How Many Numbers Do You Have to Match to Win the Powerball?


More and more people are interested in playing Powerball now that the jackpot is growing again. It’s currently at $440 million and if no one wins tonight, then the jackpot might grow even more. But in order to win, exactly how many numbers do you have to match? It depends on how much money you want to win with your $2 ticket. In order to win the big Powerball jackpot, you have to match all your numbers. But you can win something even if you only match one number — the red Powerball. Here are all the details.

In order to win the estimated $440 million jackpot tonight, you’ll have to match all five white balls in any order, and you’ll need to match the red Powerball number too. The odds of this happening are a little over 1 in 292 million. If more than one person happens to win the jackpot, then you’ll be splitting those winnings. Don’t forget that you won’t walk away with the exact amount of the jackpot, even if you’re the only winner. Taxes will take away some of your winnings, just for starters.

If you only match one of the white balls, you won’t win any money. But if you only match one number and it happens to be the red Powerball, you’ll walk away with $4. Not a lot, but enough to buy yourself a couple more tickets. Here’s how the other matches work.

  • 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.

So as you can see, if you’re just worried about winning something for your $2 ticket, then you only need to match one number: the red Powerball. But if you’re hoping to walk away with the big jackpot, then you need to match every single ball that’s drawn. Many players match just one white ball and get excited, thinking they’re taking home some money. Sadly, that just isn’t the case. Even matching just two white balls, without matching the Powerball, isn’t enough to walk away with any money. Are you planning on playing the Powerball? Let us know your strategies in the comments below.

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