The Evidence Suggests California May Be Rigging Powerball Drawings

Someone in California won a cool $1.73 billion Powerball jackpot yesterday, which had me discussing with some friends how much worse it has to be winning that in a state like California rather than somewhere with sensible or no state income taxes. I'm sure whoever won this jackpot will be just fine, but it's still obviously much better to win an amount of money like this in Texas or Tennessee than California.

Well that led me down a rabbit hole that has entirely convinced me of a new conspiracy theory, which is that the California state government is somehow rigging the Powerball drawings so the winners are conveniently always in California. Now that seems like a pretty crazy claim to make, so let's just take a look at some of the evidence.

Wednesday's $1.7 billion jackpot was the second-largest in Powerball history. Of the now four largest Powerball drawings ever, three have been won outright by someone in California with the fourth being split amongst winners in California, Florida and Tennessee.

In 2022, Californians spent a total of $8.8 billion on the lottery, the third-highest total in the country and about 8 percent of the total $108 billion spent on lotteries nationwide. So if we can assume those numbers are roughly proportional for just the Powerball, the odds of someone from California winning all four of the largest jackpots in history would be about 0.004 percent — or 1 in 25,000. Your odds of getting struck by lightning are about 1 in 15,000.

So Californians are buying 8 percent of the tickets, yet winning every one of the biggest jackpots in Powerball history. And it just so happens this is in the state with the highest income taxes in the country.

Giphy Images.

Just a bit curious, that's all. Maybe someone out there has a better explanation for why this is happening. I'm willing to listen. I'm just connecting some dots and doing a little bit of math here.

Makes you think.