The 6 States Where You Can’t Play Powerball
Many Americans have to jump the border to play for the $1.5 billion.
Powerball Frenzy Builds as Jackpot Soars to $1.4 Billion
— With tonight’s Powerball drawing set at a staggering $1.5 billion, jackpot junkies eagerly await the announcement for the winning numbers to see whether they beat the odds.
Forty-four states across the country participate in the multi-state lottery, with Wyoming being the most recent addition to the Powerball game in 2014.
But residents of Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah will have to head out of state to buy a ticket for the chance to cash in on the winning numbers of the largest Powerball jackpot of all time. Not only do these six states not participate in the lottery game, they don’t even have state lotteries of their own.
While states like Utah and Hawaii outlaw all gambling of all kinds — be it charitable, commercial, at a racetrack, or on an Indian reservation casino — others just require residents to cross state lines to get their drawings fixes or play at state-approved casinos such as those in Nevada and Mississippi.
Nevada State Gaming Control Board chairman A.G. Burnett told ABC News in 2013 that Nevada doesn’t have a lottery because of a decision in the state legislature made over 50 years ago.
“There was a decision in the state of Nevada as to whether we’d be just a casino-style gaming state or a state that allowed lotteries,” he said. “The legislature put that language in years ago that said, we’re just going to be a casino gaming state without a lottery.”
As a result, the state bans lotteries with the exception of charitable drawings held by schools, local elks’ clubs or boy scouts. Even then, these raffles need to be approved by the gaming control board, said Burnett, who signs off on five to 10 of those requests a month.
Burnett said every few years, there’s a proposal to instate a commercial lottery in Nevada, but the rumblings usually die down.
“I think it’s the gaming industry that doesn’t want to have a lottery,” he said. “That’s pretty much the prevailing view even today.”
In the Bible Belt, Alabama state Rep. Mack Butler this week told ABC affiliate station WBMA-TV in Birmingham that residents should be able to vote on a state lottery.
“People are going to our border states and those dollars are leaving, so if we could keep those dollars here it will be beneficial to the people of Alabama,” he said, adding that the topic will be front and center this legislative session.
Meanwhile, in Mississippi, where the gaming industries in cities like Gulfport and Biloxi have grown sizably, instating a lottery has been off the table.
“Every year we do have lottery bills that are filed, but typically it doesn’t even make it out of the gaming committee,” Rob Vickery, staff officer at the executive division of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, told ABC News in 2013. “I think that casino operators like the current situation because they’re the only game in town and the more conservative legislators don’t really want to go on the record as voting for gaming.
“You have this kind of unholy alliance that the gaming industry and the anti-gaming people would come together and be against the expansion of gaming, which would include lotteries,” he said.
But Mississippi also offers charitable gaming to its residents, boasting dozens of bingo parlors throughout the state, Vickery said.
Jon Griffin, a senior policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures, said that while there’s ample funding for casino studies, there hasn’t been much empirical research on the economic impact on states that did not participate in lotteries.
“I’ve never conducted any research as to why these states aren’t participating in lotteries,” he told ABC News in 2013. “With so many states having lotteries compared to states that have casino gaming, most people don’t think much about state lotteries.”
In Utah, where the state constitution bans all forms of gambling, residents have flooded gas stations in recent days to buy tickets along the border with Wyoming and Idaho. And because most legislators are Mormons who oppose gambling, according to the AP, a change in the constitution is unlikely.
Alaska residents can only try their luck in similar charitable gaming options, including bingo, pull tabs, dog mushers’ contests and raffles. But in terms of getting involved with the lottery, there’s no draw for locals.
“Alaska has been more concerned that a lottery wouldn’t pay off in such a sparsely populated state,” The Associated Press reported Tuesday.
It’s the same story in Hawaii, where lawmakers have proposed lottery measures, the AP said, but the idea always fails.
And the state penal code is explicit: “Under prior law it was a misdemeanor to set up or assist in any type of lottery scheme, to sell or buy a ticket or chance in a lottery scheme.”
The 6 States Where You Can’t Play Powerball Many Americans have to jump the border to play for the $1.5 billion. Powerball Frenzy Builds as Jackpot Soars to $1.4 Billion — With tonight’s
Buying Powerball Tickets Online
You can buy Powerball tickets in stores from most states in America, but residents of Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah do not have a state lottery of their own to enjoy. Players in non-participating states previously had little option but to travel outside their borders if they wanted to take part in the game, but it is now possible to play Powerball online.
How to Play
Concierge services such as WinTrillions allow you to buy online lottery tickets from anywhere in the USA. Click the Powerball banner below to get started and follow the 4 simple steps to receive your tickets in no time!
- 1. Decide how many lines to play – You can select up to 19 lines of numbers to enter into the Powerball draw.
- 2. Select your numbers – Choose your own lucky numbers, or allow the QuickPick option to make a random selection for you.
- 3. Subscribe to your chosen number of draws – WinTrillions allows users to buy tickets for up to 12 months worth of Powerball draws at a time, meaning that you never have to worry about missing a big jackpot.
- 4. Confirm your selection – Once you are happy with your choices, create your online player account and purchase your tickets.
A lottery agent based in a participating state will then buy the official tickets from an authorised retailer and you will be sent a scanned copy as proof of purchase. Your numbers will be securely stored in your account until the Powerball draw.
The payment system is fully encrypted and refunds are guaranteed if your expectations aren’t met.
All of your tickets are scanned securely into your online account.
Your winnings will also be automatically paid into your account.
How to Claim
You will be automatically notified of any prize win on Powerball and in most cases the money will be transferred directly to your online account. From there, you can use your winnings to purchase tickets for future draws, or withdraw it into your bnak account. For a larger amount such as the jackpot, arrangements may need to be made for you to collect the prize in person, but officials from the lottery concierge service will be able to guide you through the process.
Is it Legal?
Yes. Online services such as WinTrillions provide a messenger business rather than a gambling business, buying official tickets on the behalf of players.
Online services do not charge commission so you can win all the same prizes as anyone who buys a Powerball ticket from a retailer, but you still have to pay taxes like everyone else. All big prizes are subject to federal tax of 25%, and there is then a state withholding depending on where the ticket is purchased. Each state has a different tax rate, and some cities also apply their own separate rules.
For details of the exact rates charged in each state, visit the Taxes page.
Benefits of Playing Online
If you play online, it takes away the need to go and find a store and wait in line for a ticket. You cannot lose your ticket as you are sent a scanned copy as proof that you have played, and you will be paid any prize money straight away. Find out more about previous winners who have used concierge services and the benefits they have enjoyed by playing online.
Why do some states not sell Powerball tickets?
Legislators in Utah and Hawaii have always been opposed to gambling of any kind. Whereas Nevada has state-approved casinos which have left their respective gaming boards reluctant to introduce lotteries. Alaska is so sparsely populated that there has never been a huge demand for a lottery, but it has been a big issue in Alabama as so many residents cross state lines to spend money on tickets elsewhere that politicians regularly debate the merits of bringing in a lottery.
You can also take part in international lottery games from outside the USA, using similar online services to choose numbers online and try to win great prizes.
Find out how to play Powerball from Alabama (AL), Alaska (AK), Hawaii (HI), Nevada (NV) and Utah (UT). Residents of non-participating Powerball states can now buy tickets from authorised online services.