Most people understand that playing Powerball is entirely random, but do Quick Picks actually win Powerball jackpots?
One of the added conveniences to playing Powerball is the option to go with a Quick Pick instead of selecting your own numbers to play for each game. Quick Picks rely on the authorized retailer’s machine to randomly select the numbers to play for you. The alternative method is when Powerball players carefully select which digits they want to play. When you’re in a hurry or are just feeling spontaneous at the checkout, the Quick Pick can be a great way to get in the game. But the question becomes, do those Quick Picks actually win Powerball jackpots?
Because every Powerball drawing is unique, not at all reliant upon previous numbers selected or subject to patterns, every game presents the same odds of winning the grand prize, regardless of how your numbers are chosen. A Powerball jackpot is always a 1 in a 292,201,338th chance away. So, if you feel compelled to choose your Powerball numbers, keep it up. But if you’re in a time crunch bind and want to get a Quick Pick, you can do so knowing your odds are no better nor worse than if you had carefully selected your favorites.
Now, if you were to look back at all the past Powerball winners of all prize sizes, including the jackpot, it might look as though Quick Pick wins more frequently than self-picking digits. The sources will vary, but some suggest about 70% of all wins used the Quick Pick method of numbers. Equally curious is that roughly 70% of all players admit to doing so via Quick Pick, too.
The short answer is a data-driven no. Quick Picks won’t guarantee more chances of winning than choosing your own numbers. Your odds simply won’t change. And this might make the prospect of picking up a Quick Pick ticket that much more appealing.
Just for fun, here are a few Powerball winning stories with those who got lucky with Quick Picks. Nebraska native Katherine Weiderspon bought a few Quick Pick tickets on a whim. It was nearly a month later that she remembered to check them, realizing she had a $50,000 winner.
A Haverhill, Massachusetts man named Victor Van was one of two $1 million dollar winners in last year’s October 4th drawing. His Quick Pick ticket managed to match the first five lucky digits. He planned to apply his winnings to his education and help family members with their mortgages. The other Massachusetts man, Raymond Carey of Seekonk, won himself his cool $1 million with a Quick Pick, too. He picked up his ticket after learning the size of the jackpot at a Quality Gas Mart.
In the end, Powerball players should know that there are really only two advantages to going with a Quick Pick selection of digits. One, it’s just more convenient and easier to play when you allow the computer to choose your numbers. The other perk, and it’s a long shot, is that it could mean winning more money.
People all have similar behaviors and patterns when it comes to picking numbers. And since many pick numbers based on birthdays or anniversaries, it reduces the pool of potential numbers to 30 or 31, based on the number of days in a month. As a result, more people who choose their own numbers are likely to pick the same numbers as other players, which could mean having to share a prize if you do, in fact, win.
The good news is that Powerball’s playing field is always level, no matter how you choose your numbers. Maybe you’re inspired to go pick up a Quick Pick for yourself now!