22 November 2016

It's Aussies Vs. Yankies!

US Powerball vs. Australian Powerball - Which Is Best?

US Powerball vs. Australian Powerball - Which Is Best?

The Australian Powerball draw is not only one of the most popular lotteries in Australia, in jackpot terms it's also one of the biggest. But perhaps you have also heard of another lottery, with the exact same name, also famous for its gigantic jackpots. It’s the US Powerball, the American lottery that made headlines all over the world back in January with its $1.6 billion USD jackpot (approx. $2.3 billion AUD).

But what’s the difference between Australia’s Powerball and US Powerball? What do they have in common other than the name? And the million-dollar-question: which one is the best lottery?

US Powerball vs. Australian Powerball - Which Is Best?

The US Powerball is one of the biggest lotteries worldwide, so it’s not a surprise for anyone that the Australian Powerball is a much smaller lottery and with smaller jackpots.

But since lottery players shall not live by jackpots alone, we put both lotteries head to head in this article and reveal which one is the best lottery: the popular Australian Powerball draw we all know and love, and its bigger, louder American cousin.

US Powerball

American Powerball started back in 1992, and it was itself a reinvention of a previous lottery called Lotto*America. It was the first of its kind, using two drums – a regular number drum plus a second for the Powerball numbers.

This new format would inspire other lotteries worldwide, including rival American lottery MegaMillionsEuroMillions across the Atlantic and, of course, Australian Powerball here.

US Powerball has the distinction of having the most record jackpots of any lottery in the world, including the top position which it won, in spectacular style, from MegaMillions in January 2016, when it became the first jackpot to exceed $1 billion US. The jackpot eventually rolled over to coming in at $1.58 billion USD, or more than $2 billion Aussie dollars! 

To win the jackpot in US Powerball you need to match 5 from 69 regular numbers and 1 Powerball from 26. This format, unfortunately, makes the odds of hitting the jackpot quite slim if compared to those of our national lotteries: 1 in 292,201,338.

Besides the jackpot, however, there are eight more prize divisions and the chances of winning at least a 9th division prize is 1 in 55. But to have a return of investment you would need to win at least a 7th division prize, which pays a fix amount of $9, and the odds for that are 1:701. Ok, ok, not the most inspiring odds but the allure of those enormous jackpots is hard to resist.

The billion-dollar-jackpot from January was a one-time thing (so far!), but having jackpots that pass the hundred-million dollars mark is more the rule than the exception. 

See it for yourself! In the below graphic we show the jackpot evolution curve of the past 12 months:

US Powerball vs. Australian Powerball - Which Is Best?


Australian Powerball

The Australian Powerball, also known to Lottoland players as Thursday Lotto, held its first draw in May 1996. Since then the lottery has grown in popularity throughout the nation and has been responsible for some of the biggest Australian jackpots of all time. This includes the record jackpot of $80 million AUD won in the official Australian Powerball draw in 2009 – and remains the second largest jackpot ever won in Australia.

With minimum guaranteed jackpots of $3 million, Australian Powerball doesn’t even compare to US PowerBall when it comes to jackpots. See below the jackpot oscillation curve of the Australian Powerball, for the last 12 months:

US Powerball vs. Australian Powerball - Which Is Best?


Being a much smaller lottery, it’s only logic that its jackpots are also smaller if compared with the giant US Powerball. However, if you are considering giving up playing your favorite lotto of Thursday evening, think again: you have 4 times more chances of hitting the jackpot in Australian Powerball than in the American version!

The format of the Australian Powerball (6 from 40 plus 1 extra number from 20) offers 1 : 76,767,600 odds of hitting the jackpot, which are quite good when compared to other lotteries.

Not to mention the odds of having a return of investment! A single game of US Power costs $5, as opposed to only $0.90 for Thursday Lotto at Lottoland. With its 8 prize divisions, the chances you will have at least a return of investment if you played one simple game is 1 : 100, much better in Thursday Lotto than in US Power: 1 : 701!

In a Nutshell:

US Powerball vs. Australian Powerball - Which Is Best?


It’s tough to cheer against the home team, but in terms of jackpots, the Americans win hands down beating Australian Powerball many, many times over. Let's face it, there are millions of more players in America and US Powerball is Uncle Sam’s favourite interstate lottery for a long time.

But as far as jackpot odds are concerned, Australia’s Powerball wins, especially if you play for a return of investment.

So, what it boils down to is a simple question – do you prefer to play for a more modest jackpot with better chances of winning? Or do you prefer to play for the chance of becoming a multi-millionaire – or even a BILLIONNAIRE?

When in doubt, just go ahead and try your luck in both! Place your bet today in Australian’s dearest Thursday Lotto and America’s giant US Power – only at Lottoland!