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9 ways you can win money in the Powerball lottery

With a $1.4 billion Powerball lottery up for grabs, even those who don’t normally play the lottery are throwing their hats in the ring.

For the uninitiated Powerball players who may have impulsively purchased a ticket, we decided to break down all the possible ways you can win. You know, just in case.

First, the basics. The Powerball lotto is made up of 6 total numbers randomly selected twice per week. Every Wednesday and Saturday at 10:59 p.m. EST, a live drawing is held. All the numbers are printed on white or red balls, and placed into an automated machine which spits out the winning digits.

The first 5 numbers (white) are between 1 and 69. The final number (red) is called the Powerball. It can be anywhere between 1 and 26.

When purchasing a ticket, players can select all 6 numbers themselves or do a “quick pick” and receive a randomly generated set of numbers. Tickets are $2 each, but you can pay an extra $1 at the time of purchase to upgrade your ticket to “Power Play.”

The “Power Play” add-on means your cash prize will, at minimum, double if you have a winning ticket for anything other than the grand prize jackpot.

So, what exactly are the winning tickets (aside from the jackpot)? The possible winning tickets and their cash prizes are as follows:

  • Match all 5 white numbers only — $1 million
  • Match 4 out of 5 white numbers + Powerball — $50,000
  • Match 4 white numbers only — $100
  • Match 3 white numbers + Powerball — $100
  • Match 3 white numbers only — $7
  • Match 2 white numbers + Powerball — $7
  • Match 1 white number + Powerball — $4
  • Powerball only — $4

The “Power Play” bonus is announced at the drawing time, and does not apply to the jackpot winnings. If you’ve matched all 5 white numbers and selected “Power Play” at the time of your ticket purchase, you will win $2 million (instead of the standard $1 million). For all other prizes, the “Power Play” bonus with either be 2x, 3x, 4x, or 5x your winnings.

Overall odds of winning any of the prizes starting at $4 is 1 in 24.87. On the off-chance you do take home a lump sum, don’t forget to hire a lawyer.

The next Powerball drawing takes place Wednesday, January 13 at 10:59 p.m. EST.

UPDATE: The winning numbers drawn Wednesday were 8, 27, 34, 4, 19 — Powerball 10. Reports indicate three jackpot winners will split the grand prize of $1.5 billion.

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The winning ticket prizes start at $4, so at least you'd get your money back.

How To Know If You Won The Powerball Lottery

You may not have won the record Powerball jackpot on Nov. 28, but don’t despair. You could still be a winner and not even know it.

Officials announced early Thursday morning that two winning Powerball tickets worth $293.8 million each were sold in Arizona and Missouri, but over 8 million tickets won some sort of prize, according to Powerball’s website.

  • If you matched all five numbers and the Powerball, you win the jackpot
  • If you matched all five numbers without the Powerball, you win $1,000,000
  • If you matched four numbers and the Powerball, you win $10,000
  • If you matched four numbers without the Powerball, you win $100
  • If you matched three numbers and the Powerball, you win $100
  • If you matched three numbers without the Powerball, you win $7
  • If you matched two numbers and the Powerball, you win $7
  • If you matched one number and the Powerball, you win $4
  • If you matched just the Powerball, you win $4

According to Powerball, 58 players matched five numbers (excluding the Powerball number) in Wednesday’s drawing and are entitled to a $1 million payout. Another eight tickets are worth $2 million — these players paid for the Powerplay option, which doubles your prize money. A total of 4,501,738 tickets matched the Powerball number only. These tickets are worth $4.

Millions of dollars worth of lottery prizes go unclaimed every year, Chuck Strutt, executive director of the Multi-State Lottery Association, told CNNMoney. In 2011, around $800 million in prize money in the U.S. was never collected.

“It doesn’t shock me,” Strutt told CNNMoney. “There are significant number of people buying tickets who don’t know there are secondary prizes. And when we get a big prize like $550 milllion, many people buy tickets who haven’t bought before.”

Even huge prizes sometimes go unclaimed.The state of Oklahoma is currently searching for the winner of a $10,000 Powerball prize, which expired on Dec. 3. The state is also searching for the winner of a $250,000 Mega Millions lottery who has until March 19 to come forward. The last time a jackpot ticket wasn’t collected was in 2011 after the winner of a $77 million prize did not come forward with 180 days of the draw.

The rules governing lotteries vary state by state, but generally winning tickets expire within 180 to 365 days of the drawing, according to AARP. If you lost your ticket, you have a chance at getting it back as long as you signed it. Unfortunately, if you do not sign your ticket, the person who finds it is entitled to the winnings.

How To Know If You Won The Powerball Lottery You may not have won the record Powerball jackpot on Nov. 28, but don’t despair. You could still be a winner and not even know it. Officials