You’re a lot more likely to be hit by lightning than win the lottery.
Ever dreamed of suddenly getting millions of dollars and never having to work again? That’s the promise of the Powerball lottery played across 44 states in America.
The biggest power ball winner was, 84-year-old Gloria McKenzie, who won a record $590 million in 2013. Such huge prizes are possible because it is a jackpot game, meaning that the prize increases every time someone plays and doesn’t with the jackpot.
How winners are selected
Players select six different Powerball numbers to put on their tickets (which costs $2 a piece), five white numbers between 1 and 69, and one red between 1 and 26.
At the televised drawing, the lottery draws from a drum containing balls with the numbers on them, and the Powerball results are broadcast live.
There are various prizes to win for matching one or several of the balls; however, none of the prizes exceed $1 million, according to the Powerball website.
What are the odds of winning Powerball
In order to win the jackpot, your numbers have to match all the balls drawn by the lottery. The odds for that are 1 in 292,201,338, according to the Powerball web site.
To put this number in context: your odds of being hit by lightning in your lifetime are 1 in 12,000, according to statistics from the US National Weather Service. Put another way, the odds of getting hit by lightning in your lifetime are about 24,000 times more than your chance of winning the next Powerball jackpot. [contextly_auto_sidebar]
However, since 2003, the furthest back Powerball has records of winners on its website, an average of around 15 people per year have won the prize.
Over time the power ball jackpot has become a bit more difficult to win. Prior to October 2015, 59 white numbers were in use, compared to today’s 69. Billion dollar jackpots are expected as a result of the changes.