How much does 3 numbers pay in Powerball?

Powerball is one of the most popular lottery games in the United States. It is played in 45 states, as well as Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Powerball offers some of the biggest jackpot prizes available, often climbing into the hundreds of millions of dollars. With prizes this big, it’s no wonder that so many people try their luck playing Powerball every week.

One of the great things about Powerball is that you don’t have to match all the numbers to win a prize. Even if you just match a few numbers, you can still win money. This guide will explain exactly how much you can win for matching 3 numbers in Powerball. We’ll go over the basic rules of how to play Powerball, the Powerball prize payout structure, and provide some examples of 3 number match prizes.

How to Play Powerball

Before we get into the specific prizes for a 3 number match, let’s review the basics of how to play Powerball.

To play Powerball, you first need to pick five main numbers between 1 and 69. You also choose one Powerball number between 1 and 26. You can select your own numbers or opt for a Quick Pick and let the lottery terminal randomly pick numbers for you.

To play, you’ll need to buy a Powerball ticket, either at an authorized lottery retailer or online if available in your state. Powerball tickets cost $2 per play. For an additional $1 per play, you can add the Power Play option which multiplies non-jackpot prize amounts.

The Powerball drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday night at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time. At each drawing, five white balls numbered 1 to 69 are drawn along with one red Powerball numbered 1 to 26.

To win the jackpot, you must match all five white balls and the red Powerball. Other smaller prizes can be won for matching some of the numbers. The prize amounts depend on how many numbers you match and if you played the Power Play.

Powerball Prize Payout Structure

The prize structure in Powerball is based on how many of the numbers you match. The payouts are:

  • Match 5 white balls + Powerball: Grand prize jackpot
  • Match 5 white balls: $1 million
  • Match 4 white balls + Powerball: $50,000
  • Match 4 white balls: $100
  • Match 3 white balls + Powerball: $100
  • Match 3 white balls: $7
  • Match 2 white balls + Powerball: $7
  • Match 1 white ball + Powerball: $4
  • Match just the Powerball: $4

As you can see, matching just 3 white balls wins you a $7 prize in Powerball. That amount rises to $100 if you also match the Powerball along with your 3 white ball numbers.

The Power Play option can increase these amounts, except for the jackpot and Match 5 white balls prize. The Power Play is a 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, or 10x multiplier randomly selected before each drawing. A Power Play match of 3 white balls would win you $14, $21, $28, $35, or $70 based on the multiplier.

Next, let’s look at some examples of 3 number match prizes in Powerball both with and without the Power Play.

Examples of 3 Number Match Prizes

Here are some examples of how much you could win for matching 3 numbers in Powerball:

Without Power Play

  • Match 3 white balls: $7
  • Match 3 white balls and the Powerball: $100

As mentioned, matching just 3 white balls wins $7. If you add in the Powerball to the 3 matched white balls, the prize increases to $100.

With Power Play

If you played the Power Play option, your 3 number match prizes could be:

  • 2x Power Play:
    • Match 3 white balls: $14
    • Match 3 white balls and Powerball: $200
  • 3x Power Play:
    • Match 3 white balls: $21
    • Match 3 white balls and Powerball: $300
  • 4x Power Play:
    • Match 3 white balls: $28
    • Match 3 white balls and Powerball: $400
  • 5x Power Play:
    • Match 3 white balls: $35
    • Match 3 white balls and Powerball: $500
  • 10x Power Play:
    • Match 3 white balls: $70
    • Match 3 white balls and Powerball: $1,000

As you can see, the Power Play multipliers can significantly increase the amount you win for a 3 number match. While $7 or $100 on their own may not seem like much, Power Play winnings of $70, $200, $500, or even $1,000 are very nice prizes.

The Odds of Matching 3 Numbers

Matching 3 numbers may not be a huge prize, but your chances of winning are actually pretty decent compared to some of the other prize levels.

The odds of matching 3 white ball numbers in Powerball are:

  • 1 in 56.7

For matching 3 white balls and the Powerball, the odds are:

  • 1 in 701

So you have about a 1 in 57 chance of matching 3 white numbers and around a 1 in 701 chance if you try to match 3 whites and the red Powerball. Those odds are much better than trying to match 4 numbers, 5 numbers, or the jackpot!

While $7 or $100 prizes won’t make you rich, matching 3 numbers is certainly an achievable way to win something and enjoy the fun of playing Powerball. Thousands of players match 3 numbers in every drawing, so don’t underestimate those little wins!

Increasing Your Chances to Match 3 Numbers

If you want to improve your odds of matching 3 numbers in Powerball, there are some simple tips you can follow:

  • Play multiple tickets – Playing more tickets gives you more number combinations and more chances to get a match.
  • Buy into office pools or lottery pools to get more number coverage.
  • Use lottery wheeling systems that strategically combine numbers in different ways across multiple tickets.
  • Play consecutive numbers in one set of your picks as they are drawn together more often.
  • Focus your number picks on one number group (i.e. 1-20) rather than spreading across all numbers.
  • Avoid choosing all odd or all even numbers which rarely get drawn together.
  • Don’t pick frequent combinations like birthdays as many others also play those.

Using some or all of these tips can definitely help increase your odds to match at least 3 white balls. While there is luck involved, a bit of strategy couldn’t hurt!

Can You Win Money for Matching 2 Numbers?

In Powerball, you actually need to match at least 3 numbers to win any prize money. Matching just 1 or 2 numbers doesn’t qualify you for a prize.

The only prize for matching 2 numbers is a free Powerball ticket if you added Power Play and match 1 white ball and the Powerball. This gives you another chance to play for free but no cash prize.

Other than that situation, you’ll need to match 3+ numbers to win money playing Powerball. Matching 2 numbers may feel close but won’t earn you any payout.

Payout Examples for Other Number Matches

While our focus has been on prizes for a 3 number match, let’s quickly summarize the payouts at other match levels just for reference:

Numbers Matched Prize Amount
Match Just Powerball $4
Match 1 White Ball + Powerball $4
Match 2 White Balls + Powerball Free Ticket
Match 3 White Balls $7
Match 3 White Balls + Powerball $100
Match 4 White Balls $100
Match 4 White Balls + Powerball $50,000
Match 5 White Balls $1,000,000
Match 5 White Balls + Powerball Jackpot

As you move up to matching 4 or 5 numbers, the prizes grow into the tens of thousands, millions, and potentially hundreds of millions if you hit the jackpot!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common FAQs about winning $7 for matching 3 numbers in Powerball:

Is a $7 prize worth claiming?

Yes, it may be a small amount but every prize is worth claiming in Powerball! Even small winners add up over time. Just make sure the cost of a ticket and time spent claiming doesn’t exceed $7.

What are the tax implications on a $7 win?

For federal taxes, gambling winnings under $600 are not reported or taxed. Some states may take a small tax but you won’t owe federal tax on a small $7 Powerball winner.

Can you accumulate small prizes over time?

Yes, each $7 prize is paid out as you claim them. Winnings can accumulate if you win multiple times over weeks or months of playing.

Are small prizes paid in cash or a check?

Powerball prizes up to $599 are generally paid out in cash by the lottery retailer where you purchased or claimed your ticket. Larger prizes are paid by check or claim form.

What is the best way to collect on a small prize?

To collect a small $7 winner, simply present your winning ticket at any authorized lottery retailer. Retailers can pay prizes up to $600 and will validate your ticket.


Knowing how much you can win for matching 3 numbers in Powerball is helpful whether you play. Matching 3 white balls wins you $7 while adding the Powerball increases it to $100. Odds of 1 in 56.7 for 3 whites or 1 in 701 for 3 whites and the Powerball make matching 3 numbers an achievable goal.

While not huge jackpots, $7, $100, or up to $1,000 with the Power Play are nice secondary prizes. Matching 3 numbers happens regularly and is a fun part of playing Powerball. Understanding the payouts and odds are key to getting the most fun and winnings out of every Powerball ticket!

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