Forty-five states, including Michigan, Washington DC, the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, have the luxury of playing Powerball. The availability of buying a ticket in person and online makes it easy for just about anyone to buy a chance at winning some serious cash.
Take a look back a few years ago, based on the world record-breaking $1.586 billion jackpot prize won on Jan. 13, 2016, and Powerball is undoubtedly the largest lottery game in the United States of America.
To know what you are getting into, this guide will cover all it takes to play Powerball. Indeed, your most asked questions will be answered with this in-depth guide.
Have you ever wondered where the money goes in Powerball? Every lottery ticket sale helps benefit the following:
These numbers are subject to changes since every state will be slightly different. If interested, you can check your local lottery to find out more information on this.
On April 2, it was announced that the Powerball starting jackpot amount will change from $40 million to a guaranteed $20 million (annuitized prize) with at least a $2 million increase after that, only when no one wins the jackpot between future subsequent drawings.
The draw cutoff is subject to at least an hour before when the draw of the night happens. Drawing times are Wednesday and Saturday at 10:59 pm ET.
In-store ticket sales resume for the next draw after the drawing is completed. Online ticket sales for the next draw start after 9:45 pm ET on the night of the draw.
How to Play Powerball Online
STEP 1. Select one of the following options for purchasing Powerball tickets online:
STEP 2. For $1.00 more per ticket, you can add the Power Play, which could increase your non-jackpot prize by 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X, or 10X.
STEP 3. Review your Shopping Cart. To have your tickets automatically purchased each week, toggle “Yes” for Subscribe. Select “Save as Favorite Purchase,” to add your tickets to Favorite Purchases.
STEP 4. Select CHECKOUT to proceed to payment. If you want to add more tickets to your purchase, you can choose CONTINUE SHOPPING to return to the Games Lobby.
STEP 5. Once your purchase is complete, you can look up your tickets in the Upcoming Purchased Draws section in My Account to review your numbers and the drawing times.
You will automatically receive winning alerts about any prizes you have won next time you sign in with your Michigan Lottery account. You can also check for drawing results in the Past Draws section in My Account.
Pick up a playslip at your favorite Lottery retailer.
Tickets must be replayed within 31 days of original ticket creation. Replay tickets with multiple draws start with the next available drawing.
The cost of one initial ticket is $2. If you would like to add on the power play option, that is an additional dollar. So in total, you can spend as much as $3 per ticket.
You would need to have all five White Balls and one Powerball. Your overall odds to win that specific prize are 1 in 292,201,338.
The power play allows players who purchase the add on feature to have the chance to multiply their non-jackpot winnings by 2, 3, 4, 5, or 10 times the amount won. If you want to add the Power Play feature to your ticket, you must purchase it at the time of your initial purchase of your Powerball ticket. You cannot buy or add it to your already purchased ticket at a later time.
In addition to the magnitude of the power play, it is only noticeable when you purchase the feature and then, of course, win a prize. Only then can the power play increase your prize amount by the pre-drawn Power Play multiplier number for that specific run.
The power play multiplier is determined once the draw begins. This multiplier number is randomly drawn just before the Powerball drawing. So each drawing could have a different power play number.
Other interesting information about the power play option, is that the power play feature in Powerball is not available in California. This is due to state laws there requiring that lottery prizes have to be paid on a pari-mutuel basis.
This just means that prizes cannot be set at absolute values, but will vary based on the number of tickets sold and the amount of winning tickets.
Key takeaways to take note about the Power Play feature in Powerball:
The Power Play multiplier is drawn just before the Powerball drawing.
You can check your Powerball results in a variety of different ways. You can check them by watching your local lottery television station, by downloading the Michigan Lottery app, and by checking online at either the Michigan Lottery website or Powerball website.
The odds are reduced if you purchase more than one ticket. However, you would need to purchase quite a lot to increase your odds. The following are the Powerball’s odds of winning each prize:
Winning prizes from the Powerball are subject to various processes, and depending on how much you won, can make it a little more challenging. The following are categories that will help you decide what to do should you win a certain amount of money;
Prizes may only be claimed by the registered account holder online. Prizes of $600 or less will be automatically added to your account balance.
Prizes over $600 to $50,000 will be held pending your completion of the online claim process. Prizes over $50,000 must be claimed in person at the Michigan Lottery’s central office in Lansing.
If you win a prize over $50,000, please contact Michigan Lottery Public Relations at (517) 373-1237 for more information or check the Michigan Lottery website. You may only win one prize per wager. All prizes will be truncated into whole dollars.
All prizes must be claimed within one year of the date won, or they will expire to being worthless. The claim process may be changed at any time without notice, so it is important to stay up to date with lottery information.
For certain qualified prizes, you may have the option to select between annual payments or a one-time cash payment at a discounted rate. If your prize qualifies, a formal notice of the cash payment option will be given at the time you file a claim.
If you decide to choose the cash payment option, you must complete the payment election form within 60 days of your claim. If the election is not made within 60 days of the formal notice, the prize will be paid automatically in annual installments.
Your cash payment selection, once elected, is irrevocable and may only be exercised by the account holder only, and is only allowed for the entire prize amount.
Prizes over $5,000 are subject to federal tax withholding for US residents and state income tax withholding at the current rate. Any money that is withheld in compliance with these requirements will be deposited with the federal and state treasuries under your federal identification number.
At the time of claiming a prize over $600, you will be required to complete a claim form. You will receive a tax statement (known as the Form W2-G), which simply identifies the amount of the prize awarded and the tax withheld.
Before any payment of a prize over $1,000, the state law requires that it has to determine whether or not you have certain unpaid debts and, if so, must apply the prize to payment of that debt. (Check MCL 432.32 for specific details).
Michigan Lottery will provide your name, prizes amount, and other identifying information to the Department of Health and Human Services within seven days after paying a prize of $1,000.00 or more.
If you are one of the lucky few players who have won a big lottery jackpot from the Michigan Lottery or your residing state, you have the option to choose between a one-time lump sum payment or an annuity payment.
You need to ask yourself how you would like to receive such a large prize. A lottery annuity or cash option?
At first, it may appear like an easy decision, but there are several deciding factors to consider when choosing one option versus the other. Should you take the annuity payment or the lump sum? Most jackpot winners are torn between each option because there are major life-changing pros and cons.
The lump sum is a single cash transfer paid all at once in one single payment by the lottery operator to the prize winner. The prize winner has immediate access to the winnings. Normally the cash option amount is shown as the second payout option. It is slightly more than half of the advertised jackpot amount.
Modern lotteries involve a bit of financial sleight of hand. The lump-sum value is determined precisely equal to the series of payments, usually 29 or 30 annual payments based on a certain interest rate (usually 3 to 4%).
This means that if you were to deposit a lump sum money today into an interest generating savings account, with an assumed annual bearing interest of about 4% per annum for a period of the 30 years, you would have an amount generally close to it.
The money would grow to be equal to the advertised jackpot prize. The advertised jackpot value is the amount on the billboards – e.g., “this week’s jackpot is $X million.”
In the Michigan state lottery, the cash value is roughly 58% of the advertised jackpot prize. So “You’ve won $xx million” actually translates to you will receive that much if you are willing to wait 29 to 30 years to collect it.
What you have actually won is the cash value. This includes the potential interest that the cash value will have to accumulate in about 30 years if you choose to invest the prize with the lottery.
Lump sums are seemingly more popular options because they allow for flexibility. This is including immediate access to winnings and the opportunity to invest in sub-accounts and other financial tools.
As you can see, this is considerably more favorable, assuming you do not blow most of the money quickly. But you would have to invest at least a big chunk of it instead.
Yet, taking this rather large financial payout option can lead to an extravagant amount of spending habits and uninformed and poor investing. Choosing a lump sum also means winners will receive an amount significantly lower than what the initial value was because the highest taxes will also be due in a lump sum. All this headache and expenses can be avoided by taking an annuity.
As noted above, if the winner chooses the annuity payment option, they are guaranteed to receive a series of 30 progressive payments spread out over 29 years.
These annuity payments will be dished out to the prize winner on an annual installment basis. This amount will increase by five percent with every annual payment until the 30th and final payment. If you added this all up, all thirty payments equal the value of the advertised jackpot prize.
After the prize winner receives the first initial installment, the lottery commission takes the remaining prize money and invests it into a conservative investment. The preferred investments are a low-risk, highest-rated credit quality government bonds.
These investments generate a low interest but yield steady and consistent yearly payouts to the prize winner. This is more than enough to cover the winners promised installments over the next 29 years.
This is a quick rundown of what the annuity is all about. Take note if you have won the jackpot and are looking to save money and look forward to the long haul:
Annuities will offer a smarter benefit over the lump sum option. This is especially to those winners who wish to avoid the lottery curse and the potential negatives involved with poor money management.
Benefits those winners who are not willing to risk losing a portion of or all of their prize winnings.
Annuities will also let the winner delay paying taxes on earnings, and even smaller amounts spread out.
An annuity offers the winner a guaranteed stable stream of income and allows you to plan accordingly for bills or other expenses.
Upon the death of the prize winner, the annuities are inheritable, even though some do not know this. The lottery will thus continue paying the remaining annuities to the winner’s heirs or next of kin.
If you decide to choose the lump sum, rather than the extended payout, the math shows that you will get much less money than the advertised jackpot value. But, that amount is equal to the advertised jackpot prize if you were to invest the cash lump sum at about 4% annual interest over about 30 years or so.
Generally, the lump sum option is slightly more than half of the advertised jackpot value.
For example, if you won a $120 million jackpot in the multistate Mega Millions lottery game, you could take $4,615,380 a year for 26 years to total the entire $120 million. However, the lump sum alternative is $70,042,000, equal to about 58 percent of $120.
So you see, you have options based on whatever your personal needs are. Everyone will have a different situation, and if you win something that large of an amount, more power to you to decide what you want to do with it.