Powerball is one of the most popular multi-state lottery games in the United States. It is coordinated by the Multi-State Lottery Association and players select five white ball numbers from 1 to 69 and one red “Powerball” number from 1 to 26. Prizes start at $4 for matching just the Powerball number up to jackpots starting at $40 million that continue to grow until a winning ticket is sold. With giant jackpots and exciting odds, Powerball attracts players from across the country looking to hit it big. But does the state of Montana participate in Powerball? Let’s take a closer look at Montana’s history with Powerball to find out.
A Brief History of Powerball in Montana
Powerball began in 1992 as an evolution of previous multi-state lottery games in the U.S. and quickly grew in popularity for offering some of the biggest jackpots in lottery history. When Powerball launched, Montana was not one of the original participating lotteries. For over two decades, Montana did not join Powerball or other national lottery games like Mega Millions. This was primarily due to Montana’s state constitution prohibiting a state-run lottery. However, that changed in 2004 when Montana citizens voted to amend the state constitution to allow certain state-sponsored lottery games under specific conditions.
In 2009, the Montana Lottery officially launched with a range of in-state draw games and scratch tickets but did not initially join multi-state lottery games. But in March 2010, Montana finally became the 33rd state to join Powerball after meeting the eligibility requirements set by the Multi-State Lottery Association. Tickets for the first Montana Powerball drawing went on sale in April 2010 at over 400 retailers statewide.
Powerball Ticket Sales and Prizes in Montana Today
Since 2010, Powerball tickets have been consistently available at hundreds of authorized retailers across Montana including gas stations, convenience stores, grocery stores, and more. As a member of Powerball, Montana participates in the twice-weekly drawings on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 9:59 p.m. Mountain Time. Players can buy tickets for $2 each up until one hour before the scheduled drawing. Montana also offers the Power Play option for an extra $1 per play which can multiply non-jackpot prizes.
Montana has awarded many valuable Powerball prizes over the years. The record Montana Powerball prize to date is $70.3 million won by a lucky player in September 2020. There have also been two $1 million prize winners in the state. On average, over $1.4 million in prizes are awarded to Montana Powerball players in each drawing. While the giant jackpots receive the most attention, smaller prizes ranging from $4 to $50,000 are much more common.
Can You Buy Powerball Tickets in Montana?
Yes, Powerball tickets are readily available across Montana at authorized lottery retailers. Players must be at least 18 years old to purchase tickets. Here are some tips for buying Powerball tickets in Montana:
– Find a Montana Lottery retailer – Over 450 grocery stores, gas stations, convenience stores, and other locations sell Powerball tickets. Look for the Montana Lottery logo.
– Present a playslip or ask for quick pick – Fill out a Powerball playslip to select your own numbers or you can ask the cashier for a quick pick which provides computer-generated random numbers.
– Specify Power Play – Request the Power Play option for an additional $1 per play to increase non-jackpot prizes.
– Pay $2 per play – Each standard Powerball play costs $2. You can buy multiple plays on one ticket to increase your chances.
– Get ticket and claim receipt – The retailer will print your official Powerball ticket with drawing date and your number selections. Keep the ticket safe and claim any winning tickets within 180 days.
So the short answer is yes, Powerball is readily available across the state of Montana at hundreds of authorized retailers so players have the opportunity to win big Powerball prizes.
Can You Buy Powerball Tickets Online in Montana?
Unfortunately at this time, Montana does not offer online sales of Powerball tickets. All Powerball ticket purchases must be made in-person at authorized retailers throughout the state. The Montana Lottery does not currently provide a method to purchase lottery products like Powerball tickets through the internet, mobile apps, or any other digital platform.
While some states do allow online lottery ticket sales, Montana’s laws and lottery rules currently prohibit this. The only way to buy official Montana Powerball tickets is by visiting local retailers. Players cannot use third-party courier services to purchase and deliver Montana Powerball tickets either.
However, the Montana Lottery indicates that they are exploring future options for online lottery sales. Changes in state law and lottery policies would be needed first before any form of internet-based Montana Powerball ticket sales would be implemented. Players interested in the convenience of online ticket purchases will need to continue visiting local retailers for now. But this could possibly change in coming years as technology improves and laws adapt.
Where Does Powerball Revenue Go in Montana?
All Montana Powerball revenue, after prizes are paid and expenses covered, benefits important state causes and programs. By law, net Montana Lottery proceeds are earmarked for the Montana GENERAL FUND and the Montana Veterans Affairs Division. The GENERAL FUND supports various state services like public health, education, natural resources, and more. Meanwhile, the Veterans Affairs Division uses lottery funds to provide services and assistance to Montana’s military veterans.
In Fiscal Year 2022, the Montana Lottery generated over $81 million in net revenue from Powerball and other lottery games. Here is a summary of where that revenue went:
– $49.8 million – Montana GENERAL FUND
– $800,000 – Veterans Affairs Division and Veteran Nursing Homes
– $30.4 million – Prizes and retailer commissions
So while playing Powerball in Montana is fun and offers the chance at huge jackpots, it also generates significant funding to positively impact the state and those who have served the country. Over $1 billion in lottery dividends have benefited Montanans since the Montana Lottery began.
Notable Powerball Wins in Montana
Even though Montana is a lightly populated state, there have been some memorable Powerball wins:
September 2020 – $70.3 Million
The biggest Montana Powerball prize to date is $70.3 million, won by a lucky resident on September 5, 2020. The winning ticket was purchased at the Town Pump convenience store in Polson. The identity of the winner was not released publicly per their request. The Polson retailer received a $100,000 bonus from the Lottery for selling the jackpot ticket.
March 2019 – $1 Million
A Powerball ticket purchased in Columbia Falls matched all five white balls in the March 2, 2019 drawing. While missing the red Powerball, this was still an automatic $1 million win for matching the other five numbers. The winning ticket was sold at the Ole’s Country Store in Columbia Falls.
October 2018 – $1 Million
Earlier in 2018, a Missoula resident landed a $1 million Powerball prize after purchasing a winning ticket at Rosauers on Reserve Street in Missoula. The lucky player matched all five white balls in the October 27, 2018 drawing. An Osoyoos, B.C. resident also won $2 million with a ticket purchased in Montana for the same drawing.
While the odds of winning Powerball’s giant jackpots are long, these examples show that substantial prizes can be won when some or all six numbers match up. Powerball has made quite a few Montanans richer since ticket sales began in 2010.
Unclaimed Powerball Prizes in Montana
With millions of Powerball tickets sold in Montana every year, some prizes inevitably go unclaimed. Lottery players in Montana have 180 days from the date of the drawing to claim any winning Powerball tickets. According to Montana Lottery records, over $2 million in Powerball and other lottery prizes went unclaimed in Fiscal Year 2022.
Here are some of the largest unclaimed Montana Powerball prizes over the past decade:
|Drawing Date||Prize||Retailer Location|
|January 9, 2013||$10,000||Kalispell|
|December 25, 2013||$10,000||Great Falls|
|November 28, 2018||$150,000||Missoula|
|January 13, 2021||$50,000||Billings|
These expired prizes ranged from $10,000 to $150,000, demonstrating that even smaller Powerball wins can be highly valuable. Lottery officials frequently publicize unclaimed prizes nearing expiration in hopes of locating the winners. But all unclaimed prize money ultimately goes back to the Montana GENERAL FUND to support state services.
Impacts of Powerball in Montana
Since Montana joined Powerball in 2010, the lottery game has had several notable impacts across the state:
– Generated over $300 million in revenue for state programs
– Awarded around $200 million in total prizes to Montana players
– Paid retailers over $20 million in commissions
– Created extra revenue for hundreds of businesses selling tickets
– Provided funding for services like education, healthcare, and veterans programs
– Added excitement when giant jackpots capture public interest
Yet Powerball has also faced some criticism in Montana from those opposed to state lotteries in general. Concerns include stories of gambling addiction, complaints that lower-income groups spend disproportionately on lottery games, and arguments that government should not promote any form of gambling. However, lottery proceeds continue to be an important funding source given limited tax revenue options in Montana.
Overall, Powerball has succeeded in its primary goal of raising extra money to supplement the state budget through voluntary ticket sales. Montanans spend over $20 million annually on Powerball tickets, showing consistent demand for the popular national lottery game.
Future Outlook for Powerball in Montana
Looking ahead, Powerball appears to have a stable future in Montana. There are no signs that Montana plans to leave the Multi-State Lottery Association or end Powerball ticket sales. With consistently strong revenue generation and public interest, especially when jackpots climb high, Powerball seems firmly established as an income source relied on by state lawmakers.
Future changes could potentially include offering online sales or joining other national lottery games like Mega Millions alongside Powerball. Lottery officials will continue monitoring public demand, state laws, and ticket sales trends to determine if any Powerball program changes may be beneficial. But the game itself shows no indications of declining.
As long as consumers enjoy the excitement and dream of winning a nine-figure jackpot, steady sales of Powerball tickets should continue benefiting state coffers. Montana citizens will keep lining up when huge jackpots are advertised, hoping to become the state’s next Powerball winner. Powerball’s success in Montana over the past decade points towards a secure future.
– Powerball lottery tickets are readily available across Montana after the state joined the game in 2010.
– By law, Powerball revenue contributes to Montana’s GENERAL FUND and services for military veterans.
– Notable wins include a $70.3 million jackpot and two $1 million prizes over the years.
– Unclaimed prizes often expire, sending unawarded money back to the state.
– Demand remains strong when jackpots climb, suggesting Powerball will continue in Montana indefinitely.
So in summary, yes, Powerball tickets are sold throughout Montana and will be for the foreseeable future, giving residents the exciting chance to win while also benefiting important state programs.