You may be wondering what the odds are of not only winning the Powerball jackpot but also your odds of having to split those winnings.
Let’s talk about the odds for a minute. Powerball-playing enthusiasts understand their chances might be slim. But it’s still incredibly fun to play, which is why millions of Americans pick up tickets regularly. So what do those odds actually look like? And even more perplexing, what might be the odds of winning right alongside someone else? Powerball jackpots have been split in recent years, too, adding to the mystique of the game. And despite the odds, even the most seemingly impossible combinations of winning continue to happen. Here is an even closer look at some of the odds and the stories of Powerball jackpot winners defying those odds in a big way.
Powerball estimates out there suggest there is a one in 292,201,338 chance of one $2 ticket winning the jackpot. So, if you were to buy two tickets, your odds would change to one in 146,100,669, and so on. Even more reasonable are the chances and odds associated with winning any size cash payout, which is a one in 24.9 chance. Of course, those include the small wins, as well.
In the game of Powerball, there is only one jackpot. This means if more than one person matches all the numbers, then the jackpot ends up in a split between those winners. It’s super rare for more than one person to score, but it’s happened in recent years. And in January of 2016, a $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot was actually split between three winning players.
And if you were wondering, the IRS only makes you claim income that’s actually yours. So, in the event you win a Powerball jackpot that you have to split, you’ll only be responsible for your portion of the winnings. Each winner would receive a W2-G form, demonstrating the take-home amount of the prize.
Back in 2018, the fourth largest Powerball jackpot was clocked at $687.8 million when two players matched all the numbers. To visualize how much that really is, imagine stacking $100 bills to reach taller than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, according to Powerball’s site at the time. One winner was from Iowa and the other from New York. Estimates said the one-time cash payout option would equate to $396.2 million that would be split equally between the two Powerball winners.
Even more astounding than two people winning the Powerball jackpot is the story of a man who won two Powerball prizes within the same drawing. Anton Garret from Iowa had played five different Powerball plays on one ticket. One of those games turned out to be a $21 winner. But he also won $2 million on one of the others. And there are other instances of back-to-back Powerball winners, like Orlene Peterson, who won a $200,000 prize and then won another $300,000 the very next day.
Here are a few other stats to add to your trivia repertoire. According to some calculations, the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot twice, over a span of seven years, is still about four in ten billion. And the odds of winning Powerball twice back-to-back is a jaw-dropping one in 9.2 quintillions. It’s hard to even imagine how rare that must be.
Regardless of the odds, it’s clear; people still manage to beat the odds and win in a big way. Know the odds and be responsible about playing Powerball. But don’t be discouraged. You could end up winning a life-changing Powerball jackpot, even if you have to split it with someone else.