Powerball: What Is the Power Play?

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(Powerball)

If you’re going to buy a Powerball ticket today to try to take part in the $700 million jackpot, you may have been asked if you wanted to participate in Power Play. It costs an extra dollar, but what exactly is it?

Here’s what you need to know.

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The Power Play is not required to play Powerball, it’s an optional add-on that you can purchase for $1 when you’re buying your ticket. This feature lets you increase your prize amount if you win anything but the jackpot.

For example, if you win the Match 5 prize, your winnings will increase from $1 million to $2 million, paid in a lump sum. All the rest of the prizes are multiplied by the “multiplier number” that’s also drawn. So, for example, if Powerball draws a multiplier of 2, then all the winnings below the Match 5 will be multiplied by two. So if you match four white balls to win $100, your grand prize will actually be $200 with a Power Play and a 2X drawing.

Powerball does note, however, that in some rare cases there may not be enough in the prize pool or reserves to cover the multiplier, and in those cases the prize will be reduced:

As with any lottery prize, if an extremely popular number is drawn and there is not enough money in the prize pools or reserves to cover it, we may need to reduce the prize.

So remember: the Power Play will increase your prize if you win something but you don’t win the jackpot. It will not, however, increase the estimated $700 million win that everyone’s hoping to get.

If you want the Power Play, you must buy at the time you purchase your Powerball ticket. You can’t buy it and add it on to your ticket later.

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