How to play Powerball in Canada

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Powerball, one of the biggest lottery games in the world, is one of the success stories of our neighbours to the south. It’s made millionaires of hundreds of people and continues to do so every year. Yet Powerball is not just limited to American citizens; Canadians can play it too. As smartphones and the internet break down borders, technology means that everyone can play Powerball online with ease and without leaving the comfort of home.

What is Powerball?

Powerball is one of two major lottery games established in the USA. It started in 1992 although it wasn’t a new game; for four years prior to that, it operated under the name ‘Lotto America’. The old game used one machine to select the balls whereas the new Powerball game uses two, the second being for the titular Powerball. This was the first time that a lottery anywhere in the world used a second machine.

The rebrand along with this extra gimmick helped it to expand and grow in popularity until today where it is playable in 44 of the 50 states. It’s also played in Washington DC and the overseas territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (US). The six states where it is unavailable are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, and Utah. The unique nature of the game also expanded interest outside of the US borders. Although the internet and online gaming was not yet a widespread thing in 1992, Mexicans and Canadians could play the Powerball game by simply driving over the border and buying a ticket in a participating state.

How Much Can Players Win?

The main attraction of Powerball is its immense prizes. Presently, the Powerball organisers advertise a minimum jackpot of $40 million USD which is around $53.7m CAD. This is the minimum jackpot and winnings can be claimed either as a lump sum or by receiving prize payouts in annual installments. It was once 20 annual installments, but in 1997 increased to 25 and in 2008 increased to 30. Jackpot winners are not limited to the annuity option. In 1997 when the first annuity payout term length changed, organisers introduced a cash payout option. Today, most people take the lump sum but there can be certain tax advantages to the annuity, depending on the circumstances of the winner.

There are hundreds of multimillionaires today thanks to Powerball. The largest jackpots of all-time dwarf other nation’s games in comparison:

  • January 2016: $1.586bn USD ($2.13bn CAD) split between three players
  • March 2019: $768.4m USD ($1.03bn CAD) claimed by a single player
  • August 2017: $758.7m USD ($1.01bn CAD) claimed by a single player

As you can see, all these top prizes have become available in the last few years, just a tiny fraction of the history of the game.

How Can Canadians Play this American Game?

The good news is there is no longer a need for Canadians to cross the US border and buy a ticket at a participating store in a relevant state. It is still possible to play this traditional way, but why would you when you can be in with a chance of winning one of the enormous jackpots available through Powerball? Save yourself the fuel, the time and the effort by playing through a site like Lottoland. This internet service provides access to Powerball and other global lotteries to anyone wherever they are in the world. The only proviso is that players cannot access lotteries in their own country.

All you need is an account with the Lottoland site. Winners don’t need to claim a prize as they would when buying a ticket manually, so no need to travel to the lottery HQ for a publicity event. There are no concerns about lost tickets or not realising that you have won when you play with Lottoland. Instead, prize funds are deposited directly into your account to withdraw at any time.

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