The odds of winning a big US Powerball jackpot are 1 in nearly 300 million. You have a better chance of being struck by lightning.
People line up around the US at Powerball lottery outlets or head online for tickets if you’re in Canada, as the jackpots grow each week with the promise to change your life in an instant.
As you consider your ticket numbers for the week, you very likely wonder which way to go. Should you pick your own, or let the Quick Pick do it for you?
A Quick Pick lottery ticket is made up of randomly chosen numbers that the computer selects on your behalf. Powerball lottery officials report that three-quarters of people who have won Powerball jackpots have done so with lucky Quick Pick tickets, including the very lucky billion dollar jackpot winners back in 2013.
We’re not saying the odds are any better if you go the Quick Pick route over choosing your own numbers. What we are saying is that those whose numbers matched the winning numbers have (70 percent of the time, anyway) let the computer choose their number for them.
Which gets us thinking. Which numbers come up the most often?
The most frequently drawn main Powerball numbers to date have been 9, 10, 13, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 23, 26, 28, 32, 39, 40, 42 and 45.
As for the Powerball numbers that come up the most, these are 1, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 23, 24, and 26.
Believe it or not, there are some Powerball numbers that just don’t come up that often. The least frequently drawn numbers include 51, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66 and 68.
As for the least commonly drawn Powerball numbers, these are 30, 32, and 34. (Pre October 7th 2015 Powerball number range 1 - 35)
Now that you have that information, is there a most likely way to win? Well, there are certainly no guarantees. What we can tell you though, is that you can snag a few smaller prizes by setting your sights somewhat lower than the big jackpot. Of course, winning is still a long shot, but just a tiny bit less than that 1 in 300 million long shot.
For example, if you can correctly guess four white balls you can scoop $100. Get lucky guessing four white balls and the power ball and you could instantly pocket up to $50,000. Get all five white balls right and that’s a cool $1 million for you.
Here’s something else to think about. Those figures don’t even account for the power plays, where for an extra dollar, you get to multiply your potential wins anywhere from two to five or even ten times. In some recent draws, power players have leaned towards the lower end, but a prize is still a prize.
It’s an old saying, but it rings true for Powerball. So, how exactly do you win? Well, you need a strike of luck in your favour, obviously.
If you are seriously looking for a rhyme or reason to the way the US Powerball is played, Richard Lustig, a seven-time lottery winner says you need a plan of attack.
Before you go there, though, make sure you have a good understanding of the game. Powerball uses two drums to pull the numbers. The first drum is home to 69 balls and that’s where we get the first five winning numbers. The second drum houses 26 red balls and just one is pulled, which is the infamous Powerball.
If your six numbers match the ones pulled from the two drums, you’re a jackpot winner and you can start living it up the next day.
If not, it’s all good. You can still win some decent cash with your ticket. Matching the Powerball or morecan win you anything from a couple dollars to a cool million. Choose the Powerplay option, and you could well increase those winnings without even trying very hard – especially if you went the Quick Pick route!