Powerball tickets

The last big Powerball jackpot hit $842.4 million US and was won on January 1, 2024. If you read this news and wanted to know how to play Powerball in Canada then you’ve come to the right place.

Compared to Lotto Max, which has a $70 million maximum jackpot, or Lotto 6/49, which has a $68 million maximum jackpot, the Powerball jackpot has climbed to over $1 billion US before!

READ MORE: How to play Mega Millions in Canada

Here’s everything you need to know about the Powerball lottery and how you can play Powerball in Canada.

How the Powerball lottery works

Powerball costs $2 US to play. You need to select five numbers between 1 and 69 along with a sixth “Powerball” number between 1 and 26. You can pick the numbers yourself or opt for a “Quick Pick” to let the machine select the numbers for you. To win the jackpot you need to match all five main numbers plus the “Powerball” number.

For an extra $1 US you can add a “Power Play” option to your ticket, which multiples non-jackpot prizes by up to 10 times as determined by another numbered ball.

There are Powerball draws every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday night.

Winners must claim their prize in the state they purchased the ticket within 180 days of winning.

If you opt to take the lump sum payment, you’re looking at about 60% of the total jackpot. With a jackpot of $810 million US that works out to $486 million US before taxes (over $600 million CDN).

What states you can play Powerball in

Powerball is offered in 45 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah are the five states that don’t offer the Powerball lottery.

Odds of winning the Powerball lottery

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292 million while the odds of winning any Powerball prize is 1 in 24.87.

For perspective, the odds of winning the Lotto Max jackpot are 1 in 33,294,800 and the odds of winning the Lotto 6/49 jackpot are 1 in 13,983,816.

Are Canadians allowed to play Powerball?

Yes, Canadians are legally allowed to play Powerball as are all non-American visitors to the United States.

How can Canadians buy Powerball tickets?

The best way for a Canadian to buy a Powerball ticket is to cross the border and purchase one yourself. If you have family or friends in the U.S. that you trust, you can ask them to purchase one for you as well.

There are also online third-party services that allow Canadians to purchase Powerball tickets. These usually have higher fees involved. We do not endorse any of the ones we’ve discovered and generally warn people to not use these services.

Rules for Canadians playing Powerball

There is a law in the United States that you are not allowed to enter the country with lottery tickets. This means you could have an issue going back to claim your prize if you cross the border to buy a Powerball ticket and return to Canada with it.

Lottery officials in Washington told CTV News in 2016 that they would help any big winners having a border issue, but there is still a risk involved.

If you’re concerned over this law you should plan to stay in the U.S. with your ticket until the draw is over or rent a secure mailbox to leave it in.

Do Canadians pay tax if they win the Powerball jackpot?

Yes, Canadians will have to pay 30% in federal taxes to the United States on their winnings as well as state taxes depending which state they purchased their ticket in (taxes in New York state are the highest at 10.8%).

With a jackpot of $810 million US and taking the lump sum payment of roughly $486 million US, 30% works out to around $146 million US, leaving the winner with roughly $340 million US – over $450 million CDN before state taxes.

The Canadian government does not tax lottery winnings, including winnings from outside of Canada.

If it sounds like too much to play Powerball in Canada check out our Lotto Max or Lotto 6/49 coverage to see what the current jackpots are.

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