what happens if no one claims powerball jackpot

What Happens When You Win Powerball?

If you win the Powerball jackpot there are a number of important steps to follow. You will be guided through the process by lottery officials, but the first thing you need to do is claim your prize and have your ticket validated. You may be required to attend a press conference and will have to decide whether to accept your money as an annuity or a one-off cash payment. Read here all about what happens when you win Powerball.

How Long To Claim?

If you win a Powerball jackpot, it is important to know the length of time you have to claim a prize. This varies from state to state, ranging from 90 days in New Mexico to a year in several states. Visit the How to Claim page to view a full list of the participating jurisdictions and the claim period for each one. Any Powerball prize must be claimed in the state in which you bought your ticket.

Who Should You Tell?

Make sure to keep your ticket safe and sign the back of it until you are ready to come forward. You may wish to see an attorney or financial advisor first, and you should then contact the relevant state lottery and inform them that you have a winning ticket. The officials will ask you a series of simple questions about your ticket and check the information you provide against their own records, before setting up a meeting to validate the ticket.

This meeting will be arranged at a suitable time, and you will be asked to provide identification as well as your winning ticket. The lottery officials will complete the relevant paperwork and you will be able to ask for expert advice.

It is your prerogative to tell whoever you want about your win, and winners have taken very different approaches in the past. Tennessee couple John and Lisa Robinson, who won one third of the record $1.58 billion Powerball jackpot in January 2016, went on the Today show before verifying their ticket with lottery officials. Marvin and Mae Acosta from California, winners in the same draw, didn’t come forward to claim their prize until six months later, after they had consulted a professional financial advisor to plan what they would do with their newfound wealth.

Receive Your Money

Before the money can be transferred to your account, you need to decide how you would like to be paid. Powerball winners can decide whether to accept the full amount in annual instalments over 30 years or accept a one-off lump sum. Take a look at the Cash Vs Annuity page to find out more. If you win the Powerball jackpot, you have to pay tax regardless of which option you choose.

Players should be aware that there is an immediate federal tax withholding of 24 percent for any winnings over $5,000, and the top federal graduated tax rate is 37 percent. You can check out the Powerball Taxes page for more information.

To Go Public or Not?

There are a growing number of states in which you are allowed to remain anonymous when you win the lottery – Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming all allow winners to shield their identities. In some of these states there are conditions, where you must have won a certain amount to be able to stay private. Winners in Puerto Rico can also remain anonymous.

In other states, it is a condition of playing that the identity of winners is revealed, and it is customary for a press conference to be held. However, you are not required to speak at the press conference and some winners prefer to alter their appearance so they are not so easily recognized. Only your name and place of residence (your town or city) will be made public; all other personal information will not be disclosed.

A number of states also allow winners to claim their money through a trust fund or limited liability company, where a ‘lottery lawyer’ would come forward on your behalf, thus maintaining your anonymity. Of course, some winners embrace the publicity as it can help with business opportunities or charitable causes, and can take away the stress of having to live with such a big secret.

Live the Dream

Once the news has sunk in, you have received your money and considered the issue of publicity, you can start to enjoy your winnings. You should consult a financial expert for advice but it is up to you how to use your money, now that you are richer than some celebrities. The minimum Powerball jackpot is $20 million ( * During the Coronavirus pandemic, the starting jackpot may be lower than this), the same amount that BeyoncГ© once reportedly spent on a private jet for Jay-Z, so you could buy something similarly extravagant, move into the house of your dreams or travel the world in style, all while providing financial security for life for you and your loves ones.

Find out what steps to take if you win the Powerball jackpot, including how to claim your winnings, should you go public or not, and the different options for claiming a jackpot.

No One Wins the Powerball or Megamillions, Now What? Lottery Rollovers Explained

Everybody knows what happens if someone wins a lotto jackpot, but what happens if there are no winners? Do you know? Surprisingly, not many people do. Heck, not many people actually care! They simply move on and try their luck at another draw.

But if you play the lottery frequently, it helps to know the ins and outs of the game. Does the next draw’s lottery jackpot increase or stay the same? Do your odds improve or not? Read on to find out all about how this works.


Mega Millions

What Happens If No One Wins the Powerball or Megamillions?

When no one gets the top-tier prize in a lottery draw, funds from that jackpot are added to the jackpot of the next game.

This is called a rollover. Now you may be thinking of US Powerball because from time to time you’ve seen in the news that no one’s won the jackpot. But this happens more often than you think! As of this writing, both US Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries are actually on the same boat. That is, both lottery games experienced a rollover.

What does this mean? Why is this information important for Powerball and Mega Millions players? We’ll talk more about rollovers below, but simply put: With every rollover, the jackpot gets bigger, but the odds stay the same.

Let’s look at what happens to both the jackpot and the odds with each rollover.

How Big Will the Next Jackpot Be If No One Wins the Powerball or Megamillions?

The US Powerball jackpot amount will continue to grow with each draw without a winning ticket.

Unlike other lotteries, the US Powerball does not have a rollover limit or a jackpot cap. (We discuss limits and caps in more detail below.) As long as no one wins the jackpot, the prize money will keep on getting bigger! This makes the US Powerball very attractive to both loyal players and to first-timers.

The media hype surrounding rollovers gets to be so inescapable that people will stand in line for hours to just to buy tickets before the cutoff time.

When No One Wins the Powerball or Megamillions, Do the Odds Really Stay the Same?

The odds generally stay the same because the game doesn’t change when it experiences a rollover—only the prizes do.

It’s all about mathematically calculated probabilities. According to the US Powerball website, the odds of winning any Powerball prize are about 1 in 25. The odds of hitting the jackpot, though, are significantly higher at about 1 in 292 million.

So why is it a usually good idea to play the lottery and buy more tickets the bigger the jackpot gets? While the odds don’t change, the “expected return” does. You might be thinking: What does “expected return” even mean?

Let’s set the scene here: Imagine you paid $2 for a US Powerball ticket and then became the sole winner of the minimum guaranteed jackpot of $40 million. This means that you spent $2 and got $40 million in return. Now, imagine you paid $2 for a US Powerball ticket and became the sole winner of a rollover jackpot much bigger than $40 million. Obviously this would mean that the money “returned” to you would be a larger amount.

The scenario is ideal, of course. Not very realistic, though! The odds do stay the same, but what we’re leaving out here is the reality that lottery games generate a lot of publicity with each rollover. What does this extra attention mean for lottery players?

If you’ve been wondering why we said that the odds “generally” stay the same, this is why! The bigger the jackpot gets, the more people want to win it. More first-timers and casual players will be attracted, and the player pool will become larger. This results in more lottery tickets sold, and an increasing chance that the jackpot will get split multiple ways.

Worst case scenario: The jackpot gets split so many ways that each winner gets below the minimum guaranteed amount before rollover. Of course, the chances of this happening are probably infinitesimal.

In plain English: It’s probably not going to happen! If you do win a rollover jackpot, you will likely get more than the minimum guaranteed amount—even if you split it a few ways.

We’ll never know for sure, because while we know the odds of winning the US Powerball, we don’t know how many lottery tickets are sold for each draw.

Ever wondered what happens if no one wins a lotto jackpot? Find out here! Let’s talk about lottery rollovers: what they are, what they’re for, and more.