How to Buy A Powerball Ticket: Everything You Need To Know

Desmond Rhodes  | 

Lottery tickets are often thought of as a fun novelty item to get people on their birthday, but there are many requirements and specifications to consider when looking to purchase a Powerball ticket.

For a first time buyer, purchasing a lottery ticket can come with many questions. You’ll have to know how old you have to be to buy a lottery ticket, whether or not you can buy them online, and when the cutoff time is to purchase a Powerball ticket. Even an experienced Powerball player will hit some roadblocks if they don’t know the answer to queries such as whether or not it’s possible to buy a lottery ticket with a credit or debit card. Let’s take a further look at some of these questions.

How To Buy Lottery Tickets

Age to Buy Lottery Tickets

There is a reason why you buy lottery tickets, or why lottery tickets are bought for you, on your 18th birthday. In most instances, you must be 18 (or older) to purchase a Powerball ticket. Similar to buying cigarettes or alcohol, you’ll likely be asked to present identification to prove your age. Once you’ve proven that you are at least 18, you can buy your lottery ticket.

Cut-Off Time to Buy Lottery Tickets

Once you have a Powerball ticket, you’ll have to watch for the drawing. Numbers are drawn at different times for different states, so check your local lottery website for their respective time. There will be a deadline for how late you can purchase a Powerball ticket before numbers are drawn. The cutoff for purchasing a lottery ticket is usually 59 minutes before your local drawing time, but may be earlier depending on your state.

Where to Buy Powerball Tickets

Lottery tickets can be purchased at most of the same establishments that sell cigarettes and/or alcohol. Most lottery retailers will carry and sell Powerball tickets in grocery, convenience, and liquor stores. The chances are pretty decent that you’ll be able to purchase a lottery ticket wherever you find yourself, as they are sold in 44 states. However, it’s always a good idea to check your local lottery website for more details.

Can You Buy Powerball Tickets Online

Buying a Powerball ticket online is a tricky subject. Yes, you can buy a lotto ticket online, but only in your state’s jurisdiction, and only if your state allows online sales. Sales are restricted, and winnings may not be rewarded if you reside out of the jurisdiction of where the ticket was purchased. There are sites where you can purchase a ticket from online vendors in which you can send them money; they’ll buy the ticket for you, and send you the winnings (if there are any).

There is a noticeable flaw in this plan in that the site may not be creditable, and won’t send you your winnings. As with any online shopping, there is always the risk of credit card fraud. Furthermore, you’ll need to check with your state lottery website to see if buying an online lottery ticket is even an option. In the event you live in a state that does not sell lottery tickets and wish to buy out of state tickets, keep in mind that Powerball prohibits the sales of out of state tickets, as well as any site selling Powerball tickets other than their own, and you may not receive any prize money.

Can You Buy A Lottery Ticket with a Debit Card

It is mostly up to your state to distinguish how lottery tickets can be paid for, and with 44 states participating in the lottery, there are many options. Most states only will only take cash when purchasing a Powerball ticket, but it’s important to note that there are also states that allow you to buy a lottery ticket with a debit card. Being a state-regulated decision, it’s best to check with your state lottery website to determine whether or not you can buy a lottery ticket with a debit card.

Can You Buy Powerball Tickets with a Credit Card

In a word — yes. It is possible to buy a Powerball ticket with a credit card. Taking in the same considerations of buying a lottery ticket as you would with a debit card, only 17 out of the 44 states that participate in Powerball drawings allow for you to use a credit card to purchase a ticket. So given the (unlikely) perfect storm in which your state and local retailer allow you to buy a Powerball ticket with a credit card, it can be done.

When it comes to rules and regulations, buying lottery tickets is a fickle situation. In any given state, the requirements for buying a Powerball ticket can be drastically different. When in doubt, you can always refer back to your state’s lottery website to make sure you are in the right and will be rewarded the correct amount of prize money on your winning Powerball ticket.


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Desmond Rhodes is a writer out of the Northwest. A philosopher, gamer, and enjoys his Hunter S. Thompson.

This post was updated January 17, 2018. It was originally published January 22, 2018.