Powerball Lottery comes to California

The long wait is officially over. California residents can now buy Powerball lottery tickets from the nearest convenience store, rather than having to cross state lines to play.

Monday was the first day of sales in California, and people were waiting from 5:30am in long lines that snaked around neighborhood convenience stores for their chance to purchase. One convenience store manager in L.A. said he’d sold over 8,000 tickets by noon.

Powerball is one of the most popular lotteries to play, since the jackpot is usually larger than regular jackpots. Before the state started selling their own tickets, some California residents drove to Oregon or even to the Arizona border to play last year when the jackpot reached $587.5 million, according to the L.A. Times.

California already offers many lottery games, including SuperLotto Plus and Mega Millions. But state officials are betting that Powerball’s starting jackpot of 40 million will attract many more players, nearly three times as large as Mega Millions. They will be putting 96 cents of every dollar spent on Powerball towards California schools. And so far, California residents seem excited. The first day brought in over $3 million dollars in ticket sales.

Powerball tickets are offered at $2 each, a bit pricey compared to other lotteries which typically run about $1 per ticket, but this is because the jackpots tend to be larger. The rules are pretty straightforward. Players can choose five numbers from 1 to 59 and one red Powerball number from 1 to 35. They can make their own number choices or use a quick-pick option. (Fun fact: computer generated numbers have the most wins.)

How it works: if you pick five winning numbers (in any order) but not the winning red Powerball, then you win $1 million cash prize. If you match the Red Powerball in addition to matching the five other numbers, you win the jackpot. There are nine total ways to win with various matching sequences. The overall odds of winning any prize in the game are one in 32.

Advertising for the new game has been everywhere, including launch parties at popular malls like The Grove in Los Angeles. TV commercials have run playing the song “California Dreaming,” and asking viewers to “believe in something bigger.”

The state lottery says that Powerball tickets will close at 7pm Pacific time every Wednesday and Saturday, with subsequent drawings for winners at 7:59pm. California is the 43rd state to join the game.

Powerball Lotteries are Worldwide

Did you know that  Powerball is played not only in the United States, but Worldwide?

South Africa. There is a National Lottery in South Africa that is also named “Powerball”, and they even have a lotto called “Lotto Plus”.  In Powerball, 5 main numbers are picked, plus a 6th called Powerball.  Here is a link to the national lottery number results page  on Powerball.

Australia.  Austrlia has a Powerball game also.  It is played every Thursday evening, and prize pools and jackpots range from 3 to 50 Million AU.  Currently the prize is 30 Million (Australian Dollars) Once again, you pick 45 main numbers, plus the powerball number.  The playing instructions are here. You can even download the pdf playing instructionsChoose the way you want to play and number of games: Choose either a Quick game quantity (36 24, 18 etc…) OR System Games OR Standard games. For Powerball, you can also choose Power45. Here is the purchase page to buy Powerball tickets in Australias’ game.

New Zealand.  New Zealand’s Powerball lottery is a bit different.  Powerball and Lotto Strike are optional extras with each lottery ticket. Here is the Wikipedia article on New Zealand Lotteries You pick 6 numbers plus 2. Here are recent lottery numbers. The basic instructions for playing the game, which was introduced in Feb 2001. How does New Zealand’s powerball work?

A line may be “enhanced” by the purchase of a Powerball number. If Powerball is played, at least four Powerball numbers must be purchased for each ticket, costing $0.60 a line. The Powerball number is ranges between 1 and 10, and is always drawn from a separate machine, apart from the main Lotto drawing. If it happens that the winning Powerball number is on the exact same line as a winning Lotto line, the ticket owner will win a share of the Powerball prize pool, as well as the prize won from the main Lotto draw.

Basic Powerball Lottery Playing Strategy

Virtually every person in the United States has dreamed about winning the lottery at some point or another. Trying to imagine what strategy is best in playing Powerball Lottery is very important. On the other hand, imagining what one will do with $300 million is actually really fun. While many dream about it, precious few ever actually get to win those big jackpots. Still, the fact that it is possible is enough to drive sales of those little white tickets. The dreams of winning the Powerball lottery are in many ways indicative of the struggles we are experiencing in our economy. Everyone wants to improve their situation, and the Powerball lottery extends that possibility across social and economic lines.

What is the Powerball lottery in a nutshell?

The Powerball lottery is a game of chance that is run in every state in the United States other than California, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, Mississippi, Alabama, Alaska and Hawaii. The Powerball lottery is also held in the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands. Every Wednesday and every Saturday night at 10:59 PM Eastern time, five white numbers are drawn from one drum and one red number is drawn from another to serve as the Powerball. These drawings are held in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios. You can find the winning numbers via television, newspaper or their website soon after each drawing. Some television stations showed the drawings live every Wednesday and Saturday.

How much does it cost to play?

To buy just a basic lottery ticket you will spend one dollar. If you want to pay an extra dollar you can multiply your winnings with the PowerPlay option. This can be multiplied by two times, three times, four times or five times depending upon how much you are willing to spend on the ticket. You can go up to six dollars which multiplies your winnings by five. Only non-jackpot winnings are eligible for the PowerPlay multiplication.

How much can I win with the Powerball lottery ticket?

Every jackpot starts over at a massive $20 million and can then grow to massive amounts that number in the hundreds of millions of dollars. It is these large jackpots that attract Powerball lottery buyers en masse. Spending a couple of bucks on a lottery ticket seems like a fair enough risk for such a huge potential return. Where people get into trouble is when they do not mitigate that risk and understand that the odds of winning are astronomical. You have to be smart about how much money you are willing to risk with such poor odds.

How is the game played?

As stated above, the Powerball lottery is drawn every Wednesday and Saturday. When you fill out an entry, you choose five white balls numbered from 1 to 59. Then you choose one red ball numbered from 1 to 39. You can also allow a machine to choose the numbers in an automated fashion. This comes in handy if you are getting a large number of lottery tickets in a single drawing. To win the jackpot, you must match all five of your white balls plus the red ball on the same ticket. You can when various smaller prizes by getting fewer numbers correct on a card. Just getting the red ball correct alone is worth three dollars plus any power play multiplier. The prizes increase exponentially from there.

So what’s the secret to winning Powerball?

This is literally the million dollar question and one that has no answer. The Powerball lottery is a completely random game of chance. As such, there are no systems in place that can effectively determine the outcome with any semblance of accuracy. Still, there are some various strategies that one can use if they are so inclined. The strategies or ideas are purely ways in which to play the game. They are not magic formulas and they in no way shape or form make claims to any specific winning formula. Look at them as ways to play the game and have fun doing so.

Running the red balls

This strategy involves buying one lottery ticket for every single possible red Powerball. This guarantees that you will win at least one three dollar ticket in exchange for $39 worth of lottery tickets. While this exchange absolutely stinks on the surface, I have found that I do fairly well when I employ this strategy. The reason for this is because I usually get a handful of white balls correct on various tickets as well. Several times I have won my money back several times over. It is far from a fool proof method but it is a lot of fun knowing that you will have at least one potential red ball correct. Pair that up with a few white balls and you could have a pretty good payoff.

Birth days, phone numbers, and addresses, oh my!

Another fun strategy for playing the Powerball lottery is to utilize various numbers in your life. Some people use Social Security numbers and others use driver’s license numbers. Phone numbers are extremely popular as are birthdays and addresses. Any numbers that are important to you can be considered lucky numbers in the game of Powerball lottery. Playing these numbers can add a bit of fun to an otherwise losing proposition. It is also great fun when you actually win.

Should I play the same numbers every time?

Playing the same numbers over and over again is a strategy that is very common among Powerball lottery players. The idea behind this strategy is that eventually the numbers will come around. Unfortunately, when you look at the large number of combinations that could potentially come up on a given night, this strategy is probably no more or less successful than any others. The important thing to remember is to play the numbers that make you feel good about your chances inside. There are no magic formulas to ensure success so you are not missing out on anything.

How can I be sure to play Powerball lottery responsibly?

The best way to ensure that you will play responsibly is to set yourself a budget and stick to it whether you win or lose. Playing the lottery is not terribly expensive if you control how often you do it. Some people play one ticket per drawing, every drawing. Some people play five dollars per drawing. Some people play $20 per week. Whatever the amount, make certain that it fits within your budget comfortably and that it will not hurt you financially to lose that amount. Where people get into trouble with the Powerball lottery is when they start to chase their losses. When you get down and lose a good deal of money, it becomes very easy to want to win it back by betting more. Resist this urge by having a solid budget in mind and never deviating from it. And if your budget is zero, you can still play poker for free.

The Powerball lottery does a great deal of good in society by donating a large portion to various municipal and social programs. While it certainly is a form of gambling regardless of what our political leaders might call it, is still a game that can be great fun for people of all social and economic backgrounds. The key is staying within your means and only spending what is responsible within your life.