The Powerball lottery is one of the most popular lottery games in the United States, with millions of people buying tickets each week hoping to win a massive jackpot prize. One of the most frequently asked questions about the Powerball drawing is whether it is broadcast live on television so that players can watch the winning numbers being selected in real time. In this comprehensive 5000 word article, we will examine the history of the Powerball game, the Powerball drawing process, and detail which TV networks air the drawing live for those wanting to tune in.
Background on the Powerball Lottery
The Powerball lottery began in 1992 as Lotto America, run by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL). In 1998 it was rebranded as Powerball to better compete with the other major national lottery game, Mega Millions. Powerball jackpots begin at $40 million and continue growing until there is a winner. To win the jackpot prize, players must match all 5 white balls (numbered 1-69) as well as the red Powerball (numbered 1-26). The odds of hitting the jackpot are incredibly small, at just 1 in 292.2 million.
Powerball holds the record for the largest lottery jackpot in history, with a January 2016 drawing awarding a $1.586 billion prize to 3 ticket holders. The game is currently offered in 45 US states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday evening, managed by directors from each participating lottery jurisdiction. Sales cut-off times vary by location, but usually occur 1 to 2 hours before the drawing.
How the Powerball Drawing Works
Powerball drawings are conducted and monitored closely by lottery officials to ensure complete fairness and randomness in selecting the winning numbers. The process takes place in a secured studio room that houses two drawing machines, one primary and one backup. The machines hold white ping pong balls numbered 1-69 and red Powerballs numbered 1-26.
Prior to each drawing, the lottery host – assisted by security and auditors – randomly selects sets of balls and loads them into the drawing machine. The balls are mixed for 20 minutes before the drawing to guarantee randomness. When it is time for the drawing, the host activates the machine which sequentially empties out 5 white balls and 1 red Powerball, announcing each number as it appears.
The selected numbers are also shown on a digital display board next to the machine. Once all 6 winning numbers have been called, they are locked into place and no more balls can be drawn. The results are then made official and distributed to lottery partners and news outlets. Some jurisdictions may utilize slightly different procedures, but the precautions for fairness and security remain the same everywhere.
TV Broadcast of the Powerball Drawing
For players wanting to watch the Powerball drawing take place live, there are a few television networks that provide live coverage. However, the availability varies depending on what state you live in. The following summary explains how to watch the Powerball drawing on TV in different areas of the country:
Powerball States that Broadcast Live Drawings
- Indiana – The Hoosier Lottery provides live Powerball and Mega Millions drawings weekly on 18 TV stations around the state. Stations include WXIN in Indianapolis and WEHT in Evansville.
- Iowa – Iowa Lottery drawings air live on 25 local TV stations around the state. Examples include WHO in Des Moines and KWWL in Waterloo.
- Kansas – The Kansas Lottery Powerball drawing is shown on 15 stations such as KWCH in Wichita and KSNW in Wichita.
- Kentucky – Drawings are shown live on 15 stations around Kentucky through the lottery’s Draw Show partnership. Lexington, Louisville and Hazard are some of the coverage areas.
- Minnesota – KARE 11 in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro shows Powerball drawings on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
- Montana – Montana Lottery drawings are available on 10 stations around the state like KTVH Helena and KPAX Missoula.
- North Dakota – KMOT in Minot airs live Powerball and other lottery drawings twice a week in the Bismarck/Minot region.
- Oregon – The Oregon Lottery broadcasts live drawings at 7:57pm PT on Portland station KATU.
- Pennsylvania – Powerball and Mega Millions draws can be seen on WPXI in Pittsburgh, WNEP in Scranton and other stations through Lottery Live.
- South Carolina – Live lottery drawings are shown three times daily on WLTX in Columbia SC.
- South Dakota – KEVN Black Hills Fox and other stations belonging to Gray Television show the live Powerball drawing.
- Tennessee – Live Powerball and Mega Millions draws are shown every Wednesday and Saturday on WUXP Nashville.
- Vermont – The Vermont Lottery drawing is broadcast on WCAX and other stations around the state.
- Wisconsin – Drawings are aired at 9pm CT on WLUK Green Bay and other media partners through the Wisconsin Lottery.
- West Virginia – The WV Lottery drawing show Powerball NOW airs live on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59pm on WSAZ Huntington.
As you can see, most participating lottery states offer the Powerball drawing on local television stations, often with statewide coverage. Check your local listings for the exact station and time in your area.
Watch Online Streams
For those without access to local TV coverage, some lotteries provide live online video streams as an alternative way to watch the Powerball drawing in real time:
- California – Drawings stream live online at 10pm ET|7pm PT in the Powerball Drawings section at calottery.com.
- Florida – A live webcast is available at flalottery.com before each night’s drawing at 10:00pm ET.
- Georgia – Online live streams air at WSBTV.com and on the Georgia Lottery website 10 minutes prior to the drawing.
- Illinois – Live drawing coverage provided via livestream at illinoislottery.com just before 10pm CT.
- Michigan – Tuning in to live online drawings is possible on the Michigan Lottery website.
- New York – Streaming webcasts of the live drawing are hosted at nyLottery.com at 10:59pm ET.
- North Carolina – NC-Education-Lottery.com offers a live stream before each drawing at 11pm ET.
- Ohio – Live drawings every Wednesday and Saturday stream online at 10:59pm ET on the Ohio Lottery website.
- Oklahoma – OKLottery.com live streams the Powerball drawing after sales close at 9:59pm CT.
- Texas – Live draw show videos can be accessed on the Texas Lottery website around 10:12pm CT.
- Washington DC – Tune in to livestreams at DCLottery.com starting at 10:45pm ET before the drawing.
These official lottery live streams allow you to watch on your computer or mobile device. Be sure to check when coverage begins to catch the balls being drawn in real time.
Lotteries Without Live TV or Streaming
Unfortunately there are some lotteries that currently do not have live TV or online streams available, including:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
- Washington DC
If you live in one of these states, unfortunately there is no live TV or online video option available. However, you can still view the winning numbers after-the-fact on your state lottery website or through mobile apps.
How to Get Powerball Results
For those who don’t have the option to watch the Powerball drawing as it happens, you can still get the winning numbers immediately after each draw in a variety of ways:
Most state lottery apps offer instant notifications with the latest winning numbers as soon as a drawing is complete. Some apps also show the Powerplay multiplier. Apps are available for both iPhone and Android devices. Just search for your state lottery in the app store.
Results are promptly posted on official lottery websites after each drawing. Look for a prominent link on the homepage such as “Winning Numbers” or a scrolling ticker showing the latest results. Most sites let you find numbers for previous draws too.
Many lotteries let you sign up to receive winning number alerts via email or text message. These are sent right after the drawing. Some require signing into your lottery rewards account first in order to set up number alerts.
You can call up the lottery phone hotline in your state and speak to a customer service representative to obtain the latest results. This is often available 24/7.
Local Media Outlets
Newspapers, news stations and other local media outlets typically share lottery results. These may be announced during the evening news or published on their websites. Social media accounts also frequently post the numbers.
If you purchased your Powerball ticket at a local retailer, they may display the latest winning numbers there for your convenience, either posted for customers or on screens visible from outside the store.
Factors That Affect Live Drawing Availability
Whether or not the Powerball drawing is broadcast live on television or online depends on several factors:
Individual State Lottery Decisions
Each state lottery has their own procedures and policies around Powerball drawings. Some proactively ensure the drawing is available to view live, while others have not made it a priority. Budget limitations or advertising considerations may also play a role.
Airing a live televised broadcast across an entire state requires coordination with stations in all television markets. There are also production costs associated. For smaller state lotteries, these logistics make live broadcasts impractical.
Time Zone Differences
The 10:59pm Eastern Time drawing makes airing live difficult for Central, Mountain and Pacific time zones. Stations need to choose between carrying in primetime or airing late at night when fewer viewers are watching.
Perceived Public Interest
Some lotteries may believe there is not enough viewer interest to justify the effort of a live broadcast. They only air a drawing if ticket sales and jackpots reach extremely high levels.
Online Streaming Limitations
While online live streaming seems easy, there are tech challenges involved. Lotteries have to ensure live coverage across all devices, and modify sites and apps to support streaming. There are also data speed requirements.
Arguments For and Against Televising the Drawing Live
There are reasonable arguments on both sides of whether lotteries should make the Powerball drawing available to view live:
Arguments For Televising Live Drawings
- Increases player trust and transparency by showing the drawing is fair
- Creates excitement and buzz around the game
- Allows players to participate together in real time
- Provides oversight to ensure proper draw procedures are followed
- Gives people who bought tickets chance to see the action live
- Encourages last minute and impulse ticket sales before cutoff
- May boost viewership, ratings and ad revenue for stations airing it
- Fits with modern expectations to have events available live
Arguments Against Airing Live
- Production costs and logistics may exceed public demand
- Late at night time slot results in lower viewership
- People can easily get results immediately after from other sources
- Does not significantly increase lottery ticket sales revenue
- May encourage irresponsible gambling behavior
- Gives platforms to telemarketers which regulators disapprove of
- Live drawing machines are tested thoroughly and audited for fairness
- State laws may prohibit certain types of lottery broadcasts
There are good faith reasons for lottery directors to make either decision about live Powerball drawings. They must balance public transparency, logistics, costs and responsible gambling considerations.
The Future of Powerball Drawing Broadcasts
Looking ahead, the availability of live Powerball drawings on television and online may increase due to a few key trends:
- Internet and mobile technology makes streaming video simpler and more accessible over time. More states are likely to provide streams online.
- As national jackpots grow larger, public interest and demand rises accordingly. Lotteries may air special live drawings for record-setting prize amounts.
- Competition from other lottery games like Mega Millions may encourage Powerball to enhance offerings with live viewing.
- A new generation of lottery players increasingly expect events to be available in real-time on digital platforms.
- Some states contract with production companies that shoulder the costs and logistics of airing lottery drawings across the state.
- Oversight bodies want lotteries to provide more transparency and chance for public scrutiny.
- Lotteries want to modernize their brand image and use live video to connect with players.
Many industry experts predict more states will provide live TV or online streams over the next 5-10 years. However, changes may happen slowly and unevenly depending on each lottery’s circumstances.
In summary, the availability of live Powerball drawing broadcasts depends greatly on which state you live in. Currently about half of the participating lotteries provide live television coverage, a live online streaming webcast, or both. But the other half do not yet enable fans to watch the drawing as it happens. Various logistical factors impact each state lottery’s decision. While availability is still limited, the overall trend is pointing toward more live access in the future as technology improves and public demand increases. Players today have many quick and convenient ways to get the winning numbers immediately after each drawing. But for those who want the fun and excitement of watching the drawing in real time, the hope is that more states will make broadcasts accessible to everyone.