Stats professor explains lottery odds
The big-dollar Powerball is the most popular and profitable lottery played each year in the United States.
That means people who don’t often play the lottery will take a chance on it, despite having only a one in 292.2 million chance of winning. Here are some tips for beginners from the North Carolina Education Lottery:
- What’s the cost? There are two play options for Powerball: a $2 Powerball ticket or a $3 Powerball ticket with Power Play. Adding Power Play multiplies your winnings on all prize levels 2 to 10 times, with the exception of the jackpot and Match 5 + 0 prizes. The purchaser gets one play for each $2 wagered.
- Selecting numbers: Once you have chosen Powerball or Powerball with Power Play, picking your numbers is easy. You can complete a play slip to select your favorite numbers or ask the retailer for a “Quick Pick” ticket to have the computer terminal select any or all of your numbers. You can play a total of five sets of numbers on one play slip.
- Ways to win? There are nine ways to win Powerball. The jackpot prize is won by matching five white balls in any order, plus the one red Powerball number for a total of six balls played. However, there are eight additional ways to win by matching fewer numbers to the numbers drawn.
- When are tickets sold? All sales for Powerball stop at 9:59 p.m. on the drawing days and resume following each drawing.
- Drawing time: Powerball drawings are at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time. Powerball drawings are on both Wednesday and Saturday nights.
- Where can I watch the drawing in Charlotte? The drawings are broadcast live Wednesdays at 10:59 p.m. on WAXN, Channel 64, in Charlotte.
- What if I win? Grand/jackpot prizes will be paid, at the choosing of the player, no later than 60 days after the player becomes entitled to the prize, with either an annuity or a cash payment. The annuity means you get the prize in 30 installments. Business Insider advises winners to take the annuity: “Taking the annuity offers a degree of protection against blowing all your money in a short time – or being taken advantage of by a wayward financial adviser, family member, or friend.”