Let’s face it, playing Powerball is the ultimate low-risk, high-reward scenario, isn’t it? If you lose, you’re just down a couple of dollars. But win, no matter how stacked the odds might be against you, and the payoff is a lifetime of living it up.
But to win the big jackpot, you will have to match 5 numbers (those little white balls numbered 1 to 69) and the Powerball (a beautiful red ball numbered 1 – 26). Each Powerball entry costs just $2, but you can pay an extra dollar to activate the Powerball power play feature, Powerball’s name for a multiplier that ups your payout for any non-jackpot prizes you may be lucky enough to win.
Is it worth it? Let’s take a look.
Power play is an additional feature. It costs another $1 and allows you to increase your original winnings (excluding the jackpot).
To put it really simply: if luck is on your side and you win $1 million and you bought the power play, your winnings are doubled.
For lower prize amounts, the increase pretty much depends on the night, but you could potentially multiply your non-jackpot prize by anywhere from 2X to 5X or even 10 times!
The power play number is, as always, selected randomly just before the televised draw goes live. Interestingly, the 10X power play option is only in play when an advertised jackpot annuity amounts to $150 million or less.
So, adding the power play multiplier to your play can multiply any prize you might win, other than the Match 5 Powerball jackpot, by the number that’s randomly selected as the multiplier on the night of the draw.
You might be wondering how exactly the power play is chosen, and what your probabilities are for the multiplier feature being 2, 3, 4, 5 and so on.
The quick answer is that the multiplier is chosen in a separate draw and the odds can vary significantly.
All this talk of multipliers or power play might be getting a little confusing, so maybe we should use a real-world example from the US Powerball lottery.
A ticket for Powerball costs a mere $2. You have the option of adding the power play multiplier to your play for just another $1.
Now, let’s say that in the Powerball draw for your ticket, you match 4 of the first 5 numbers. For that particular draw, the power play number is 3X. Normally, you’d win $100, but since you were clever enough to add the power play feature to your Powerball ticket, your prize is multiplied by 3 to win you a rather nice sum of $300.
Remember, though, that when the jackpot for a Powerball draw is sitting at $150 million or less, a whopping 10X is added to the power play pool, giving you even more chances to multiply most of the prize levels by up to 10 times.
However, when the jackpot in the game is over $150 million, the 10X feature is not made available, so the only multipliers that can be selected are 2X, 3X, 4X and 5X.
Yet, when the 10X multiplier is included, the power play pool consists of 43 numbers. Of all those 43 numbers, different numbers look, rather literally, different. Let’s take a look at how they look in table form:
If 10X isn’t included in the draw, then there are 42 numbers within the multiplier pool and the breakdown remains the same.
It is. Just imagine winning a couple hundred, or even thousand, dollars and having your win multiplied by whatever number is randomly drawn on the night. What could’ve been a $100 win, might just end up being $500. That’s a big difference, and surely well worth it for an extra dollar to play Powerball power play.