How does PowerPlay work on Powerball?

Powerball is one of the most popular lottery games in the United States, offering jackpots that can grow into the hundreds of millions of dollars. One of the features that makes Powerball unique is the Power Play option, which can increase non-jackpot prizes for an additional $1 per play. But how exactly does the Power Play work?

What is PowerPlay?

Power Play is an optional feature in Powerball that costs an extra $1 per play. When you add Power Play to your ticket, it will multiply any non-jackpot prizes you win by a Power Play number drawn before the main Powerball drawing. Here’s a quick rundown of how it works:

  • You must choose Power Play when buying a Powerball ticket, for an extra $1 per play.
  • A Power Play number (2, 3, 4, 5, or 10) is drawn before the main Powerball drawing.
  • If you win any non-jackpot prize in that drawing, the prize is multiplied by the Power Play number.
  • For example, if you win $50,000 and the Power Play number is 3, you’ll win $150,000 instead.
  • The Power Play only multiplies non-jackpot prizes. It does not increase the Powerball jackpot.

So in short, for an extra dollar per ticket, Power Play gives you the chance to significantly increase your lower-tier prize winnings in Powerball.

Power Play Prize Payouts

Here is a chart showing how the Power Play feature affects each prize tier in Powerball:

Prize Tier Normal Prize Power Play Prize (with 5x)
Match 5 White Balls $1 million $5 million
Match 4 White Balls + Powerball $50,000 $250,000
Match 4 White Balls $100 $500
Match 3 White Balls + Powerball $100 $500
Match 3 White Balls $7 $35
Match 2 White Balls + Powerball $7 $35
Match 1 White Ball + Powerball $4 $20
Match Powerball $4 $20

As you can see, the Power Play has the potential to dramatically increase your winnings on the lower-tier prizes in Powerball. The exception is the Match 5 prize, which can only be multiplied up to $2 million, even if the Power Play number is higher.

How the Power Play Number is Drawn

During the Powerball draw broadcast, first the 5 main white ball numbers are drawn from 1 to 69. Then the red Powerball is drawn from 1 to 26. After that, the Power Play number is drawn from a separate drum with 5 numbers:

  • 2x
  • 3x
  • 4x
  • 5x
  • 10x

Each of these numbers has an equal chance of being selected. Once drawn, the Power Play number will multiply your winnings (except the jackpot and Match 5 prize) for that drawing.

Power Play Odds

The 5 Power Play numbers each have a 1 in 5 chance of being selected. Here are the odds of each Power Play number being drawn:

  • 2x – 20%
  • 3x – 20%
  • 4x – 20%
  • 5x – 20%
  • 10x – 20%

No matter which Power Play number is chosen, your overall odds of winning any prize do not change when you add Power Play. The Power Play number only affects how much your prize will be multiplied.

Should You Add Power Play?

Deciding whether to add Power Play to your Powerball ticket is a personal choice based on your budget and risk preference. Here are some pros and cons to consider:

Pros of Power Play

  • Chance to multiply non-jackpot winnings by up to 10 times
  • A $4 prize can become $40, $100 can become $1,000, etc.
  • Very small $1 investment to potentially boost winnings
  • Overall odds do not change

Cons of Power Play

  • No effect on the jackpot prize
  • Small odds of matching 5+ white balls where Power Play has biggest benefit
  • Have to pay $1 extra per ticket
  • Max Match 5 prize only goes up to $2 million, not the full amount

The Power Play is completely optional for Powerball players. Some players think the $1 extra investment is worth the opportunity to multiply winnings. Others don’t play it because it has no effect on the jackpot. It comes down to your personal preferences and budget.

Power Play Strategies

There are no proven strategies around Power Play itself, since the multiplier number is randomly drawn. However, here are some considerations if you do choose to play Power Play:

  • Play it on tickets with better odds – Power Play has the most benefit when you match 5+ main numbers, since those prizes get multiplied the most. So it can be wise to use it on ticket combinations with better overall odds.
  • Use it for systematic play – If you use systematic forms of play like quick picks, wheeling, or auto-lottery play, Power Play can be added across the board to boost your winnings in those methods.
  • Don’t forget to add it! – When filling out play slips, don’t forget to check the Power Play box. Otherwise you’ll miss out on the opportunity for multiplied prizes for that ticket.

Those are some tips for making the most of Power Play in your Powerball strategy. Whether it’s worth it comes down to your personal risk tolerance and budget.

Tax Implications

For big lottery wins, taxes are always a consideration. Power Play can potentially push you into a higher tax bracket by significantly increasing your prize amount. Here are some key tax factors to keep in mind:

  • Federal taxes are 25% on lottery winnings, and state taxes vary from 0-8% depending on where you live.
  • For prizes over $5,000, the lottery withholds taxes automatically before paying out your full prize amount.
  • The top federal tax bracket is 37% for income above $539,900. Power Play winnings could push you into a higher bracket.
  • Work with a tax professional to minimize how much tax you owe, through instruments like annuities or trusts.

The multiplier effect of Power Play means your tax planning needs to be strategic. Work closely with legal and tax advisors to structure your prize payout in a tax-efficient way.

Famous Power Play Winners

Here are some notable examples of Powerball players who won bigger prizes thanks to the Power Play add-on:

  • A Michigan woman won a $1 million prize that was multiplied to $2 million by the Power Play in the August 24, 2022 drawing.
  • An Oregon family’s $150,000 prize became $1 million when multiplied by Power Play on October 6, 2021.
  • A Pennsylvania man’s $50,000 win turned into $150,000 with a 3x Power Play multiplier on March 13, 2021.
  • A Minnesota player won a $22,000 prize that became $110,000 with Power Play on August 5, 2020.

These real-world examples show how Power Play can dramatically increase your non-jackpot winnings. While not every player wins with it, the multiplying effect is undeniable when it lands.

Power Play Statistics

Let’s look at some overall statistics for Powerball Power Play:

  • Introduced to Powerball in 2001
  • Costs $1 extra per ticket to add
  • Multiplier is 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, or 10x
  • Each multiplier has equal 1 in 5 odds of being drawn
  • Non-jackpot prizes are multiplied by 2x-10x with Power Play
  • Match 5 prize multiplied up to $2 million max
  • Does not increase odds of winning a prize
  • 62% of Powerball players opt in to Power Play
  • Pays out about $50 million in increased prizes annually

Statistically speaking, Power Play delivers on its promise to boost non-jackpot winnings frequently. For a mere $1 extra, the opportunity to multiply your prize is attractive for many Powerball players.

Key Power Play Facts

To recap some of the key facts about Powerball’s Power Play option:

  • Costs an extra $1 per Powerball ticket
  • Multiplies non-jackpot winnings by up to 10 times
  • Does not increase overall odds of winning
  • 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, and 10x multipliers have equal odds
  • Max Match 5 prize is $2 million (not full 10x amount)
  • 62% of players choose Power Play
  • Can result in bigger tax bill if you win
  • Multiplier numbers are randomly drawn
  • No proven strategy around Power Play itself

Keeping these key facts in mind will help you decide if Power Play is the right choice as you strategize and budget for Powerball tickets.

Power Play Misconceptions

Given Power Play’s ability to multiply winnings, there are some common misconceptions about how it works:

Power Play increases your overall odds of winning

False – While Power Play increases prize payouts, it does not actually improve your overall odds. The base odds of matching numbers and winning a prize are still the same.

Power Play can multiply the jackpot

False – Only non-jackpot prizes get multiplied by Power Play. The advertised jackpot amount is not affected.

Prizes get multiplied by 10x every drawing

False – The 5x and 10x multipliers do not hit any more often than 2x, 3x or 4x. Each has equal 1 in 5 odds per drawing.

Winning numbers can predict the Power Play number

False – The main ball numbers and Powerball do not influence the Power Play number. It is an independent random draw.

Knowing what Power Play can and can’t do will help avoid any misunderstandings about how it works and when it applies.

Power Play Drawings

Powerball drawings are held twice per week, on Monday and Wednesday nights at 10:59pm Eastern time. At each drawing, here is the order of events:

  1. Select 5 main numbers (white balls) – from 1 to 69
  2. Select the red Powerball – from 1 to 26
  3. Select the Power Play multiplier – 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x or 10x

The 5 main numbers and the red Powerball are drawn using ball machines with physical balls. The Power Play multiplier is drawn using a separate ball machine with 5 numbered balls representing the 5 multiplier amounts.

To win a prize, players must match the main 5 numbers and/or the red Powerball number. The Power Play multiplier only applies after that, to boost non-jackpot prizes. The multiplier selected has no bearing on your odds of matching the winning numbers.

How to View Power Play Drawings

Powerball drawing results are typically shown on local TV stations in jurisdictions where Powerball is available. You can also find the winning numbers and Power Play multiplier at:

  • Official Powerball website
  • Lottery Post
  • USA Mega

These sources show the main numbers, Powerball, and Power Play multiplier for the last several drawings. Remember the Power Play number is drawn after the main numbers.

Winning Power Play Strategies

There is no guaranteed strategy for winning Powerball prizes with Power Play. The multipliers are randomly drawn. However, there are some tips to maximize your Power Play experience:

  • Check your ticket carefully – Make sure you selected Power Play. If not, you will not get the multiplier benefit.
  • Play Power Play on multiple tickets – The more Power Play tickets you have, the more chances to get a multiplier.
  • Use Power Play when you win – Reinvesting winnings back into tickets with Power Play can compound your profits.
  • Focus on better odds – Power Play has the most impact on prizes you win less often. So try to improve your overall odds.

While Power Play is passive, you can maximize it with smart play selection and prize reinvestment strategies.

Power Play Jackpots

It’s a common misunderstanding that Power Play can increase a Powerball jackpot. To clarify:

  • Power Play does NOT affect or multiply the jackpot amount.
  • It only applies to non-jackpot prize tiers like Match 5, Match 4, etc.
  • The published jackpot is not multiplied by the Power Play number.
  • The only way to win bigger jackpots is for the top prize to roll over to increase.

So while Power Play can help you win prizes up to $2 million, it has no impact on the headline Powerball jackpot amount. The jackpots advertised already factor in projections for sales and rolls.


The Power Play add-on for Powerball gives players the opportunity to multiply non-jackpot prizes for an extra $1 per ticket. While not everyone uses it, the potential payout boost is attractive to many lottery fans. Understanding clearly how Power Play works, its pros and cons, and strategy tips can help you decide if it’s right for your Powerball play.

Some key takeaways are that Power Play does not improve overall odds, affect the jackpot, or influence winning numbers. The 2x to 10x multipliers are randomly drawn. There is no guaranteed winning strategy around Power Play itself. But it can significantly increase wins when those key number matches land. For those chasing bigger prizes, Power Play offers affordable access to potentially life-changing fortune.

1 thought on “How does PowerPlay work on Powerball?”

  1. I played Powerball with power play today matched three numbers got number 2 on multipler why did my winnings not double from 14 to 28 dollars


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