What does 3 numbers in Powerball get you?

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. The game offers some of the biggest jackpots in lottery history, with the record Powerball jackpot reaching $1.586 billion in January 2016.

To play Powerball, players select five main numbers from 1 to 69, and one Powerball number from 1 to 26. To win the jackpot, you need to match all six numbers. But you can also win smaller prizes by matching some of the numbers.

Matching 3 Numbers

If you match only 3 of the main numbers in Powerball, unfortunately this does not win you any prize money. To win a Powerball prize, you need to match at least 3 numbers plus the Powerball number. Or match 4 main numbers without the Powerball.

With 3 main numbers matched, the only way you can win is if you also match the Powerball number. This would give you a prize of $7.

Matching just 3 main numbers has odds of 1 in 701. Let’s take a closer look at the Powerball prizes and odds for matching 3 numbers.

Powerball Prizes for Matching 3 Numbers

Here are the Powerball prizes and odds for matching 3 of the main numbers:

Match Prize Odds (1 in)
3 numbers $7 701

As you can see, matching only 3 numbers does not win any prize. You would also need to match the Powerball number to win $7.

Odds of Matching 3 Numbers

The odds of matching 3 of the main numbers in Powerball are 1 in 701. This is calculated by:

  • There are 69 main numbers to choose from
  • You need to match 3 of them
  • The number of combinations of 3 numbers out of 69 is 69! / (69! * (69 – 3)!) = 17,582
  • As there are 292,201,338 total Powerball combinations, the odds are 1 in 292,201,338 / 17,582 = 1 in 701

So while matching 3 main numbers occurs frequently, on its own it does not win any money. You would also need to match the Powerball for a $7 prize.

Winning $7 by Matching 3 Numbers Plus Powerball

As mentioned above, the only way to win a Powerball prize with just 3 main numbers matched is if you also match the Powerball number. If you match 3 numbers and the Powerball, you win $7.

This is the smallest prize in Powerball. But it’s still not bad for matching only 4 of the 6 numbers!

Odds of Matching 3 Numbers Plus Powerball

The odds of matching 3 numbers and the Powerball are better than matching 3 numbers alone. The odds are 1 in 91.

This is calculated by:

  • There are 26 Powerball numbers
  • So there are 17,582 combinations of 3 main numbers (from above)
  • And 26 Powerball numbers
  • So total combinations is 17,582 x 26 = 457,132
  • As the total Powerball combinations is 292,201,338, the odds are 1 in 292,201,338 / 457,132 = 1 in 91

Matching 3 main numbers plus the Powerball number gives odds of 1 in 91. So you can expect to win this $7 prize about once every 91 Powerball tickets on average.

Is $7 Worth Playing For?

A $7 prize is not a huge amount of money. But it can add up over time, and is certainly better than winning nothing!

For matching just 4 of the 6 numbers, $7 is a decent reward. It’s unlikely you’ll win big from matching only 3 main numbers plus the Powerball. But it can give you a small return on your Powerball ticket.

Taxes on $7 Powerball Prize

If you win $7 from Powerball, there are no tax withholdings. This prize is small enough that taxes do not need to be paid on it.

However, if you win several $7 prizes in a year, you may need to report total winnings over $600 on your tax return. But a single $7 prize can be collected in full.

Increasing Chances to Win $7

If you want to increase your chances of matching 3 numbers and the Powerball, there are some strategies you can use:

Buy More Tickets

The simplest way is to just buy more Powerball tickets. The more tickets you buy, the more chances you have to win.

But this can get expensive, so make sure you only spend what you can afford on lottery tickets.

Join a Lottery Pool

Joining a lottery pool, syndicate or group can increase your chances without spending as much. Pooling money with others means you have more tickets and entries.

You split any winnings, but also share the cost of tickets. A reputable group is recommended over random in-person pools.

Use Number Balancing

Use balanced number picking strategies. Try to cover a range of odd and even numbers, high and low numbers, and across number groups.

This can maximize your coverage of the number field. Statistically, this can increase your chances of winning.

Use Quick Picks

Using computer-generated quick picks can also help cover more number combinations. This avoids duplicated numbers over multiple tickets.

However, you can still combine quick picks with your own number picks across tickets.

Winning $7 Multiple Times

It’s absolutely possible to win the $7 prize from Powerball on multiple tickets. The odds are in your favor to match 3 and the Powerball several times.

Some ways you could win $7 on several tickets include:

  • Playing in a big lottery pool or group that buys lots of tickets
  • Buying a large batch of quick pick tickets
  • Using number balancing across many number selections
  • Simply getting very lucky over many Powerball entries

If you win $7 on a few tickets in one draw, that can quickly add up. Even 20 prizes of $7 would give you $140 in winnings.

Odds of Multiple $7 Wins

The odds of winning $7 on multiple tickets depends on how many tickets you have in total. For example:

  • Playing 20 tickets gives odds of 1 in 5 to win $7 multiple times
  • With 50 tickets, the odds are 1 in 2 of multiple $7 wins
  • For 100 tickets, you can expect to win $7 on several tickets

The more tickets you have, the more probable you are to win $7 on a percentage of them. Buying in bulk improves your chances of small prize wins.

Biggest Ever Winnings from Matching 3 Plus Powerball

The $7 prize for matching 3 numbers plus the Powerball number is fixed. So theoretically, the most you could win is matching this on every entry in a massive batch.

Realistically, the biggest possible winnings from this prize level will be a few hundred dollars. But someone out there may have scored over $100 from multiple $7 wins on one draw.

Winning $7 across 50 tickets would already give $350. And a huge Powerball pool could span hundreds of entries. If luck struck on a decent percentage, significant winnings could come from this modest $7 match.

Using $7 Powerball Winnings

While $7 is not a fortune, there are plenty of good ways to use Powerball winnings at this level:

  • Treat yourself to a coffee or snack
  • Add to your savings even in a small way
  • Put towards buying more lottery tickets
  • Spend on something fun like a book, movie or app
  • Donate the money to a worthy cause

Any Powerball win, no matter how small, feels good. Just getting a prize can be exciting. So enjoy your $7 winners!

Should You Spend $7 on Powerball?

Is it worth spending $7 for a Powerball ticket? This depends on your circumstances.

For some people, losing $7 is no big deal. The entertainment of playing may be worth the cost. But for others, that $7 could be used in better ways.

Never spend more than you can afford on the lottery. But an occasional Powerball ticket can be reasonable entertainment.

When $7 is Affordable

Spending $7 on Powerball can be affordable entertainment if:

  • You have spare disposable income
  • A $7 loss won’t impact your finances
  • You are playing for fun, not big profits

As long as buying tickets fits within your entertainment budget, the odd $7 Powerball play is fine. Just don’t overspend.

When to Avoid $7 Powerball Tickets

You should avoid spending $7 on Powerball tickets when:

  • Money is tight and $7 makes an impact
  • You have issues with gambling or addiction
  • You are hoping for serious winnings, not just small prizes
  • You are spending irresponsibly on lottery tickets

Always gamble responsibly. If $7 on a ticket strains your budget, look for cheaper or free entertainment instead.

Playing Responsibly for $7 Wins

Playing Powerball responsibly requires setting yourself a budget and limits. Here are some tips:

  • Only spend what you can afford to lose
  • Set a dollar or time limit before playing
  • Balance lottery spend with other entertainment
  • Don’t chase losses or play when money is tight
  • Play for fun, not financial gain

Enjoy Powerball sensibly within your means. And remember – the odds are you’ll win $7 or nothing. Don’t spend irrationally chasing huge jackpots.

Is Powerball Worth Playing for Small Wins?

Whether Powerball is worth playing for you comes down to your motivations and circumstances.

If you enjoy playing for entertainment and occasional small prizes, Powerball can be worthwhile. The chance of a $7 or $100 win here and there can add some excitement.

But if you are focused on big jackpots, Powerball is very unlikely to deliver. The odds of a mega millions or billion dollar win are astronomical.

For casual hopeful players, Powerball is fine to play. But don’t get caught up in dreams of immense wealth. Set your expectations realistically on smaller prizes.

When Powerball is Worth it for Small Wins

Playing Powerball can be worthwhile when you:

  • See it as entertainment and are happy with small token wins
  • Can afford to regularly buy tickets
  • Use balanced number selection strategies
  • Accept the extremely low odds of a jackpot win

With realistic expectations, Powerball is great fun to play. And you might get lucky on a $7 or $100 prize.

When Powerball is Not Worth it

Don’t play Powerball if:

  • You have a limited entertainment budget
  • You expect or need big jackpot wins
  • Small token wins will disappoint rather than excite you
  • You don’t enjoy or are bored of Powerball itself

If you want significant returns, play a different game. Powerball is best for those wanting mild entertainment and occasional tiny wins.


Can you win money with 3 Powerball numbers?

No, matching only 3 of the main Powerball numbers does not win any prize. You need to match at least 3 main numbers and the Powerball for a $7 prize.

What can you win with 3 Powerball numbers plus the Powerball?

With 3 main numbers and the Powerball, you win $7. This is the smallest prize in Powerball but still a nice reward.

What are the odds of matching 3 and the Powerball?

The odds of matching 3 numbers and the Powerball are 1 in 91. This gives you a reasonable chance of winning $7.

Can you win $7 multiple times on Powerball?

Yes, you can definitely win the $7 prize multiple times across several tickets in one draw. The more tickets you have, the better chance of multiple $7 wins.

Is Powerball worth playing for small wins like $7?

For most casual players, Powerball is worth playing just for entertainment and the possibility of small token wins like $7. But serious players should look elsewhere.

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