The US Powerball lottery is renowned throughout the world as one of the biggest paying lotto games. Serving up nine different ways to win prizes, including Power Play multiplier side-bets, the game is commonly found at all significant lottery ticket betting websites. If you are interested in trying your hand at this jackpot lottery game, here is what you need to know to get started.


The US Powerball in India

Indian players are invited to try their hand at the US Powerball lottery. Almost all internet lottery sites which accept players from the subcontinent offer the Powerball lotto as an option. Moreover, many also provide you with the Power Play side-bets to boot.

The lottery itself is played in 45 of the 50 US states, but also the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and even the US Virgin Islands. Notably, the Powerball makes it abundantly clear (on their website) that you do not need to be a U.S. citizen, or even reside in the United States to play the Powerball lottery. This makes it quite clear that Indian players are free to join the lottery. The only way they can do that is by purchasing tickets via online lottery betting sites like The Lotter

The US Powerball lottery started in 1992 and has undergone many changes over the years. The lotto underwent its most recent format change for 2020. The last revision was in 2015, so the current format is expected to stick around for quite a while. The significant change was that the guaranteed jackpot was decreased from 4 crores.

You can now play the US Powerball in India.

The jackpot now has an advertised value of $20 million (over 200 lakhs for Powerball India players) and is often worth considerably more. It pays out its prizes with annuity payments (thirty instalments), but winners can choose to claim a lump sum. If they do so, the amount of money paid out will be worthless. The primary reason for this is the US Powerball is a taxed lottery. Indian players will, therefore, pay a more substantial amount of their winnings in US tax (even if they do not live there) in one lump sum, than they would over thirty smaller sums.

Now that you know a bit about what popular lottery means for players in India, how do you play it? Read on to learn more…


How to Play the US Powerball Lottery

The US Powerball lottery uses a standard format. There are 69 numbers used in the main pot, and players must select 5 of these to form their ticket. On top of that, a separate pot of 26 bonus balls (known as Powerballs) is used. You will need to select just a single Powerball for your ticket. A completed ticket will consist of 5 balls and 1 Powerball

A total of five numbers and a Powerball are drawn from the two pots during each draw. To win the top prize, you are going to need to match all 5 of those numbers, as well as the single Powerball number. Note that if multiple winnings tickets occur, each player with a winning ticket will share an equal part of the jackpot prize. Players can win by matching just the Powerball, but naturally, the more correct matches they acquire, the greater the rewards become.

Here is the prize breakdown for the Powerball Lottery:

  • Powerball: ₹304
  • One Number and the Powerball: ₹304
  • Two Numbers and the Powerball: ₹533
  • Three Numbers: ₹533
  • Three Numbers and the Powerball: ₹7,616
  • Four Numbers: ₹7,616
  • Four Numbers and the Powerball: ₹3,808,275
  • Five Numbers: 10 Lakhs
  • Five Numbers and the Powerball: Jackpot

To give you a helping hand, the US Powerball has a bonus game, known as the Power Play. Opting to use the Power Play feature will see the cost of ticket increase. The Power Play feature is essentially a multiplier. When the draw takes place, a Power Play number will be selected at random, and this will multiply your prize by anything from 2x up to 10x the rate of pay. 

This applies to all winning combinations listed above, except for the highest two prize tiers. With the Power Play option activated, players who land five numbers will win 20 lakhs instead of the default 10 lakhs, while jackpot prizes remain unchanged. 


The Key Facts

Before trying your hand at the US Powerball, it is worth taking note of a few things. Below, you will find info relating to your chances of success, the time of the draw, the jackpot prizes, and ticket prices for the US Powerball lotto.

  • Chances of Success: The US Powerball lottery has some of the longest odds for winning the jackpot prize. You only have a 1 in 38 chance of success of winning with a single Powerball, which offers the lowest-paying prize. If you want to get your hands on the jackpot, you can expect odds of 1 in 292.2 million. Those are not great odds. Despite that, many millions of people give it a shot because the jackpot prizes are simply phenomenal in value.
  • Draws: US Powerball lottery draws take place twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 pm EST. Tickets must be purchased by 10 pm EST if you wish to participate in each lottery, although some online lottery sites do close the doors earlier, as they need to get agents out there to snap up your tickets. The draw typically takes place in Tallahassee, Florida, but this has changed on occasion.
  • Jackpots: To get your hands on a jackpot prize, you are going to need to match all five numbers and the Powerball. This is not going to be easy, and odds of 1 in 292.2 million make it one of the toughest lotteries in the world to win. The reason the lottery is so difficult to win is the large number of Powerballs included in the lottery. Despite its difficulty, many people have won the jackpot prize, so the lottery is fair.
  • Ticket prices: Officially, ticket prices for the US Powerball lotto cost ₹152. However, if you wish to buy a ticket with the Power Play (multiplier) option included, the fee rises to ₹228. It is worth noting that online lottery betting sites will charge slightly more than this, as they take a fee for sending one of their agents out to purchase the tickets.

Powerball Winners

Not counting one-off seasonal jackpot games, the US Powerball is responsible for the single biggest paying jackpot in lottery history, when 150 crores was split between three ticket holders. There have been many other occasions when jackpots worth many hundreds of millions of dollars have been paid out. However, almost all these wins have seen prizes split between several people with winning tickets.

Like many big lotteries, a good chunk of the US Powerball’s most famous winners opted for anonymity when they won. 

The 150 crores win mentioned above occurred in 2016 and saw tickets from California, Florida, and Tennessee win. Each winner pocketed 50 crores. In March 2019, a man in Wisconsin pocketed 75 crores. The winner had the choice between a lump sum of 50 crores or the full amount in thirty annuity payments, before tax. This same draw saw nine other players win 10 lakhs or 20 lakhs apiece by matching five numbers.

Other notable winners include Massachusetts’s based Mavis Wanczyk’s $758.7 million win in August 2017, double-winning tickets in a 68 crores draw from Iowa and New York belonging to Lerynne West and Robert Bailey, respectively, in 2018, and Florida-based Gloria MacKenzie’s 59 crores Powerball win in 2013. As you can see, winning the Powerball lotto is tough, but quite clearly, not impossible.


Final Thoughts

The US Powerball lotto is one of the most challenging lotteries to land the jackpot in. However, it continues to captivate its players with the sheer value of its prizes. Indian players who are looking to try their hand at online lottery games may well be tempted to have a punt on this goliath, especially as it is relatively cheap to play. There are lotteries out there providing players with better odds of success, but they do not pay out anywhere near as much as the US Powerball does.


Frequently Asked Questions about US Powerball

Before you get started with the US Powerball, it can be worth checking through the FAQ (frequently asked questions) guide, to ensure that you do not have any lingering questions.

Do I have to pay extra to buy a US Powerball ticket abroad?

Yes. This is solely because US Powerball tickets are only sold abroad via lottery betting sites. They will typically charge a small sum on top to cover the cost of their agents and running costs. 

How many lottery betting sites offer the US Powerball lotto?

The great thing about the US Powerball lottery is that it is widely available, even abroad. Almost all major online lottery betting sites and lottery agent domains include the US Powerball lottery. It is also one of the most played lottery games at those sites. Take a look at Lottoland where you can get 1 Free Powerball ticket when you register.

Do I pay tax if I win on the US Powerball lotto abroad?

Yes. Firstly, even though you do not live in the United States, Uncle Sam will want his share of the spoils. In most other countries, lottery winnings are considered tax-free. However, in India, you will also have to pax on any winnings you acquire with the Powerball lotto. The Indian Tax Act of 1961, states that a flat tax of 30% is applied to lottery winnings. However, this rule applies to Indian lotteries. As the US Powerball is an offshore lottery, you may just have to pay standard income tax on whatever you win, which is less than the Indian lottery tax.

Do I have to be a US citizen or resident to play the Powerball?

Not at all. The US Powerball’s own website even quite clearly states that you do not need to be a US citizen or reside in the United States to have a crack at playing this globally popular lottery. This is one of the reasons why the US Powerball lotto frequently appears as international lottery betting domains.

Can I purchase side-bets in this lottery game?

Yes. The US Powerball lotto has a Power Play option. This is not mandatory but might be worth looking at. Ordinarily, a US Powerball ticket costs ₹152, and one with the Power Play multiplier feature costs ₹228. Expect slightly higher costs when purchasing tickets from abroad. The Power Play feature magnifies whatever you win (save for jackpot) by anything from 2x up to 10x the value of the standard prize. 

Are my winnings paid out in a lump sum, or with annuity payments?

Under the terms of the US Powerball lottery, you will get to choose between a lump sum or annuity payments. The latter comes spread over thirty instalments, but it is worth the total sum minus tax. If you opt for a one-time lump sum you will not get the full amount, as the taxes are higher. However, some lottery betting websites have their own terms. For instance, some sites are happy to pay out the lump sum (minus tax), while others will opt to pay you in annuity payments (even if you would typically opt for the lump sum). This can vary from site to site, so it is well worth having a look at the terms that your lottery agent has before playing.

Is the US Powerball lottery licensed and legal?

Yes. In the United States, the US Powerball lottery is legal in 45 of the 50 states, plus dominions and territories. It is also permitted to play the US Powerball lotto abroad, providing that gambling online is legal in your country. It is worth double-checking that your lottery betting agent and website is licensed and regulated to offer such games to you, though. Any licensed betting site can, in theory, provide US Powerball tickets legally.


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