If you’re playing Powerball, you might not match every number to win the big jackpot, but you might still win something if you match two numbers. Your winnings won’t be huge if you do, but you’ll at least win enough to play the next Powerball jackpot. If you match two numbers, you’ll win $4, but ONLY if one of those numbers is the red Powerball. Here are more details on how to win the Powerball drawing.
If you match two white Powerball numbers, then unfortunately you won’t walk away with any money, according to Powerball’s rules. If you match a white ball and the red Powerball, then you’ll walk away with $4. This actually is the exact same amount that you’ll win if you only match the red Powerball (the last number drawn) and no white numbers: $4.
If you choose the Power Play option for an extra dollar, then you’ll walk away with a little more. For example, you’ll get $8 instead of $4 if the Power Play is 2X, and you’ll get $40 instead of $4 if the Power Play is 10X. (But the 10X is only in play if the jackpot is $150 million or less.)
Here’s how the other matches work. If you match all five white balls and the red ball, then you’ll win the big jackpot. If you match all five white balls, in any order, but not the Powerball, then you’ll get $1 million. If you match four out of five of the white balls and the Powerball, you’ll win $50,000.
The amount you win drops dramatically after this. You have two ways to win $100: either match four out of five of the white balls OR match three white balls and the Powerball.
Next is your shot at $7. You’ll win $7 if you either match three out of five of the white balls OR you match two white balls and the Powerball. Last is your shot at $4, which you could use to buy two more Powerball tickets if you wanted. You’ll get this if you match one white ball and the Powerball OR if you just match the Powerball.
The odds of winning the Powerball are 1 in 292 million, slightly better than the odds of winning Mega Millions which are 1 in 302 million. If you win, you’ll have to decide if you want a lump sum or an annuity. An annuity guarantees an income stream for 30 years that includes a 5 percent yearly increase to offset inflation. This can help ensure you don’t spend all your money too fast or make poor decisions. But there’s a small chance that the entity making the payout might run out of cash before 30 years is up. With the lump sum, you’ll get less money overall, but you’ll get it all at once. Some financial advisors say that if you invest your lump sum wisely, you might end up with more money than you would from annuity payments. But of course, it could go the other way too. So in the end, it’s really up to you. But before you face that decision, you’ll have to match all the numbers rather than just two.