Powerball is one of many different games offered by Lotterywest as part of its lottery game play and tonight is the big one.
Played on a Thursday night, the game involves two barrels, A and B.
Thirty five numbers are placed on balls and are placed into barrel A and a further 20 numbered balls are placed into barrel B.
As the draw progresses, seven numbers are randomly drawn from barrel A and then one is drawn from barrel B.
This number from barrel B is known as ‘The Powerball”.
The aim is to not only get all seven numbers matching, but to achieve the matching Powerball. Get this right, and the $150 million is yours. Sounds simple right?
Wrong! One problem, the odds are 1:134,490,400. But fear not, players can be paid out for achieving other combinations, such as five correct numbers, or three and the Powerball, with a smaller share of the total prize pool being available.
As they say, you have to be in it to win it!
For players, it is a mega opportunity to strike it rich, with the first division prize being a whopping $150 million if not shared.
Following last week’s draw of $100 million, the total division prize pool was not won, resulting in this week’s mega jackpot, eclipsing the previous $110 million dollar record set by Saturday Lotto in July of this year.
Subiaco Lotto & News owner Ron Becketts believes tonight’s game is going to smash records.
“Ever since last Friday, we have had a consistent flow of people buying tickets for tonight’s game,” he says.
“Last … Thursday we had a line out the door of people who were wanting to buy tickets, we put on extra staff just to keep up with the flow, and today has so far been no different.”
Final calls for tonight’s game are by 6pm, with Lotterywest predicting 1200 tickets will be sold every minute between 4pm and 5pm.
“The feeling around is that it is going to go off tonight, and we can only hope we sell the winning ticket,” says Mr Becketts.
For most players, the general vibe is winning the grand prize but for Scott Macukat, it is an opportunity to achieve the life he has always dreamed about.
“I want to set myself up,” he says.
“But I also have the opportunity to live the life I have been dreaming of since I was a kid.”
With most admitting to spending the money on luxuries such as dream holidays, cars, property and investments, some admitted otherwise.
“I would definitely help out my close friends and family, and make sure they are set up for life,” says Mr Macukat.
For Joanne Turner and Cindy Pickett, tonight’s game is a chance of early retirement.
“We work as receptionists at a nearby accounting firm, so winning tonight would mean an early $75 million retirement,” says Mrs Turner.
“If I win tonight, work will not be seeing me tomorrow that’s for sure!” says Ms Pickett.
Tickets for tonight can be purchased at any local newsagent, or through the OzLotto app.
The Money Pool
An common misconception is that Lotterywest pockets lots of profits from the proceeds of lottery games. Despite tonight’s game being a nationwide game, money collected in Western Australia usually remains here.
According to Lotterywest, over one third of the money collected for tonight’s game will be reinvested in the form of Lotterywest grants, an initiative mostly benefitting non-for-profits and local government, with the remainder being used for collection and future prize pool efforts.
According to Mr Becketts, a large game like tonight’s is beneficial as it circulates money.
“Games like tonight, with almost one in every three Australians playing, means lot of people are trying their luck and are buying tickets. In most cases people buy the next game up from the usual, to increase their chances,” he says.
“I think it is really unique among the gambling world as there are not any other companies which share their profits with the community like what Lotterywest do.”
With the remaining money being put aside for future game prize pools, Lotterywest claims, says it is ‘committed to conserving the environment and cultural heritage, bringing families and the community together and through supporting volunteer and emergency service organisations through their re-investment back into the community.’
During the last financial year, a total of $985 million was collected from sales of tickets in WA alone, with more than 600 grants being rewarded to both central and rural community groups and non-for-profits.
“I think it’s important and more people should know where the money they spend on Lotto actually ends,” says Mr Becketts.
“Lotto and gambling is a really addictive and major issue within society, but people should feel slightly better knowing some of the money they spend on tickets goes right back into the community.”
For Mr Macukat, his weekly Lotto ticket was just due to habit. Now knowing it has an impact on the community around him has changed his attitude towards supporting Lotto through Lotterywest.
“I feel a little better knowing that some of the ticket I just bought is going back into the local community,” says Mr Macukat.
If you are experiencing issues with gambling, please seek help via the gambling hotline or 1800 858 858.