The Indiana Lottery, better known as Hoosier Lottery, sells a variety of different lottery tickets, such as:
- Mega Millions
- Hoosier Lotto Plus
- Ca$h Five
- Daily 3
- Daily 4
- Quick Draw
- Cash 4 Life
Hoosier Lottery also sells a variety of scratch-and-win instant lotto tickets in Indiana. Indiana is a participant in the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL).
Hoosier Lottery launched in October 1989 after a massive show of support by state voters, 62% of whom voted to authorize both state-run lotto games and pari-mutuel bets on horse racing. That was a big move for a state often listed among the most conservative in the nation.
In the 30-plus years since Hoosier Lottery launched its first daily draw game, more than $6 billion has been raised to support things like police and firefighter pension funds and highway improvement projects.
Hoosier Lottery sales are booming. The State of Indiana reported scratch-off sales of more than $1 billion for the first time in 2020. Thanks to that big boost in revenue from scratch-off games, Hoosier Lottery transferred just over $304 million to the State of Indiana that year, the second highest such total in three decades.
On this page, you’ll find details about the Hoosier Lottery, including how to play all the lottery games available in Indiana, and information about claiming prizes. If you’re interested in coverage of Hoosier Lottery odds and prizes, you’ll find that on this page, too. At the end of the page, you’ll find some thoughts on the past and future of Hoosier Lottery, as well as contact information for any additional questions.
Payback Percentages for Hoosier Lottery Games
Games of chance are measured by a number known as “payback percentage.” This is a theoretical projection of how much of each of your bets will be returned to you as a payout. A game’s payback percentage is listed as a percentage, where 100% means you’re likely to break even, and any number under 100% means you stand to lose money.
Imagine a lottery ticket offering a payback percentage of 50%. If you buy $100 worth of this ticket, theoretically you should end up with something close to $50 in winnings and $50 in losses.
Will you win $50 and lose $50 if you test this out in the real world? You might, but you’re more likely to win slightly more or less than the payback percentage indicates. That’s because payback percentage, like return-to-player, is based on an infinite number of plays, indicating the long-term probability of winnings and losses for a particular game. Over just a few plays, the natural volatility we call luck means just about anything can happen.
If you had an infinite bankroll and an infinite amount of time to play, you’d eventually see real results somewhat like the theoretical results indicated by a game’s payback percentage.
People who say that Hoosier Lottery is rigged are not entirely wrong. All games of chance are rigged – no slot machine offers 100% RTP, neither does any bet on craps or blackjack. All gambling means risk. Hoosier Lottery is designed to take a little bit of your money and give it back to people who need it.
Here’s a shortlist of some payback percentage figures for popular Hoosier Lottery games:
Hoosier Lotto Plus – 66%
Quick Draw – 62% (w/Bullseye 66%)
Ca$h Five – 21.5% (calculated using the $75,000 minimum jackpot)
Powerball – 23% (calculated using the $20 million minimum jackpot)
Mega Millions – 18.96% (calculated using the $40 million minimum jackpot)
If you want to work out the payback percentage figures for your favorite Hoosier Lottery game, you can do it for yourself. Multiply each prize amount by its likelihood, add up the numbers you get, and move the decimal two places over – that’s your theoretical payback percentage.
The big difference you see between the payback percentages for games like Hoosier Lotto Plus and Quick Draw have to do with the size of the jackpots. Mega Millions and Powerball games are huge, multi-state affairs with player pools in the tens of millions. Local Indiana lottery games have smaller player pools and smaller prizes and have to reward players a little differently as a result.
There’s more discussion of this later in the post under the how to play sections for these games.
How to Play Hoosier Lottery Games & Draw Schedules
Below is a guide to each of the nine lottery games currently available through the Hoosier lottery, including six state-based games and three multi-state games. This page also includes detailed information on Hoosier Lottery instant-win scratch cards.
Hoosier Lotto Plus
This is the flagship draw lottery game of the Hoosier Lottery. It’s a traditional US draw lottery game, where players are asked to select 6 numbers out of a pool of numbers 1-46.
You can choose the Plus option, adding $1 to the $2 standard ticket price, and entering your same ticket in a second-chance drawing held immediately after the first one. The second drawing’s jackpot is fixed at $1 million.
You have the option to let the computer pick your numbers for your (Quick Pick), and you can also play up to 10 drawings in a row.
The prize Hoosier Lotto Plus players are hoping for is the jackpot, which resets to “at least $1,000,000,” and increases a minimum of $200,000 per jackpot rollover.
Your odds of claiming that jackpot change as it grows over time, but at the $2 million reset value, you’ve got a 1 in 9.3 million chance of claiming it on each ticket.
A standard Hoosier Lotto ticket has a 66% payback percentage, which is among the better such numbers for American state lottery games. The game’s payback percentage doesn’t increase with the plus option.
Overall odds of winning any prize in Hoosier Lotto Plus are 1 in 6.
Hoosier Lotto is drawn on Wednesdays and Saturdays “around 11 PM Eastern time,” with ticket purchases for each drawing cut off at 10:39 PM Eastern on the day of the drawing.
Players pick 5 numbers between 1 and 45.
Prizes are paid out based on the number of matches on your ticket. Players win for matching at least 2 out of 5 balls. Each Ca$h Five ticket costs $1.
The jackpot for Ca$h Five grows over time, with a $75,000 reset value, and a guaranteed increase of at least $5,000 per jackpot rollover period. At the time of this writing, the jackpot is worth $95,000.
With a $95,000 jackpot, the payback percentage is 63%. The jackpot’s estimated odds are 1 in 1.2 million, with the most common prize by far being the free Ca$h Five ticket, worth $1, and carrying odds of 1 in 12. Overall odds of winning any prize in Ca$h Five are 1 in 11.
Ca$h Five is drawn daily “around 11 PM Eastern time,” and all tickets for each day’s drawing are cut off at 10:39 PM. Tickets purchased at 10:40 PM or later will count for the next day’s drawing.
Daily 3 is maybe the most complicated of all the Hoosier Lottery draw games. It’s also the one with the smallest prize pool.
First, players select their wager – $0.50, $1, $2, $5, or $10. Next, they choose three numbers between 0 and 9 and select a play type. The play types available are:
- straight – match your numbers exactly to the drawn numbers in exact order
- 1-off – like a straight bet except you can be off by 1, 2, or 3 digits; payoffs are adjusted down in exchange
- box – like a straight wager but pays off in any order
- combo – a split bet combining straight and box play
- wheel – a bet on all combinations of three digits, with each bet judged as an individual straight play
- front pair – a bet that your first two numbers will match the first two numbers drawn exactly
- back pair – a bet that your last two numbers will match the last two numbers drawn exactly
Here’s a list of payouts and odds for $1 wagers of different types for Hoosier Lottery’s Daily 3 game:
- Straight – $500 (1 in 1,000 odds)
- 1 digit 1-Off – $40 (1 in 167 odds)
- 2 digit 1-Off – $10 (1 in 83 odds)
- 3 digit 1-Off – $18 (1 in 125 odds)
- Box – $160 (1 in 333 odds)
- Wheel – $500 (1 in 333 odds)
- Front pair – $50 (1 in 100 odds)
- Back pair – $50 (1 in 100 odds)
Daily 3 is drawn twice a day – a midday drawing “around 1:20 PM Eastern time.” Tickets for this drawing are cut off at 1:10 PM Eastern every day.
The evening drawing is “around 11 PM Eastern time.” Ticket sales for each days’ PM drawing is 10:39 PM Eastern.
For more details on Daily 3, check out Hoosier Lottery’s Daily 3 page.
Hoosier Lottery’s Daily 4 game is almost identical to Daily 3, but with an additional number drawn, and also some new ways to wager. The payouts and odds are a little different, too.
The biggest difference in terms of ways to bet on Daily 4 is the availability of the Front 3/Back 3 bet, which is like the Front Pair/Back Pair in Daily 3, but with three digits selected.
Here’s a look at the payouts and odds for the most popular Hoosier Lottery Daily 4 bets, at the $1 bet level:
- Straight – $5,000 (1 in 10,000 odds)
- 1 digit 1-Off – $300 (1 in 1,250 odds)
- 2 digit 1-Off – $40 (1 in 417 odds)
- 3 digit 1-Off – $26 (1 in 313 odds)
- 4 digit 1-Off – $52 (1 in 625 odds)
- Box – $1,200 (1 in 2,500 odds)
- Wheel – $5,000 (1 in 2,500 odds)
- Front 3 – $500 (1 in 1,000 odds)
- Back 3 – $500 (1 in 1,000 odds)
Daily 4 is drawn at the same time as the other Daily games – once at midday, and once in the evening.
Players start by selecting their wager size – bets of $1, $3, $3, or $5 are accepted.
You then select any 10 numbers between 1 and 90.
Your goal is to match as many numbers as possible.
Here’s the payouts and odds for Quick Draw, based on a $1 bet:
- 10 out of 10 – $300,000 (1 in 8.9 million odds)
- 9 out of 10 – $4,000 (1 in 1643,381 odds)
- 8 out of 10 – $250 (1 in 7,385 odds)
- 7 out of 10 – $35 (1 in 621 odds)
- 6 out of 10 – $15 (1 in 87 odds)
- 5 out of 10 – $5 (1 in 19 odds)
- 0 out of 10 – free ticket (1 in 22 odds)
The payback percentage for Quick Draw is a healthy 62%, not bad for a lottery draw game. Your odds of hitting the $300,000 jackpot are 1 in 8.9 million on each play. The game has three prizes ($15, $5, and free ticket) that have odds of under 1 in 100, which makes it slightly less volatile than other Hoosier Lottery games.
By adding $1 to your bet, you can activate the Bullseye feature. After each drawing, a Bullseye number is drawn. If any of your numbers match the Bullseye number, you win a prize in addition to any other winnings.
Here are the payouts for the Bullseye bet, based on a $1 ticket:
- 10 out of 10 – $200,000 (1 in 17.8 million odds)
- 9 out of 10 – $6,000 (1 in 1643,381 odds)
- 8 out of 10 – $750 (1 in 18,461 odds)
- 7 out of 10 – $90 (1 in 1,773 odds)
- 6 out of 10 – $20 (1 in 290 odds)
- 5 out of 10 – $5 (1 in 78 odds)
Quick Draw is drawn at the same time as Pick 3 and Pick 4 – a midday drawing and an evening drawing.
Hoosier Lottery Scratch-off Games
Hoosier Lottery’s lineup of instant-win scratch-off games changes pretty frequently. As of this writing, they have 64 tickets available, with another 30 tickets listed as “available but closing soon.”
Instant-win Hoosier Lottery scratch-off tickets range in price from $1 to $50, and the distribution as of this post looks like this:
- $50 – 2 tickets
- $30 – 2 tickets
- $20 – 9 tickets
- $10 – 14 tickets
- $5 – 19 tickets
- $3 – 4 tickets
- $2 – 7 tickets
- $1 – 8 tickets
There’s a slight correlation between the cost of these tickets and their overall odds of winning. Check out the average odds of winning for games of each denomination below:
- $50 tickets – 1 in 3.31
- $30 tickets – 1 in 3.35
- $20 tickets – 1 in 4.33
- $10 tickets – 1 in 4.88
- $5 tickets – 1 in 4.62
- $3 tickets – 1 in 3.88
- $2 tickets – 1 in 4.2
- $1 tickets – 1 in 4.5
Overall odds of winning on any Hoosier Lottery instant-win scratch-off ticket is 1 in 4.13.
The best Hoosier Lottery scratch-off game in terms of overall odds of winning is Hoosier Dreams, with overall odds of 1 in 3. The game’s top prize is $500 – the other two prizes are $100 and $50. At the time of this post, there are thousands of unclaimed prizes left for this $1 ticket.
The worst Hoosier Lottery instant-win scratch-off game in terms of overall odds of winning is Super Ca4h Blowout, with overall odds of 1 in 9. It looks like the main reason the odds are so long – lots of big prizes have already been claimed. You can win $500, $200, or $100 on these tickets – in fact, some 112,000 $100 winners are still in circulation, according to Hoosier Lottery.
The largest prize now available on a Hoosier Lottery instant-win game is $4,000,000, available on the $50 instant-win scratch-off ticket called Ultimate Millions. There’s one unclaimed prize at that level as of this writings, and more than two dozen unclaimed $5,000 prizes, according to Hoosier Lottery.
Mega Millions & Powerball
A total of 45 US states participate in both Mega Millions and Powerball, which are the two flagship games of the US multi-state lottery system.
Both games charge $2 a ticket, and both games offer a typical upgrade-style enhancement to your ticket for an extra $1.
Mega Millions is drawn on Tuesday and Friday, and Powerball is drawn on Wednesday and Saturday.
The starting jackpot for Mega Millions is double that of Powerball – Mega Millions starts at $40 million and increases after each drawing until a player wins the jackpot. Powerball resets to a value of $20 million.
The payback percentage for the two games is significantly different – Mega Millions takes just more than 80% of each bet, while Powerball takes about 77%. Players generally choose Mega Millions for its larger jackpots.
You can find detailed information about both multi-state games, including pay tables and instructions on how to play, at their websites.
Indiana also participates in the multi-state game Cash 4 Life. This game offers one of just a few “for life” prizes in the US lottery system. The jackpot is “$1,000 a day for life,” or a lump sum equivalent.
Cash 4 Life is a daily draw game with drawings every night at 9 PM Eastern time.
Every Cash 4 Life ticket costs $2. You play by choosing 5 numbers from between 1 and 60 as well as a Cash Ball numbered between 1 and 4.
For more information on how to play Cash 4 Life, as well as details on game odds and payouts, check out Hoosier Lottery’s Cash 4 Life site.
How to Buy Tickets and Claim Prizes in the Hoosier Lottery
When you win a Hoosier Lottery prize, what do you do next?
Prizes under $600 can generally be claimed at Hoosier Lottery retailers. There’s a clause on the Hoosier Lottery website that says that retailers don’t have to pay out if they don’t have enough cash.
If your prize is $600 or higher, you’ll need to either redeem your prize through the mail, get a check printed from Hoosier Lottery at a designated payment location, or contact Hoosier Lottery directly. I’ve got contact info listed at the bottom of this post.
If you want to redeem your prize by mail, you’ll need to undergo a multi-step process:
First, Hoosier Lottery wants you to sign and complete the back of your winning ticket. Then, you’ll be asked to print and fill out a winner claim form – you’ll need a different form for each ticket worth more than $599. You can use the same form for multiple tickets that add up to a total of less than $600.
Next, you’ll be asked to make a copy of your completed winner claim form, the front and back of your winning ticket, and your valid government-issued photo ID.
Hoosier Lottery wants you to staple your winning ticket and a copy of your valid ID to your original signed claim form and mail all of that to the Hoosier Lottery Headquarters.
You should expect to receive your check within 10 business days.
Hoosier Lottery suggests that items be mailed via certified mail or courier.
Hoosier Lottery Taxes
All prizes of $1,200 or more (minus your stake) are subject to a 3.23% state tax. You won’t incur automatic federal withholding in Indiana until you win a jackpot of $5,000 or more (minus your stake). At that point, you’ll also have 24% withheld for federal taxes. Remember that you’re being taxed twice – the federal rate and the Indiana rate.
Indiana is probably a top-5 state in terms of low lottery taxation rates. In Vermont you’ll pay just under 9% in state tax, which is almost three times more than in Indiana. Indiana’s tax rates are competitive with some of the states known for low lottery taxes – the state of Indiana takes less from prizes than Arizona, Colorado, or Michigan.
The state’s largest jackpot winner, a retired steel worker from East Chicago, Indiana, took a cash option of $40.4 million over 30 annual payments of $1.8 million, taking a $13.5 million tax hit along the way. He managed some tax savings by making large donations to charity, but he still left millions of dollars on the table. However, because of Indiana’s low tax rate, he took less of a tax hit than big winners in states like Iowa and Vermont.
The Past (and Future) of the Lottery in Indiana
Indiana made some major changes to its constitution in 1851. Some of these were controversial – banning the immigration of Black people and “mulattos” into the state – but others were more practical. Every other state was banning games of chance – why shouldn’t Indiana?
From 1851 to 1988, almost no form of gambling was allowed by law in Indiana, one of the longest such droughts in American history. What changed? Put to a vote, lottery and parimutuel betting on horse racing were just too popular. A constitutional amendment requiring just 51% of state voters to approve it was passed by 62%, becoming one of the most popular referendums in state history along the way.
These days, Hoosier Lottery is booming. The state reports that its lottery retailers earn about $100 million in sales commissions and bonuses every year. In terms of prize payouts, Hoosier Lottery often flirts with the $1 billion mark, handing out prizes worth $900 million or so every year. Hoosier Lottery’s largest jackpot in history was $54.5 million, won on the Hoosier Lotto game, after more than a year of no winning tickets.
What about the future of Hoosier Lottery? Are we set to see new games, new ways to play, and new player options? Probably not, and you’ll realize why when you read about one of Hoosier Lottery’s most popular retired lotto games.
Hoosier Lottery ran a unique game for a few years called Poker Lotto. This was a combination ticket featuring two games – one an instant-win game, one a draw game. Based loosely on the rules of poker, the instant-win game paid off different amounts for “drawing” different poker hands.
Since all the draws were Quick Picks, there’s no skill element here. Losing instant-win hands could still win later in the day during the daily draw portion, where a random jackpot-winning hand would be drawn like in a typical lotto draw game.
Poker Lotto existed for just about three years, and when it was withdrawn, it wasn’t replaced with anything. Hoosier Lottery did some contracting around 2015-2016, which is right around the time the Poker Lotto game ended. There hasn’t been any public statement about the end of the game, so it’s hard to say exactly why they ended it.
The story of this game is the story of the future of the lottery in Indiana. Expect a reduction in available games rather than a new slate of daily draw and scratch-card games.
No bills are under consideration by the Indiana Legislature that would expand Hoosier Lottery – only politicians with various plans to streamline and/or further privatize the lottery’s operation.
How to Contact Hoosier Lottery
If you want to contact the Indiana Hoosier Lottery, you can do so by calling their customer service phone number. They’re available 8 AM to midnight, seven days a week. The number is 1-800-955-6886.
Their website also offers a contact email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Hoosier Lottery Headquarters is located at:
1302 N. Meridian Street, Suite 100
Indianapolis, IN 46202
The Hoosier Lottery website also offers a complaint form that you can access online.
If you’re looking for a Prize Payment Center, you can find a list of regional Hoosier Lottery payment centers here.
The EZmatch add-on is an optional feature that you can add to any ticket for an extra $1. Then, you win an additional prize if any of your numbers match the five additional EZmatch numbers printed on the ticket. Prizes range from $2 to $500 depending on which number matches.
Here’s an example of a Hoosier Lotto ticket with EZmatch activated:
Can I Buy Hoosier Lotto Subscriptions Online?
Not yet. The Hoosier Lottery is considering online ticket sales and subscriptions, but new legislation may be needed. The only place to buy Hoosier Lottery tickets legally is through an authorized retailer.
Hoosier Lottery has been a success from the beginning, legalized on the first attempt by a significant majority, and having provided billions of dollars in state funds over the years.
Though details about lottery games change from time to time, this page will be updated as new games appear, or as old games are replaced by new options.
If you have questions about Hoosier Lottery that aren’t answered here, check the program’s website at https://hoosierlottery.com/.