US Powerball Guide For Canadians
Everything you need to know before you buy a Powerball ticket as a Canadian.
The US Powerball is a world-famous lottery game that is played - not only in the United States - but by many people around the world and in CANADA.
Can I play Powerball from Canada?
Yes. As a Canadian citizen, you can play US Powerball from Canada.
Even though you cannot purchase Powerball tickets directly from U.S. state lottery corporations online, there are no restrictions that prohibit non-U.S. citizens from playing.
Canadians can buy Powerball tickets online through agent services that purchase tickets for them.
How to play Powerball from Canada
As a Canadian citizen, there are two ways to play Powerball from Canada and not break the law:
- Buy tickets in person in the USA
- Buy tickets ONLINE
Is it practical to travel to the USA to buy a Powerball ticket?
NO, it isn't!
Can I play Powerball online?
YES. In more countries than just Canada.
However! Even though the official Powerball website can be accessed from Canada, it is for the exclusive use of U.S. citizens.
Canadians can only participate in the Powerball lottery through an online lottery service.
There are two ways to buy Powerball tickets online in Canada. The procedure is very simple.
How to buy Powerball tickets in Canada
As a Canadian, you can buy Powerball tickets through online lottery services such as lottery messengers, or by betting on lottery sites.
The first option is to use a messenger service, also known as an agent.
Here, you buy the ticket online from the website or through a mobile app.
This service is known as a ‘messenger’ because a real person buys a ticket on your behalf and then scans it as proof of purchase.
You need to pay a small fee for this service in addition to the original ticket price.
No other fees will be deducted from your winnings. Pretty sweet, right?
Betting on the Lottery
Your second option is a service in which you bet on the outcome of the Powerball lottery.
The odds and the jackpot are exactly the same. The only difference is that you don’t have an actual ticket, but still bet in the same way as with sports.
Watch the 1-minute video below to see how straightforward it is to purchase a lottery ticket online.
The main advantage is the price you pay for the ticket, which is CHEAPER compared to a messenger service.
In terms of winnings, payouts are made by the site that you choose to play on.
Every licensed operator is insured against big jackpots. Therefore, no commissions will be charged on your winnings.
In Canada, all lottery winnings are tax free.
The only tax payable on U.S. lottery winnings is the 30% federal income tax that applies to Powerball winnings for non-U.S. citizens.
Where to play online in Canada
We are on a mission to find and review every online lottery site.
We believe that your location should not be a barrier against playing lotteries around the world.
You can play wherever you wish, but choose a site that is well established, easy to use and, most of all, proven to PAY OUT YOUR WINNINGS.
We have tested a dozen different sites (only small prizes won) and these are our favorites:
Lottofy provides access to the 12 biggest lotteries in the world. It is a betting lottery site, with jackpots usually in the tens of MILLIONS.
You can INCREASE your ODDS by playing in SYNDICATES.
Besides lotteries, you can also play scratch cards and casino games.
From Canada, you can easily make deposits using Interac Wallet. Tickets are so cheap it’s a practical no-brainer to play.
Registration is super fast, and the site works GREAT on MOBILE. We doubt you will experience any problems, but if you do, their support is very responsive and helpful.
Lottofy has only been in operation since 2020, but we trust by their MGA license that your winnings will be secure.
At LotteryWorld you can bet on more than 25 lotteries, plus play scratch cards and a number of slots.
You will not find any SYNDICATES here.
Many Canadians trust this site and have been playing on it since 2016, and its design is in line with modern standards. This is our subjective view, but we had no problems while playing.
The only objective criticism is that ticket prices are a bit higher than our No. 1 choice, Lottofy. But they are still acceptable.
Although their Curacao license is easier to get than the MGA license, all jackpots are insured with LLOYDS OF LONDON. As the world's leading insurance company, they will pay out your jackpot winnings no matter how high they are.
Jackpot.com is a great name!
The site provides the COMPLETE GAMBLING EXPERIENCE.
Besides world-based lotteries, you can play 7 exclusive lotteries, scratch cards, plus hundreds of slots, and there is even a live casino!
BOOM! Now choose!
You will not find any welcome bonuses here due to Jackpot.com only focusing on loyal customers.
Do you play regularly?
You will get BIGGER BONUSES the more you play. And you will also SAVE MONEY through a subscription.
Although Jackpot.com has only been in operation since 2016, it is definitely a reputable company with all appropriate licenses: UK, Malta, Ireland and Sweden.
These are the three best online lottery sites for players from Canada. If this is not enough for you, check the list of our online lottery sites and choose one for yourself.
Can I Buy Powerball Tickets at Authorized Retailers?
Yes. Anyone can purchase tickets directly from authorized lottery retailers in the United States.
If you plan to cross the border and purchase Powerball tickets in person, remember to remain in the United States until the draw takes place so that you can claim your prize.
An obscure law (CHAPTER 4 §1305, item a.) states that: “all persons are prohibited from importing into the United States from any foreign country, any … lottery ticket or any printed paper that may be used as a lottery ticket, or any advertisement of any lottery.”
This means that it is illegal for Canadians to buy a Powerball ticket in the United States, return to Canada, and then re-enter the United States with their ticket.
As bizarre as it sounds, this has actually happened.
Remember that although buying a lottery ticket in person in the United States is less expensive in terms of price, buying lottery tickets online is MUCH MORE CONVENIENT.
When is the Powerball draw?
Powerball draws take place at 22:59 EST three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The third Monday draw was first introduced on August 23, 2021.
The following table lists the draw times for all time zones in the U.S. and in Canada. Powerball tickets can be bought up to 59 minutes before the draw.
Draw times are the same on each draw day.
|Time Zone||Powerball Draw Time||Ticket Sales Close||City|
|Pacific Standard Time (PST)||19:59||19:00||Vancouver|
|Mountain Standard Time (MST)||20:59||20:00||Calgary, Edmonton|
|Central Standard Time (CST)||21:59||21:00||Winnipeg|
|Eastern Standard Time (EST)||22:59||22:00||Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City|
|Atlantic Standard Time (AST)||23:59||23:00||Halifax|
|Newfoundland Standard Time (NST)
How to play Powerball
When playing Powerball, choose five main numbers between 1 and 69 and one Powerball number between 1 and 26.
The odds of winning a prize are 1 in 24.9. The odds of exclusively hitting the Powerball number are 1 in 38, for a guaranteed prize of US $4.00. There are nine prize levels, as shown in the table above.
Powerball tickets are $2.00 in the United States; however, what you pay for a ticket in Canada will depend on how you choose to play.
Depending on where you play Powerball, there might also be the option to add a Power Play to your ticket for an additional cost. See below.
The Power Play number is randomly selected before each Powerball draw and serves as a prize multiplier.
It applies to most non-jackpot prizes and multiplies prizes by 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10 times their original amount.
The only exception is the jackpot (for which the multiplier never applies), and the prize for exclusively matching the five main numbers (capped at US $2 million, irrespective of the multiplier).
The Power Play multiplier does not apply to prizes won in the Double Play draw.
Double Play is an add-on feature to Powerball. You can add Double Play to your ticket for an additional US $1.00, which enters your Powerball numbers into an additional draw with a top prize of US $10 million.
You play the same set of numbers in both the main Powerball draw and the Double Play draw. Tickets that include the Double Play feature will be eligible to win prizes in both draws.
There are currently 14 participating states: Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Washington. Other states may join in at a later date.
Powerball has a guaranteed minimum jackpot of US $20 million.
The biggest ever winning Powerball jackpot was US $1.586 billion, shared by three lucky winners on January 13, 2016, which is also the biggest lottery jackpot ever won worldwide.
The biggest Powerball jackpot won on a single-ticket was US $768.4 million, on March 27, 2019. Isn’t that crazy?
Powerball winners outside of the U.S.
The Powerball jackpot has never been won by anyone outside the United States.
However, there have been several occasions when non-U.S. citizens and residents have won the second prize for matching the five main numbers.
Among these winners is a Quebec resident who won US $1 million through their five Powerball main numbers in February 2016.
For more information on the biggest lottery winners of all time, see our article Who are the biggest lottery winners of all time.
Powerball Winning Odds and Prizes
The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338, with the overall odds of winning a prize being 1 in 24.87.
The odds of matching the Powerball number are about 1 in 38, for a guaranteed prize of US $4.00.
Although there are 26 Powerball numbers, the chance of exclusively matching the Powerball number is higher than 1 in 26 because many people who hit the Powerball number also possess numbers in the main draw, and therefore win a higher prize.
|Numbers Matched||Prize||Power Play 2X||Power Play 3X||Power Play 4X||Power Play 5X||Power Play 10X|
|5 + Powerball||Grand Prize||Grand Prize||Grand Prize||Grand Prize||Grand Prize||Grand Prize|
|5||$1 Million||$2 Million||$2 Million||$2 Million||$2 Million||$2 Million|
|4 + Powerball||$50,000||$100,000||$150,000||$200,000||$250,000||$500,000|
|3 + Powerball||$100||$200||$300||$400||$500||$1,000|
|2 + Powerball||$7||$14||$21||$28||$35||$70|
|1 + Powerball||$4||$8||$12||$16||$20||$40|
|Prize category||Numbers Matched||Winning Odds||Winning Odds %|
|1||5 + Powerball||1 in 292,201,338||0.0000003|
|2||5||1 in 11,688,054||0.000008|
|3||4 + Powerball||1 in 913,129||0.0001|
|4||4||1 in 36,525||0.002|
|5||3 + Powerball||1 in 14,494||0.006|
|6||3||1 in 580||0.17|
|7||2 + Powerball||1 in 701||0.14|
|8||1 + Powerball||1 in 92||1.08|
|9||Powerball Only||1 in 38||2.63|
Power Play Odds
The Power Play multiplier applies to all non-jackpot prizes, with a limit of $2 million for matching five numbers.
If the Powerball jackpot is less than $150 million, a 10x multiplier is added for the Power Play draw.
Odds when the 10x Multiplier is Available
Powerball jackpot less than $150 million.
|Power Play||Prize Times Power Play||Odds|
|10x||Prize Won x 10||1 in 43|
|5x||Prize Won x 5||1 in 21.5|
|4x||Prize Won x 4||1 in 14.33|
|3x||Prize Won x 3||1 in 3.31|
|2x||Prize Won x 2||1 in 1.79|
Odds when the 10x Multiplier is Not Available
Powerball jackpot more than $150 million.
|Power Play||Prize Times Power Play||Odds|
|5x||Prize Won x 5||1 in 21|
|4x||Prize Won x 4||1 in 14|
|3x||Prize Won x 3||1 in 3.23|
|2x||Prize Won x 2||1 in 1.75|
Jackpot Winners - Annuity vs Cash
By winning the Powerball jackpot, you can choose between taking a cash lump sum or an annuity.
An Annuity means you will receive 30 staggered payments over 29 years, with each annual payment increasing by 5% until the 30th and final payment. The 30 payments add up to the total value of the annuity.
Annual payments can be more advantageous because they include interest payments and your dependents can inherit the payments in the event of your death.
However, the vast majority of Powerball jackpot winners, more than 98%, choose the cash option. Cash is king!
There is a further difference between a cash lump sum and an annuity. In the cash payout, the entire jackpot fund is paid out, whereas the annuity includes both the cash amount and the interest earned by investing the amount over the next 29 years.
How to claim lottery winnings in Canada
Everyone, including Canadians, are obliged to claim their winnings through the state in which they purchased their tickets.
Ticket expiry dates are between 90 days and one year, depending on the state, which is often listed on the back of the ticket.
Winnings from online lottery services will be transferred to your online account as soon as the result of the draw is confirmed.
Check the terms and conditions of your chosen lottery service for any potential delays in the payment of larger winnings due to verification procedures, or for other reasons.
Here is an example of the terms and conditions of an online lottery service: “We will pay your winnings as soon as we receive the corresponding funds from the applicable third party.”
Lottery Tax in Canada
Lottery winnings are not taxed in Canada; however, most Powerball winnings claimed by non-U.S. residents are subject to 30% federal tax.
It is best to check with your applicable lottery service center for taxation procedures. Even if you win the jackpot, they should be able to handle the taxation on your behalf and ensure that you don't have to travel to the US to file paperwork to receive your winnings.
Where can I watch the Powerball live draw in Canada
The Powerball draw in the United States is televised live, but the best way to follow the draw in Canada is online on the official Powerball website.
Frequently Asked Questions about Powerball
Can I Play Powerball from Canada?
Yes, absolutely. Canadians and other non-U.S. citizens are perfectly entitled to play the Powerball lottery.
You do not have to live in the United States and, best of all, you do not have to pay lottery taxes in Canada!
Can I Buy Powerball Tickets Online?
Of course you can.
There are at least two ways to play Powerball online in Canada.
Through a lottery messenger or by betting on lottery sites. Read more about the details in the text above.
How Do I Play Powerball Online?
Simply pick your numbers in the same way as you do with a physical ticket. Then purchase your ticket.
Are there any Rule Differences when I Play Online?
No. The rules are exactly the same as when you buy a physical ticket or play online.
What Time Is The Powerball Draw?
Powerball draws take place at 22:59 EST three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
- 19:59 - Pacific Standard Time (PST)
- 20:59 - Mountain Standard Time (MST)
- 21:59 - Central Standard Time (CST)
- 22:59 - Eastern Standard Time (EST)
- 23:59 - Atlantic Standard Time (AST)
- 00:29 - Newfoundland Standard Time (NST)
What is a Powerball Power Play?
A Power Play is a feature that multiplies non-jackpot prizes by 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10 TIMES!
The multiplier number is randomly selected just before each draw.
You will have to pay an additional US $1.00. This feature does not apply to prizes won in the Double Play draw.
What is a Powerball Double Play?
Double Play is an additional feature that you can add to your ticket for an extra US $1.00.
Your selected numbers are entered into an additional draw with a top prize of US $10 million.
You play the same numbers in the Powerball main draw and in the Double Play draw.
Is The Powerball Jackpot Always Split Between Winners?
Yes. But if you are the only winner, it is all yours! You do not need to share it.
However, multiple people can win the same jackpot at the same time.
Is there a Powerball Maximum Jackpot?
No, the jackpot keeps on growing indefinitely! Soon or later someone will win!
Is there a Powerball Minimum Jackpot?
Yes. The Powerball jackpot starts at US $ 20 Million.
Do I Need to Claim my Winning Jackpot in the USA?
No. When you play online, the operator will automatically calculate your winnings and make the payout for you.
What Happens if I don’t Claim My Prize?
Your winnings will be used to fund educational programs or will be added to future prize pools.
Do I have to Pay a Commission when I Win?
No. When you purchase tickets through a reputable website, no commissions will be charged on your winnings.
What is the Minimum Age for playing Powerball?
You need to be at least 18 years of age to play Powerball.
What are the Odds of Winning Powerball?
The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338.
The odds of winning any prize in general are 1 in 24.87.
Do I need to Pay Taxes if I Win Powerball?
In the United States you have to pay 30% federal tax, but in Canada, no, you do not have to pay any tax!
Can I Buy Tickets for Future Draws?
Yes. Many online lottery services offer a subscription.