Powerball is a multi-state lottery that advertises a minimum jackpot of $40 million. The prizes do go way higher though, $590.5 million is the current record highest drawing for Powerball on May 18, 2013. What would it take to guarantee a win? Well, we’ll tell you.
First, you would have to understand how the game works.
Five numbers are drawn from a combination of 59 white balls, and then a final “powerball” is drawn from a separate pool of 35 red balls.
The five white ball drawings removes a possible number from the pool with each ball drawn and due to the fact the order of the way the five white numbers are drawn does not matter, this lowers the combinations you need to buy all the possible combinations.
How many tickets exactly would you have to buy to guarantee yourself every single combination and therefore a win?
175,223,510 was the number we got.
At $2 a ticket, you would still make out right? $350,447,020 to win $590,500,000?
Well not quite.
Keep in mind if someone else who buys just a single ticket gets lucky, that prize is split, so you’ll be in the negative just like that, and on top of that, you would have to pay taxes on the winnings.
Maybe you can deduct the almost $350.5 million in expenses as a business expense and pay taxes only on profits?
I don’t know, I’m not entirely sure the IRS would go for that, but if it works out, kudos to you.
But before you go running off the store to start with 1,2,3,4,5 – 1, then 1,2,3,4,5 – 2, and so forth, let us warn you in advance this will not work.
With 86,400 seconds in each day, and 4 days between the Saturday and Wednesday drawings, you would only be able to buy 345,600 tickets between the drawings. If it took about a second to print each ticket.
You would need over 500 people to split up and buy the tickets pretty much around the clock, whom I’m sure will not do this for free, so there is more cost incurred.
That and I’m not sure if any lottery store machine would be able to constantly spit out tickets 24/7 for 4 days straight.
So next time a large jackpot comes around and you wish to play?
Our recommendation would be to just buy a few tickets and play the normal way.