How To Win The Record $150 Million Powerball
With one in two Australian adults expected to pick up a ticket for tonight's massive $150 million Powerball, the chances of you taking out any cash at all are next to none.
To be specific, the odds of winning the nine-figure jackpot off a standard 12 game entry are one in 11.2 million -- the same as dying in a plane crash (morbid, but true).
The odds of winning off a single-game entry blow out to a huge one in 134 million and honestly, there is no comparison to that.
It has been nine weeks since we've had a lucky division one Powerball winner, meaning tomorrow night's huge money offer becomes the biggest prize ever offered by an Australian lottery game, eclipsing July's record of $110 million.
While the odds are laughable, the age-old saying "you've gotta be in it to win it" has never been more true.
There is still a chance you could be that one in 11.2 million.
Thousands of lives are changed each year all because a handful of the perfectly numbered balls are plucked from an intense air-filled barrel.
Close to 132 million lotto winners took home a share in $3.2 billion last financial year alone. Of those, 10 people took out the Powerball.
July's record-breaker was shared by three winners -- a family in Victoria, a young man from Adelaide and a Sydney couple.
So how does the lotto work?
Agency The Lott controls the draws across every state and territory in Australia, with the exception of WA, which has its own lottery agency, Lotterywest.
The Lott is privately owned but government regulated.
The money comes from ticket buyers, with part of the ticket price going to the jackpot, while some of the cash going to the 4,000-odd newsagents and other ticket vendors as commission.
"A certain portion of ticket sales go towards the jackpot, as well as a few other bits and pieces," The Lott spokesperson Bronnie Spencer told 10 daily, explaining that they are required to give a certain percentage back players.
It's understood to be roughly 60 percent.
Do I have to pay tax?
Not a cent. Everything you win goes straight into your bank account, no matter how many zeroes are on the check.
That's in direct contrast to places like the U.S. which withhold at least 25 percent of your winnings.
How long do I have to collect my winnings?
Spencer explained that it varies from state to state.
While prizes rarely go unclaimed, there are rules and regulations around how long you have to cough up that winning ticket.
"In Victoria, for example, after six months the money goes to the Victoria State Revenue Office, but there is no time limit on when it can be claimed," Spencer said.
For NSW and the ACT there is a six-year deadline; in Queensland punters have seven years to claim their cash; while the Northern Territory has a three-year limit, after which the money is forfeited.
South Australian winners have a year to claim their money directly after which they will need to make a claim through the Lotteries Commission of South Australia’s Unclaimed Prizes Reserve.
In Tasmania the money can be claimed through the Tasmanian Department of Treasury and Finance if it's more than six months after the draw.
Give it to me straight, how can I win this thing, finally quit my job and travel for life?
When it comes to Powerball, there are different types of entries, some of which have a better track record than others.
"The Sydney woman who currently holds the record for being Australia’s biggest individual lottery winner, after scoring $107 million in January, won division one with this exact entry type," Spencer said.
Basically you can select a QuickPick, which fixes the number of games you can play and generates random numbers, or a Marked entry which lets you choose -- then you can add more like a PowerHit entry that guarantees you the Powerball number -- which you need.
"A quarter of Powerball division one winners this year held PowerHit entries," Spencer said.
The size of the entry is also important, the more games on your ticket, the more chances of winning.
“Interestingly, more than a third of this year’s division one winning entries have been 25-game entries," she said. "It goes to show that you don’t need a big entry, you just need an entry for the chance to win.”
There are also particular numbers that do better than others.
For this particular draw, the 'Hot Numbers' are: 17, 2, 11, 7, 20, 22, 29. The 'Cold Numbers': are: 12, 26, 15, 1, 18, 31, 21.
Crossing your fingers and toes may also make you feel luckier.
Featured image: Getty.