Does Powerball play every night?

Powerball is one of the most popular lottery games in the United States, with millions of people tuning in to see if they have the winning numbers. With its exciting jackpots that can climb into the hundreds of millions of dollars, it’s no wonder that Powerball draws so much interest. But does Powerball have a drawing every single night, or does it only occur on certain days?

Quick answer

No, Powerball does not occur every night. Powerball drawings only take place two nights a week, on Wednesday and Saturday evenings at 10:59 p.m. ET. There are no Powerball drawings on the other nights of the week.

How often does Powerball occur?

Powerball drawings are held twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 p.m. ET. Here is the Powerball drawing schedule:

  • Monday – No drawing
  • Tuesday – No drawing
  • Wednesday – Drawing at 10:59 p.m. ET
  • Thursday – No drawing
  • Friday – No drawing
  • Saturday – Drawing at 10:59 p.m. ET
  • Sunday – No drawing

Having drawings only two nights a week helps build the jackpot between drawings. With fewer chances to win each week, the top prize is able to grow larger with each passing drawing where it is not won.

Where do Powerball drawings take place?

Powerball drawings take place live at the Florida Lottery draw studio in Tallahassee, Florida. Two drawing machines are used during the Powerball drawings, one to select the five white ball numbers and another to select the red Powerball number. Accredited auditing firm Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP oversees the entire drawing process.

The draws were previously held at the Iowa Lottery’s studios in Des Moines and West Des Moines until 2008, when the drawings moved to Universal Orlando, Florida for more than three years. In 2012, the Powerball drawings relocated to the Florida Lottery’s studio.

How to play Powerball

Playing Powerball requires selecting five main numbers from 1 to 69, and one Powerball number from 1 to 26. Players can choose their own numbers or use quick pick and have the terminal randomly select the numbers.

To play, players fill out a play slip with their chosen numbers and take it to a lottery retailer. Retailers can also generate quick pick plays. Tickets cost $2 per play. Players also have the option to add the Power Play feature for an additional $1 per play to multiply non-jackpot winnings.

There are nine ways to win money in Powerball, ranging from $4 for matching just the Powerball up to the jackpot prize for matching all six numbers. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 292 million.

Powerball jackpots

Powerball jackpots start at $20 million and continue growing until the top prize is won. Jackpots roll over and increase with each drawing where no player matches all six numbers. The jackpots can climb into the hundreds of millions of dollars before a lucky player wins.

Here are some of the largest Powerball jackpot amounts:

Jackpot Amount Drawing Date
$1.586 billion January 13, 2016
$768.4 million March 27, 2019
$758.7 million August 23, 2017
$731.1 million January 20, 2021
$699.8 million October 4, 2021

The current Powerball jackpot for the next drawing on Saturday, November 5 is $47 million.

Notable Powerball winners

Here are some of the biggest Powerball winners over the years:

  • The $1.586 billion jackpot on January 13, 2016 was split between three winning tickets purchased in California, Florida, and Tennessee. Each ticket won around $528.8 million before taxes.
  • A winner in South Carolina claimed the $1.537 billion Mega Millions jackpot from the October 23, 2018 drawing, which was the largest jackpot payout to a single winner in U.S. history.
  • The $768.4 million Powerball jackpot on March 27, 2019 was won by a single ticket in Wisconsin. It was the third largest U.S. lottery jackpot ever won by a single ticket.
  • A winning ticket in Massachusetts claimed the $758.7 million Powerball jackpot on August 23, 2017. The winner chose the one-time cash payout of $480.5 million.

Odds of winning Powerball

The odds of winning a Powerball prize depend on a few factors:

  • Odds of winning Powerball jackpot: 1 in 292,201,338
  • Overall odds of winning any prize: 1 in 24.87
  • Odds of winning $1 million prize: 1 in 11,688,053.52
  • Odds of winning $50,000 prize: 1 in 913,129.18

The two Powerball drawings each week give players 104 chances per year to try to win a jackpot prize. But the odds are still overwhelmingly in favor of the lottery.

How Powerball ticket sales work

Powerball is run by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) and its member lottery agencies. Each state that participates in Powerball receives a percentage of ticket sales from the game. Here is how Powerball ticket sales work:

  • Of each $2 ticket, 50 cents goes toward the jackpot and prizes
  • Another 50 cents goes to the state and local lottery jurisdiction
  • Money for prizes is pooled from participating lotteries and shares the fund
  • If no winning tickets are sold for a drawing, the jackpot rolls over and increases for the next drawing

In return for cooperating with MUSL, member lotteries can promote large jackpots that boost ticket sales. Higher ticket sales mean more funding for each of the member states to devote to causes like education, senior citizens, and the environment.

Which states participate in Powerball?

Currently, 45 U.S. states and jurisdictions take part in Powerball drawings. The participating locations include:

Participating States
District of Columbia
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
US Virgin Islands
West Virginia

The participating locations account for nearly all U.S. states and jurisdictions. The only states that do not offer Powerball are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah. However, residents of those states are still able to purchase tickets from neighboring jurisdictions that sell Powerball tickets.

History of Powerball

Powerball has seen many changes since it was first introduced in 1992 as Lotto America. Here are some key dates in Powerball history:

  • 1988: Lotto America introduced as the first multi-state game
  • 1992: Powerball brand debuts
  • 1995: $100 million jackpot cap introduced
  • 1997: Power Play option added
  • 1998: Double matrix changed to 5/59 + 1/39
  • 1999: Powerball expands to include more states
  • 2000: Wednesday night drawings introduced
  • 2006: Powerball matrix changes to 5/59 + 1/42
  • 2009: Power Play multiplier expanded 2-5x
  • 2012: Powerball moves to Florida for drawings
  • 2012: Double matrix changes to 5/69 + 1/26
  • 2013: Powerball reaches $400 million for the first time
  • 2016: $1.58 billion record jackpot shared by 3 winners

Over nearly 30 years in operation, Powerball has continued to evolve with strategic tweaks and changes to help drive player interest. The game still maintains the central focus of offering life-changing jackpot prizes for just $2 a ticket.


In summary, Powerball does not occur every night. Drawings are held twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 p.m. ET. Tickets can be purchased from 45 participating states and jurisdictions for a chance to win prizes ranging from $4 up to jackpots in the hundreds of millions. Since its start in 1992, Powerball has continued adjusting the game to offer players the possibility of instantly becoming millionaires or billionaires.

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