How many people won the Powerball with a quick pick?

The Powerball lottery is one of the most popular lottery games in the United States. Each Powerball drawing consists of five white balls numbered 1-69 and one red Powerball numbered 1-26. To win the jackpot, players must match all five white balls and the red Powerball. Tickets can be purchased with either player-selected numbers or quick pick numbers randomly generated by the lottery terminal.

What is a Quick Pick?

A quick pick is when the lottery terminal randomly generates the numbers on a player’s Powerball ticket. The player does not get to choose the numbers themselves. Many players prefer quick picks because it saves time and effort in having to select five different white ball numbers between 1 and 69 plus the red Powerball number between 1 and 26. With nearly 292 million possible Powerball number combinations, the odds of randomly selecting the winning numbers are incredibly low. Letting the lottery terminal randomly choose quick pick numbers ensures the number selection is truly random and not based on any personal biases.

Powerball Quick Pick Winners

There have been several notable big jackpot winners over the years who won Powerball prizes with quick pick tickets:

  • The largest Powerball jackpot won with a quick pick ticket was $758.7 million claimed by a single ticket in Massachusetts on August 23, 2017. This was the largest single ticket jackpot win in U.S. lottery history at the time.
  • A $487 million Powerball jackpot was won by a quick pick ticket in New Hampshire on July 30, 2016. This winner chose to remain anonymous when claiming the prize.
  • On May 18, 2013, a retired Florida couple won a $590.5 million Powerball jackpot with a quick pick ticket. At the time, it was the largest single ticket jackpot in American lottery history.
  • A quick pick ticket won the $564.1 million Powerball jackpot on February 11, 2015. The ticket was purchased by a winner in North Carolina.
  • A $451 million jackpot was hit on January 5, 2018 by a quick pick ticket purchased in New Hampshire. The winner took the lump sum option of $358.5 million.

These are just some of the many examples of quick pick Powerball tickets winning huge jackpot prizes over the years. Ordinary folks relying on random quick pick number selections have become millionaires overnight thanks to their good fortune.

Quick Pick Advantages

There are a few key advantages to using quick pick numbers versus selecting your own numbers on a Powerball ticket:

  • Total randomness – Since the lottery terminal randomly generates the numbers, quick picks avoid any bias or patterns that players may unintentionally incorporate when choosing their own numbers.
  • Speed and convenience – Getting a quick pick ticket is fast and easy. Players don’t have to spend time agonizing over which five main numbers and Powerball to pick.
  • Avoid duplicate numbers – With quick pick, there’s no chance of accidentally picking the same number twice on your ticket or selecting numbers another player has also chosen.
  • Coverage of the number field – Random quick picks are more likely to cover a wider range of the possible 1-69 white ball numbers and 1-26 Powerball numbers compared to player picks.

For many players, letting a machine randomly select their numbers is the simpler way to play compared to picking their own Powerball numbers. And as evidenced by some of the biggest jackpot winners, quick picks definitely can and do hit the jackpot.

Odds of Winning With Quick Picks

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338 regardless of whether a player chooses their own numbers or uses quick pick. The random number selection does not change the mathematical probabilities. Each combination of 5 white ball numbers and the red Powerball number has exactly the same odds of being drawn. However, there are some differences in how those odds apply to quick picks versus player picks.

Coverage of Number Field

With player picked numbers, players may unintentionally focus on certain number groupings and neglect other numbers. For example, picking mostly numbers 31-55 and ignoring 1-15. Quick picks have no such bias, so they tend to be more spread out and cover more of the full number field.

Duplicate Numbers

It’s shockingly easy to accidentally choose the same number more than once when selecting five different numbers from 1 to 69. Quick picks make it impossible to do this. Having more variety and no duplicate numbers does help the odds very slightly.

Number Patterns

Some players pick Powerball numbers in certain patterns – such as diagonal lines or box shapes – or pick numbers in a meaningful sequence. Quick picks avoid any such patterns that players fall into. This slightly increases the odds that at least some of the quick pick numbers will match the random drawing results.

So in summary, compared to player number selections, random quick picks tend to improve the odds of winning by ever so slightly covering more of the number possibilities and eliminating biases people subconsciously have when choosing “random” numbers.

More Quick Pick Winners or Player Pick Winners?

Over 70% of all Powerball tickets are quick picks. With quick picks making up a majority of Powerball ticket sales, it follows that more jackpots have been won by quick picks than by player number selections. While the Powerball drawing results themselves are completely random, the advantages quick picks have over player picks do appear to manifest themselves in more quick pick winners historically.

Looking at the 39 Powerball jackpot wins from 2009 to 2016:

  • 27 jackpots were won with quick pick tickets
  • 12 jackpots were won with player-selected numbers

So about 69% of recent Powerball jackpot wins can be attributed to quick pick tickets. Statistically, quick pick win rates closely correlate with the percentage of overall ticket sales that are quick picks. There does not appear to be any significant advantage or disadvantage either way.

Noteworthy Powerball Quick Pick Winners

Here are some more real-life examples of people who won huge Powerball jackpots using quick pick tickets:

Lerynne West

In November 2018, Lerynne West of Iowa won a $343.9 million Powerball jackpot from a quick pick ticket she purchased at a convenience store. At the time, it was the largest jackpot ever won on a single ticket in Iowa. West decided to come forward and claim her prize, allowing her identity to be revealed publicly. She announced plans to share her winnings with family and charity.

John and Lisa Robinson

This lucky couple from Tennessee won a $528.8 million Powerball jackpot in April 2016 from a quick pick ticket. At the time, it was the largest jackpot ever hit in Tennessee and the 14th largest in U.S. lottery history. John Robinson purchased the fateful ticket when stopping for lunch with his wife at a convenience store.

Gloria MacKenzie

In May 2013, 84-year-old Gloria MacKenzie claimed a $590.5 million Powerball jackpot. MacKenzie purchased a quick pick ticket when another player in line allowed her to cut in front at a Florida supermarket. Her giant win is still the largest single ticket jackpot payout to a single winner in U.S. history.

Karl and Annette Dahl

This married couple from Chicago won a $118 million Powerball jackpot in 2008 from a quick pick ticket. At the time, it set the record for the highest lottery jackpot won by a single ticket in Illinois. Their lucky numbers came from a random quick pick ticket that Karl Dahl purchased while filling up his car at a gas station.

Louise White

At age 75, Rhode Island resident Louise White won a Powerball jackpot of $336.4 million in February 2012. She frequently played Powerball using random quick pick number selections. For her winning ticket, White purchased five quick pick plays from a local supermarket.

These winners represent just a sample of the many people across the country whose lives were changed in an instant thanks to quick pick Powerball tickets.

Quick Pick Misconceptions

While quick pick has some advantages, there are also some common misconceptions about how using them affects a player’s chances of winning.

Quick Pick is More Lucky

Some people believe randomly generated quick picks are more fortunate than player picked numbers. In reality, each and every possible Powerball number combination has exactly the same probability of being chosen. There are no inherently “luckier” combinations. Quick picks simply avoid biases that players may unintentionally incorporate into their number picking strategy.

Quick Pick Makes It Harder for Multiple Players to Win

Since every quick pick is guaranteed to have a unique set of numbers, many people believe they are less likely to have to share the jackpot. In practice, the odds of multiple winners are extremely low regardless. The Powerball number field is large enough that there have only been a handful of times when two or three tickets matched all the numbers. And player picked numbers can be duplicated among different tickets just as easily as a quick pick combination.

You Should Switch Between Quick Pick and Player Picks

There is no strategy in alternating between choosing your own numbers and getting quick pick tickets. Every Powerball drawing is a completely independent event. The random quick pick numbers generated for one drawing have no relationship at all to the numbers picked for the next drawing or numbers chosen by players. Sticking with either all quick picks or all player picks makes no difference mathematically.

While quick picks are an extremely popular way to play Powerball, they do not actually change the underlying odds or probabilities involved. Their advantages stem from avoiding player tendencies that may reduce the likelihood of randomly matching the drawing results. But no method of number selection can actually increase or decrease the purely random odds of any particular combination being chosen.

Quick Pick Lottery Ticket Purchasing Tips

If you decide to let the lottery terminal choose quick pick numbers for Powerball, here are some helpful tips for getting your tickets:

  • Tell the clerk you want to purchase “$x worth of quick picks” rather than a specific number of tickets. This ensures the range of numbers is as wide as possible across your tickets.
  • Avoid buying quick picks in numeric order which may result in similar ranges of numbers. Mix it up and buy tickets from different clerks and locations.
  • Take advantage of ” Advantage Play” when offered. This spreads purchases over a couple drawings to maximize variety of numbers.
  • Buy early. Tickets sold early in the purchase cycle likely have a greater range of numbers than those sold closer to cutoff.
  • Buy both even and odd number of tickets. Odd number quantity orders seem to produce a greater variety of numbers.

Carefully using these quick pick purchase methods can help increase the overall coverage of numbers across your Powerball tickets.

Generating Your Own Quick Picks

It is possible to produce your own quick picks rather than relying on the lottery terminal’s random number generator. This allows you to create quick pick Powerball tickets yourself using an approved random method.

Most states allow players to submit hand-generated quick picks. But there are specific rules regarding the randomness requirements:

  • Numbers must have been randomly generated
  • The lottery must pre-approve the method of random selection
  • Each ticket must have a unique set of numbers
  • All five white balls numbers must be different
  • The Powerball number must be between 1-26

Approved methods of randomly generating your own quick picks include:

  • Drawing numbers blindly from a jar
  • Using a randomized quick pick generator app or website
  • Rolling dice or shuffling cards numbered 1-69
  • Flipping coins to randomly select each number

Just make sure your method has no pattern or bias. And of course, be sure to check state lottery rules for any restrictions and requirements on submitting home-made quick pick tickets. Most will have players fill out a special form when submitting.

Should You Use Quick Picks for Powerball?

When it comes to choosing between picking your own Powerball numbers versus using quick picks, neither method has been shown to have any significant advantage in practice. Some studies have found slightly better odds with one method or the other, but the differences are negligible. In the end, Powerball odds always remain 1 in 292 million regardless.

For many players, the convenience factor of quick picks makes them the preferred way to play. Letting the lottery terminal randomly select numbers is fast, easy, and avoids any duplicate numbers on the same ticket. However, other players enjoy pondering over numerical patterns and relationships when choosing their own Powerball numbers. This makes playing more fun and engaging for them.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. The fact that some of the biggest jackpots have been won by both player picks and quick picks proves that both methods can easily match the winning numbers. Whether you meticulously study number frequencies or randomly quick pick, the most important thing is simply to play consistently.


While quick picks eliminate some player tendencies that may reduce odds, they offer no mathematical advantage in terms of the probability of matching the Powerball winning numbers. Their benefit stems from convenience and avoiding biases. When used properly, quick picks can help maximize the range of numbers covered across a batch of Powerball tickets. For casual players and those without any number picking rituals, quick picks are typically the simplest way to play. But serious students of the game often prefer the engagement of selecting their own numbers.

In the end, Powerball comes down to sheer luck. Both quick picks and player picks have led to huge jackpot winners over the years. Whether using lucky numbers, numerology, random quick picks, or computer algorithms to select numbers, the results are all equally likely to match the next drawing. With jackpots starting at $40 million and frequently climbing into the hundreds of millions, Powerball can instantly turn random number combinations into life-changing riches no matter how they were picked!

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