The Ultimate Powerball Strategy Guide
- Odds: 1 in 292,201,338
- Jackpot: Minimum $40 Million
- Pick Size: Pick-5 + Pick-1
- Where to Play: 44 States, DC, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands
- How to Play: Choose 5 numbers from 1-69 and 1 number from 26
- Price: $2
- Drawings: Monday, Wednesday and Saturday
- How to Win: Match all 5 winning numbers and the Power ball number
- Official Website: Powerball Lottery
- Advantage Gold History File: PB0569.slh
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 keeps increasing the odds in an effort to produce the huge jackpots that draw big attention.
Powerball Number Field Changes
Powerball made more big changes to the game in 2015, which has remained the current format since then. The main group of numbers has increased from 59 to 69. The Powerball number group has dropped from 1/35 down to 1/26.
Learn More About the Powerball Game
While the previous format gave you odds of a 1 in 175,223,510 shot at winning the top Powerball prize, your chances are now set at a significantly more difficult 1 in 292,201,338. However, your odds of matching at least the Powerball is now 1 in 38 (down from previous 1 in 55). Your overall odds of winning a prize have also improved, going from 1 in 31 to 1 in 24. The price is still $2 for a single Powerball ticket. One Powerball jackpot has already hit over half a billion dollars and future Powerball jackpots are more likely to hit the half-million to over a billion dollars range much more frequently.
- 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.
- In January 2012, Powerball changed again to a 5/59+1/35 game format. This is also when the ticket price jumped from $1 up to $2 per ticket.
- The latest format, 5/69+1/26 started on October 7, 2015.
Previous Powerball Odds
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 2012 change was the first to have lowered the odds, but since the ticket price doubled, it was not an advantage. The 5/59 + 1/35 format had odds of one in one in 175,223,510. In 2015, Powerball returned to having the worst odds of any game in the world at nearly in in 300 million. 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.
Higher Powerball Jackpots
Jackpots are now even bigger, starting at a minimum of $40 million. The second prize (won by matching five white balls in any order) is $1 million.
Largest Lotto Jackpot Records
WORLD RECORD HIGH JACKPOT WON: The Powerball jackpot rose to an amazing, never before seen $1.5 BILLION DOLLARS (actual prize was about $1,568,000,000) for the January 13, 2016 drawing. This was more than double the largest lottery jackpot the world has ever seen in any game in history! The prize was split between three Powerball jackpot winners in Chino Hills, California; Munford, Tennessee; and in Melbourne Beach, Florida. 26,110,643 additional players won prizes totaling more than $273.9 Million.
On Saturday, May 18, 2013, Powerball's previous highest ever jackpot reached $590.5 million The jackpot was won by a single ticket in Zephyrhills, Florida. Powerball has the record for the largest jackpot ever won by a single ticket, and the largest jackpot in the world.
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.
So, to play the Power Ball game, the player chooses five numbers from 1 to 69, and then selects one Red Powerball Ball from 1 to 26 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. When the jackpot is worth $150 million or less, a 10x Power Play multiplier is possible, exponentially increasing the value of tickets matching four numbers and the Powerball or fewer. When the top prize exceeds $150 million, the regular Power Play multipliers of 2x, 3x, 4x and 5x are used.
States participating in Powerball are: Arizona, Arkansas, California (*NEW*), 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, Wyoming, 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 200 different lotto games worldwide, with histories going back as far as 1955, we have verified the following incredibly simple rule:
That which is LEAST POSSIBLE happens LEAST OFTEN.
The key to Smart Luck's successful lotto number selection methods is playing the probabilities. If you play a lotto ticket 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.
Free Powerball Number Tips
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!
Advantage Gold: use Chart I to see the current bias for odd/even numbers.
HIGH-LOW LOTTO NUMBER TIPS
Winning Powerball numbers are usually spread across the entire number field, or across 69 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 69-number game like Powerball, numbers 1 to 34 would be in the low half, and numbers 35 to 69 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.
Advantage Gold: use Chart H to play more high or low numbers based on the current trend.
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.
Advantage Gold: use Chart E to track which group to omit and which to play more heavily.
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.)
Advantage Gold: use Chart B to quickly find games out information and which numbers are best to play.
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 130 and 221. 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 Smart Luck's valuable most probable range of sums lotto winning formula.
Advantage Gold: use Chart F to see which sums occured most recently, most often, and more.
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.
Advantage Gold: use Chart 5 to see which numbers are more likely to become repeat hits.
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.
Advantage Gold: use Chart 4 to track the trends and find the hot numbers.
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.
Advantage Gold: use Chart 4A to see at a glance which numbers are picking up more activity.
Common Sense Things to Avoid
So You Save Money When Playing Lotto
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 2,809,628 years!!! This should also answer the question we are so often asked, "Shouldn't I keep playing the same set of numbers every week because they are due to hit sometime?"
Advantage Gold: use Chart X to test drive your set of numbers against past history to see if it was already a winner.
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.
Advantage Gold: use Chart A to see which numbers have hit as neighboring (consecutive) pairs, triads, or more.
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, especially with a number field as huge as 69.
Advantage Gold: use Chart E to see more information about group trends.
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 the multiples of 5, 5-10-15-20-25 and lucky number 7, 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.
Advantage Gold: use Chart G to see how many times a last digit has occured and what the recent trends are.
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 69 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 we recommend 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. Smart Luck strategies show you how to understand and use historical data.
Lottery Strategies to help you win Powerball
If you liked the advice on this page and are ready for more, there are even better secrets in our strategy software and books!
The free lotto tips to help you play the game smarter and win the lottery on this page are a small sample from Gail Howard's lotto book, Lottery Master Guide. The book explains all our successful methods of number selection in great detail with number pattern examples. It is a great starting place for any lotto player.Buy Lottery Master Guide on Amazon
Powerball Lottery Wheels
After you use number selection strategies to choose a group of numbers that are best to play, the best way to win more prizes is to use a wheeling system to group the numbers into sets of tickets to buy. Our Balanced Wheels have minimum win guarantees!
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 39 of the total 69 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 the Lottery Master Guide by Gail Howard.
Most of Smart Luck'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 our lotto winners, too. And when you win a jackpot with Smart Luck 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, we will honor that.
In addition to number selection strategies, you should take advantage of wheeling your lotto numbers to improve your odds. 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. You can use any of our pick-5 wheels as they all accept numbers from 1-99, so it's ok (and even ideal) if the wheel is for fewer than 69 numbers.ADD TO CART
Do not wheel the Powerball Ball. The Powerball Ball number is marked on a separate set of 26 numbers on your bet slip.
If you use the Advantage Gold software, use the P+/P*/P- buttons to see all the charts for the five white balls or the Powerball Ball by itself. Or see all the charts for all six balls together (which we do not recommend). With the older Advantage Plus, you can use the powerball ball history file, pb0126.slh to see only charts based on the powerball ball.