may ask for the quick pick option to have the system pick numbers at random.

Powerball jackpot winners have the choice of receiving their prize as an annuity paid out over a course of 30 years or as a one-time, lump sum payment.

Anyone fortunate enough to be facing this decision should speak to a qualified financial advisor as the choice has major tax, legal and practical implications.

Annuity Payments

Winners who choose the annuity payout option receive are paid in 30 payments over a course of 29 years, beginning with an immediate initial payment. Each annual payment thereafter increases by 5%.

When this option is chosen, Powerball invests the entire cash value into various government-backed securities to secure payments for the next 29 years.

The advertised value of each jackpot is calculated based on interest rates and the expected return from the annuity option. Thus, choosing the annuity option results in the winner receiving a bigger payout than he or she would have received with the lump sum option but paid over a much longer time frame.

If the winner dies before the annuity has been paid, the remaining payments go to the winner’s estate or heirs.

Lump Sum Payout

Winners who choose the cash option receive an immediate lump sum payment. Choosing the lump sum payment option results in a payout that is significantly smaller than the advertised jackpot amount because the amount that would have been invested in interest-bearing securities with the annuity option is instead paid to the winner all at once.

The lump-sum option gives winners more control over their money, including the freedom to (potentially) invest in higher-yield investments. However, stories abound of lottery jackpot winners going bankrupt just a few years later due to poor money management.