What is the cut off time to play the Powerball?

The Powerball is one of the most popular lottery games in the United States, with jackpots that can climb into the hundreds of millions of dollars. With the potential for such enormous prizes, many people wonder when the cutoff is for buying Powerball tickets before each drawing.

What time do Powerball sales end?

Powerball ticket sales end at 9:59 p.m. local time on the night of the Powerball drawing. The cutoff time is uniform across all jurisdictions that sell Powerball tickets. So whether you are looking to buy a Powerball ticket in California, Florida, Texas or any other state, sales will end at 9:59 p.m. local time on drawing nights.

Why is 9:59 p.m. the Powerball ticket cutoff?

The Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), which operates the Powerball game, established the universal 9:59 p.m. local time sales cutoff for all participating lottery jurisdictions. This ensures there is a uniform and consistent ending point for Powerball ticket sales prior to each drawing.

Having a fixed cutoff time allows all lottery ticket sales systems to close down properly and prevents issues that might arise from a rolling cutoff. It also provides players with a reliable standard for when they can no longer purchase tickets for that day’s drawing.

Can you buy Powerball tickets after 9:59 p.m.?

You cannot purchase Powerball tickets even one second past the 9:59 p.m. local time deadline in any jurisdiction. Lottery terminals automatically cut off ticket sales promptly at 9:59 p.m. on drawing nights. Any attempt to purchase a ticket after this time will be rejected by the lottery terminal.

Some key facts about the Powerball ticket cutoff time:

  • The cutoff is strictly enforced at 9:59 p.m. local time across all participating lottery jurisdictions
  • You cannot purchase tickets even one minute past the deadline
  • Attempts to purchase tickets after 9:59 p.m. will be rejected
  • There are no exceptions to the Powerball ticket sales cutoff time

What time is the Powerball drawing held?

The Powerball drawing is held at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the nights that drawings occur. Drawings are held on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday evenings at this standard time.

Here is an overview of key details on the Powerball drawing time:

  • Drawings are held every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday
  • The drawings are conducted at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time
  • The drawing is held at Lottery studios in Tallahassee, Florida
  • The drawing uses five white balls and one red Powerball
  • Winning numbers are selected using ball drawing machines

While 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time is the set drawing time, local drawing times will vary by time zone across participating lottery jurisdictions. But the drawing will begin at precisely 10:59 p.m. at the Florida Lottery headquarters.

Why is the drawing held at 10:59 p.m. ET?

The 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time drawing time was coordinated across all participating lotteries to allow enough time for ticket sales and system processing following the 9:59 p.m. ET ticket sales cutoff. It takes some time for all Powerball ticket data to be aggregated from lottery jurisdictions across the country before each drawing can occur.

The near-one hour window between the ticket cutoff and drawing provides sufficient buffer for any lag in data transmission. It also gives lottery officials adequate time to complete verifications before the drawing proceeds. Having a standardized drawing time ensures the integrity and fairness of the Powerball game.

Can you buy Powerball tickets on the day of the drawing?

Yes, you can absolutely purchase Powerball tickets on the day of the drawing. Ticket sales begin at 5:00 a.m. local time on drawing days and continue until the 9:59 p.m. cutoff that evening.

As long as you purchase your Powerball tickets before the sales cutoff time on drawing day, they will be eligible for that night’s drawing. Tickets purchased after the cutoff will be for the next drawing.

Some key points about buying tickets on Powerball drawing days:

  • You can buy tickets all day on drawing days
  • Sales start at 5:00 a.m. local time on drawing days
  • Cutoff is 9:59 p.m. local time on drawing nights
  • Be sure to buy before the evening cutoff time

Should you wait until the last minute to buy tickets?

While you can purchase Powerball tickets all day on drawing days right up until the deadline, lottery officials caution against waiting until the very last minute. Ticket sales are always heaviest in the evening hours as the cutoff approaches.

Rushing to buy tickets in the final minutes can lead to long lines at retailers. In some cases, retailers may even sell out of playslips or shut down their lottery terminals if they get overwhelmed with last-minute customers. To avoid the stress and uncertainty, it is wise not to wait until the final few minutes.

Can you buy tickets after the cutoff for the same drawing?

No, there are absolutely no ticket sales processed after the 9:59 p.m. local time cutoff on drawing nights. Any attempt to purchase a ticket after the deadline will not be accepted. The lottery terminals automatically disable ticket sales right at 9:59 p.m.

If you attempt to buy tickets after the cutoff time on drawing day, those ticket purchases would actually be for the next available Powerball drawing. Tickets sold after the cutoff are always for a future drawing, never for the same night.

How long before the drawing can you buy Powerball tickets?

You can buy Powerball tickets up until 9:59 p.m. local time on the night of any given Powerball drawing. But ticket sales actually begin far in advance of the drawing.

Advance play options allow you to purchase Powerball tickets for future drawings. The earliest you can buy is 52 weeks (1 year) in advance. Here is an overview:

  • Minimum: Tickets can be purchased same day
  • Maximum: Tickets can be bought up to 52 weeks (1 year) ahead
  • Multidraw options allow buying tickets for 2 to 26 consecutive draws

So while the cutoff before any single drawing is a matter of hours, you have a vast range of flexibility on when you can actually buy your Powerball tickets.

Why offer ticket sales so far in advance?

The advance purchase options allow players to buy their Powerball tickets at a time convenient for them instead of only on drawing days. Players may have special dates in the future such as birthdays or anniversaries for which they want to purchase tickets well ahead of time.

Advance sales also provide a level of convenience for frequent players so they don’t have to go buy tickets multiple times each week. They can purchase a block of multidraw tickets to cover many upcoming drawings.

Are early ticket purchases still eligible for the drawing?

Yes, any valid Powerball ticket purchased before the cutoff time for a particular drawing remains eligible for that specified drawing date, even if bought weeks or months in advance. All advance ticket purchases are recorded and stored securely in the lottery system.

As long as an advance ticket is successfully registered in the lottery system before the cutoff, it will be included in the eligible population of game entries for its corresponding future drawing date.

Where can you buy Powerball tickets?

Powerball tickets can be purchased from licensed lottery retailers in 45 participating states, as well as Washington D.C, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The only states that do not offer Powerball are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah.

You can find authorized retailers selling Powerball tickets at convenience stores, gas stations, liquor stores, supermarkets and pharmacies. There are over 50,000 retail locations nationwide selling lottery tickets.

Can you buy Powerball tickets online?

In certain states that allow online lottery sales, you may be able to purchase Powerball tickets over the internet. States like Michigan, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, New Hampshire offer online sales. You must be physically located within the borders of those states to buy tickets online.

Here is an overview of key facts on buying Powerball tickets online:

  • Only select states allow online sales
  • You must be physically within state borders to play
  • Lotteries verify location on mobile devices
  • Only adults can create online lottery accounts

While most lottery sales still occur at retail locations, the option to buy tickets online provides added flexibility and convenience for some players.

Can you buy tickets by phone or mail?

Purchasing lottery tickets over the phone or through the mail is typically prohibited. Most states require in-person purchases at authorized retailers for lottery ticket sales and redemption of prizes. This requirement provides security and validation of ticket transactions.

Exceptions may exist in some jurisdictions that allow subscription services to purchase tickets and deliver them on a recurring basis to provide convenience to frequent players. But in general, lottery tickets are only sold at retail locations.


Knowing the Powerball ticket cutoff time is crucial for players who want to participate in the next drawing. All ticket sales stop promptly at 9:59 p.m. local time on drawing nights. Powerball drawings are held at 10:59 p.m. ET, providing time for ticket sale processing after the cutoff deadline.

Players can buy Powerball tickets on drawing days right up until the cutoff time. Advance ticket options also allow purchases from one day to 52 weeks ahead of time. Powerball tickets are sold at authorized lottery retailers in 45 participating jurisdictions.

With jackpots starting at $40 million and often climbing to enormous amounts, the Powerball game continues to generate great interest and excitement. Understanding the key points around ticket cutoff times, drawing schedules and purchase locations allows you to better plan your Powerball experience.

Drawing Day Ticket Sales Start Ticket Sales End Drawing Time
Monday 5:00 a.m. Local Time 9:59 p.m. Local Time 10:59 p.m. ET
Wednesday 5:00 a.m. Local Time 9:59 p.m. Local Time 10:59 p.m. ET
Saturday 5:00 a.m. Local Time 9:59 p.m. Local Time 10:59 p.m. ET

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