Ultimate Guide to US Powerball Online | theLotter

The Ultimate Guide to the US Powerball Lottery Online

Breaking News: The US Powerball jackpot has fallen! One extremely lucky ticket holder from California was the sole winner of an incredible $447.8 million jackpot in the draw on 10 June 2017. This was the 7th biggest Powerball jackpot prize ever, and the fourth largest lottery jackpot won by a single ticket holder. The jackpot has fallen, but it is sure to rise again. Hurry and buy your Powerball tickets in time for the next draw!

Need an edge when playing the Powerball? Read this in-depth Guide to the US Powerball Online. We hope you enjoy it!

Buy a US Powerball ticket online from anywhere in the world

Make sure to read How to Improve Your Chances of Winning the US Powerball for important tips to help you win the huge Powerball jackpot!

US Powerball: America's Favourite Lottery, the World's Favourite Lottery

The US Powerball is probably the world's most popular and most famous lottery. What makes the US Powerball lottery so popular? What are the rules of the Powerball? Where can you play Powerball and what are its most recent records? All this information and more can be found here in our Ultimate Guide to the US Powerball Lottery Online!

For more than two decades, the US Powerball has been America’s favourite lottery. Quite recently, in January 2016, the Powerball ignited a huge buying frenzy when it offered a $1.58 billion jackpot. Of course hundreds of millions of tickets were sold directly to Americans, but hundreds of thousands of Canadians, Latin Americans, Europeans, Asians, Africans and Australians bought tickets for the US Powerball online as well. One of our own players from El Salvador even won the second Powerball prize worth $1 million that night, proving that it is possible and legal to play Powerball online through a ticket messenger service!

US Powerball Rules & Prize Categories

To play the US Powerball, you need to pick five numbers from a range of 1-69 and a Powerball number from a range of 1-25. Draws take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The jackpot starts at $40 million and there is no jackpot cap, which means it can grow indefinitely until it is won. The USA Powerball lottery has 9 prize divisions and a multiplier option called Power Play.

Prize Category Match Winning Odds




2nd Prize



3rd Prize



4th Prize



5th Prize



6th Prize



7th Prize



8th Prize



9th Prize



What is the Power Play Option on Powerball Forms?

When you opt to participate with the Power Play option you increase your prizes in seven categories! When you win a prize it is multiplied 2 to 10 times, depending on the drawn Power Play number. The 10X multiplier is only possible with jackpots of $150 million or less. No matter what Power Play multiplier is selected, the maximum second prize is $2 million instead of the usual $1 million.

History & Growth of the US Powerball, 1988-1992

In 1988, the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), then being comprised of six states and Washington, D.C., started offering its first lottery game under the name of Lotto*America. Initially, L*A's was a 7/40 game, which made it different from other lotteries in the United States, as most then offered pick-6 games, but after two years the format was changed to pick 6 out of 54. The odds to win the Lotto*America jackpot were the toughest of any US game at the time, at approximately 1 in 18 million at the time of the pick-7 format to 1 in 13 million in the following two years.

MUSL attracted more and more states to the fold and thus appealed to millions more players. In 1992 it replaced the L*A with the original Powerball, which premiered the two drum system introduced by Steve Caputo of the Oregon Lottery. By using two drums the Powerball could offer a higher jackpot and many more prize levels as winning odds were lower. The structure was in fact so unique, that even when a player matched just one number, he or she would end up winning a prize. These days the two drum system is also used by the Mega Millions, EuroMillions and EuroJackpot.

In the following 15 years the Powerball grew larger, rules were amended and more states joined.

2009-2010: Powerball Moves & Expands

On 4 January 2009, Powerball tickets went on sale in Florida for the first time and the live drawing location moved from West Des Moines, Iowa, to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. With the move, the wheel that was used for the Power Play number was retired. It was replaced by an RNG – a Random Number Generator.

Since 13 October 2010, Powerball tickets are on sale in almost all American states, after MUSL reached an agreement with the Mega Millions consortium, which meant the two giants started cross-selling.

Two Record Powerball Jackpots: 2013 & 2016

One of the greatest moments in US Powerball lottery history was the $590.5 million jackpot win in May 2013 by 84-year-old pensioner Gloria McKenzie from Florida. To this day, Ms McKenzie remains the biggest single jackpot winner in world history.

Powerball broke the lottery world record on 13 January 2016 when its $1.6 BILLION JACKPOT was won by three winners. This huge jackpot was divided between Marvin and Mae Acosta from California; Lisa and John Robinson from Tennessee; and the Nickel 95 Trust from Florida (the trustee is Maureen Smith). All three winners elected to take a lump sum cash payment of $327,835,000.

Where Can I Buy Tickets for Powerball in the USA?

The Multi-State Lottery Association sells its official paper Powerball tickets in a total of 44 states as well as the Virgin Islands, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, whilst online ticket messenger services such as theLotter allow players from outside the United States to play the US Powerball from anywhere in the world.

A map depicting all the American states where US Powerball tickets are sold

Timeline of US Powerball Game Format Changes

Over the past 25 years, the US Powerball rules have been amended on a number of occasions.

  • At the time of its reincarnation in 1992 Powerball was a 5/45 and 1/45 game and its jackpot began at $2 million.

  • In 1997, the formula was changed to 5/49 and 1/42 and the top jackpot increased to $10 million.

  • The Power Play multiplier option was introduced in March 2001.

  • In 2002, the formula changed to 5/53 and 1/42.

  • In 2005, the starting jackpot was increased to $15 million.

  • In 2012, the formula changed to 5/59 and 1/35 and the minimum jackpot figure increased to $40 million.

  • Also in 2012, the second prize was changed to $1 million and the Power Play option started offering a $2 million 2nd prize.

  • In October 2015, the format changed to 1/69 and the Powerball to 1/26.

  • This latest change was meant to enable larger jackpots and create more winners in lower prize categories as overall winning odds improved to 1 to 25 (up from 1 in 32).

US Powerball vs Australian, South African & New Zealand Powerball Games

Powerball-style lotteries are now available in other countries, too.

  • The South Africa Powerball draws 5 main numbers from a range of 45 and 1 Powerball number from a range of 20 numbers. The ZA Powerball has 8 prize categories. Draws take place on Tuesdays and Fridays!

  • The Australian Powerball draws 6 main numbers from a range of 40 and 1 Powerball number from a range of 20 numbers. The OZ Powerball has 8 prize categories. Draws take place on Thursdays!

  • The New Zealand Powerball draws 6 main numbers from a range of 40 and 1 Powerball number from a range of 10 numbers. The NZ Powerball has 12 prize categories. Draws take place on Saturdays!

Powerball vs Mega Millions

From the outside it may seem that the US lotto giant regularly crosses swords with its arch nemesis Mega Millions, but take a closer look and you’ll find out that the two multi-state lotteries actually cooperate a great deal, especially when it comes to ticket sales. Still, there are some very big differences between the Powerball and the Mega Millions, which are important to know for anyone who wants to play American lotteries online.

US Powerball vs Mega Millions

$40 million

Starting Jackpot

$15 million

5/69 + 1/25 Power Ball

Game Format

5/75 + 1/15 Mega Ball

Wed & Sat

Draw Days

Tue & Fri

$1.6 billion world record

Record Jackpot

$656 million

Power Play multiplies secondary prizes up to 5 times but doubles the 2nd prize


Megaplier multiplies secondary prizes up to 5 times including the 2nd prize

9 categories

Prize Categories

9 categories


Winning Odds


How is the Powerball Jackpot Paid Out?

American lotteries offer their jackpot winners annuities and a cash option. Lotto prizes in the US are subject to taxation at both the state and federal level and non-residents are sometimes taxed at a higher rate than inhabitants of the participating states themselves. Furthermore, you may be liable for taxation in the country where you live. For more in-depth information on the taxes you may be liable for when you win big Powerball prizes, check the USA Powerball information page.

10 Biggest Powerball Jackpots of All Time

Rank Date Amount # of winners


January 13, 2016

$1,586.4 million



May 18, 2013

$590.5 million



November 28, 2012

$587.5 million



February 11, 2015

$564.1 million



July 30, 2016

$487 million



August 7, 2013

$448.4 million



June 10, 2017

$447.8 million



February 22, 2017

$435.3 million



May 7, 2016

$429.6 million



February 19, 2014

$425.3 million


Top 5 Powerball Jackpots in History

  • 13 January 2016 – A world-record jackpot of $1.6 billion was shared by three ticketholders - Marvin and Mae Acosta from California; Lisa and John Robinson from Tennessee; and the Nickel 95 Trust from Florida (the trustee is Maureen Smith).

  • 18 May 2013 – Gloria McKenzie scooped up the largest single win in Powerball lottery history: a gargantuan $590.5 million!

  • 28 November 2012 – Arizonan Matthew Good shared the $587.5 million jackpot with Cindy and Mark Hill of Missouri.

  • 11 February 2015 – Three winners share $564 million. One of them is Marie Holmes of North Carolina, an unemployed mother of four.

  • 30 July 2016 – A single ticket holder from New Hampshire wins $487 million.

What Happens When a Foreigner Wins the US Powerball Jackpot?

theLotter’s website enables you to place on order online for an original US Powerball lottery ticket. How it works? Well, theLotter is a courier or messenger service. When you place an order for a Powerball ticket, one of our messengers in New Jersey, Florida, New York or another state physically goes to a licensed lottery agent to buy the ticket on your behalf. The messenger then scans the ticket to your account before the draw takes place and stores your physical ticket in a safe. If you win a prize in the Powerball you will be notified immediately by one of our employees. If there is a jackpot win, we will organise a trip to the US, where you will take possession of your ticket and, subsequently, you’ll claim that giant check in the Powerball offices.

Meet 4 of theLotter's Online Powerball Winners – Each Won $1 Million

Man from Canada wins 1 million dollars in the US Powerball by playing online through theLotter

G. from Australia has been playing with theLotter since he discovered our ‘convenient and easy to use’ ticket purchasing service in 2003. He has scored more than 450 wins over the years, but all pale in comparison to the prize he won on 19 October 2016. Coming just one number away from winning the Powerball jackpot, G. was compensated with a very nice $1 million second division prize. Read more about the Australian who won $1 million playing the US Powerball online.

Like many other Canadians, P from Quebec started playing lotteries online through theLotter when the US Powerball jackpot hit $1 billion. Luckily for P, he kept playing Powerball after the billion-dollar jackpot fell and won the $1 million second prize on 27 February 2016! Read more about the Canadian who won $1 million in the US Powerball online.

Another winner in the 2nd Prize Category of the US Powerball comes from Central America. On the eve of the record $1.6 billion Powerball, grandfather H. from El Salvador, a first-time player on the site, won $1 million. His first thought was that now he finally had enough money to go and visit his grandchildren and great-grandchildren who live... in the United States of all places! Find out more about the El Salvador pensioner who won $1 million in the US lottery online.

B.U., a theLotter player from London in the United Kingdom, won the 2nd Powerball prize in 2012 and he collected his $1 million prize in the United States. B.U was fascinated by the American Powerball lottery and played only a few times before his dreams became a reality. He became a millionaire overnight! Find out about our British Powerball winner.

For in-depth stories about all our champions, check the page dedicated to theLotter’s biggest winners.

US Powerball Online Play Options at theLotter

theLotter offers play forms with between 3 to 25 lines – with or without the Power Play game option. In addition, you can reserve your tickets in advance with a Multi-Draw package or even get an ongoing subscription to the US Powerball. What's more, you can play on the US Powerball with a systematic form. You can either quick pick your numbers or opt to select your numbers manually. You can even save your favourite numbers using the Lucky Numbers feature.

What Are US Powerball Online Syndicates?

One in every four jackpot prizes is won by a syndicate (or “lottery group”) and it for that very reason that theLotter offers online lottery syndicates for the American lotteries, including, of course, the US Powerball lottery. There are several US Powerball lottery groups to choose from. All you have to do is choose the number of shares and the syndicate type to start increasing your chance to win the Powerball jackpot. In times of high jackpots, theLotter regularly opens so-called Mega Syndicates with 1,000 lines. Learn everything you need to know about lottery syndicates on our dedicated page explaining how lottery syndicates work.

What Are US Powerball Online Bundles?

Online US Powerball lottery bundles are bespoke products created by theLotter’s specialists. Powerball Bundles combine the odds-boosting power of Powerball syndicates with personal entries, which give you a chance to win the jackpot entirely for yourself. Rather than purchasing the individual components included in the Bundle separately by yourself, Bundles offer you the convenience of a one-click solution. What’s more, they save you a bundle, too, as you benefit from significant discounts compared to buying the tickets separately.

To find out exactly how lottery Bundles, like the Powerball Bundles, work, read our Guide to Lottery Bundles.

Good Luck Playing the US Powerball Online

No matter how insurmountable the jackpot odds may seem, someone will win the US Powerball jackpot and it could be you! We have some tips for you if you've ever wondered how to improve your chances of winning the US Powerball, so good luck!

We hope we were able to answer all the questions about one of the biggest lotteries on the planet and give you a thorough overview of everything we offer our players online when it comes to the US Powerball.

Is the US Powerball the best lottery game to play? Try it and good luck!