DES MOINES, Iowa — A huge Powerball jackpot is nearing $2 billion, and you may be wondering if some numbers are "luckier" than others.
The short answer: All combinations have the same tiny chance at winning. To win the jackpot, you need to beat the whopping 1 in 292.2 million odds by matching the numbers on the five white balls and the red Powerball.
Players often wonder if there's a strategy to it. Some numbers have been drawn a bit more often than others, but your chances remain the same for any combination.
Are some numbers luckier?
Statistics professor Rong Chen said in a Q&A article from Rutgers University that any combination has the same odds. Being selected in the past doesn't mean a combination is more or less likely to win: "Those numbers have the same chance of winning as any other number today."
Chen said combinations that other players are less likely to pick, like strong patterns or numbers that are too high to be a birthdate, might reduce your chances of having to share the jackpot. That doesn't make you any more likely to actually win, though.
Just for fun, we wanted to take a look at the "luckiest" numbers in Powerball's recent history. These totals are from the last seven years — from Oct. 7, 2015 to Saturday's drawing — according to lottery statistics site lottonumbers.com.
Most common main numbers
Here are the 10 most common numbers to be drawn on the five white balls for the past seven years.
- 61: Drawn 78 times
- 32: Drawn 77 times
- 63: Drawn 73 times
- 21: Drawn 73 times
- 69: Drawn 72 times
- 36: Drawn 70 times
- 23: Drawn 70 times
- 39: Drawn 69 times
- 62: Drawn 69 times
- 59: Drawn 68 times
Most common Powerball numbers
Here are the 10 most common numbers for the red Powerball in the last seven years.
- 24: Drawn 45 times.
- 18: Drawn 42 times
- 4: Drawn 36 times
- 13: Drawn 34 times
- 21: Drawn 34 times
- 10: Drawn 33 times
- 6: Drawn 33 times
- 26: Drawn 33 times
- 19: Drawn 32 times
- 3: Drawn 32 times
The 'loneliest' numbers
Two numbers are tied as the least-drawn main numbers for the last seven years: 34 and 26, both drawn 44 times.
As for the red Powerball, only one number holds the least-drawn spot: 23, drawn just 22 times in the past seven years. But could things be looking up for #23? It was last drawn Wednesday.
We make a great pair!
Since two is better than one, we'll look at Powerball's most common pairs for main numbers in the last seven years.
- 32 and 58: Drawn 12 times
- 8 and 27: Drawn 11 times
- 7 and 15: Drawn 11 times
How do you win Powerball?
While the odds of taking home the jackpot are extremely small, Powerball says you have a 1 in 24.87 chance of winning a prize. There are nine ways to win at least a little cash.
Top 10 biggest US lottery jackpots
- $1.9 billion (estimated) Powerball, Nov. 5, 2022
- $1.586 billion, Powerball, Jan. 13, 2016 (three tickets, from California, Florida, Tennessee)
- $1.537 billion, Mega Millions, Oct. 23, 2018 (one ticket, from South Carolina)
- $1.337 billion, Mega Millions, July 29, 2022 (one ticket, from Illinois)
- $1.05 billion, Mega Millions, Jan. 22, 2021 (one ticket, from Michigan)
- $768.4 million, Powerball, March 27, 2019 (one ticket, from Wisconsin)
- $758.7 million, Powerball, Aug. 23, 2017 (one ticket, from Massachusetts)
- $731.1 million, Powerball, Jan. 20, 2021 (one ticket, from Maryland)
- $687.8 million, Powerball, Oct. 27, 2018 (two tickets, from Iowa and New York)
- $656 million, Mega Millions, March 30, 2012 (three tickets, from Kansas, Illinois and Maryland)