Powerball sales per capita by county

This clickable map shows sales per capita (age 18 and older) of Powerball tickets during the current jackpot roll for each county in New York State. The sales totals are for the current jackpot roll (dating back to last November) through this past Saturday, January 9.

And here are per capita sales for the interval just before the last drawing this past Saturday.

Sales by county

These are total sales over the course of the current Powerball jackpot roll (sales through this past Saturday, January 9) and per capita figures for the interval just before Saturday's drawing.

You'd expect downstate to account for a big portion of sales across the state because it also has a big portion of the state's population. But we were a little surprised those downstate counties account for so much of the sales per capita. And that pattern holds up even during the interval just before Saturday's drawing, when there was so much attention.

State sales by drawing

The Powerball game changed the odds of winning the overall jackpot last year in an attempt to drive the jackpots higher, in the hope it would drive more ticket sales. So here's a graph of Powerball tickets sales in New York State for the interval between each drawing.

That ticket sales started a sharper upward swing after the jackpot hit $255 million, and really swung upward at $334 million.

nys powerball sales by drawing

New York's Powerball fever is uneven

nys powerball sales by drawing

As the jackpot has soared, so too have sales here in New York State. (There's a larger version after the jump.)

Wednesday night someone -- or multiple someones, or maybe no one -- will eleventy zillion dollars in the multi-state Powerball jackpot. OK, not eleventy zillion -- it will only be something like $1.5 billion.

That's an eye-catching number, even if you don't usually pay attention to lottery games. And that's the whole the point -- the org that manages the game changed the rules last year in an attempt to build huge jackpots in order to drive ever larger ticket sales.

And by now you probably know all about how playing the lottery isn't a good investment -- expected return and all that. If you're going to play the Powerball, buying a single ticket just for the conversation value is the way to go.

Anyway, we were curious how Powerball fever was playing out here in New York State. So we got county-by-county numbers from the New York Lottery...

Charts and map

This post is basically a few charts and a map -- they're above in large format, click or scroll all the way up.

Notes about the numbers

New York State Powerball sales numbers via the New York Lottery.

Population estimates are from the Census Bureau.


While we all know the odds, I found this little website to really put it into perspective:


I've let the simulation run for 80,000 years, with over 8.3 million draws, playing five tickets, and while "I've" hit second place four times (as well as numerous smaller prizes), I have yet to hit the jackpot. I've spent $83.2mil, and won $14.7mil. Return on investment: -82%

That said, I'm off the buy my tickets for tonight's drawing.

fivethirtyeight has had some coverage of powerball and observed the exponential growth of ticket sales for past jackpots... it's just that there's never been one this big, so who knows what model to use.

Those per-capita county numbers are interesting, I think there's a pretty strong stereotype that poorer, rural residents are the most rabid lottery players. I guess this isn't necessarily representative since this is such an unprecedented jackpot and has been getting massive media coverage, but interesting nonetheless that per capita sales are peaking around urban centers generally.

99.9999999993% accurate.

I don't play often, but when the chance (even one this slim) of winning a whole heap of cash to do a lot of great things for a lot of people, I plop down by 2 bucks and fantasize for a few...

1. Build state of the art homeless shelters (for men, women and families).

2. Ensure all elderly people in our community are warm, comfortable and cared for.

3. Build a new School for the Albany Free School (I don't know if they need one, but I always appreciated their teaching concepts).

4. Build a contemporary art gallery.

5. Hire an artist to paint that damn refrigeration building.

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For a decade All Over Albany was a place for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. It was kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who could help you find out what's up. AOA stopped publishing at the end of 2018.

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