US Powerball FAQ


Can I play Powerball by mail?

No, this is not possible – federal law prohibits the mailing of lottery tickets.

Can non-US citizens play? What happens if a non-US citizen wins?

Yes, non-US citizens can legally play Powerball, and they are also eligible to win any prize offered in the game.

If non-US citizens win a Powerball prize, they would claim their prize much the same way as a US citizen would. The difference lies in the taxes withheld.  For example: federal withholding for non-US citizens is a flat 30 percent. On top of that, individual states may have different tax structures for non-US citizens than they do for US citizens. Depending on the country of which the person is a legal resident, tax treaties between the US and that other country may also be in effect, which could be helpful in offsetting whatever the US tax liabilities are.

To summarize: non-US citizens can play and win prizes in the US Powerball lottery. If non-US citizens win a large prize, they will be required to pay a certain amount in taxes, which will probably be an amount similar to what a US citizen would have to pay. However, international tax codes offer so many possible variations that you’ll need to consult a local tax attorney if you want to know a precise amount of tax liability.

Do I have to reside in one of the Powerball states in order to win?

No, residency is not a requirement to play and win Powerball. As a matter of fact, in the past, residents of non-Powerball states and even residents of countries other than the US have won Powerball prizes in all Powerball prize categories, including the jackpot.

How can I find out the current Powerball jackpot?

On every page on US-Powerball.com, you’ll find a banner showing the current Powerball jackpot – just look on the left side of the page!

Offline, you will find out that most lottery retailers will have the current Powerball jackpot posted next to their lottery machine.

How is Powerball played?

We explain the play process in the section How to play.

Is it possible to receive my prizes by mail?

Most states do actually allow you to claim prizes by mail. For more information and details, please contact your state lottery.

What does the Power Play Multiplier do?

When playing the US Powerball lottery, you have the option to add the Power Play feature to your ticket, by checking the appropriate checkbox. With Power Play, secondary prizes are multiplied up to five times! The Power Play feature is not applicable to ‘Match 5’ prizes (jackpot & second place prize), but all other secondary prizes will at the very least be doubled by the Power Play multiplier! Up to the Powerball draw of January 18th 2014, the Power Play was a fixed multiplier – every secondary prize category had its own multiplying number, ranging from 2 to 4. Since January 22nd 2014, the Power Play is a flexible multiplier – in every Powerball draw the multiplier number will be drawn, along with the regular lottery numbers and the Powerball number. The Power Play number now ranges from 2 to 5 – yes, your $10,000 third prize can change into a fantastisc $50,000 prize with Power Play! The drawn Power Play number does obviously not apply to the jackpot. It also does not apply to the $1 million second place prize, however that prize will still be doubled to $2 million by the Power Play!

What does the Quick Pick option mean?

By choosing the Quick Pick option, you have the system automatically generate your numbers for you – randomly. Just click the option next to the play form and you will see the chosen numbers appear in the form. If you don’t like the numbers that were picked, click the Quick Pick option again.

In an offline situation, you can just tell your lottery retailer that you want a Quick Pick, and your ticket with randomly picked numbers will be ready in seconds.

What is the Power Play?

Power Play is an option that is currently offered in all states that sell Powerball tickets except California. For an extra $1.00 per ticket you can multiply your original prize amount by 2 to 5 times if you win a non-jackpot prize. The flexible Power Play option does not apply to the 2nd place prize; the $1 million prize can only be doubled to $2 million with the Power Play.

Power Play is not available in California because of state law that requires all lottery prizes to be paid out on a pari-mutuel basis.

A player must choose the Power Play option when they buy their Powerball ticket, and then the ticket must match one of the nine prize categories (except the jackpot) before the increased prize takes effect. Power Play costs an extra $1 per play. See How to Play US Powerball for more information.

The increased Power Play prizes are:

Match Normal Prize With Power Play
5 + 1 Jackpot Jackpot (not increased)
5 + 0 $1,000,000 $2,000,000 (fixed Power Play x2)
4 + 1 $10,000 $20,000 – $50,000
4 + 0 $100 $200 – $500
3 + 1 $100 $200 – $500
3 + 0 $7 $14 – $35
2 + 1 $7 $14 – $35
1 + 1 $4 $8 – $20
0 + 1 $4 $8 – $20
When can Powerball tickets be purchased?

Powerball tickets can be purchased from authorized lottery retailers up until approximately 10:45 p.m. Eastern Time the day of the drawing. The exact purchase cutoff time varies by state, so please check with a lottery retailer in your state for the precise time.

When do Powerball drawings take place?

The Powerball winning lottery numbers are drawn each Wednesday and Saturday at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time (9:59 Central; 8:59 p.m. Mountain; 7:59 p.m. Pacific)

Where are Powerball drawings held?

Starting January 7, 2009, Powerball drawings are conducted at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Previously, since the birth of the game, the drawings were held at ITC Studios in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Where can I purchase Powerball tickets?

A list of purchase point for Powerball tickets is available in the Where to Play Powerball section.

Who can play Powerball?

In order to be able to purchase lottery tickets, you must be 18 years or older.