Since early August, Powerball players have watched 40 drawings go by without a jackpot winner. With no big winner, the Powerball jackpot has reached a record-breaking $1.9 billion ahead of Monday night’s drawing.
Ready to try your lucky numbers for the drawing? Do your numbers stand a chance, though?
There are some numbers that are drawn more frequently than others in Powerball. The five most frequently drawn numbers of all time are 32, 39, 22, 41, 36, and 16, according to the Powerball statistics tracking website Powerball.net. Among the red Powerball numbers, these five have been drawn most frequently: 18, 24, 6, 20, and 26.
Since 2015, when the main pool of white balls grew from 59 to 69 and the Powerball pool went from 35 to 26, the five numbers pulled most often have changed slightly. Among the main numbers, 61, 32, 21, 63, and 69 have been drawn most often. For the Powerball numbers, 24, 18, 4, 13, and 21 have been drawn most frequently.
More recently, a different set of numbers have been drawn more often. Reviewing the Powerball drawings since August 6, when the current jackpot started building, here are the five most frequently drawn main numbers we’ve seen: 19, 36, 6, 24, and 22. Numbers 19 and 36 have each been drawn seven times over the last 40 drawings, and 6 and 24 have each been selected six times.
Over the same timeframe, the most frequent Powerball numbers have been 25, 20, 7, 6, and 5.
Despite 40 drawings since the last Powerball jackpot was hit, there are some numbers that haven’t been drawn at all. For the main numbers, only 1 hasn’t been drawn since early August, and for the Powerball numbers, it’s 8, 17, and 21. These numbers, according to Powerball.net, are the “most overdue numbers.”
Will selecting any combinations of these numbers really increase your chances of winning the Powerball jackpot? Likely not.
All combinations have the same chance of winning, according to Rong Chen, Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Statistics in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. That means the exact combination of numbers pulled on Saturday has the same chance of being drawn again on Monday.
You can, however, select a combination of numbers that others will be less likely to choose. Chen suggests numbers larger than 31 (to avoid matching with anyone playing their birthday) or those found on the edges or corners of the ticket form. These strategies can help you avoid sharing a prize, Chen explains in this Rutgers blog post, but your chances of winning will still be the same.
You can always increase your chances by simply buying more tickets. As Springfield College Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Andrew Perry explained to Nexstar’s WWLP, buying 100 tickets would cut your odds to about 1 in 2.92 million instead of 1 in 292.2 million.
Regardless of your odds (which are the same as everyone else’s), it’s important to play responsibly.
The Powerball jackpot has reached an estimated $1.9 billion ahead of Monday’s drawing, with a cash value of $929.1 million.
Powerball, played in 45 states and Washington, D.C., holds drawings every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 10:59 p.m. ET.