How to Play
While picking numbers every week is one way to play, it’s not your only option. Let’s take a closer look at the different ways to play the game.
First, you have Easy Pick, which lets the computer choose six random numbers for you. You can also do a combination; you select some numbers, and the computer picks the rest.
You also can purchase Power Play. For an additional $1 per play, you can earn between two and 10 times more money if you win a non-jackpot prize. The Power Play can multiply your winnings by two, three, four, five or 10 times based upon the Power Play ball that is drawn in a given drawing. There are 24 2x balls, 13 3x balls, three 4x balls and 5x balls each and one 10X ball.
A Multi-draw play means you’re playing with the same numbers over and over again. You can play up to 26 times in a row with the same six numbers.
A Repeat play means you’re getting the same numbers repeatedly for one drawing. You can purchase the same numbers up to 20 times per drawing.
There are Game Machines in 1,500+ stores across Virginia that allow you to skip the checkout lines and get your Powerball tickets without the hassle of going to a cashier. You can also create a Virginia Lottery account and purchase your tickets online while you are anywhere in Virginia.
How to Win Powerball
Now that you have your tickets, it’s time to wait for the twice-weekly drawings to see if your Powerball numbers come up. How do you win Powerball?
If you’ve matched all five numbers plus the Powerball number, you win the current jackpot. Congratulations! It’s important to note, however, that the Power Play multiplier doesn’t apply to jackpot wins.
According to Powerball rules, if you match five numbers but miss the Powerball, you can win $1 million (if you do not purchase Power Play) or $2 million (if you do purchase Power Play). Note that the Power Play multipliers do not apply here. Selecting Power Play just increases your win from $1 million to $2 million.
Without Power Play, four numbers plus the Powerball number wins $50,000. With Power Play, you can win between $100,000 and $250,000. Without the Powerball, matching four numbers wins between $100 and $500 — the same amount you’ll win if you match three balls and the Powerball.
Three balls by themselves, or two balls and the Powerball, wins between $7 and $35. One ball plus the Powerball or the Powerball by itself wins between $4 and $20.
If the annuity jackpot is equal to or more than $150 million, the 10x Power Play ball is removed from the drawing.
How Much Does It Cost to Play Powerball?
Basic Powerball cards cost $2 apiece. For an additional dollar, you can add the PowerPlay option, which increases the size of your prize if you correctly guess one to five qualifying numbers. So the maximum cost of a single Powerball ticket is $3.
How Does PowerPlay Work?
If you purchase the PowerPlay option, the value of any prize you win for matching fewer than five balls will be multiplied by a randomly-drawn value between two and five. If the jackpot is worth less than $150 million, a 10x multiplier will be added to the mix.
For the payouts for matching five or six balls, the PowerPlay option works differently. The million-dollar prize that’s awarded for matching five white balls without the PowerBall is always doubled to $2 million with the PowerPlay option. The other multipliers don’t come into play.
The PowerPlay doesn’t affect the size of the jackpot, which is fixed whether you purchase the PowerPlay option or not. No multipliers apply to jackpot payouts.
How Many Balls Do You Need to Win a Powerball Prize?
To win a Powerball prize, you only need to pick one single number correctly: the red Powerball.
Picking the Powerball alone will award you a $4 prize, which means that with a $2 purchase, you have one in 26 odds of doubling your investment in your ticket (there are 26 red balls to choose from).
To win the Powerball Jackpot, you need to match all five white balls in any order, as well as the red Powerball.
Here are all the Powerball payouts:
Basic Powerball Payouts:
- 5 Correct White Balls and the Powerball: Jackpot (starts at $40 million, has no upper limit)
- 5 Correct White Balls, but no Powerball: $1,000,000
- 4 Correct White Balls and the Powerball: $10,000
- 4 Correct White Balls, but no Powerball: $100
- 3 Correct White Balls and the Powerball: $100
- 3 Correct White Balls, but no Powerball: $7
- 2 Correct White Balls and the Powerball: $7
- 1 Correct White Ball and the Powerball: $4
- No White Balls, Just the Powerball: $4
Payouts for Powerball with PowerPlay:
- 5 Correct White Balls and the Powerball: Jackpot
- 5 Correct White Balls, but no Powerball: $2,000,000
- 4 Correct White Balls and the Powerball: $20,000 — $100,000*
- 4 Correct White Balls, but no Powerball: $200 — $1,000*
- 3 Correct White Balls and the Powerball: $200 — $1,000*
- 3 Correct White Balls, but no Powerball: $14 — $70*
- 2 Correct White Balls and the Powerball: $14 — $70*
- 1 Correct White Ball and the Powerball: $8 — $40*
- No White Balls, Just the Powerball: $8 — $40*
*The exact payout will depend on whether a 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X, or 10X multiplier was drawn at random. The 10X multiplier is available only when the jackpot is worth less than $150 million.