Powerball is a lottery game modelled on the highly successful American Powerball game.
The game is administered by Tattersalls, and syndicated to all states through the Australian
Lotto Bloc. Draws take place on Thursday nights, with the first draw held on 23 May 1996.
Powerball uses two barrels to determine its winning numbers: five numbers are drawn at
random from a barrel of 45 (standard winning numbers), then one number, the namesake
Powerball, is drawn at random from a separate barrel of 45. To win first division the player
needs to have all five numbers in their game as well as select the correct Powerball. For
coupon entries; the Powerball is selected in a separate box to the winning numbers. In an
automated pick a computer randomly allocates the player five numbers as well as a Powerball
for each game line.
Powerball offers a slightly better odds overall for winning any prize than Saturday Lotto,
partly due to its seven-division structure, however its first division is about six times harder to
|Division||Required Winning Numbers||Probability (Single Game)
||5 + Powerball
||1 in 54,979,156
||1 in 1,249,526
||4 + Powerball
||1 in 274,896
||3 + Powerball
||1 in 7,048
||1 in 6,248
||2 + Powerball
||1 in 556
||1 in 160
A major difference between Australian Powerball versus the US game is that the latter was
created in part to allow a player to win by matching only one number, if it is the Powerball.
Also, while US Powerball prizes are taxable, its players do not pay agents' commission, so
wagers are always a multiple of US$1.
Powerball's largest jackpot prize to date is $80 million, which was shared between two tickets
(in Victoria and New South Wales) on 30 July 2009 - only weeks after Oz Lotto set the
current record of more than $106 million.