Can you buy Powerball tickets online?
With the $650 million jackpot quickly approaching, many people have turned to the internet to see if they can buy tickets without having to leave their home. Others who live in the handful of states not offering the lottery are also looking to see if they can get in on the action.
But the answer of whether you can buy Powerball tickets online is actually a bit complicated. There are a handful of states that offer totally legal, state-sanctioned online ticket buying for their residents. There are also some websites that offer the chance to buy Powerball tickets online, but their authenticity can sometimes be in question.
To start, residents in Illinois and Georgia can buy Powerball tickets online through their state websites, though they may need to register an account first. California residents can also use online services like LottoGopher that pays someone else to buy a Powerball ticket for them.
If you live in one of the six states not offering Powerball, there are a few other options to buy Powerball tickets online. As CNN noted back in early 2016, when the jackpot climbed to an all-time record of $1.5 billion, there are a number of services allowing people to purchase Powerball tickets from businesses in states where they are sold.
UPDATE: No one has won tonight's Powerball jackpot. The estimated jackpot for Wednesday's drawing is $650 million https://t.co/XVtuHR5szz— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) August 20, 2017
These services include the websites Lotterymaster, Lotto365, and Congalotto, CNN noted. The report added that there are many other sites offering to sell Powerball tickets online, but the news outlet couldn’t vouch for their authenticity to test them. And when these sites saw a flood of visitors in early 2016 for the $1.5 billion jackpot, many of them ended up crashing for extended periods of time.
The next Powerball drawing will take place on Wednesday, August 23 at 10:59 p.m. ET. If there is a lucky winner, they will get the option to take the entire $650 million jackpot as an annuity paid over 29 years. Most winners choose the lump sum option, which Time noted would leave them with roughly $411.7 million before taxes. After the federal government gets its 25 percent cut, the lucky winner will be left with $308.8 million (which equates to $16.25 million per year, should they choose the annuity).
If people do choose to buy Powerball tickets online — or in person — they should know that the chances of hitting all five numbers plus the Powerball to win the jackpot are minuscule. The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are one in 292 million.
[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]