How late can you buy Powerball tickets in Washington state?

Powerball is one of the most popular lottery games in the United States, with tickets sold in 45 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In Washington state, the game is operated by the Washington Lottery. Powerball draws occur twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and tickets can be purchased up until a certain time before each draw. So how late can you buy Powerball tickets in Washington state?

Powerball Basics

Powerball is a multi-state lottery game operated by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL). It began in 1988 as Lotto America and the name was changed to Powerball in 1992. Here are some key details about Powerball:

– Tickets cost $2 per play.
– To play, you choose 5 white ball numbers from 1 to 69 and 1 red Powerball number from 1 to 26.
– Prizes start at $4 for matching just the Powerball number.
– Jackpots begin at $40 million and roll over if not won.
– Drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday night at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time.
– You win the jackpot by matching all 5 white balls and the red Powerball.
– The overall odds of winning any prize are 1 in 24.9.
– Powerball is offered in 45 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Washington joined Powerball in 2009. Tickets are sold at over 3,200 retailer locations in the state.

Powerball Sales Cut-Off Time in Washington

In Washington, you can purchase Powerball tickets for a specific drawing up until 15 minutes before that drawing occurs.

Powerball drawings are held at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Washington is in the Pacific Time Zone, which is 3 hours behind Eastern Time.

Therefore, the Powerball sales cut-off time in Washington is 8:45 p.m. Pacific Time on draw nights:

– On Wednesdays, ticket sales stop at 8:45 p.m. Pacific for that night’s drawing at 10:59 p.m. Eastern.

– On Saturdays, ticket sales stop at 8:45 p.m. Pacific for that night’s drawing at 10:59 p.m. Eastern.

If you try to purchase Powerball tickets after 8:45 p.m. Pacific Time on drawing nights, retailers will not be able to sell them to you. Their ticket machines automatically disable sales 15 minutes prior to each drawing.

Purchasing Tickets on Draw Days

If you want to buy Powerball tickets in Washington on draw days, you have until 8:45 p.m. Pacific Time to do so. Here are some tips:

– Many grocery stores, gas stations, and convenience stores sell Powerball tickets. Find a retailer nearest to you.

– If lines are long right before the cut-off, consider buying tickets earlier in the day to avoid the rush.

– You can buy tickets for future draws too, not just the upcoming one. For example, on Saturday night you could buy tickets for the Wednesday drawing if you wanted to.

– Make sure the retailer prints your ticket before 8:45 p.m. Pacific Time. If you are in line but don’t have your tickets yet, you may not make the deadline.

– It’s not a guarantee that every retailer stops selling tickets right at 8:45 p.m. Some may cut sales a few minutes earlier. So for best results, get your tickets by 8:30 p.m. to be safe.

– If playing online, purchase your tickets before 8:45 p.m. and make sure the transaction processes before the deadline.

– Tickets purchased before the deadline are valid for that night’s drawing, even if you don’t get home and look at them until later.

Days With No Powerball Drawings

On days when there are no Powerball drawings, ticket sales in Washington continue as normal until each retailer closes for the day.

For example:

– On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, retailers can sell Powerball tickets until they close their business for the day, such as 10 p.m. or midnight.

– On Sundays, most major retailers sell tickets until around midnight, while some grocery stores may close earlier in the evening.

So on regular weekdays without a drawing, you can typically buy Powerball tickets in Washington until late in the evening when stores close. You just have to watch out for the early 8:45 p.m. Pacific Time cut-off on Wednesday and Saturday draw nights.

Buying Tickets for Future Drawings

When you buy Powerball tickets in Washington, you’re not limited to playing just the next upcoming drawing.

You have the flexibility to purchase tickets for future Powerball drawings too, even months in advance if you want.

Some examples:

– On a Tuesday you could buy tickets for the Wednesday drawing that week, or the Saturday drawing, or even for drawings weeks or months away.

– On Saturday morning, you could get tickets for that night’s drawing or buy ahead for one of the Wednesday drawings.

Advance play like this is a popular option for a few reasons:

– It allows you to buy tickets for special dates like birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc.

– You can lock in your lucky numbers for future drawings rather than picking new ones each time.

– Buying ahead secures your play for those dates without the risk of forgetting to buy tickets.

Just remember that the 8:45 p.m. Pacific Time sales cut-off still applies to any advance tickets on the night of the actual drawing. Make sure you make your purchases for a particular drawing before that deadline.

Rules for Cut-Off Times

Washington’s Powerball cut-off time of 8:45 p.m. Pacific Time on draw nights is regulated by the state lottery. Here are some key rules retailers must follow:

– Ticket sales must stop by 8:45 p.m. Pacific Time for that evening’s drawing. The lottery system will automatically disable sales 15 minutes prior to each drawing.

– If a customer is in line before 8:45 p.m., the retailer must take their ticket order, process payment, and print their ticket(s) before the cutoff.

– Any customers arriving after 8:45 p.m. cannot be sold tickets for that drawing, even if they claim they were just a few minutes late.

– Retailers are subject to penalties if they violate the prescribed cutoff times. Repeated violations could result in losing their lottery sales privileges.

– Lottery employees and sales reps are prohibited from purchasing tickets after a certain time to avoid conflicts of interest.

The lottery enforces these rules to ensure all ticket buyers are treated fairly and have the same sales window. Retailers must adhere to the requirements without exceptions.

Getting Results on Draw Nights

If you buy Powerball tickets in Washington on draw nights, you undoubtedly will be eager to get the results after the 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time drawing occurs. Here’s when and how you can find out the winning numbers:

– Local television stations frequently broadcast the winning numbers during their 11 p.m. news on draw nights.

– The Washington Lottery website and mobile app will post the results.

– U.S. lottery websites like will have the numbers shortly after the drawing.

– Winning numbers are typically available from news sources by 11:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

– Retailers selling Powerball usually have display monitors in their stores showing the latest results.

– Although rare, official results can sometimes be delayed on nights when there are technical issues with the draw.

Be aware that if you buy tickets close to the 8:45 p.m. cutoff in Washington, you may need to wait around 30-60 minutes after the scheduled drawing time to get the winning numbers. But they are readily available several different ways.

Checking Your Tickets

Once you have the winning numbers, you will want to check any Powerball tickets you purchased to see if you won a prize. Here are some tips for checking your tickets:

– Start by checking the Powerball number, since matching just that wins a $4 prize. Then move on to the white balls.

– You can check tickets at Washington Lottery retailers, who can scan them to instantly see if you won.

– The lottery’s website and mobile app also allow you to check numbers. Create an account to store and track your tickets.

– If you think you won the jackpot, sign the back of the ticket immediately and keep it very safe. Contact the lottery claims center about redeeming your prize.

– There is no rush to claim prizes. You have 180 days from the draw date to redeem Washington Lottery prizes over $600.

– Make sure to double-check that the numbers on your ticket match the official winning numbers. Mistakes do sometimes happen.

– Never throw away a ticket until you confirm it is not a winner. Some people accidentally discard valuable winning tickets.

Checking your Powerball tickets promptly after each drawing is important, especially if you purchased them close to the sales cutoff time in Washington. Don’t miss out on a prize you won because you forgot to check!

Use of Lottery Revenue

All net proceeds from Powerball ticket sales in Washington go towards supporting important state causes and programs. Here is how Powerball revenue is used:

– 65% funds prizes – By law, 65% of total sales must be paid out in prize money. Bigger jackpots generate more sales and taxes for programs.

– 27% goes to Washington Opportunity Pathways Account – This provides support for early childhood education, K-12 schools, and higher education. As of July 2022, this account has received over $2.2 billion in lottery transfers.

– 5% funds lottery operations – This covers expenses such as employee salaries, retailer commissions, and lottery administration.

– 3% supports retailers and vendors – This portion is paid to retailers as sales commissions and bonuses.

So while playing Powerball is fun, ticket purchases also generate significant funding for valuable public programs in Washington. Buying tickets by the 8:45 p.m. Pacific Time deadline helps grow these contributions.

Unclaimed Prizes

When Powerball prizes go unclaimed in Washington, the money ultimately gets used for future prizes and public programs. Here is what happens:

– For prizes over $10,000, players have 180 days to claim the money from the draw date.

– Unclaimed lower tier prizes remain in the prize pool for future drawings.

– Unclaimed jackpot funds get returned to the other participating Powerball states.

– Washington’s unclaimed jackpot share goes to the Washington Opportunity Pathways Account supporting education.

– From 2013-2020, over $42 million in unclaimed Washington Lottery prizes funded education programs.

So while you don’t want to miss out on claiming a prize you won, any expired prizes still get put to good use, benefiting Washington students and schools.

Tips for Winning

While luck plays a major role, there are some tips that may help improve your odds of winning Powerball prizes:

– Buy more tickets – More tickets equals more chances to match numbers. But only spend what you can afford.

– Join an office pool – This allows you to buy more tickets and leverage group luck. Make sure you have rules in place beforehand though.

– Try different numbers – Don’t just play the same options each time. Vary your picks.

– Use Quick Pick – Letting the computer randomly select your numbers gets you different combinations to cover more possibilities.

– Take advantage of promotions – Washington sometimes runs special promotions like Powerball double play. This can provide bonus chances without spending more.

– Play consistently – Players win more often when they buy for every drawing rather than sporadically.

– Avoid consecutive numbers – They are drawn less frequently. Mix high, low, and spaced out numbers.

– Seek out second chance promotions – Some non-winning tickets can be entered into promotional drawings for another chance.

Staying within your budget while playing smart gives you the best shot at being the next Washington Powerball winner before the 8:45 p.m. Pacific Time ticket cutoff!


In Washington, Powerball ticket sales stop at 8:45 p.m. Pacific Time on nights of the drawings, which are held Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time. Retailers are prohibited from selling tickets past the 15 minute cutoff mandated by the state lottery. On other days without drawings, you can generally buy Powerball tickets until closing time for each retailer. Following the ticket purchasing deadline and checking results carefully is crucial. Winnings from ticket sales provide significant revenue for Washington education programs and services. With jackpots starting at $40 million and the potential to grow much larger, playing responsibly before the sales cutoff gives you the chance to become Washington’s next Powerball millionaire or billionaire!

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