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Powerball lottery odds explained: From tonight’s big \$640M jackpot to 8 much smaller prizes

The odds of hitting the Powerball jackpot are more than 292 million to 1. Powerball.com

Dreaming about winning Saturday’s \$640 million Powerball jackpot? You might want to take a look at those lottery odds.

The overall odds of winning something after buying a \$2 ticket are roughly 1 in 25 — 24.87 to be nearly exact. If you spend an extra \$1 to exercise the Power Play option, you can double, triple, quadruple or on rare occasions quintuple your winnings on non-jackpot winning prizes.

If you still want to take a shot but have never played, Powerball works like this: Five white balls are drawn out of a drum containing 69 balls. Then one red ball is drawn out of a drum with 26 red balls. The red ball is also known as the Powerball. Here’s a breakdown of odds and prizes.

The Powerball – \$4

The odds of your ticket matching only the red Powerball are 38.32 to 1. If you do, you win \$4.

1 number plus the Powerball – still \$4

Matching one number and the Powerball is more difficult than just having the Powerball (1 in 91.98) but the prize is still a measly \$4.

2 numbers plus the Powerball – \$7

It’s a more than 700 to 1 shot (701.33 to be exact) to purchase a ticket containing two numbers and the Powerball. The payout? Only \$7.

3 numbers – still \$7

If your ticket matched three of the five white balls, you still win just \$7. The odds of hitting three numbers, but not the Powerball are 579.76 to 1.

Powerball prizes range from \$4 to potentially hundreds of millions of dollars. Powerball.com

3 numbers plus the Powerball – \$100

The good news is that the prize amount has finally reached triple figures – \$100. The bad news is that the odds of buying a ticket that matches three numbers plus the Powerball are 14,494.11 to 1.

4 numbers – still \$100

A ticket that matches four numbers from the white ball drawn (but not the Powerball) is tantalizing close to winning serious money, but is also worth only \$100. It’s about a 1 in 36,525 shot to get even that lucky, though.

4 numbers plus the Powerball – \$50,000

The prize climbs all the way to winning \$50,000 if you manage to beat the roughly 913,129 to 1 odds and match four numbers plus the Powerball.

Five tickets bought in New Jersey defied those odds for Wednesday’s drawing. One ticket is worth \$100,000 because the winner exercised the Power Play option

5 numbers – \$1 million

The life-changing money begins at this prize level. All you have to do to win at least \$1 million is match the numbers on the five white balls drawn, but not the Powerball. Good luck overcoming the 11,688,053.52 to 1 odds, though.

5 numbers plus the Powerball – jackpot

The odds of this happening? More than 292 million to 1. But Powerball still offers a better chance than Mega Millions — the chances of buying a jackpot-winning ticket for that game are more than 301 million to 1.

One jackpot-winning Powerball ticket was bought in New Jersey last year. Someone who made their lucky purchase a a Piscataway liquor store for the April 8 drawing hit the \$190 million jackpot.

Powerball lottery odds explained: From tonight’s big \$640M jackpot to 8 much smaller prizes The odds of hitting the Powerball jackpot are more than 292 million to 1. Powerball.com Dreaming ]]>