Q:

How many possible combinations exist for Powerball?

A:

There are 175,223,510 different possible combinations for the Powerball lottery game. Powerball is played by drawing five white balls numbered 1 to 59 from a drum and one red ball numbered 1 to 35 from a separate drum. The jackpot is won by matching all five white balls in any order and the one red ball. Other prizes are available for matching less than five balls.

In the game drawing, the balls are removed one at a time. Once a ball is drawn, that number cannot be repeated. For the five white balls, there are 5,006,386 combinations that may be drawn. Because there are 35 red balls, the total number of combinations for the white balls is multiplied by 35. Therefore, the total number of possible combinations is 175,223,510. There are eight other ways to win a prize other than matching all five white balls and the one red ball.

Powerball is a shared jackpot lottery game sold by 45 lotteries and coordinated by the Multi-State Lottery Association. The minimum jackpot is $40 million, and there is no maximum jackpot. It rolls over until the jackpot is won by matching all the numbers. Drawings are held on Wednesday and Saturday nights at 10:59 p.m. As of 2014, each play costs $2 or $3 if the Power Play multiplier is added.


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