What is the ‘US Powerball’?
The US Powerball or simply ‘Powerball’ is an American lottery game that is played in forty-four states along with Puerto Rico. The minimum jackpot players can win in the Powerball is a huge $40 million which is paid in thirty instalments. Powerball draws are held on both Wednesdays and Saturdays just before 11pm. Like most lotteries, the chances of winning the Powerball jackpot are beyond remote, with players having a 1 in 292,201,338 shot.
The biggest ever Powerball win came at the beginning of 2016 when three lucky winners shared the $1.586 billion jackpot. The winning tickets were located in California, Tennessee and Florida. The Powerball was first launched in 1992, and it instantly became the first game that used two drums. By using two drums, additional manipulation was offered along with high jackpot odds. It also allows different prize levels combined with a low overall chance of winning. The double drum concept has since been used by the Mega Millions in America, the Powerball in Australia and the Thunderball draw in the UK.
In 2015, the concept of the Powerball changed, with the number of white balls increasing from 59 to 69. At the same time, the number of Powerballs was decreased by nine from 35 to 26. Technically, this improved people’s chances of winning a prize to one in twenty-four. At the same time, however, it meant the odds of winning the jackpot were lengthened to one in almost three-hundred million. Those odds are significantly higher than when the Powerball launched in 1992, which offered jackpot odds of one in just over fifty million.
There are several different prizes on offer with the Powerball starting with $4, which is rewarded if players match the Powerball only or a single number and the Powerball. Players can win $50,000 for matching four numbers along with the Powerball and will net $1,000,000 if they manage to defy the odds to match five numbers. The jackpot is won if a player matches all five numbers along with the Powerball.