You can watch tonight’s Powerball drawing live online, to find out right away if you are the winner of the impressive $90 million jackpot offered in the March 4 drawing by the nationwide lottery game. For that matter, even if you don’t win the whole jackpot, you may still be a Powerball winner — of up to $5 million.
That’s because the Powerball game offers a $1 million second prize for matching the first five numbers drawn — on the white balls, which viewers who watch streaming video of the drawing live online will see — but missing the red Power Ball.
But by paying an extra buck for a Powerball ticket, lottery players activate the “Power Play” option.
What is Powerball Power Play?
This simple add-on to the regular Powerball game can result in big bucks for lucky winners who hit some of the numbers, but not all six. That’s because during each Powerball drawing, a seventh number is drawn.
The seventh number will be between two and five, and that number indicates the factor by which ticket holders who paid $3 rather $2 for their Powerball tickets can multiply their non-jackpot winnings.
For example, in the last Powerball drawing — held Saturday, February 28 — no one won the big jackpot which was then $80 million. But five lucky players in five different states plus one in Puerto Rico and one in the U.S. Virgin Islands, matched the first five “white ball” numbers.
Four of those Powerball players simply held regular tickets and won a flat $1 million prize. But three others — in Tennessee, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands — had activated Power Play on their tickets.
The special Power Play multiplier number drawn Saturday was “2.” That meant that those three winners each take home a check for $2 million before taxes.
And if you think hitting the first five numbers but not the Power Ball is a disappointment, Benjamin Pendergrass, Saturday’s winner from Tennessee, disagrees.
“I’ve had some guys say to me, ‘Aren’t you bummed out you didn’t get the Powerball number?'” Pendergrass told a local newspaper. “That’s all a matter of perspective. It’s hard to feel bummed about winning $2 million.”
Indeed. But when it comes to the Power Play option, the only Powerball players who should be disappointed are ticket buyers in California. Of the 44 states — plus two two U.S. territories and the District of Columbia — that offer Powerball tickets, California is the only one that does not allow Power Play.
Instead, all California non-jackpot winners are subject to the state’s pari-mutuel payout system, where the prizes depend on how many people bought tickets in that drawing.
To watch tonight’s Powerball drawing in live online streaming video, click on this link. The drawing will be held at 10:59 pm Eastern Time, 7:59 Pacific, in Tallahassee, Florida.
[Image: Florida Lottery]