Virginia On Board As Powerball Expands To 3 Drawings Per Week

Written By Trent Reinsmith on July 20, 2021
Virginia Power Ball

A major change is coming to Powerball, which has been available in Virginia since 2010.

The Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) recently announced there will be a third weekly drawing of Powerball beginning on Aug. 23.

PlayVirginia subsequently confirmed with the Virginia Lottery that the commonwealth will be part of the expansion.

The new drawing takes place every Monday. The longstanding Wednesday and Saturday drawings remain in place.

The top Power Ball prize was a jackpot of $1.58 billion in January 2016. Three winners split that jackpot. Additionally, one Virginia resident has claimed a Powerball jackpot. The Virginia winner claimed a $217 million prize in 2013.

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Powerball and other multi-state games

The two largest multi-state lottery games are Mega Millions and Powerball. Both are played in 45 states. They’re also available in Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.

Players win jackpots in both games when they match five randomly drawn white balls plus a single multi-colored ball drawn from a separate drum. The ball drawn on its own is the “mega” ball or “power” ball.

The first five numbers for Mega Millions drawings come from balls numbered 1 through 70. The “mega” ball, meanwhile, come from balls numbered 1 through 25. In Powerball, the balls are numbered from 1 through 69, and the “power” ball comes from a series numbered from 1 to 26.

How to play Powerball

When playing Powerball, players can manually pick all six numbers, or they can get a “quick pick” ticket with the numbers chosen at random.

Tickets are $2, but for an extra $1 at the time of purchase, a player can upgrade to “Power Play,” which will at least double the prize payout for anything but the grand prize.

Not all VA Lotto products are available to purchase online. However, tickets for draw games Powerball, Mega Millions, Pick 3 and Cash4Life can be purchased from the VA Lottery website.

  • Powerball drawings are on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and – starting on Aug. 23 – Mondays.
  • Mega Millions drawings are on Tuesdays and Fridays.
  • Cash4Life drawings happen seven days a week.
  • Pick 3 drawings are twice per day, seven days a week.

How hard is it to win Power Ball?

The odds of winning Mega Millions with a single $2 ticket are 302,575,350 to 1.

The odds to win Powerball are a bit better, but they are still incredibly steep at 292,201,338 to 1 with a one-ticket purchase.

Payouts for Powerball and Mega Millions

Here are the Virginia Powerball payouts for winning tickets based on your matching numbers:

  • All five white numbers + Powerball: Grand prize
  • All five white numbers only: $1 million
  • Four out of five white numbers + Powerball: $50,000
  • Four white numbers only: $100
  • Three white numbers + Powerball: $100
  • Three white numbers only: $7
  • Two white numbers + Powerball: $7
  • One white number + Powerball: $4
  • Powerball only: $4

Mega Millions, like Powerball, also offers nine ways to win. The odds of claiming any prize are 1 in 24 for Mega Millions and 1 in 25 for Powerball.

Entering Wednesday’s drawing, the Powerball jackpot was approximately $161 million.

Photo by Dreamstime / Aleksey Sergeev
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