The Australian Powerball lottery is not only one of the most popular lotteries in Australia, but is widely played in US too. When you think of this lottery in jackpot terms it’s also one of the biggest. The US Powerball, the American lottery made headlines all over the world back in January with its $1.6 billion USD jackpot (approx. $2.3 billion AUD).
Both are the lotteries with the same name but which is the best and is there any difference between Australia’s Powerball and US Powerball or any similarities let us find here. The US Powerball is one of the biggest lotteries worldwide, whereas the Australian Powerball is a much smaller lottery and with smaller jackpots this is one basic difference. So first know what these lotteries are.
American Powerball started back in 1992, and it was itself a reinvention of a previous lottery called LottoAmerica. It was the first of its kind, using two drums – a regular number drum plus a second for the Powerball numbers.
This new format would inspire other lotteries worldwide, including rival American lottery Mega Millions, Euro Millions across the Atlantic and, of course, Australian Powerball.
US Powerball has the distinction of having the most record jackpots of any lottery in the world, including the top position which it won, in spectacular style, from MegaMillions in January 2016, when it became the first jackpot to exceed $1 billion US. The jackpot eventually rolled over to coming in at $1.58 billion USD, or more than $2 billion Aussie dollars.
To win the jackpot in US Powerball you need to match 5 from 69 regular numbers and 1 Powerball from 26. This format, unfortunately, makes the odds of hitting the jackpot quite slim if compared to those of our national lotteries: 1 in 292,201,338.
Besides the jackpot, however, there are eight more prize divisions and the chances of winning at least a 9th division prize is 1 in 55. But to have a return of investment you would need to win at least a 7th division prize, which pays a fix amount of $9, and the odds for that are 1:701. The billion-dollar-jackpot from January was a one-time thing but having jackpots that pass the hundred-million dollars mark is more the rule than the exception.
The Australian Powerball, also known to players as Thursday Lotto, held its first draw in May 1996. Since then the lottery has grown in popularity throughout the nation and has been responsible for some of the biggest Australian jackpots of all time. This includes the record jackpot of $80 million AUD won in the official Australian Powerball draw in 2009 and remains the second largest jackpot ever won in Australia.
With minimum guaranteed jackpots of $3 million, Australian Powerball doesn’t even compare to US PowerBall when it comes to jackpots. Being a much smaller lottery, it’s only logic that its jackpots are also smaller if compared with the giant US Powerball. But here you have 4 times more chances of hitting the jackpot in Australian Powerball than in the American version.
The format of the Australian Powerball (6 from 40 plus 1 extra number from 20) offers 1 : 76,767,600 odds of hitting the jackpot, which are quite good when compared to other lotteries.
A single game of US Power costs $5, as opposed to only $0.90 for Thursday Lotto. With its 8 prize divisions, the chances you will have at least a return of investment if you played one simple game is 1 : 100, much better in Thursday Lotto than in US Power: 1 : 701
In terms of jackpots, the Americans win hands down beating Australian Powerball more times. But as far as jackpot odds are concerned, Australia’s Powerball wins, especially if you play for a return of investment.
On January 7, 2016, the Division 1 pool was $70 million, won by a single ticket. The winner was from Queensland.
In Australia Powerball is operated by Tatts Group via its licensed subsidiaries including New South Wales Lotteries in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, Tattersall’s in Victoria and Tasmania, Golden Casket in Queensland, and South Australian Lotteries in South Australia. The Government owned Lottery west operates the lottery in Western Australia.
So now ball is in your hands whether you prefer to play for a more modest jackpot with better chances of winning or do you prefer to play for the chance of becoming a multi-millionaire that is your choice.