Complete US Powerball Guide for Aussies | theLotter Australia

Complete US Powerball Guide for Australians

US Powerball has been the most popular lottery game in the entire world for years, thanks in no small part to its massive $1.586 billion jackpot from 2016 that continues to hold the title of largest jackpot ever! From its very first draw in 1992 and right up until today, US Powerball has continued to excite lottery fans everywhere. Now that US Powerball has added another draw to its schedule for a total of three draws per week, there's never been a better time to learn everything there is to know about this amazing game!

What are the US Powerball rules?

From picking numbers to how prizes work and who can play, here are the most important American Powerball rules to know:

  • Playing US Powerball involves picking five regular numbers from a guess range of 1-69 and one additional Powerball number from a guess range of 1-26. Winning the jackpot requires matching all six numbers, but even matching only the additional number is enough for a secondary prize.

  • US Powerball features nine prize divisions which can be increased by the optional Power Play multiplier.

  • You do not have to be an American citizen to participate in or collect prizes from US Powerball. According to the lottery's official rules, anyone can "purchase a Powerball the game and...collect prizes." The website also states that "you do not have to be a citizen or a resident to lay the game."

  • The odds of winning the jackpot are 1:292,201,338, making it one of the three most difficult lotteries to win in the entire world. If you're interested, you can find out even more about the odds of winning Powerball prizes.

What are some US Powerball rules changes?

what are the us powerball rules

Over time, American Powerball has developed and changed its rules and format to suit the times. For example, Power Play was added in 2001 to boost secondary prizes, while 2012 and 2015 saw changes to the guess ranges for numbers to increase the size of jackpots. Some of the more recent changes include:

  • On 23 August, 2021, US Powerball introduced a third weekly draw. The game is now drawn on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 11 p.m. EST.

  • While the starting minimum jackpot had been set at US$40 million with a minimum increase of US$10 million for every rollover, in 2020 the lottery lowered the starting jackpot to US$20 million and the minimum increase to US$2 million due to lower ticket sales.

US Powerball vs Mega Millions

us powerball vs mega millions

These two rival American lotteries actually have quite a bit in common, such as both of their minimum jackpots currently starting at US$20 million, but they also have a few differences. Check out the table below for a full comparison:

US Powerball vs Mega Millions

Est. US$20 million

Starting Jackpot

Est. US$20 million

5/69 + 1/25 Power Ball

Game Format

5/70 + 1/25 Mega Ball

Mon, Wed, & Sat

Draw Days

Tue & Fri

US$1.586 billion world record

Record Jackpot

US$1.537 billion

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


*US$20 million is the estimated starting jackpot for Powerball and Mega Millions. Prize amounts listed above do not account for any relevant taxes; actual winnings will be smaller.

Good luck!

We hope that by now you feel confident in your US Powerball knowledge. If you're interested in even more tidbits and trivia, check out our list of interesting Powerball facts. If you've read enough about Powerball for today and wish instead to starting picking your own numbers, head over to our list of the top international lotteries.

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