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The Ultimate Guide To Playing Powerball For First-Timers

Before you jump into playing Powerball for the first time, this is the ultimate guide you need to see.

If you’re new to playing Powerball, this is the ultimate guide you need to see. From where to buy your tickets to claiming your jackpot wins, these are the details you should know. And once you realize just how easy it is to play, you might soon turn into a Powerball-playing veteran!

Know Where to Buy Tickets

Powerball retailers are nearly everywhere. Depending on where you call home, you might be able to play Powerball at the local gas station, drugstore, or grocery store. Just look to see if the venue is an “authorized lottery retailer” or ask the cashier if the store sells Powerball. You can also purchase your Powerball tickets online, based on legality in your neck of the woods, making it even easier to play. An entry-level play will only cost you two dollars, meaning some spare change in the couch cushion could cover your ticket!

Know How to Play

You know that playing Powerball involves choosing some numbers, six to be exact. Five of your digit selections (white balls) will be between one and 69, while the remaining Powerball number to choose (red ball) is any number between one and 26. You can choose any combination of numbers you like, or you can have the machine at the counter randomly select them for you.

Now’s the time, too, to also decide if you want to opt-in for the Power Play. For an additional dollar, you can select to multiply your winnings, potentially increasing any winning combination (not matching all numbers for the jackpot) from two to ten times the original amount.

Know How to Win

Once you’ve purchased your Powerball tickets, it’s time to wait to see if your numbers match those drawn. Drawings occur Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, usually at 10:59 EST. If no winners come forward, the jackpot continues to increase with each drawing. If your ticket doesn’t match the numbers drawn, it’s no longer in play and cannot be eligible for future games as-is.

Another perk of playing Powerball is you don’t have to match all your numbers to win something. Here is a breakdown of Powerball winning number combinations. And remember, these could be multiplied if you opted to add on the Power Play option.

  • If you match the Powerball: You win four dollars.
  • If you match one white ball plus the Powerball: You win four dollars.
  • If you match two white balls plus the Powerball: You win seven dollars.
  • If you match three white balls only: You win seven dollars.
  • If you match three white balls plus the Powerball: You win $100.
  • If you match four white balls only: You win $100.
  • If you match four white balls with the Powerball: You win $50,000.
  • If you match five white balls only: You win $1 million.
  • If you match all white balls and the Powerball: You win the whole enchilada jackpot up for grabs.

What to Do If You Have a Winning Powerball Ticket

If you find yourself a winner, it’s time to claim your prize! Smaller dollar amounts, anything under $600, can be collected directly from the retailer that sold you the ticket. The larger dollar amount prizes will need to be verified at your nearest Powerball or lottery district office. Each state may have a different prize claiming process. But you will need to have the winning Powerball ticket in hand and likely fill out forms and present identification.

Here are some essential tidbits to consider when you have a winning Powerball ticket:

  • Powerball tickets can expire, and the window of time you have to collect will vary by state, from 90 days up to one year of the game drawing date.
  • Don’t lose your ticket. And for any larger dollar amount prizes, it’s best to sign the back of the Powerball ticket immediately to avoid someone else claiming it upon possessing it.
  • There will be taxes. Just plan on settling up with the IRS before any of those winnings land in your bank account.
  • Jackpot options include a one-time payout, minus the taxes, of course, or an annuity plan of payments over a period of years. Before you make your final decision, should you be a Powerball jackpot winner, consult with a financial advisor who specializes in substantial prize-winning payouts.

Now that you know everything there is to know about playing Powerball, all you have to do is go out and start playing!