Inside the Hypersecure Room Where Powerball Millionaires Are Made

Millions of dollars are at stake with every drawing.

A Powerball ticket with various numbers. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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We’ve all seen the Powerball drawing on TV- the balls fly around a big blue machine until one pops out and the camera zooms in on the ball’s number. Are you the big winner?

The Powerball studio is located at the Florida Lottery headquarters in Tallahassee. However, the drawing is monitored several states away in Clive, Iowa at the Multi-State Lottery (MUSL) headquarters.

The Powerball machines are kept in a small white vault, covered in black tarps. The door is so secure it takes three different people to open it- a rep from MUSL, a lotto security agent, and an independent auditor.

“As soon as the door is opened, I get an email, and the deputy director of security gets an email letting us know the vault has been opened,” Ron Cave, the director at Florida’s Department of Lottery told CNN. “Then the randomization process can begin, to choose what machines and what sets of balls are going to be used for the draw.”

Cave said that no one knows which machine and which set of balls are going to be used prior to the drawing and he won’t reveal how the selections are made.

Once the selections are made, the balls are loaded, by gloved hand, into the machine and a few tests and drawing rehearsals are performed.

“Once the machine is activated, it’s completely automated,” Cave explained. “There is no more human interaction with the process.”

After the machines have been rolled into the studio, only authorized personnel are allowed in the room however, gamblers are free to watch the drawing, on-site, from a small public viewing room.

Once the balls have been drawn, the process to find and verify the winner could take hours or even days as the Florida Lottery headquarters uses forensics to determine if the winning ticket is real or a fake.

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