Powerball $150m jackpot: Do you fit the profile of a typical winner?

Looking at the 20 division one winners from last year, you get quite a specific picture of what a winner may be like.

A hand holds up a Powerball ticket (left) and Powerball balls (right).
Do you fit the criteria of the most frequent Powerball division one winners. Source: The Lott

Many of us have fantasised about winning the lottery, but with the $150 million Powerball jackpot up for grabs, do you fit the profile of the typical winner? Powerball has jackpotted to the third biggest prize in Australian history and if someone wins the division one draw this Thursday they'll become the biggest lottery winner the nation's ever seen.

“The current record holder is a Sydney nurse who in 2019 won $107 million,” Matt Hart from The Lott told Yahoo News Australia. “So you’d certainly beat that by quite a margin.”

But while it’s all a game of luck for those who throw their hat into the ring and pick up a ticket, statistics don’t lie when it comes to the typical lotto winner. So, exactly what kind of people most often win?

Looking at last year’s 20 division one winners across all lottery games — that includes Saturday Lotto, Monday and Wednesday Lotto, Set For Life, Powerball and Oz Lotto — they actually have a lot of attributes in common.

Among the 2023 winners, almost 62 per cent were male and nearly 31 per cent were in their 60s followed by 23 per cent in their 50s. While people with the initials M, J, S, D and G took home almost half of the division one prizes.

Four of those five letters also appeared in the top five initials by division one prize money. According to The Lott, people with names starting with S, K, J, D and M took home almost two-thirds of individual division one prize money.

A Powerball ticket in a car.
In 2023, nearly 62 per cent of lotto winners were male. Source: The Lott

“You know, as someone called Matt, I'm very heartened to see that people with the initial M win,” Hart said. “It’s pretty funny to see how that falls but I think what is remarkable is how those five initials were two thirds of the division one prize money last year.

“Especially because of the S and K. You could think there’d be some Ts and As, and all sorts of other combinations in there, But two thirds seemed quite strong.”

Almost 13 per cent of last year’s winners were Libras, nearly 12 per cent were Virgos and 10 per cent were Cancers. While just one person was a Scorpio.

When it comes to the Chinese zodiac, the Pig accounted for more than 12 per cent of winners. This means those born in 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983 and 1995 could stand to have a better chance of taking home a prize.

The Ox came in a close second with almost 12 per cent of winners born in either 1925, 1937, 949, 1961, 1973, 1985 or 1997.

Despite all of these stats, the Powerball winners so far in 2024 are well and truly bucking the 2023 Lotto trends with younger women scoring more prizes.

“Certainly when we look so far this year, we’ve had our six division one wins and four were women, one was a guy and the other one was a 16-person syndicate,” Hart said.

A Powerball ticket.
Does your name start with an M? You might want to pick up a Powerball ticket before Thursday. Source: The Lott

“They’ve also been in their 20s, 30s and 40s.”

While in last night’s Monday Lotto, a 22-year-old man picked up the $1 million division one win.

While the results don’t lie, Hart doesn’t want anyone taking any drastic action.

“I wouldn't necessarily encourage people to go change their name just ahead of Thursday’s draw,” he said. “But I think it’s just really interesting to see.

“I'm not sure that you can do much about it, because the thing is, we've certainly had winners who are young and old and who come from all corners of Australia, metropolitan and regional areas. I just think it's just interesting sometimes to look back to see these sort of clusters appear from time to time.

“So I wouldn't necessarily live and die by these trends because, you know, it's such a game of chance and it really is open to anyone.”

A person holds up a Powerball ticket in front of a cake.
Women have bucked the trend for Powerball winners so far in 2024 with four becoming multimillionaires. Source: The Lott

In the Australian history of lotto, there’s only ever been two $150 million prizes previously, according to Hart.

“One was earlier this year,” he said, “when there were no division one winners and it went to the $200 million draw. And then the other time was back in 2019 and was actually won by three people so they got $50 million each.”

Up to half of Australian adults are expected to pick up an entry into this Thursday's Powerball, with sales set to peak in the hours leading up to the 8.30pm draw.

Ahead of January’s $150 million game, sales reached their max at 6.15pm on the day of the draw, when 7,455 tickets were sold in a single minute.

Powerball draw 1462 closes 7.30pm AEST on May 23.

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