Tatts Group Limited
This is the largest of the two national lotteries operated in Australia.
As with Ozlotto, you can play Australian Powerball from outside of Australia via authorised licensees. Resellers do though charge a margin on top of the normal price per line.
How it Works
Date and time of draws
Draws are held once per week on Thursday at 9.30pm AEST.
No. of balls and how to hit the jackpot
There are two barrels of balls when you play Australian Powerball, one containing 35main balls and the bonus barrel containing 20 balls. Players choose 7 and 1 from the two barrels and they need 7 plus 1 to hit the jackpot.
There is an interesting variation on this game where you can have a guaranteed 'Powerhit', i.e. only need to choose the main balls not the bonus ball (which costs 20x the price (i.e. the value of choosing the same line with each of the extra 20 balls).
Price, Tickets & Sales
Tickets cost 1.2 on Tatts per line (in April 2018 this was changed - was previously 0.925c per line which was 0.85 plus tatts commission). Note that there is a 4 line minimum purchase on Powerball ($4.80 for four lines). This makes it around £2.50 per set of 4 tickets (similar to the price of one ticket on the UK's Lotto.
Tickets Sold Per Draw
The Australian Powerball is in the top 5 lotteries in terms of numbers of tickets sold per draw. Granted, the draw only takes place once a week and it's relatively cheap to buy one line but they do sell around 24m tickets per draw. When the jackpot gets interesting, which happens quite often, ticket sales rise quite quickly to 50m per draw and can reach 100m tickets when jackpots get above $60m.
Sales per draw
Together with its sister lottery, the Ozlotto, tickets per capita are the highest in Australia and Powerball sells more per head than all others. The Powerball has a minimum purchase requirement of 4 tickets per purchase so this makes sense. But even looking at sales per capita, Australians are some of the keenest lottery players around. Sales of lottery tickets in value per capita of population are second only to the Canadians.
Odds of hitting the jackpot
There are nine prize tiers on the Powerball. See prize table below.
The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot increased from ie 1 in 77m to 1 in 134m, which are long odds for a national lottery. Note though min 4 ticket purchase...
Balls and Bonus Balls
7 and 1
7 and 0
6 and 1
6 and 0
5 and 1
5 and 0
4 and 1
3 and 1
2 and 1
*Average jackpot size when it is hit
Odds of winning any prize
The chances of getting at least something back for your single ticket purchase when you play Australian Powerball is the lowest of all lotteries we have looked at, with odds of 1 in 44. As players need to buy a minimum of four lines, though, these relatively long odds of hitting even the minimum prize level are not 'felt' by players as such, since they will be getting some sort of return 1 in 11 times from their 4 tickets. The lowest prize tier is a very respectable 10x your stake (or 2x your minimum purchase of the 4 lines).
Jackpots are seeded with $3m and grow pretty fast each week.
If you're playing this one on subscription, the average jackpot you will see each week is around $21m.
Average jackpot when hit
When it's hit, the average jackpot will be worth around $38m.
Highest jackpot ever
Before the odds and prize changes in 2018, the biggest jackpot previously had been $80m (2009). A new high of $100m was hit in August 2018 and given the longer odds, this size of jackpot will be more frequent in future.
Jackpot winners per year
There will be around 11 jackpot winners per year on the Powerball (probably spread across 9 jackpots or so).
Contribution to the jackpot
Similar to its sister lottery the ozlotto, the contribution towards the jackpot prize from stakes is a good 22% but can be more depending on the frequency that jackpots are hit (and whether the minimum seed amounts are won).
Return to Player
Tatts state that 60% of sales go back to players in the form of prizes. 5% of this 60% is held in reserve for the seeding of minimum jackpots.
RTP when first seeded
When first seeded the RTP for a player is around 0.36.
If you play each week when jackpots are around $20m, then your RTP will be around 47%.
RTP when jackpot typically hit
If you prefer playing when the jackpot reaches its 'hot' level of when it is typically won ($38m) then your RTP is much better at 0.58.
If you're looking to play the Australian Powerball when the size of jackpot makes the whole lottery 'punt' good value, then your RTP can reach positive value with a jackpot of just over $100m. (It has been $100m quite recently). Because of the popularity of the game at these levels though, you'll need to discount your value quite heavily for the prospects of sharing with someone else so you'll probably only find some true value if it gets beyond $300m.
Payouts and Taxes
Annuity vs Cash
Jackpots are paid out in cash.
There are also no taxes applicable to prizes in Australia.
Like its counterpart the Ozlotto, the Australian Powerball is a big lottery and one where the jackpots get quite meaty quite fast. As ticket sales grow exponentially when the jackpot gets interesting you will probably find yourself sharing the big jackpots but nonetheless, this is a lottery to have on your 'jackpot alerts'. Not as much positive value as it used to have on multiple rollovers but set the dial to $100m and keep a watchful eye.
Inexpensive per line and good sized jackpots. Jackpot contributions from sales and high sales volume makes this one interesting several times a year. RTPs can be quite generous.
Minimum 4 lines purchase makes it more expensive than many and frequency of win not great per line (just about ok for the four lines).
Not convinced that the 2018 changes makes this lottery better. Jackpots bigger and more frequent yes and frequency of win has also improved (at the lower tiers) but the return to player is not nearly as good. Tickets are now 30% more expensive and real value is harder to find. Still one to look at when the jackpot exceeds $100m. Check out our lottery agents here.