How many Powerball entries are sold
Each Thursday at 8:30pm AEST (9:30pm AEDT), many Australians excitedly watch the Powerball draw. With Jackpots in the millions, guessing the right combination could be truely life changing.
Not all draws are made equal however. The Jackpot kicks off at $3M and rolls over if not claimed. The more this happens, the bigger the Jackpot gets and the more tickets are sold. Just how many you ask? Let's find out!
Let's preface by stating that the amount of tickets or entries sold is not published. We know the odds and how many winners each division has however, and can use this to get a pretty accurate idea. For example, let's look at the result for draw 1341 from Thursday, 27 January 2022.
|7 Numbers + Powerball||$20,000,000||1 in 134,490,400||0|
|7 Numbers||$392,680.55||1 in 7,078,443||1|
|6 Numbers + Powerball||$5,453.90||1 in 686,176||44|
|6 Numbers||$559.35||1 in 36,115||780|
|5 Numbers + Powerball||$169.20||1 in 16,943||1,934|
|5 Numbers||$74.70||1 in 1,173||28,326|
|4 Numbers + Powerball||$43.40||1 in 892||38,214|
|3 Numbers + Powerball||$18.40||1 in 188||177,708|
|2 Numbers + Powerball||$11.10||1 in 66||516,309|
To estimate the amount of entries sold, we multiply the odds of the lowest division with the winners (66 and 516,309), which gives us 34,076,394 estimated tickets sold!
How much the Powerball Jackpot size affects tickets sold
To keep things relevant, we'll only use Powerball draws from 2018 and onwards. We get the following table by running the calculation explained above over all these draws and averaging them by Jackpot size.
|Jackpot||Average entries sold||Average money spent||Sample size|
The sample size simply means how often there was a given Jackpot size. Money spent is calculated with entry prices of $1.21.
We can see that the amount of tickets sold pretty consistently increases with the Jackpot size. The basic $3M Jackpots average 16.64M entries sold. By the time the jackpot reaches $20M, over twice as many tickets are purchased with an average of 36.08M tickets sold. Once the Jackpot reaches $80M, more than 100M entries are purchased.
One interesting thing to note is that once the Jackpot crosses $100M, the odds of winning the first division (1 in 134,490,400) are lower than the amount of entries purchased. We can conclude that it is somewhat unlikely for the Jackpot to keep growing after hitting that threshold, and explains why it happens so rarely.
With the largest Jackpot in the history of the Australian Powerball at $150M, draw 1218 from Thursday, 19 September 2019 sold an estimated 207.33M entries.
The record for most tickets sold is held by draw 1345 which took place on Thursday, 24 February 2022. The $127M Jackpot sold 248.54M entries, which adds up to just over $300M spent on Powerball tickets!