What are my chances of winning Powerball?

The Powerball jackpot this week is the biggest in Australian history at $150 million.

One in three Aussie adults is expected to play this week's Powerball game. A rush on tickets on Thursday will definitely see queues forming at your local newsagent or lottery ticket provider.

What are the odds of winning Powerball?

To win Powerball, you must correctly predict the seven winning numbers plus the Powerball number. The odds of winning Division 1 of Powerball are 134,490,400 to 1 for every standard game. The odds of winning the lowest prize on Powerball (two winning numbers plus the Powerball) is 66 to 1 according to Powerball’s Responsible Play page.

How much does Powerball cost?

Powerball prices have gone up by one per cent (on 19 August 2019). A $30 Mega ticket (24 standard games) now costs $30.30.

According to Powerball’s online gambling calculator, A person who buys a ‘Mega’ Powerball ticket (24 standard games) once per week for $30.00 is spending $1,575.60 per year and is right on the average Australian yearly spend on gambling.

Why is Powerball so popular?

The last Powerball jackpot created a Division One prize pool of $110,000,000 which was won by 3 separate tickets. So each winner got a third of that – About $36 million and change.

That huge life-changing amount of money is why Powerball is so popular – the product is a dream of a stress-free life of wealth and privilege.

A young couple living in the small town of Gisborne in Victoria’s Macedon Ranges were the third winners to be identified as Powerball’s latest jackpot winners.

The couple say they will donate some of their $36 million in cash to good causes after ensuring their family has “everything they need.”

Gareth Stevens from Gisborne told the Herald Sun he would be purchasing a ticket from the agency that sold the winning tickets, Gisborne’s Mid-Town Lotto shop, because: “hopefully there is a bit more luck to be had there.”

“Congratulations to the young Gisborne couple and the other people who won big in Powerball last week,” said Vadim Taube, Chief executive of financial comparison site InfoChoice.

“Aussies love the big Powerball jackpots and those eye-watering prizes attract one in three adults to hand over their hard-earned cash to participate in the dream of winning big.”

The dream of winning big is enticing but all lottery ticket buyers are potentially sacrificing the slow build-up of moderate wealth for a long-shot chance at miraculous super-wealth.

Powerball vs Savings Account compared

Do you have a better chance of getting rich by buying a Powerball ticket every week, or by putting that same money into a savings account?

You will win prizes if you play Powerball regularly, but how much can you reasonably expect to win and is it more than you will earn from a savings account?

Powerball vs Savings account compared

Do I have a better chance of getting rich by buying a Powerball ticket every week, or by putting that same money into a savings account?

What are the winning Powerball or a lottery compared to the chances of getting rich by saving?

Firstly, Powerball is a lottery based on chance and a savings account is a financial product that keeps your money safer and delivers a small rate of interest to you. So comparing the two is not entirely legit.

Secondly, anyone can win Powerball this week, even someone who has never played before. But most people who play their whole lives will never win Division One. Or Division Two or Three.

Thirdly, Powerball, OzLotto and other gambling products sell the chance of winning, not a promise of winning.

“It’s not really fair to compare Powerball with a savings account because they are different products with different promises,” said InfoChoice CEO Vadim Taube.

“Of course, we can’t compare the feeling you will get if you win a big Division One Jackpot payout,” said Vadim, “so good luck in this week’s Powerball.”

How much could I win if I play Powerball for 25 years?

25 years of weekly Mega tickets is 1,300 tickets (25 x 52) and each ticket contains 25 games (32,500 standard games in total) costing $39,390.

All those 32,500 games still just give you a 1 in 4,138 chance of bagging Division One. That’s still not very high. But you have a much higher chance in the other divisions, meaning you almost certainly will win smaller prizes, based on Powerball’s stated odds of winning.

Over 25 years of playing Powerball with a weekly Mega ticket, you can expect to win:

  • division nine about 492 times. The odds of winning Powerball’s Division 9 prize is 66 to 1. Last jackpot, 2.3 million Division Nine winners got $10.35 so over 25 years you might win about $5096.59 in Division Nine prizes. 25-year winnings guesstimate: $5,096.59
  • division eight 173 times. The odds of winning Powerball’s Division 8 prize is 188 to 1. D8 paid $16.80 last jackpot. 25-year winnings guesstimate: $2,904.25
  • division seven 36 times. The odds of winning Powerball’s Division 7 prize is 892 to 1. D7 paid $40 last jackpot. 25-year winnings guesstimate: $1,457.40
  • division six 27 times. The odds of winning Powerball’s Division 6 prize is 1,173 to 1. D6 paid $66.40 last jackpot. 25-year winnings guesstimate: $1,839.73
  • division five twice. The odds of winning Powerball’s Division 5 prize is 16,943 to 1. D5 paid $143 last jackpot. 25-year winnings guesstimate: $274.30
  • division four once. The odds of winning Powerball’s Division 8 prize is 36,115 to 1. Last jackpot D4 paid $410. 25-year winnings guesstimate: $410
  • Division Three and Two are more prohibitive, even if you play weekly for 25 years you still have less than a 1 in 20 chance at D3 and a 1 in 226 chance at D2. D3 paid $3,983 last jackpot and D2 paid a cool $49,276. Let’s say you beat the odds and win a Division Three prize. 25-year winnings guesstimate: $3,983

So, if you buy weekly Powerball Mega tickets ($30.30 each) for 25 years, you could reasonably expect to win a total of $15,965.27. But 25 years of weekly Powerball Mega tickets will cost you $39,390.

So, you can expect to be behind, after 25 years of Powerball, by $23,424.73.

How much will I earn from a savings account over 25 years?

It is possible to estimate what you might be able to earn from a savings account over the long term. The average savings account maximum interest rate between 2002 and 2019 is 3.48 per cent pa according to an analysis of RBA rate data.

According to the InfoChoice Savings Calculator, a person who starts with $30 and saves $30 per week will put away $39,410 over 25 years and attract interest of about $23,183 if rates average 3.48 per cent.

After 25 years, the $30.30 per week saver could end up with $62,212.32.

Powerball winnings versus Savings account interest

Over 25 years, the saver who puts away $30 per week at 3.48 per cent pa will have more than $60,000. The gambler who bets $30 per week on Powerball will possibly have lost $23,244. That means the saver is ending up $85,456.97 ahead of the gambler.

“The amazing thing about this fun comparison is that the interest earned by the saver is almost exactly the same as the total losses borne by the gambler,” said Vadim Taube.

“The key takeaway from this is that if you spend $30 per week on Powerball for 25 years, you still have only a small chance of becoming rich.

“But if you put $30 into a savings account, you will make money from interest, and over time your interest will earn interest,” said Vadim Taube.

“The saver is picking up compound interest, basically for free, while the gambler is losing money at almost exactly the same long-term rate.”

What is the Powerball Jackpot this week?

This week’s Powerball jackpot is $150 million. Powerball will next be drawn Thursday 19 September 2019.

You can compare savings accounts from Australia’s banks, credit unions and other financial institutions at InfoChoice.

This comparison is intended for illustrative purposes only and is not intended to accurately predict what an individual may or may not win from Powerball or any other gambling activity.  You can chat to a gambling helpline counselor, or call 1800 858 858.

The information contained on this web site is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviser. If you or someone you know is in financial stress, contact the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007.

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