What numbers to choose for Powerball?

Choosing the right numbers for Powerball can seem daunting with the 1 in 292 million odds of hitting the jackpot. However, while luck plays a big role, there are some strategies you can use to give yourself a better shot at winning.

How Powerball Works

First, it’s important to understand how the Powerball lottery works. A Powerball ticket costs $2. To play, you select five main numbers between 1 and 69, and one Powerball number between 1 and 26. To win the jackpot, you need to match all six numbers. Lower tier prizes are awarded for matching some of the numbers.

The Powerball drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday night. At each drawing, five white balls are drawn from one drum with 69 balls, and the red Powerball is drawn from a second drum with 26 balls. All six numbers are drawn randomly.

Most Common Powerball Numbers

While every number has an equal chance of being drawn, some numbers do seem to come up more often than others in Powerball drawings. According to LottoNumbers.com, the most commonly drawn Powerball numbers are:

  • 61 (drawn 78 times)
  • 32 (drawn 77 times)
  • 63 (drawn 73 times)
  • 21 (drawn 73 times)
  • 69 (drawn 71 times)

The most common Powerball (red ball) numbers are 24 (drawn 45 times), 18 (drawn 42 times), and 4 (drawn 36 times).

Least Common Powerball Numbers

On the flip side, some numbers are drawn less frequently. The least commonly drawn numbers are:

  • 34 (drawn 43 times)
  • 13 (drawn 44 times)
  • 46 (drawn 45 times)
  • 57 (drawn 45 times)
  • 67 (drawn 47 times)

For the Powerball, the numbers drawn least often are 26 (drawn 13 times), 16 (drawn 15 times), and 34 (drawn 15 times).

Use a Balanced Approach

While it can be tempting to only play the most frequent numbers, experts actually recommend using a balanced approach. This means choosing some frequent numbers, some infrequent ones, and some middling ones in the middle.

The reasoning is that if a number pattern emerges, many people will play those same numbers. This shrinks your potential prize if you do match some or all numbers. A balanced approach helps ensure you don’t have to split the pot as much if you win.

Consider Quick Picks

Another option is to let the computer generate Quick Pick numbers for you. This gives you a completely random assortment of numbers. While the odds of winning are still extremely long, Quick Picks have accounted for quite a few major Powerball wins over the years.

Use Birthdates…But Not Only Birthdates

Many people like to play birthdates, anniversaries, and other special dates in their lives when playing the lottery. This gives a sense of meaning to your number choices. However, it’s generally not a good idea to only play these special dates, as that shrinks the pool of numbers you’re drawing from.

A better strategy is to use some birthdates mixed with other random or statistically frequent numbers. This increases your odds over just playing all family birthdates.

Consider Playing Multiple Tickets

While buying more tickets doesn’t mathematically increase your odds of hitting the jackpot, it does increase your overall chances of winning something. Powerball has nine prize tiers, so even matching just the Powerball or a few main numbers can net you a prize.

Playing an extra one or two Quick Pick tickets per drawing gives you more coverage of the number pool. Just be sure to only play what you can afford to lose, as the odds are still stacked heavily against hitting the jackpot.

Join an Office Pool

Joining a Powerball office pool, or lottery pool, can be a fun way to play without breaking the bank. Have everyone chip in a few dollars, then collectively buy more tickets. If anyone in the pool wins, you share the prize.

Make sure to draw up a formal agreement beforehand outlining the pool’s rules and payout structure. Have everyone sign to make things official.

Check Your Tickets!

It may sound obvious, but make sure to carefully check your Powerball tickets after each drawing. Many sizeable prizes go unclaimed each year because people forget to check their old tickets. Some even accidentally throw away the winning ticket.

Set a reminder to always check your latest tickets. And sign the back of your ticket as soon as you buy it for extra security.

Manage Your Expectations

It’s cliché, but you really can’t win if you don’t play Powerball. That said, your chances of hitting the jackpot are infinitesimally small. Don’t spend more than you can afford to lose chasing a highly unlikely dream.

Have fun playing Powerball when the jackpot is big, but keep your expectations realistic. The lottery is meant for entertainment, not as an investment strategy.


Hitting the Powerball jackpot is a thrilling dream, but extremely unlikely. That doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to smartly play. Use a balanced number approach, play multiple tickets, and pool your money with others to increase your overall chances of winning a prize. But play responsibly and enjoy Powerball for the entertainment value, not as a path to riches. With the right expectations, Powerball can be a fun diversion and occasionally even profitable.

Leave a Comment