Does Washington DC participate in Powerball?

Powerball is one of the most popular lottery games in the United States, offering jackpots starting at $40 million that can grow into the hundreds of millions. With prizes this big, it’s no wonder that people across the country eagerly await the next Powerball drawing to see if this will be their lucky day. But does everyone have a chance to win? Can residents of the nation’s capital buy Powerball tickets too? Here’s a quick answer: Yes, Washington DC does participate in Powerball.

As we’ll explore in this article, Powerball is available for purchase by those living in Washington DC. The district joined the Multi-State Lottery Association in 2001, which allowed it to begin offering tickets for games like Powerball and Mega Millions. DC residents have the same odds and access to winning as those in the 46 states that participate.

We’ll take an in-depth look at the history of Powerball in DC, where and how to purchase tickets, and the district’s biggest Powerball winners to date. Whether you’re a DC local yourself or are just curious to learn more about who can play Powerball, you’ll find all the key facts outlined here.

The History of Powerball in Washington DC

To understand how DC residents can now buy Powerball tickets just like the rest of the country, it helps to first look at the history of this lottery game. Here are some key points in the timeline:

1988 – Powerball begins as Lotto America, offered in select states like Iowa, Kansas, Oregon, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Washington DC, and others.

1992 – Powerball replaces Lotto America. More states join over time.

1996 – Powerball sees its first jackpot over $100 million.

2001 – Washington DC joins the Multi-State Lottery Association. This allows the district to begin participating in games like Powerball and Mega Millions.

2009 – Powerball reaches a record jackpot of $365 million, shared by winners in New Jersey and Idaho.

2012 – Changes to Powerball lead to faster growing jackpots.

2016 – The game sees its biggest jackpot yet at $1.586 billion, split by winners in California, Florida, and Tennessee.

As you can see, Washington DC was there from nearly the very beginning when Powerball first started as Lotto America in 1988. However, district residents couldn’t actually purchase tickets until becoming members of the Multi-State Lottery Association in 2001.

Since then, DC has participated right alongside the majority of states offering the game today. Locals can try their hand at winning jackpots just as massive as those given out across the country.

Where to Buy Powerball Tickets in Washington DC

Now that Powerball is available for purchase in DC, where exactly can you go to get your tickets? Here are some of the key places to buy:

D.C. Lottery Kiosks – There are lottery kiosks located throughout the district where you can purchase Powerball tickets. These machines allow you to quickly grab tickets when you’re on the go.

Grocery Stores – Many local grocery stores and chains like Safeway sell Powerball tickets at customer service desks or specially marked lottery areas.

Gas Stations & Convenience Stores – Retailers like 7-Eleven, Wawa, and Shell stations are likely to carry Powerball tickets that you can buy when filling up or during a quick stop.

Liquor Stores – Powerball tickets are commonly found at liquor stores and spirits shops as well. So check your local retailer when picking up adult beverages.

Online – Washington DC residents can buy Powerball tickets online through the district’s official lottery website as long as you are within district geographic boundaries when making the purchase.

You’ll find no shortage of retailers offering Powerball tickets across Washington. The district makes purchasing simple through lottery kiosks, convenience stores, and the ability to buy online. Pick your most convenient location and get your tickets today!

How to Play Powerball in Washington DC

Now that you know where to buy Powerball tickets in the district, let’s go over how to actually play the game when you have your ticket in hand:

1. Pick 5 main numbers – First, choose five numbers between 1-69 that will be your main numbers for the drawing. This can be done via quick pick or manual selection.

2. Pick 1 Powerball number – You’ll also choose one Powerball number between 1-26. This will be your sixth number.

3. Match for prizes – To win a prize, you’ll need to match some combination of your numbers to those drawn. Match all six and you win the jackpot!

4. Check Power Play – For an extra $1 per play, you can add Power Play to multiply non-jackpot winnings by 2x, 3x, 5x, or even 10x!

5. Wait for the drawings – Powerball drawings are held every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 10:59 p.m. ET. Tune in or check numbers online to see if you won!

It takes just $2 for one standard play, giving you a chance at prizes ranging from $4 up to jackpots starting at $40 million or more. Use Power Play to boost winnings and good luck!

Can You Buy Powerball Tickets Online in DC?

Playing the lottery online provides convenience, but is this an option for Washington DC residents wanting Powerball tickets? Here is the quick rundown on buying online:

Yes, you can buy official Powerball tickets online in Washington DC through the district’s lottery website. However, there are a few rules:

– You must be physically located within DC geographic boundaries when making an online purchase.

– Tickets sold online must be purchased with a debit card associated with a DC-insurable bank account. Credit cards and prepaid cards cannot be used.

– Players must be 18 or older. Tickets cannot be purchased as gifts for those under 18.

While there are some restrictions, online ticket sales provide a handy way for DC locals to get their Powerball tickets anytime without having to visit a retailer. Just ensure you meet the location and payment requirements for valid entry.

Notable Powerball Winners from Washington DC

Since starting Powerball ticket sales in 2001, Washington DC has seen its fair share of big winners over the years. Here are some of the most notable Powerball prizes claimed by district residents:

$1 Million – In 2011, a $1 million prize was claimed by a woman in Northeast DC on a ticket purchased at a Suffolk Liquors location.

$1 Million – A $1 million ticket bought in 2013 at the Shop Express in Southeast was claimed by a Southeast man later that year.

$50,000 – In 2015, a Northwest woman won $50,000 on a Powerball ticket she purchased at a Safeway store on Wisconsin Avenue NW.

$50,000 – A $50,000 winning ticket was sold at a 7-Eleven on Benning Road NE and claimed by a Capitol Heights woman in 2016.

$150,000 – In 2017, a Petworth man claimed a $150,000 Powerball prize on a ticket he bought in Northwest DC.

While no one from DC has hit the mega Powerball jackpot yet, district residents are no strangers to bringing home substantial prizes. Who knows, the next big DC winner could be you!

Taxes on Winning the Powerball in Washington DC

Scoring a big Powerball prize means you also have to consider taxes. Here’s what DC winners can expect to pay in local taxes and withholdings on Powerball prizes:

Prizes Over $5,000 – Winners must pay a federal withholding tax of 24% on all prizes over $5,000. This is taken out immediately.

Prizes Over $600 – Any winning over $600 also face a DC withholding tax of 8.5% taken out up front.

Tax Bracket – Remaining prize money is taxed at your ordinary income tax rate. DC has tax brackets from 4% up to 8.95%.

No State Tax – One upside for DC is you don’t pay state income tax on winnings, just the local DC tax.

Be sure to factor in applicable federal and district taxes when claiming substantial Powerball wins. This way any money you receive can be properly budgeted.

Powerball Revenue for Washington DC

In fiscal year 2022, Powerball accounted for $24.7 million in revenue for Washington DC from ticket sales and commissions. While a small part of the district’s $19.9 billion budget, this revenue supports important local causes.

By law, at least 50% of DC lottery revenue must go towards funding the following:

– Public safety – including police, fire/EMS, courts, corrections, emergency management
– Public education and schools
– Human services – like healthcare, job training, senior services
– District operations – such as trash collection, recycling, transportation

Beyond contributing to the annual budget, Powerball helps make Washington DC a better place to live and work. Lottery profits support vital community programs that aid residents across all 8 wards.

Common Powerball Misconceptions

When playing a game as big as Powerball, there are bound to be some misconceptions that arise. Here are a few common myths about Powerball and the real facts:

Myth: Powerball tickets must be purchased in person.

Fact: In Washington DC, players can purchase Powerball tickets online through the district lottery website. You must simply meet location and payment requirements when buying online.

Myth: There are tricks that can help you win Powerball.

Fact: Powerball winners are chosen entirely randomly during the drawings. There are no outside tricks or strategies that can help you win.

Myth: The jackpot gets split if there are multiple winners.

Fact: If multiple winning tickets match all 6 numbers, the jackpot prize is split evenly amongst them. Winnings are not affected by the number of winners.

Myth: Winning numbers are drawn live on TV.

Fact: Powerball drawings are pre-recorded under tight security and procedures. The live broadcasts simply show the resulting numbers.

Knowing the reality about Powerball can help distinguish fact from fiction. Stick to the basics and your chances of winning remain the same.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about playing Powerball in Washington DC:

Q: How old do I have to be to play Powerball in DC?

A: You must be at least 18 years old to legally purchase or redeem Powerball tickets in the district.

Q: Can I buy Powerball tickets outside of DC as a resident?

A: Yes, any resident traveling outside DC can purchase Powerball tickets in other participating states. Tickets bought elsewhere can still be redeemed back home.

Q: What time do Powerball sales end in DC before a drawing?

A: Ticket sales end at 10:00 PM ET on draw nights. All purchases must be made by this time to be eligible for that drawing.

Q: What happens if I lose or damage a winning Powerball ticket?

A: Lost or damaged tickets can be claimed as long as they are legible and pass validation requirements. Try your best to keep tickets in good shape.

Q: Can I anonymous claim a Powerball prize in DC?

A: No, DC does not allow lottery winners to remain anonymous. The district publicly releases winner names for prizes over $600.

How to Play Powerball Responsibly

Playing the lottery is fun and exciting, but remember to always play responsibly. Here are tips for staying in control:

– Only gamble what you can afford to lose. Never bet money needed for necessities.

– Set a budget and stick to it. Limit lottery spending to an affordable amount.

– Play for entertainment, not as an investment. Going into debt is never wise.

– Don’t chase losses. Accept losing as part of the game.

– Balance lottery play with other hobbies. Don’t make it the sole pastime.

– Don’t play under pressure or emotional influence. Make sound choices.

– Ask for help if gambling becomes unhealthy. Don’t go it alone.

Playing Powerball responsibly means being honest with yourself and knowing your limits. You can enjoy it more when you stay focused on fun over finances.


Washington DC residents can officially take part in the Powerball excitement alongside participants in 46 other states. Since joining the Multi-State Lottery Association in 2001, the district provides full access to Powerball tickets both in-person and online.

Locals can try their hand at massive jackpots starting at $40 million, with prizes often climbing into the hundreds of millions before a winner is drawn. While the odds are long, dozens of lucky DC players have claimed substantial Powerball prizes over the years.

Check your local retailers or visit the DC Lottery website to get your own tickets. Just follow the guidelines when purchasing online. Responsible play and some luck may lead you to be the first district resident to hit the mega Powerball jackpot!

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