Powerball revolutionized and changed the structure of lottery games played in the USA. By having five numbers chosen from one set of numbers and another number chosen from a separate set of numbers, the odds are greatly increased in spite of a seemingly low number field.
Powerball has made more big changes to the game which began with the January 18, 2012 drawing. The Powerball number group has dropped from 1/39 down to 1/35, which lowers the odds for a $2 ticket slightly, down to one in 175.2 million (about the same odds as Mega Millions, except Mega Millions tickets are half the price).
Unfortunately, despite lower odds and higher jackpots, the catch is that ticket prices are now doubled. It will cost you $2 for a single Powerball ticket.
Powerball Lotto History
Originally, in 1988, Lotto America, Powerball's predecessor, was the game to play. In April 1992, Lotto America changed to become Powerball. Powerball was the first lotto game to use two drawings in its format, and it was originally a 5/45+1/45 format game. The game has added numbers to its format many times over the years. In early 2009, Powerball changed their format from the 5/55 + 1/42 number field (which had been in play since 2005), adding numbers to the main set and removing some from the powerball number set becoming a 5/59+1/39 game. Finally, in January 2012, Powerball changed again to the now current 5/59+1/35 game format. This is also when the ticket price jumped from $1 up to $2 per ticket.
The Odds of Winning a Powerball Prize
The original Powerball 5/45+1/45 game had odds of one in 54,979,154, but the odds steadily increased with the format changes. The most recent changed is the first to have lowered the odds, but since the ticket price doubled, it is not an advantage. The new 5/59 + 1/35 game has odds of one in one in 175,223,510!. Powerball did have the worst odds of any lotto game in the country, but is now just shy of the odds of Mega Millions, unless you consider the high ticket cost, which makes Mega Millions a better bet. The high jackpots still make these type of games very popular ones to play despite the odds.
To see the difference between this type and a regular pick-6 game, compare those odds to a 6/59 Lotto game in which the odds of winning the first prize jackpot are less than one in 45 million. Just one number from a separate number field makes the odds more than 3 times as bad. You can use our Odds of Winning Lotto Games chart to compare many types of games.
Powerball Lotto Jackpots and Prizes
Jackpots are now bigger, starting at a minimum of $40 million instead of the previous $20 million. The second prize (won by matching five white balls in any order) has jumped from $200,000 to $1 million.
Largest Lotto Jackpot Records
On Saturday, May 18, 2013, Powerball's highest ever jackpot reached $590.5 million (beating it's previous $587.5 million record in 2012). The jackpot was won by a single ticket in Zephyrhills, Florida. Powerball now has the record for the largest jackpot ever won by a single ticket, and the second largest jackpot in the world (the largest was Mega Millions' $656 million jackpot in March 2012 which was split by 3 winners).
To make up for the fact that this game is nearly impossible, Powerball has lowered the requirements to win a smaller prize. There are 9 ways to win Powerball - different combinations of regular balls and the red PowerBall that allow you to win something in the Powerball lotto game. The overall odds of winning a Powerball lotto prize in the game are approximately 1 in 32. Getting just the powerball number right (odds of one in 55) will give you a small prize of $4.
How does Powerball work? Here's How to Play the Game.
So, to play the Power Ball game, the player chooses five numbers from 1 to 59, and then selects one Red Powerball Ball from 1 to 35 to mark on their ticket. Each ticket costs $2 for one play. The lottery will draw the 5 winning Powerball numbers from one pool, and then they will draw the winning Powerball number from a separate pool. Drawings are held twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays around 11pm Eastern time.
The Power Play multiplier feature is still available for an extra $1. You can also use the special Power Play feature of Powerball to increase your smaller prize (you must choose the Power Play option for an additional $1 when you buy your ticket). The Power Play multiplier number is randomly chosen by the lottery before every drawing and the number drawn determines how much your prize can increase. The Match 5 bonus prize feature could even make you a millionaire when the jackpot growth is limited by $25 million increments.
States participating in Powerball are: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
How to WIN Powerball
All it takes is two bucks and a whole lot of luck and some Smart Luck® strategies, of course. In spite of the tremendous odds against winning Powerball, there are several things you can do to play smart. If you want to know how to pick Powerball numbers, we have free methods that can help you win!
Lottery numbers are randomly drawn. But randomly drawn numbers form patterns that can be tracked and used to our advantage. Having carefully analyzed all the drawings in past lotto results of more than 190 different lotto games worldwide, with histories going back as far as 1955, Gail Howard has verified the following incredibly simple rule:
That which is LEAST POSSIBLE happens LEAST OFTEN.
The key to Gail Howard's successful lotto number selection methods is playing the probabilities. If you play a pattern that occurs only five percent of the time, you can expect that pattern to lose 95 percent of the time, giving you no chance to win 95 percent of the time. So, don't buck the probabilities.
Gail Howard's Lottery Strategies to Help You Win Powerball
Below are a few strategic lotto tips to help you learn how to win Powerball, but for best results, Gail Howard's book, Lottery Master Guide, explains all of her successful methods of number selection in great detail with examples of patterns shown throughout. Advantage Plus software makes all the lotto number picking charts for this game, as well as hundreds of other lotteries.
Wheeling with Powerball
Treat the five white balls as you would any pick-5 game. Wheel them using the Balanced Wheels in the Wheel Five Gold lottery software or the book, Lotto Winning Wheels for Powerball & MEGA Millions. Do not wheel the Powerball Ball. The Powerball Ball number is marked on a separate set of 35 numbers on your bet slip. (If you use the Advantage Plus software, when pressing Alt-B you can see all the charts for the five white balls; or see all the charts for the Powerball Ball by itself. Or see all the charts for all six balls together (which Gail Howard does not recommend). You can also use the powerball ball history file, pb0135.slh to see only charts based on the powerball ball.
Powerball Number Tips
Here are a few lottery tips on number selection from Gail Howard's lotto strategy book, Lottery Master Guide, which have been customized to help you learn how to win the Powerball game (additional best Powerball lottery software and books.)
ODD-EVEN LOTTO NUMBER TIPS
When you select your powerball lotto numbers, try to have a relatively even mix of odd and even numbers. All odd numbers or all even numbers are rarely drawn, occurring only 4 percent of the time. The best mix is to have 3/2 or 2/3 which means three odd and two even, or two odd and three even. Since the new format change of Powerball, one of these two number patterns has occured in about 70 percent of drawings!
HIGH-LOW LOTTO NUMBER TIPS
Winning Powerball numbers are usually spread across the entire number field, or across 59 numbers for Powerball. If we take a number field and cut it in half, we have the low half and the high half. In a 59-number game like Powerball, numbers 1 to 29 would be in the low half, and numbers 30 to 59 would be in the high half. All high numbers or all low numbers are rarely drawn, occurring in only 4 percent of Powerball results. The best mix is to have 3/2 or 2/3 which means three high and two low, or two high and three low. For the current powerball results, one of these 2 patterns has occured in about 64 percent of drawings, so its a very strong pattern to follow for future powerball drawings.
LOTTERY NUMBER GROUP STRATEGIES
View the Powerball lotto results past history list, and note that most often, one or two or sometimes even more of the number groups are not represented. For example, for the March 26, 2011 drawing, 04-10-11-19-33, there were no twenties, forties, or fifties. Tracking and studying Number Groups can help you decide which group to omit and which group to give extra heavy play.
LOTTERY GAMES SKIPPED STRATEGIES
List the number of games skipped (games out) since the last hit (win) for each of the winning numbers during the last five games. Then mark the number of times each skip occurred. If any skip from 0 to 5 did not occur, play the Powerball lotto numbers that are out that many games. (Help working with lotto games skipped.)
LOTTO NUMBER SUM ADVICE - PLAY A BALANCED GAME®
After you choose five powerball main numbers you want to play, add them together and make sure that the sum of the five numbers adds up to somewhere between 111 and 189. Sums that fall within that range will account for over 70 percent of all lottery jackpots won. Playing a balanced game is one of the keys to how to win Powerball lotto. Read more about Gail Howard's valuable most probable range of sums lotto winning formula.
REPEAT HITS LOTTERY TIPS
In Powerball, on average, one lottery number will be a repeat hit from the last drawing 38 percent of the time. No number will be a repeat 47 percent of the time, and the other 15 percent accounts for drawings that included more than one repeat number.
HOT NUMBER LOTTERY SECRETS
Numbers that have been out (losers) for six games or less account for about half of the winning numbers. Losing numbers that have been out for 9 games or less account for about two-thirds of all the winning numbers. Losing numbers that have been out for 12 games or less account for about three-quarters of all the winning numbers. This tells us that hot numbers are more likely to hit, but don't forget to include at least one long shot in your group of 5.
COLD NUMBER LOTTERY SECRETS
It is difficult to know when a cold number will end a long losing streak. If you play a number every drawing because you think it is due, you could be chasing it for many months. (Number 45 in New York Lotto sat out 100 drawings before it finally hit.) Although, when a number has been out for 70 games or so, it might be worth chasing.
Lottery Pools and Lottery Syndicates
POOL YOUR WAY TO LOTTO RICHES
Several of the 106 Lotto jackpots won with Gail Howard's lottery systems were won by groups of people who pooled their money. Sharing the ticket cost with others stretches your Lotto budget. By playing with a group, you can afford to buy more lottery tickets—and play larger wheeling systems—than you could (or should) by yourself. Draw up an agreement and have the members of your pool sign it.
How to Get Lucky in Powerball
CASH IN ON THE LUCK OF OTHERS
When you form a Lotto pool, your group is also pooling its aggregate luck. A jackpot could happen because of the luck just one member brings to your pool. Select your partners carefully. Share your luck with winners, not losers. Avoid negative people. Not only are they unlucky, but they dampen enthusiasm and drain energy from others. You want to enhance your own luck, not dilute its strength. One quick way to tell winners from losers is simply to ask them: "Do you think you are a lucky person?" Many people quickly admit, "I'm unlucky. I never win anything." They won't bring good luck to your group either.
CASH IN ON A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
No one should play games of chance out of desperation because they need the winnings. The needy have a greater fear of losing the hard-earned money they gamble with. It is just one of life's dirty tricks that the very fear of losing blocks the winning forces. Thoughts are charged with energy, especially when triggered by emotion. Fear attracts exactly that which one fears. A strong desire for a goal that is charged with positive energy, attracts a positive response, especially when every effort is made to attain that goal.
USE BALANCED WHEEL® SYSTEMS
Balanced Wheeling® Systems allow you to bet a large group of numbers (more than 5), play scientific combinations of that group of numbers, and get a specific minimum win guarantee. Balanced Wheels® force all the winning numbers that are in your group to come together to give you at least one prize if some or all of the winning numbers are in your chosen group.
It's true that the more numbers you wheel, the easier it is to trap the winning numbers in your chosen group. But to get the most leverage for your money, the optimum number of numbers to wheel is not more than four or five numbers over HALF the numbers in your game. For the best way to win Powerball, wheel less than about 34 of the total 59 numbers (and then mark a few Power Ball numbers separately on your tickets). Otherwise, you'll be spending MORE money chasing a SMALLER guaranteed prize. You benefit more by wheeling a carefully selected group of lotto numbers.
THE BEST WAY TO WHEEL ALL THE LOTTO NUMBERS IN YOUR GAME
Any one wheeling system that covers ALL the numbers in the game is too spread out, making the win guarantee not worth the wager. There are smart ways to wheel all the numbers in the game by using Trap-by-Overlap and other wheeling strategies covered on pages 137 to 142 in Gail Howard's lotto book, Lottery Master Guide.
Most of Gail Howard's lottery winners used a Balanced Wheel® in addition to her Smart Luck® number selection methods. You can use a FREE interactive lotto Balanced Wheeling System that won multiple jackpots. Read about Gail Howard's lotto winners, too. And when you win a jackpot with Gail Howard's lotto systems, tell us about it so you can be added to Gail Howard's growing list of winners. If you don't want your name publicized, Gail Howard will honor that.
Save Money by Knowing Lotto Numbers to Avoid
Lotto players who select their lottery numbers thoughtlessly or foolishly are destined to lose even before the drawing takes place. By knowing which number combinations and patterns to avoid, you'll have an advantage over such players—and save money, too.
AVOID NUMBER COMBINATIONS THAT HAVE BEEN DRAWN BEFORE
Many players like to bet the numbers that have won someone else a big jackpot, and by doing so, they are almost guaranteed NOT to win one themselves. In Powerball, with two drawings a week, a set of five numbers plus the Powerball number has a chance of being drawn once every 1,875,000 years!!! This should also answer the question Gail Howard is so often asked, "Shouldn't I keep playing the same set of numbers every week because they are due to hit sometime?"
AVOID BETTING FIVE CONSECUTIVE NUMBERS
Even four consecutive numbers is a very rare occurrence that, in most Lotto games, has never happened once. Powerball has such a large number field, this is even more rare than it is for other games. Only 3 adjacent numbers or less have hit together so far in the current Powerball number format history.
AVOID BETTING ONE LOTTO NUMBER GROUP
Never choose all five numbers from one number group, such as all single digits, or all teens, or all 20's, etc. All five winning numbers drawn from one group is highly unlikely.
AVOID THE COMBINATION 1-2-3-4-5
The most popular set of numbers most often played is: 1-2-3-4-5. Thousands of tickets are bought with this combination every drawing. The selection is too far out of balance to come up in a random drawing.
AVOID PATTERN BETTING
Pattern betting is an even more popular method of marking bet slips. Patterns of numbers marked in a row to make a straight line, either across the bet slip vertically or diagonally get heavy play—which means sharing the prize with others if the numbers are drawn as winners. Other designs such as patterns of initials or numbers or crosses also get heavy play.
AVOID NUMBER MULTIPLES
Other popular combinations that get heavy play are the number multiples, especially 5-10-15-20-25 and 7-14-21-28-35.
AVOID ALL SAME LAST DIGITS
Many people like to play same last digits, such as 3-13-23-33-43, or all digits that end in seven, or some other favorite lucky lottery number. Even four same last digits occur in less than two-tenths of one percent of all drawings. No drawing in the current Powerball history has had more than 4 same last digits. It is an excellent strategy to play only one, two, or zero repeat last digits in a single combination.
AVOID LOW NUMBER COMBINATIONS
The majority of Lotto players like to play the calendar numbers, such as birth dates and anniversaries—and their children's ages. This means that the most heavily played numbers are 1 through 31. Powerball has 59 numbers. If you play only the calendar numbers, you would be leaving out almost half the numbers in the game. The sum of your numbers will be so low, you won't be playing a balanced game.
Since this method is so popular, you might be sharing your jackpot with dozens of other winners. It's not to say that you shouldn't play your personal numbers if you feel these lucky numbers are good to play. But Gail Howard recommends that you include a couple of high numbers so that just in case your numbers do hit, you win a prize that's worth something.
In Powerball, the Trend is Your Friend
The shortest, easiest way to search for lotto numbers that have the greatest probability of winning is to track the trends. Gail Howard's Smart Luck strategies show you how to understand and use historical data in the Powerball lotto game. Advantage Plus is the best lotto strategy software which has a vast assortment of charts and reports that allow you to examine your lotto numbers in an infinite variety of ways.
Win with Lotto Software and Books
See all Smart Luck lottery software and lotto books or the full lottery product guide and list of best lottery software and books for Powerball. Also see the references on the right side of this page: products to use, many articles for more info on strategy and wheeling, winner stories, links to our free wheels for this game, and more!
Good Luck with Gail Howard's Smart Luck®.
Frequently Asked Questions About Powerball
A: Yes, getting just the red power ball as a winner on your ticket will win you a prize of $4.
A: You can get a prize for matching 1 white ball with the red power ball ($4 prize), but not for matching just 2 white balls alone. The smallest prize without the power ball is for 3 white balls ($7 prize).
A: To find out if someone won the Powerball game for the most recent drawing, go to the Powerball Winner Summary, and it lists the number of Powerball jackpot winners, as well as small prize winners. Most Powerball winner names are not released, but there are some Winner Stories Here.
A: Powerball draws winning numbers from two separate lotto number pools. There are 5 winning lotto numbers chosen out of 59 total numbers in the first set. Then there is one winning Powerball number chosen from 35 total numbers in the second set.
Number Selection Lotto Software Lottery Master Guide
Lottery Strategy Book Wheel Five Gold™
Balanced Lotto Wheel® Software for Pick-5 Games Lotto Winning Wheels for Powerball and Mega Millions
Balanced Wheel® System Book for Powerball/Mega Millions Games Filtering Full Wheel Generator™
Full Wheeling Software for Pick-3 to Pick-10 Games
More Help for Which Products to Buy for Powerball:
- Best Lottery Software and Books for Powerball
- Lottery Products Guide Explains Overview of Types of Books and Software
Powerball WinnersThere has already been a Gail Howard lottery winner who won a major Powerball prize. See her story:
Powerball LotteryOfficial Site:
Newest Lotto Drawings:
Powerball Lotto StrategyUsing Lottery Strategies to Pick Winning Numbers for Powerball
Powerball Lotto WheelingUsing Wheels to Improve Your Odds of Winning Powerball