What time is the cutoff for Powerball in California?

The Powerball lottery is one of the most popular multi-state lottery games in the United States. Players select five white ball numbers from 1 to 69 and one red Powerball number from 1 to 26. To win the grand prize jackpot, players must match all six numbers. Powerball drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday night.

Powerball in California

In California, the California Lottery offers Powerball tickets. Here are some key facts about playing Powerball in California:

  • The minimum age to purchase a Powerball ticket in California is 18.
  • Tickets cost $2 per play.
  • Tickets can be purchased at over 21,000 California Lottery retail locations.
  • Tickets can also be purchased online at the California Lottery website.
  • For each Powerball drawing, sales cut-off 1 hour prior to the draw.

California Powerball Sales Cut-Off Times

The cut-off time to buy Powerball tickets in California for a specific drawing is 1 hour before that drawing occurs. Powerball drawings are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 7:59 p.m. PT.

Therefore, the sales cut-off times in California are:

  • Wednesdays at 6:59 p.m. PT
  • Saturdays at 6:59 p.m. PT

Any ticket purchased before these cut-off times will be valid for that night’s drawing. Tickets purchased after the cut-off will be valid for the next Powerball drawing.

Purchasing Tickets In-Person

To buy Powerball tickets in person in California, you can visit any of the 21,000+ authorized California Lottery retailers across the state. These include grocery stores, gas stations, convenience stores, liquor stores, and more. When purchasing in-person, you must complete your transaction before the sales cut-off time for that drawing.

The ticket clerk at the retail location will typically stop selling tickets a few minutes before the actual cut-off time to complete any pending transactions. So you should buy your tickets at least 15-30 minutes in advance of the posted cut-off time to ensure you meet the deadline.

Purchasing Tickets Online

You can also purchase California Powerball tickets conveniently online at the California Lottery website. To buy tickets online, you must:

  1. Create an account
  2. Deposit funds
  3. Select the draw date you want to play
  4. Choose your numbers and add tickets to cart
  5. Complete purchase before cut-off time

When buying online, you must fully complete the ticket transaction before the sales cut-off time. Keep in mind it takes additional time to go through the purchase process online, so don’t wait until right before the deadline.

The California Lottery website will also stop ticket sales a few minutes before the official cut-off time. Try to buy your tickets at least 30 minutes in advance online.

Days and Times When Tickets Cannot Be Sold

While Powerball tickets can generally be purchased every day of the week, there are certain limitations in California:

  • Tickets cannot be sold between 1:00-3:00 a.m. PT daily.
  • Tickets cannot be sold between 2:00-5:00 a.m. PT on Wednesdays and Saturdays (when drawings are held).

Retailers are prohibited from conducting Powerball transactions during these time periods. The California Lottery website also does not allow ticket sales during these down times.

Key Points on Powerball Sales Cut-Off Times

Here are some key tips to remember regarding Powerball ticket sale cut-off times in California:

  • Sales cut-off is 1 hour before the drawing, at 6:59 p.m. PT.
  • Buy in-person tickets at least 15-30 minutes before the posted cut-off time.
  • Buy online tickets at least 30 minutes before posted cut-off time.
  • You cannot buy tickets daily between 1-3 a.m. or 2-5 a.m. on draw days.
  • Tickets bought after the deadline will be valid for the next drawing.

Can You Buy Tickets in Other States to Play in California?

All Powerball tickets are valid in any participating state, regardless of where you purchased it. For example, if you buy a Powerball ticket while you are on vacation in Texas, you can redeem it in California if you win a prize.

However, in order to buy a ticket for a specific drawing, you must purchase it by that state’s sales cut-off time. Since draw times are fixed across all member states, the cut-off times are the same.

For example, if you want to buy a ticket in Arizona for the Saturday drawing held at 7:59 p.m. PT, you must buy it by 6:59 p.m. Arizona time. This is the same cut-off time as California. So purchasing an out-of-state ticket does not allow you to circumvent California’s sales deadlines.

Can You Buy Tickets After the Deadline?

All Powerball tickets must be purchased by the designated sales cut-off time to be eligible for a certain drawing. Any ticket bought after the posted cut-off deadline will not be valid for the drawing occurring that evening.

However, tickets purchased after the deadline will automatically be entered into the next Powerball drawing. For example:

  • If you buy a ticket on Wednesday at 7:01 p.m. PT, you will not be eligible for the drawing that night at 7:59 p.m. Instead, your ticket will be entered into the next Saturday drawing.
  • If you buy a ticket on Saturday at 7:01 p.m. PT, you will not be eligible for the drawing that night at 7:59 p.m. Instead, your ticket will be entered into the next Wednesday drawing.

So while you can technically purchase Powerball tickets in California after the posted cut-off time, they will not count towards the drawing on that date. Be sure to buy your tickets beforehand if you want a chance to win that night.

Winning Powerball in California

Here are the Powerball prizes available in California and the odds of winning:

Prize Odds (1 in…)
Grand Prize 292,201,338
$1 million 11,688,053
$50,000 913,129
$100 91
$7 38
$4 24

The overall odds of winning any prize are 1 in 24.87. California joined Powerball in April 2013 and has had several jackpot winners since.

If you match all 5 white balls and the red Powerball, you’ll hit the jackpot! Jackpots start at $40 million and grow until someone wins. The record jackpot reached $1.586 billion shared by 3 tickets in 2016.

Claiming Prizes in California

For Powerball prizes of less than $600, you can cash in your winning ticket at any California Lottery retail location. You’ll get your money instantly.

For prizes $600 and over, you must visit a California Lottery district office or cashing agent to claim your prize. Here are the requirements for claiming prizes:

  • Prizes of $600 to $499,999: You’ll need a claim form and ID.
  • Prizes of $500,000 and over: You must make an appointment at a Lottery office within 180 days of the draw. You’ll need a claim form and ID.

Remember, you have 180 days from the date of the draw to claim your prize! Be sure to sign the back of your ticket and keep it safe until you are ready to redeem.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there ever an exception to the ticket cut-off time?

No, the sales cut-off deadline is strictly enforced in California. All ticket sales must end 1 hour prior to the drawing at 6:59 p.m. PT sharp, whether you are buying in person or online. There are no exceptions granted for extending the time.

What if I’m in line to buy a ticket before cut-off but don’t complete my purchase until after?

If you are in line at a retail store before the cut-off time but do not complete your transaction until after 6:59 p.m. PT, unfortunately your ticket will not be valid for that evening’s drawing. Powerball rules require ticket purchases must be fully completed before the cut-off deadline.

What if the Powerball drawing gets delayed for some reason?

In rare cases, a Powerball drawing might get delayed by a few minutes or hours due to technical issues. However, the ticket cut-off time does not change. Sales still close at 6:59 p.m. PT as scheduled. If a delay occurs, the California Lottery will accommodate players according to Powerball game rules.

Can I buy a ticket on my smartphone after the cut-off time?

The California Lottery app does not permit ticket purchases after the advertised cut-off time. Even if you attempt to buy on your smartphone after 6:59 p.m. PT, the transaction will be invalid for that night’s drawing.


Knowing the Powerball ticket sales cut-off times in California is key. You must buy your ticket by 6:59 p.m. PT on Wednesdays and Saturdays to participate in that night’s drawing. Use caution when purchasing near the deadline to ensure your entry is valid.

Playing responsibly within budget is also important. Statistically, your overall odds of winning any prize are around 1 in 25. But Powerball only costs $2 per play, and even small prizes can add up to big winnings!

Finally, be sure to sign your tickets, keep them safe, and cash in your prizes within 180 days. With jackpots starting at $40 million and frequently climbing into the hundreds of millions, Powerball is a thrilling multi-state game with huge payouts. Good luck hitting those winning numbers in California!

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