Powerball: how to play and other questions answered
Published2 hours ago
The draw to claim a record US Powerball jackpot of $2.04bn (£1.7bn) took place on Tuesday morning after being delayed.
The premier lottery game – which has had no winner in more than three months after 40 consecutive drawings – was due to be drawn on Monday night.
But organisers say the event had been postponed as a participating lottery needed more time to process some tickets.
It is not immediately clear whether there are any winners.
In a statement on Tuesday the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) – which runs the draw – confirmed that the jackpot had risen to $2.04bn from an earlier estimate of $1.9bn, making it the world’s largest lottery prize.
The previous night, the highly-anticipated draw was delayed by nearly 10 hours after Powerball announced that one of the 48 participating lotteries was still processing its sales and play data. All 48 are required to do so before the draw takes place.
“Powerball has stringent security requirements to protect the integrity of the game and remains committed to holding a drawing that gives all players a fair chance to win,” the organisation said.
The state lottery that was experiencing delays was not identified.
The odds of winning the jackpot are one in 292.2 million, Powerball says.
What was the Powerball draw?
The draw was originally scheduled for 11:30pm EST (04:30 GMT) on Monday, but instead took place on Tuesday morning at around 9:00am (14:00 GMT).
The winning numbers were 10, 33, 41, 47, 56 and power 10.
It is still unknown if there were any winners, and, if so, how much they won. Prize information will be available upon certification of national results from across the US, according to the website of the California Lottery.
The previous world-record jackpot was set in 2016, when $1.59bn was split between three Powerball players.
“Like the rest of America, and the world, I think we’re all eager to find out when this historic jackpot will eventually be won,” Drew Svitko, the chair of the Powerball Product Group, said in a statement.
While no-one claimed Saturday’s winning prize, there were 16 tickets matching the five main numbers to win $1m each. Another ticket – drawn in Kentucky – won $2m , while 219 tickets across the US won $50,000 and 51 won $150,000.
Only one other Powerball jackpot reached 41 consecutive drawings. The 2021 drawing ended with a nearly $700m winner in California.
How do you play Powerball?
Powerball tickets cost $2 to buy, and a winner has the option to choose a lump sum payment, which is currently estimated at $929m for Monday’s draw.
Winners can also choose to receive the full amount in an annuity paid over 29 years, but almost all winners opt for the upfront cash option.
The game, which began in 1992, is played in 45 of the 50 US states, the capital city of Washington, and in the US territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
A ticket must match all six numbers drawn to score the jackpot. If multiple winners select the same combination of numbers in the draw, they will equally share the jackpot.
The winnings are subject to federal taxes of between 24% and 37%, and, in most cases, state taxes. Only 10 states do not have state taxes.
In several locations – such as New York City – the winnings are also subject to municipal taxes.
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The jackpot was last won on 3 August, when the owner of the winning ticket opted for a lump sum payment of $206.9m.
In July, a “Mega Millions” ticket sold in Illinois won $1.34bn.
Players have to be at least 18 years old, but some states have set the age limit at 21. Some states also allow winners to remain anonymous.
Why is there such a big jackpot?
This record-breaking jackpot is being attributed in part to changes the lottery made in 2015. To boost sales, it made smaller prizes easier to win – but the jackpot harder.
It tweaked the game, notably including having players choose five numbers from one to 69 instead of from one to 59 under the previous rules.
Players also select the Powerball – their sixth number – from one to 26, instead of the previous one to 35 .
That increased the odds for the grand prize from one in 175.2 million to the current 1 in 292.2 million.
It’s not the first time to lottery the game rules were adjusted – it has made regular changes in its 30-year history, and recently added the Monday night draw.
Can Powerball be played outside the US?
Powerball tickets can be purchased from abroad online. Participants do not need to be US citizens nor residents.
Winnings, however, need to be claimed in the state to which a ticket belongs.
For US residents, this means that those living in states that don’t participate in the Powerball would need to travel to buy a ticket and claim winnings.
Similar rules are in place for other lottery games.
In 2015, a 37-year old Iraqi man from Baghdad won a $6.4m (£5.5m) “Megabucks” jackpot in Oregon after purchasing the ticket through a Malta-based website.
Lottery winners have also been reported in a number of other countries, including Australia and El Salvador.
Who owns Powerball?
Powerball is coordinated by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), a US non-profit comprised of 38 state lotteries from across the US, Washington DC, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. It was formed in 1987 and launched its first game – Lotto America – the following year.
The organisation provides a number of services to its constituent members, such as game development, central accounting and the actual conduct of lottery drawings.
Money from tickets sales goes both towards the prize money and the rest to the government-run state lotteries that participate in Powerball, as well as to retailer commissions.
According to the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, US lottery sales totalled over $91bn in the 2019 fiscal year.
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