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Play USA Powerball in South Africa

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Katlego Modise
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Powerball is the king of lotteries, and the USA Powerball is one of the highest-paying lotteries anywhere in the world. It also holds the record for having paid out the highest-ever jackpot lottery. This American lottery has been around for nearly three decades, formed in 1992. Powerball is offered in 45 US states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S Virgin Islands.

US Powerball is managed and operated by the MUSL (Multi-State Lottery Association). This organization was formed when various lobbyists and American corporations agreed on a contract for its making.

Instead of listing the 45 states that participate in the Powerball lottery, it would be much easier to list the 6 states that don’t partake: Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah and now Idaho. However, residents of these states are not prohibited from participating or buying Powerball tickets; they simply cannot buy them at land-based retailers in these states.

Regarding the history of Powerball, this world-famous lottery stems from a game known as Lotto America. Lotto America was also a multi-state American lottery rebranded to Powerball in 1992. The first-ever Powerball draw took place on April 22, 1992.

Lottery players these days are accustomed to lotteries having two drums from which hosts draw the winning lottery numbers. However, there was only one draw in the past until the Powerball lottery introduced a second drum and changed the trend in lotteries worldwide. The second drum wasn’t just for the novelty; it allowed higher jackpot odds and various prize offerings through a single draw.

Over the years, the Powerball lottery has seen a number of amendments ranging from changes to formats to where the draws take place and who hosts the draws. Format changes happened in 2012 and again in 2015. The latest amendments to the Powerball were measures taken in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures included a temporary reset in the jackpot amount from $40 million to $20 million with at least a $2 million rollover for each drawing without a jackpot winner. This was done to thwart large gatherings of people at land-based ticket-selling venues.

In March of 2021, Powerball announced plans to expand its lottery to other countries such as Australia and the United Kingdom. This expansion plan, however, resulted in the State of Idaho withdrawing from participating in the Powerball after 30 years of participation. Find out about other international lotteries you can play from South Africa.

Is it Possible to Play USA Powerball from South Africa?

As per the official regulatory framework established by the Multi-State Lottery Association, Powerball is not restricted only to US citizens or US residents. Therefore, you can participate in the USA Powerball if you are a South African national. You don’t even have to live in the US to be able to play Powerball. The only requirement is that the player is of legal age, and the legal age could be defined depending on the jurisdiction of purchase. For example, if you buy a Powerball ticket in Colorado, you need to be at least 21 years; in California, a 16-year-old can legally buy a Powerball ticket.

The most convenient option for South African players to play Powerball is by using third-party online lottery services.

As per the official regulatory framework established by the Multi-State Lottery Association, Powerball is not restricted only to US citizens or US residents. Therefore, you can participate in the USA Powerball if you are a South African national. You don’t even have to live in the US to be able to play Powerball. The only requirement is that the player is of legal age, and the legal age could be defined depending on the jurisdiction of purchase. For example, if you buy a Powerball ticket in Colorado, you must be at least 21 years; in California, a 16-year-old can legally buy a Powerball ticket.

The most convenient option for South African players to play Powerball is by using third-party online lottery services.

How Does it Work?

If you want to buy a Powerball ticket in person, you need to visit one of the 45 US states participating in the Powerball. As a South African player based in South Africa, this could be a little bit of an overkill to buy a lottery ticket. Therefore, your next best option is to use online lottery purchasing services.

Various online lottery services are available to South African players. These websites allow players to buy lottery tickets for popular international lotteries such as Powerball, EuroMillions, Mega Millions, etc., even if they are not based in that particular country or state.

Players can make their lottery number selections with a few simple clicks and pay for their Powerball lottery ticket through credit cards, e-wallets and other online banking systems. Once the ticket is paid for, an agent of the lottery service based in one of the 45 Powerball states will go to a ticket-selling venue, buy a Powerball ticket on your behalf and send you a copy via email.

Players can buy as many entries as they would like. The cut-off time to buy the ticket is 59 mins before the start of the draw, but you may want to buy even earlier if you are buying your Powerball ticket online.

Pros & Cons

  • Check IconSouth African players can play the US Powerball without being in the US
  • Check IconSouth African players can also play other lotteries like EuroMillions, Italy SuperEnalotto, Mega Millions and even South African national lotteries from the comfort of their own homes
  • Check IconPlayers can pay for their lottery ticket online using a payment method they prefer
  • Check IconThe online lottery service will email the player a scanned copy of the ticket for records
  • Check IconPlayers can view draw results and other lottery information on the lottery service website
  • Check IconThe lottery service will assist players in claiming their rewards
  • Check IconLottery service websites will work on smartphones and tablets so South African players can buy lottery tickets on the go
  • Check IconThe lottery service websites will even have detailed instructions on the rules, the odds, the prize structure and how to play the lottery all under one roof
  • Close IconPlayers will be charged a commission or convenience fee by the lottery service. Therefore, the Powerball ticket will cost more than what it would cost if the player purchased it in person

Game Details

Launched in 1992, the Powerball is a lottery game based on luck. Players can purchase Powerball tickets in one of the 45 participating states or through online lottery services. Powerball is renowned not only in the US but in various other parts of the world since it holds the record for having paid out the highest lottery jackpot till date. The draws take place twice a week.

How to Play

When it was first launched, Powerball revolutionized lotteries by being the first lottery to introduce a second drum of numbered balls for the host to draw from. However, the two-drum format has become commonplace, and anyone who has played any lottery before will intuitively understand how to play the US Powerball.

Players need to pick five main numbers from a range of 1 – 69 and one selection from a range of 1 – 26. The first drum has white numbered balls, and the second has red numbered balls called Powerballs. To win the jackpot, a player must also match all five main numbers and the Powerball.

The above details of how to play are in relation to the basic game, where the minimum bet is $2.

A Powerplay option can also be played at an additional $1 per game. By activating the Powerplay option, all the available lower prizes are multiplied by a factor of 5 and a factor of 10 when the jackpot is less than $150 million. The Powerplay number is drawn separately from the main 5 and Powerball numbers. Also, the prize for matching the main five numbers is doubled to $2 Million for tickets where Powerplay is enabled.

How to Buy a Ticket 

Powerball tickets can be purchased at various approved retailers in any of the 45 participating states. The player has to be of legal age in that jurisdiction to purchase the ticket. Each basic play entry costs a minimum of $2, and an additional $1 will activate the Powerplay option.

For players in South Africa and other locations which is not one of the 45 participating US states, tickets can be purchased online through a lottery purchasing service in any of the 18 participating countries. Players not based in one of the 18 countries can buy tickets online through the official online partner of EuroJackpot, Lottoland. Players may also use other third-party lottery websites such as the Lotter, Jackpot.com, Lotto Agent, Giant Lottos and Lotto Send.

Draw Dates

The Powerball lottery is a bi-weekly lottery which means that the draw takes place twice every week. The venue for the draw is Universal Studios in Orlando, and the draw hosts are Sam Arlen and Laura Johnson. The auditing firm – Carol and Company- verified the draws as fair. The draw happens every Wednesday and Saturday at precisely 10:59 pm EST, which is 4:59 pm in South Africa.

Powerball USA Odds

The odds of winning a prize are the same in every Powerball draw. Whether the marketed jackpot is $40 million or $1 billion, a player has a 1 in 24.9 chance of winning a prize (any prize) for every entry. Even in draws where more tickets have been sold, the odds of winning remain the same.

The odds of winning the jackpot are minuscule, but this does not stop people from playing. Some people religiously buy tickets to every Powerball draw, and many jackpot winners have been regular players.

Also, the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are marginally better than other big-money lottery jackpots such as Mega Millions or Italy’s SuperEnalotto.

The odds of matching all 5 numbers and the Powerball number to win the grand prize is a mere 1 in 292,201,338. However, there are various other prizes for different matching combinations and the odds for these prizes are substantially better. All odds for various Powerball prizes have been tabulated below.

The prize with the best odds is a $4 prize for simply matching the Powerball, even if you don’t match a single one of the main five numbers.

How many numbers matchedReward Money for matchOdds
5 + PowerballGrand Prize1 in 292,201,338
5$1 million1 in 11,688,053
4 + Powerball$50,0001 in 913,129
4$1001 in 36,525
3 + Powerball$1001 in 14,494
3$71 in 580
2 + Powerball$71 in 701
1 + Powerball$41 in 92
0 + Powerball$41 in 38

What Happens if you Win and How to Claim the Money

Per the official rules of the Powerball lottery, a winning ticket may only be claimed in the jurisdiction where it was purchased. So, even if a winner resides in another state or country, he or she will need to claim the winning ticket in the same state where the ticket was bought.

Players who have won a prize of less than $600 can claim it from any lottery retailer within the jurisdiction where they purchased the ticket. However, prizes over $600 can only be claimed in select lottery offices or at the lottery headquarters.

Powerball players may have different payout options depending on which prize has been won. Usually, smaller prizes do not need to be claimed out through the cash annuity option. However, jackpot winners will have to use the annuity payout options, where payments are made on a monthly basis. Either way, the winners have 60 days to decide how they want their prizes paid out. In some states, the 60-day countdown starts from the day of the draw, while some states may require you to decide when you play.

Furthermore, depending on which state the ticket was purchased, a winning ticket may be subject to a Federal Tax and /or a local State Tax.

Biggest Jackpots Won with Powerball

As mentioned, Powerball holds the record for having paid out the biggest lottery jackpot in the world. This massive jackpot win of $1.6 billion occurred on January 13, 2016. This massive jackpot was split by three tickets sold in Chino Hills, California; Munford, Tennessee; and Melbourne Beach, Florida.

Other notable wins include a win of $758.7 million in August 2017 and a win of $687.8 million in October 2018.

Why Play Powerball

The number one reason to play Powerball is that it consistently pays out some of the biggest jackpot prizes of any lottery anywhere in the world. What’s more? It also offers slightly better odds than other big-hitting lotteries like Mega Millions and Italy SuperEnalotto.


Question Icon

Can a foreigner win the Powerball Lottery?

Yes, foreigners can play Powerball if they are of legal age in the jurisdiction where they purchase the Powerball ticket.

Question Icon

Can I play Powerball from South Africa?

South African players can play Powerball even if not in the United States. Various third-party lottery websites cater to players in South Africa and allow them to buy Powerball tickets online. South African players can use services such as The Lotter, Lotto Send, Lotto Agent, Jackpot.com, etc. to pick their lottery numbers and buy their tickets.

Question Icon

How do you play Powerball?

To play Powerball, purchase a Powerball ticket and make the following selections. Select five main numbers from 1 to 69 and 1 Powerball number from 1 to 26. To activate the Powerplay option, you must pay an additional $1. By activating Powerplay, the lower-tier prizes are multiplied by a factor of 5 or more.

Question Icon

What are the draw dates for Powerball?

The draw happens every Wednesday and Saturday at precisely 10:59 pm EST, which is 4:59 pm in South Africa.

Question Icon

How do you claim the money if you win Powerball?

The exact process of claiming your Powerball prize will depend on two factors – how much you won and in which jurisdiction you purchased your ticket. Usually, if the prize is less than $600, you can claim it from any retailer in the same jurisdiction where you purchased the ticket. For prizes above $600, there are only certain lottery offices or the Powerball headquarters where you can claim your prize. You have a 90-day period within which you need to claim your prize, or it will expire.

Question Icon

How long does it take to get the money?

How long it takes to get your money depends on whether you choose the annuity or cash value option.

Question Icon

What are the odds of winning Powerball?

The odds of winning the jackpot prize of Powerball are 1 in 292,201,338

Katlego Modise

Katlego ModiseVerified

Sportsbook Content Manager & iGaming Industry Reporter

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Katlego Modise is a South African sports enthusiast turned sports betting writer. With years of experience analyzing teams, studying trends, and placing strategic wagers on sports like soccer, cricket, and rugby, he's earned a trusted reputation in the industry. He’s no stranger to the world of online casinos either, adding roulette devotee and online poker aficionado to his repertoire. When not writing or betting, Katlego enjoys traveling and volunteering to mentor young athletes at a local sports academy.

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