Does 2 numbers in Powerball win anything?

Powerball is one of the most popular lottery games in the United States, offering huge jackpot prizes that can grow into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Like other lottery games, players try to match a set of numbers to win prizes, with the grand prize going to anyone who matches all 5 white ball numbers plus the red Powerball number.

With odds of 1 in 292 million, matching all 6 numbers is extremely difficult, leading many players to wonder if they can win anything by matching just 2 numbers. The quick answer is yes, Powerball players can win prizes for matching as few as 2 numbers. While 2 matching numbers won’t make you an instant millionaire, it can still provide a nice cash prize.

How the Powerball Drawing Works

To understand what you can win for matching 2 numbers, it helps to first understand how the Powerball drawing works. Here’s a quick rundown:

– Powerball tickets cost $2 per play.
– Players choose 5 numbers from 1 to 69 for the white balls.
– Players choose 1 number from 1 to 26 for the red Powerball.
– Twice a week on Wednesday and Saturday nights, winning numbers are drawn.
– Five white balls are drawn from the first pool of 69 numbers.
– The red Powerball is drawn from the separate pool of 26 numbers.
– The jackpot goes to matching all 5 white balls plus the red Powerball.
– Lesser prizes are won for matching some of the numbers.

So on each Powerball ticket, you are choosing a total of 6 numbers. Matching all 6 wins the jackpot prize. But Powerball also offers prizes if you match 3, 4, or 5 numbers. And yes, you can even win a prize for matching just 2 numbers.

Prizes for Matching 2 Powerball Numbers

Matching only 2 of the numbers from a Powerball ticket doesn’t net you the big jackpot, but it can still provide a nice cash payout. Here is what you can win for matching just 2 numbers:

Matching 2 White Ball Numbers

If you match 2 of the 5 white ball numbers drawn, you win $7. This is the minimum prize in Powerball. While $7 isn’t a lot, it’s still better than winning nothing at all!

Matching 1 White Ball + The Powerball

If you match 1 of the 5 white balls plus the red Powerball, you win $4. This prize amount has stayed the same for a long time and provides a nice little return on your $2 ticket.

Matching 2 Numbers with Power Play

For an extra $1 per ticket, you can add the Power Play option which multiplies non-jackpot prizes by up to 10 times. If you match 2 numbers playing Power Play, your prize can increase to up to $70.

Here is a table showing payouts for matching 2 numbers with different Power Play multipliers:

Power Play Multiplier 2 White Balls Matched 1 White Ball + Powerball Matched
2X $14 $8
3X $21 $12
4X $28 $16
5X $35 $20
10X $70 $40

As you can see, the Power Play option can significantly increase your winnings for matching just 2 numbers. The 10X multiplier in particular can turn your $4 prize into $40!

Odds of Matching 2 Numbers

The odds of winning a prize for matching 2 numbers are much better than the astronomical odds of the jackpot. Let’s take a look:

Odds of Matching 2 White Balls

– There are 69 white balls.
– You need to match 2 of them.
– The odds of matching 2 specific numbers are:

(69/5) x (68/4) = 13,983:1

Odds of Matching 1 White Ball + Powerball

– There are 69 white balls you could match.
– There are 26 red Powerballs you could match.
– So the odds are:

(69/5) x (26/1) = 111:1

Overall Odds of Matching 2 Numbers

When you combine the odds for matching either 2 white balls OR 1 white ball + Powerball, your overall odds of winning a prize for matching 2 numbers are:

– 2 white balls: 13,983:1
– 1 white ball + Powerball: 111:1
– Combined overall odds: 13,872:1

So you have about a 1 in 14,000 chance of matching 2 numbers in Powerball. While not likely, those odds are far greater than 1 in 292 million!

Strategies for Matching 2 Numbers

Here are some tips to potentially increase your chances of matching 2 Powerball numbers:

Purchase multiple tickets

The more number combinations you play, the better your odds. Just a few tickets can significantly improve your chances.

Play consecutive numbers

Try choosing consecutive numbers like 23-24-25-26-27 rather than random numbers spread across the whole field. Matching 2 consecutive numbers has better odds.

Cover surrounding numbers

If you like certain numbers, cover the surrounding numbers as well to increase the chances of matching 2 nearby numbers.

Avoid all odd or all even numbers

Mixing odd and even numbers gives you a better shot at matching across the board.

Use a balanced wheeling system

A balanced wheeling system covers a large group of numbers in a structured strategic way across multiple tickets. This can increase your chances of matching at least 2 winning numbers.

Should You Play Just to Match 2 Numbers?

Is it worth playing Powerball if you’re only trying to match 2 numbers and not going for the jackpot? Here are some things to consider:


– Better odds than trying to match all 6 numbers
– Possible to win $7-$40 for a $2 ticket
– Jackpot prize is just a bonus


– Lowest prizes only net you $4-$7 per ticket
– Matching 2 numbers is still unlikely
– Jackpot odds remain astronomically low

The Verdict

Playing just to match 2 numbers can net you a small profit and is reasonably achievable. But significant winnings are very unlikely. Playing for fun and hoping to get lucky with the jackpot may be better motivations than strictly playing to match 2 numbers. But it’s ultimately up to you!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about winning prizes for matching 2 Powerball numbers:

How much is the Powerball jackpot right now?

Powerball jackpots start at $40 million and grow until someone wins. Current jackpots are always available at the Powerball website or your local lottery retailer. As of November 2023, the jackpot sits at $100 million.

What are the 5 most common Powerball numbers?

The 5 most frequently drawn Powerball numbers are:


Has anyone ever won Powerball by matching just 2 numbers?

While it’s possible to win a small prize by matching 2 numbers, no one has ever won the Powerball jackpot itself with only 2 matching numbers. You need to match all 5 white balls and the red Powerball to win the jackpot prize.

What are the odds of winning $1 million in Powerball?

You win $1 million by matching 5 white balls but missing the Powerball. The odds of doing this are 1 in 11,688,054.

Can you win money for matching just the Powerball?

Unfortunately, you cannot win a prize by matching only the red Powerball number. You need to match at least 1 white ball number as well.


Matching just 2 numbers in Powerball can net you a small prize, usually $4-$7. While not a life-changing amount, it’s still nice to win something. With odds around 1 in 14,000, hitting 2 numbers is reasonably achievable compared to the astronomical jackpot odds. To increase your chances, play multiple tickets, choose a mix of odd-even numbers, and consider using a wheeling system. While going for the jackpot is incredibly unlikely, landing a small prize for matching 2 numbers in Powerball is definitely possible.

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