Can I buy a US Powerball ticket online?

With lottery fever sweeping the nation whenever the Powerball jackpot climbs into the hundreds of millions, many people are looking for convenient ways to get their hands on tickets without having to wait in long lines at retail outlets. The internet provides a tantalizing option for playing the lottery online, but is it legal and safe to purchase official Powerball tickets over the web?

The Short Answer

No, you cannot legally purchase official Powerball tickets over the internet. The Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) does not currently allow the sale of official Powerball tickets online. The only legitimate way to play is to purchase physical tickets from authorized retailers in participating states.

Why You Can’t Buy Official Powerball Tickets Online

There are a few key reasons why official Powerball tickets are not available for purchase online:

  • Powerball is run by MUSL, which has rules against online sales. MUSL requires consumers to physically purchase tickets from authorized retailers for security and accountability.
  • State lottery laws prohibit online sales. The 45 participating state lotteries have jurisdiction over online lottery sales within their borders. Most states restrict sales to in-person purchases only.
  • Issues with verifying ticket ownership. There are concerns about how digital purchases can securely tie a virtual ticket to a specific person while maintaining anonymity.
  • Prevention of bulk ticket purchases. Online sales may enable single buyers to purchase large volumes of tickets, skewing odds.

These factors combine to effectively forbid official Powerball ticket sales on the internet for the foreseeable future. The only way to purchase legitimate tickets is through physical retailers in participating states.

Websites Claiming to Sell Powerball Tickets

You may come across websites that claim to sell official Powerball tickets online. Most of these sites operate out of other countries and are not affiliated with the Multi-State Lottery Association. Any “tickets” you buy through them are not valid entries into the real Powerball drawing.

These unauthorized lottery ticket sales sites are not legal in the United States. They may advertise using the Powerball name and logo without permission to mislead customers. However, any tickets or prize claims from these sites are fraudulent.

Examples of Illegal Powerball Ticket Websites


These sites are based internationally and only sell slots in side wagers, not actual Powerball entries. They have no connection to the official game. Avoid purchasing from these websites to ensure you do not get scammed.

Safe Alternatives for Playing Powerball Online

While you cannot buy legitimate Powerball entries online, some states do offer limited online lottery playing options. For example, a few states allow you to buy tickets online for state-run games like Mega Millions or to enter limited second-chance drawings using codes from losing tickets. Check with your state lottery for online purchasing options. Most only allow subscriptions for recurring purchases of draw game tickets.

Some additional safe, legal ways to engage with Powerball online include:

  • Check Powerball numbers and results online
  • Join official lottery ticket subscription services
  • Enter second-chance promotions using eligible codes
  • Play free Powerball simulation games
  • Participate in lottery online communities and discussion forums

These methods allow you to enjoy the Powerball excitement online without breaking the law or risking fraud.

Concerns About Buying Powerball Tickets Online

Beyond just being illegal, there are a number of potential risks and downsides to improperly purchasing Powerball tickets through unregulated online lottery ticket sellers:

You Are Open to Scams

Fake online ticket sellers are happy to take your money but have no ability to actually deliver official entries or prizes. Scammers can quickly setup convincing bogus lottery websites with minimal investment.

Your Financial Information May Be Stolen

Providing your credit card or other sensitive details to shady websites carries risk of identity theft and financial fraud. Your info could be stolen and misused.

You Support Questionable Businesses

The profits from illegal online lottery ticket sales often support business practices and organizations you may not want to be associated with. You may inadvertently be funding criminal enterprises.

You Could Face Legal Consequences

Buying fraudulent tickets online is illegal. While prosecution risk is low, you could face penalties if caught participating in unlawful gambling operations.

You Will Not Be Able to Claim Prizes

Even if you “win” a prize from an illegal online lottery ticket purchase, you will not be able to claim the real jackpot as the tickets are not valid. You will be out the money spent with no chance of a payout.

Protect yourself and your personal information by only purchasing official state lottery tickets in person through authorized retailers. Never buy from unregulated gambling sites online.

Are Other US Lotteries Available Online?

Powerball has some of the strictest anti-online ticket sales rules due to its multi-state nature and shared jurisdiction. Other major national and state lotteries have similar restrictions against online ticket sales, though some smaller state-run games may allow limited internet purchases.

Mega Millions

Mega Millions is the other big multi-state lottery alongside Powerball. Like Powerball, Mega Millions also prohibits the sale of tickets online. You must purchase Mega Millions tickets in person from authorized local retailers in each participating state.

State Lotteries

Most state lottery organizations also ban online sales of tickets. However, a handful of states do allow certain limited online purchases:

  • Michigan – Online play available for certain draw games
  • Kentucky – Subscription plans for some games available
  • Georgia – Online ticket renewal for subscription plans
  • Illinois – Buy tickets online for pick games like Pick 3/Pick 4

Check with your individual state lottery for their online ticket policies. Most only allow subscriptions, not broad online sales. Multistate games like Powerball and Mega Millions still require in-person purchases everywhere.

The Future of Powerball Online

While you still cannot currently buy official Powerball tickets on the internet, that policy may eventually change if lottery directors warm to the idea of expanding sales online. However, widespread online ticket sales are unlikely in the near future.

Moves toward legal regulated online lottery ticket sales face opposition from brick-and-mortar retailers who fear losing in-store traffic. And persistent security concerns continue to worry those uncomfortable with the verification challenges inherent to internet sales.

But as consumer shopping habits move online, state lotteries may see the benefit of modernizing to keep up with convenience expectations. Online lottery ticket sales could be pitched as an opportunity to curb illegal offshore gambling sites if properly implemented under state oversight.

For now, the only way to get your shot at the Powerball jackpot is to head to a retailer. But improvements in security and identity verification could open the door to online sales down the road.

Buying Lottery Tickets Online in Other Countries

While Powerball does not allow online ticket purchases, lottery fans in some other countries do have the option of buying tickets over the internet. This is made possible by more relaxed online gambling laws in some regions.

UK National Lottery

Online ticket sales have been available for the United Kingdom’s National Lottery since 2002. Players register for an account and can purchase tickets online for major drawings like Lotto and EuroMillions.

European National Lotteries

Many European national lotteries sell tickets online, including Austria, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland. Tickets are tied to individual accounts.

Private Lotteries

Some private lottery brands in Europe allow online ticket purchases by registering for accounts with them directly. These include operations like People’s Postcode Lottery (UK), Onelotto (Sweden), and LottoKings (Spain).

As you can see, those outside the US in countries with looser online lottery laws do have the option to buy tickets over the internet. However, for Americans, online Powerball purchases remain off limits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it legal to buy Powerball tickets online?

No, it is not legal to buy official Powerball tickets online. The Multi-State Lottery Association prohibits online sales. The only legal method is purchasing tickets in person at authorized retailers.

Can I purchase Mega Millions tickets online?

No. Like Powerball, Mega Millions also does not allow online ticket sales. You must purchase Mega Millions tickets in person at local retailers.

What website can I use to safely buy Powerball tickets online?

There is no legitimate website for purchasing official Powerball tickets online. Any site offering Powerball ticket sales is unsanctioned and fraudulent. Avoid buying from any online lottery ticket sellers.

How can I buy Powerball tickets online legally?

There is currently no way to legally buy authentic Powerball tickets online. The only method is purchasing physical tickets at authorized retailers in person. Powerball’s rules prohibit online ticket sales.

Will Powerball ever allow online ticket purchases?

Powerball may eventually allow online ticket buying, but likely not in the near future. Concerns over security and opposition from retailers make widespread online Powerball sales unlikely to be approved anytime soon.

The Bottom Line

While the convenience of ordering Powerball tickets online is tempting, it is currently illegal to purchase official lottery entries over the internet. Powerball rules strictly require in-person ticket sales at authorized retailers to ensure security and fairness. Avoid shady websites claiming to sell tickets online – they are all fraudulent operations. For now, playing Powerball requires a trip to your local lottery retailer.

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