US Lotteries

Lotteries are managed at the state-level in the USA, which means the rules and types of games on offer vary depending on where you live. On this page, we provide the full rundown with a description of every lottery in the United States complete with links to official websites, game descriptions and other key information to know before you play.

While it may be fair to criticize the lottery for offering notoriously poor odds compared to other games of chance, the lottery overcomes that objection by pure brute force with the biggest payouts in all of gambling. No other game in the world comes even close to matching the jackpots generated by major state and multi-state lotteries.

Powerball and Mega Millions in particular capture the imagination with jackpots that occasionally tread into 10-figure (read: billions) territory. Even the smaller, state-exclusive lotteries put other gambling games to shame with multi-million-dollar jackpots paid out on a regular basis.

Online Lotteries in the USA

States gained the authority to sell lottery products online in 2011 after the Department of Justice responded to an inquiry made by New York and Illinois lottery officials back in 2009 asking for clarification on the Wire Act. The DOJ responded with a memo explaining that it views the Wire Act as applying only to sports betting, which cleared the way for states to regulate online lotteries and gambling.

A handful of states have since taken the opportunity to take their lottery games online with additional states considering measures to do the same. Below is an overview of states with online lottery sales:

State Lottery Games Offered Online Where to Buy Online
California* Tickets LottoGopher.com
Georgia Tickets, instant win games and keno GALottery.com
Illinois Tickets IllinoisLottery.com
Kentucky Tickets and instant win games Play.KYLottery.com
Maine Buy and manage subscriptions online, but payment completed with check or money order by mail MaineLottery.com
Maryland Subscriptions to draw games Rewards.MDLottery.com
Michigan Tickets, instant win games and keno MichiganLottery.com
New Hampshire Tickets and instant win games NHLottery.com
New York Buy subscriptions online MyNYLottery.org
North Carolina Tickets NCLottery.com
North Dakota Tickets Lottery.ND.gov
Pennsylvania Instant win games for now, but PA iLottery authorized to offer other games as well PAiLottery.com
Texas* Tickets LottoGopher.com
Virginia Subscriptions VALottery.com

*Note: Texas and California do not endorse online ticket sales, but LottoGopher.com offers a concierge services that will send someone to buy tickets on your behalf. You must be a state resident to buy tickets in each state in which LottoGopher operates.

A Note About LottoGopher

LottoGopher is a self-described “lottery messenger service” that allows customers to order tickets online, create private groups to pool their resources, track their results and receive payouts on winning tickets.

The LottoGopher business model is a bit of an outlier as it is not officially endorsed by any lottery. As such, LottoGopher exists on tricky legal footing and only operates in two states: California and Texas. Additionally, LottoGopher does not provide its services across state lines in order to remain compliant with federal law. This means the service is only available to residents of both states.

As a “lottery messenger service,” LottoGopher also stresses that it does not buy and resell tickets for a profit (which would be illegal). Instead, LottoGopher offers paid subscriptions for the service ranging from 24 hours to one year. With a subscription in place, you can then order lottery tickets at face value to prompt a LottoGopher employee to go buy tickets from an authorized retailer on your behalf.

Detailing the Major Types of Lottery Games

State lotteries tend to be fairly predictable with a similar assortment of draw games, scratch cards, keno and so on. Although your exact options will vary depending on where you live, the following games are the ones you’re most likely to find at your nearest lottery retailer.


Powerball

  • Top Prize: Varies but can exceed $1.5 billion
  • When: Every Wednesday and Saturday at 10:59 PM ET
  • Official website: Powerball.com

Odds are you’ve heard of Powerball a time or two. This is the game that hits the national news cycle occasionally when the top jackpot swells past $500 million, then $750 million and even sometimes over $1.5 billion.

Powerball generates some of the world’s largest jackpots by operating as a national game available across most of the United States. The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are notoriously low, but that’s exactly how it manages to grow those enormous jackpots before someone wins the whole thing and the jackpot resets.

How it Works

  • $2 to play
  • Jackpots start at $40 million and grow from there
  • Select five numbers from 1-69
  • Select 1 red Powerball number from 1-26
  • Pick your own numbers or receive random picks
  • Jackpot is won when all five of your numbers + the red Powerball match those drawn
  • Various fixed payouts for lower prize levels all the way down to $4 for matching the Powerball number only

Mega Millions

  • Top prize: Varies but can exceed $1.5 billion
  • When: Every Tuesday and Friday at 11:PM ET
  • Official website: MegaMillions.com

Mega Millions acts as a sister lottery to Powerball with massive jackpots that occasionally hit the news, two drawings a week and even the same price to play. Just like Powerball, Mega Millions jackpots occasionally blow past the $1 billion mark to set off a frenzy of ticket purchases across the country (which push the jackpot even higher).

The biggest difference between the two is Mega Millions drawings are held on different days of the week. Between Powerball and Mega Millions, lottery players in most states suffer no lack of big jackpots to aim for throughout the week.

How it Works

  • $2 to play
  • Jackpots start at $40 million and grow from there
  • Select five numbers from 1-70
  • Select 1 Mega Ball number from 1-25
  • Make your own picks or let the computer assign picks at random
  • Top jackpot is won when all five of your main numbers and the Mega Ball number all match
  • Eight other prize levels ranging from $2 to $1,000,000 for matching fewer numbers

Lucky for Life

  • Top prize: $1,000 a day for life
  • When: Every Monday and Thursday at 10:38 PM ET
  • Official website: No official website / check your state lottery’s website

Whoever came up with the concept behind Lucky for Life was absolutely brilliant. The idea of winning $1,000 a day for life is understandably appealing, yet it’s not actually a fairly small jackpot compared to the other major multi-state drawings even when you tally up the total value of those payments over 20 or 30 years.

How it Works

  • $2 to play
  • Select five numbers from 1-48
  • Select one Lucky Ball from 1-18
  • Make your own picks or let the system choose numbers at random
  • Win $1,000 a day for life when all five main numbers and Lucky Ball match those drawn by the lottery
  • Win $25,000 a year for life when you match all five main numbers
  • Eight other prize levels ranging from $4 to $5,000

Lotto America

Lotto America is run by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), which also runs Powerball and a handful of other games. In Lotto America, players aim for a growing jackpot and have reasonable odds of 1 in 9.63 to win any prize at all.

Lotto America jackpots are much smaller than those offered by Powerball and Mega Millions, but that is offset by much better odds. While Powerball’s jackpot odds are about 1 in 292 million, Lotto America’s top jackpot odds are about 1 in 26 million.

How it Works

  • $1 to play
  • Jackpots start at $2 million and grow from there
  • Select five numbers from 1-52
  • Select one number from 1-10 for your Star Ball number
  • Top jackpot won when all six numbers match
  • Eight other prize levels ranging from $2 to $20,000

2by2

  • Top prize: $44,000 on Tuesdays; $22,000 every other day
  • When: Seven days a week at 9:30 PM CST
  • Official website: Powerball.com/games/2by2

2by2 is operated by the Multi-State Lottery Association but is only offered in a handful of states in the Midwest. The basic concept here is to give players a simple game with reasonable odds, medium-sized jackpots and daily drawings.

While the bigger MUSL lotteries certainly have their appeal, this one aims to give players a sense of having a much better chance (which they do). The overall odds of winning any prize at all in 2by2 are 1 in 3.59 and the odds of winning the top jackpot are about 1 in 105,000.

How it Works

  • $1 to play
  • $44,000 top prize on Tuesdays
  • $22,000 top prize every other day
  • Pick two red numbers from 1-26
  • Pick two white numbers from 1-26
  • Match all four to win top prize
  • Seven other prize levels ranging from free play to $100
  • Prizes double on Tuesdays

Smaller State-Specific Games

Almost every state with a lottery offers a variety of smaller, state-specific games with names like Pick 3, Cash 4 and so on. Because these draw games are limited to a single state, they tend to appeal to players by offering better odds rather than massive jackpots. You’ll find these games under a variety of names and formats, but some basic examples follow.


Cash 3

Numerous states hold simple Cash 3 lotteries which have players choose a three-digit number for a chance at winning up to $500. Play for $1.00 to win a max prize of $500 or play for $0.50 for a maximum prize of $250.


Cash 4

Similar concept to cash 3 except players pick a four-digit number for a chance at winning up to $5,000 off a $1 play or $2,500 off a $0.50 play.


Fantasy 5

This is a daily jackpot game played in numerous states with a default starting jackpot that grows every day there isn’t a winner. Tickets are sold for $1.00 and players choose five numbers. Naturally, the top payout comes when all five numbers are matched.

The exact rules regarding range of possible numbers to choose from, starting jackpot and other details vary, but generally Fantasy 5 acts as a mid-sized draw game with reasonable odds and simple rules.


Non-Draw Games

The big draw games tend to dominate the news cycle, but they only account for a small percentage of all lottery sales. Daily draw games, keno and scratch cards account for a large chunk of all lottery sales.

While Powerball and Mega Millions are out capturing headlines, these other games provide a lowkey but constant stream of sales to lottery retailers and websites.


Scratch Cards

Probably not a whole lot of explanation needed here – these are the games you buy and scratch to find out if you’ve won. Scratch-offs do a ton of business for most state lotteries. In a recent PA Lottery financial report, for example, scratch-offs accounted for more than two-thirds of all lottery sales by dollar.

A number of states have authorized online scratch card games since 2011 and have reported strong sales through that medium as well. Online scratch cards (also called instant play games in some cases) work similarly to their real-world equivalents, but with graphics and animations that almost resemble slots.


Keno

Keno is a high-volume lottery-style game that runs every few minutes in states that offer this game. Keno works sort of like a regular draw game in having players pick numbers, but an automated system makes picks every few minutes with fixed prize levels determined by the number of picks made and number of hits.

In a typical game of keno, a player is asked to choose anywhere from one through twelve numbers out of a range of 1-80. The lottery operator then picks 20 numbers at random from that same range. The more matches a player has with those picked by the automated system, the bigger the prize.

Payouts at the lower end can be as little as $4 while payouts at the higher end can be as high as $1 million if a player makes twelve picks and all twelve are also chosen by the lottery operator. With high potential prizes and a new game running every few minutes, keno remains a popular game to this day. Some lotteries also offer online keno as well.


Video Lottery Terminals

Video lottery terminals (VLTs) are designed to look and function just like regular slot machines from the player’s point of view, but are run by the state lottery and results are randomly determined by the lottery itself rather than by a random number generator (RNG) like slots are.

The differences between regular slots and VLTs are nearly indistinguishable in many cases. Some VLTs look and feel just like slots while others resemble scratch-off games and keno. In any case, VLTs are a quick way to run through a lot of money, so proceed with caution.


The State of the Lottery in All 50 States

Forty-five states and DC have approved a lottery of some sort to date and just five have no lottery whatsoever. The only states without a lottery are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah.


Alabama Lottery

Alabama is one of just a small handful of states with no lottery. This is not particularly surprising given the state’s longstanding opposition to all things gambling. Even Alabama’s three tribal casinos are very limited in the types of games they may offer. There is clearly some level of demand for a state lottery, but it is anyone’s guess as to when or if Alabama will get a lottery.


Alaska Lottery

Much like Alabama, Alaska is not a big gambling state. No casinos, no lottery and no racing betting make this a desert when it comes to gambling. State legislators have looked into introducing a lottery but have so far concluded it would provide little tax revenue to the state relative to what charitable gaming already raises for good causes.


Arizona Lottery

  • Established: 1980
  • Age to play: 21
  • Official website: ArizonaLottery.com
  • Online purchase options: None

The Arizona Lottery offers drawing games, scratch-off tickets and participates in Mega Millions / Powerball. Minimum age to play is 21 and tickets must be purchased in-person. Money raised by the Arizona lottery funds state educational, health and human services, environmental conservation and economic development programs.


Arkansas Lottery

  • Established: 2009
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: MyArkansasLottery.com
  • Online purchase options: None

The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery was established in 2009 and to fund educational efforts in the state. AR lottery tickets and scratch cards are sold at brick-and-mortar retailers only and the minimum age to play is 18.


California Lottery

  • Established: 1984
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: CALottery.com
  • Online lottery options: LottoGopher.com (not officially endorsed, but abides by CA law)

Voters approved the California Lottery in 1984 as a means to raise money for public education and the first tickets were sold the following year. Today, the CA Lottery raises more than $1 billion a year for educational efforts. The CA Lottery sells instant-win scratch cards plus tickets to Powerball, Mega Millions and various state-level drawings.


Colorado Lottery

  • Established: 1983
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: ColoradoLottery.com
  • Online purchase options: None

One could make a strong argument that Colorado is the most scenic state in the USA, so it is not entirely surprising that the CO Lottery was sold to voters as a way to fund efforts to preserve the state’s famed parks, trails and open spaces.

Since selling its first ticket in January 1983, the CO Lottery has raised billions for conservation efforts, grants for outdoor projects and more.


Connecticut Lottery

  • Established: 1971
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: CTLottery.org
  • Online purchase options: None

The Connecticut Lottery sells a standard range of lotto products including tickets to the major multistate drawings (Powerball, Mega Millions and Lucky for Life) along with state-specific drawings, instant win scratch-off games and keno. Money raised by the CT Lottery goes to the state general fund and is disbursed from there to a wide range of state functions ranging from corrections to higher education.


Delaware Lottery

  • Established: 1975
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: DELottery.com
  • Online purchase options: None, but DE Lottery does run 3 online casinos and poker sites

Delaware has one of the more comprehensive offerings with multi-state draw games, Delaware-exclusive draw games, keno, instant win scratch games and a parlay-style sports lottery.

The DE Lottery also runs all gambling games inside the state’s three racetrack-casinos. Dover Downs, Delaware Park and Harrington Raceway all offer lottery-controlled video lottery machines, table games, sports betting and online gambling.


Florida Lottery

  • Established: 1988
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: FLALottery.com
  • Online purchase options: None

The Florida Lottery offers a standard array of draw games, scratch-offs and fast-play games that offer instant payouts to winners. Money raised by the FL Lottery goes to the Educational Enhancement Fund, which in turn allocates money to various education efforts throughout the state. Today, the Florida Lottery raises more than $1 billion a year for education.


Georgia Lottery

  • Established: 1992
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: GALottery.com
  • Online purchase options: tickets to drawings, instant win games and keno all offered online

The Georgia Lottery offers a full menu of in-person and online games spanning the full range of draw games, instant win scratch-offs and keno. Since launching in 1992, the GA Lottery has raised billions for state education programs designed to assist residents of all ages.

In 2012, the GA Lottery went online with the introduction of “Diggi” instant win games, keno and online ticket sales for Powerball, Mega Millions and Fantasy 5. State-level draw games such as Georgia Five are still sold in-person only.


Hawaii Lottery

Hawaii has long resisted gambling in general as a state with a heavy tourism industry and concerns that social costs would outweigh any realized revenue benefits. However, this is a debate that seems to come up every year, so it is entirely possible Hawaii does one day institute a lottery.


Idaho Lottery

  • Established: 1989
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: IdahoLottery.com
  • Online purchase options: None

Voters approved the Idaho Lottery in 1988 and the first games were sold the following year with money raised going towards state education programs. The ID Lottery sells tickets to its own drawings as well as tickets for Powerball, Mega Millions and Lucky For Life. Other games in the lineup include scratch cards, pull tabs and raffle drawings.


Illinois Lottery

  • Established: 1974
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: IllinoisLottery.com
  • Online purchase options: Entries and subscriptions to drawing games sold online

Illinois began selling lottery tickets to standard drawing games in 1974 and had a successful first year, but sales entered a steady slide over the next few years as the newness of it all wore off. The IL Lottery introduced its first expanded game in 1980 and saw an immediate boost in sales. Since then, the Illinois Lottery has expanded its offerings to include state-level games, multi-state drawings, daily drawings and scratch cards.

Illinois also has the distinction of being the first state to sell lottery tickets online. Residents 18 and older can now visit the IL Lottery website to buy tickets, order subscriptions and receive online payouts for prizes under $600.

Interestingly, it was officials from the IL and NY lotteries who also set the stage for online gambling by asking the Department of Justice for a legal opinion on their plans to sell tickets online. The DOJ responded in 2011 with an opinion that not only was their plan legal, but that the Wire Act would be interpreted as applying only to sports betting. This gave states such as New Jersey and Delaware the legal room they needed to legalize the country’s first online casinos.


Indiana Lottery

  • Established: 1989
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: HoosierLottery.com
  • Online purchase options: None

Voters approved the Hoosier Lottery in 1988, the first scratch-off tickets were sold in 1989 and then the first tickets to draw games were sold in 1990. Money raised by the Indiana Lottery now totals in the billions with revenue funding a number of important causes such as the Build Indiana Fund, the Teachers’ Retirement Fund and first responder pensions.


Iowa Lottery

  • Established: 1985
  • Age to play: 21
  • Official website: IALottery.com
  • Online purchase options: None

The Iowa Lottery got off to a quick start in 1985 with its first game, a scratch-off card called “Scratch, Match and Win” selling more than 6.4 million times in its first week. The Iowa Lottery has only grown since then and now provides millions of dollars to three key programs: the state General Fund, Vision Iowa and the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund.


Kansas Lottery

  • Established: 1987
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: KSLottery.com
  • Online purchase options: None

The Kansas Lottery offers a typical selection of games including entries to Powerball and Mega Millions, local drawings, scratch card games and keno. Income generated by the KS Lottery goes to a dedicated gaming revenue fund and from there is divvied up across a variety of economic and infrastructure initiatives.


Kentucky Lottery

  • Established: 1988
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: KYLottery.com
  • Online purchase options: Instant win games and tickets to drawings may be purchased online

Kentucky boasts one of the more comprehensive state lotteries in the US with instant win games, keno, draw games and a full menu of online purchase options for residents. Money raised by the KY Lottery funds educational programs in the state.

The KY Lottery online platform is similarly full-featured with draw game tickets, instant win games and keno (every four minutes) all offered through the website for state residents 18 or older.


Louisiana Lottery

  • Established: 1991
  • Age to play: 21
  • Official website: LouisianaLottery.com
  • Online purchase options: None

The Louisiana Lottery keeps things fairly simple with scratch-off games and a handful of draw games on offer. Powerball and Mega Millions are sold in Louisiana alongside a few state-specific draw games with smaller top prizes but significantly better odds. Money raised by the LA Lottery funds the Minimum Foundation Program for public education.


Maine Lottery

  • Established: 1974
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: MaineLottery.com
  • Online purchase options: Can buy subscriptions for Powerball, Mega Millions, Megabucks and Lucky for Life online

Maine held its first lottery drawing in 1974 and its first big winner came later that year with a local resident winning a $150,000 jackpot in the weekly “Play Me” game. Now, the ME Lottery offers the big multi-state games, a handful of local draw games and instant win scratch-off cards.


Maryland Lottery

  • Established: 1973
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: MDLottery.com
  • Online purchase options: Can order subscriptions online, but payment must be sent via check or money order by mail

The Maryland Lottery offers a wide range of gaming options including daily draw games, tickets to the big multi-state games, scratch-off cards, keno and an electronic racing game called Racetrax. To date, the MD Lottery has raised billions for education, the environment and public health and safety.


Massachusetts Lottery

  • Established: 1972
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: MassLottery.com
  • Online purchase options: None

Since its first drawing in 1972, the Massachusetts Lottery has raised billions of dollars’ worth of revenue for towns and cities across the state. Games on offer include a standard variety of drawings, instant win games and keno. Tickets may not be purchased online, but the MA Lottery is willing to sell subscriptions to residents and out-of-staters alike over the phone.


Michigan Lottery

  • Established: 1972
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: MichiganLottery.com
  • Online purchase options: Instant win games, keno, Powerball, Mega Millions, Lotto 47 and Fantasy 5

Michigan has a comprehensive lottery with many games on offer and an online platform that also offers the same games. Anyone 18 or older can participate in state-level drawings, buy tickets to Mega Millions and Powerball and play instant win games in-person or online from anywhere within the state.


Minnesota Lottery

  • Established: 1990
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: MNLottery.com
  • Online purchase options: None

The Minnesota Lottery offers a standard variety of draw and instant win games that raise money for a variety of causes including the state’s General Fund, the Natural Resources Fund, Game & Fish Fund and the Environmental & Natural Resources Trust Fund. Altogether, a little over 62% of all ticket sales are returned to players in the form of prizes.


Mississippi Lottery

Mississippi approved a lottery in 2018 and is now in the process of getting everything ready to go. A board of directors has been appointed and the Mississippi Lottery Corporation is now hiring employees and designing games.

The new MS Lottery is set to launch at the end of 2019 or early 2020. Once it goes live, Mississippi will become the 45th state to establish a lottery.


Missouri Lottery

  • Established: 1985
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: MOLottery.com
  • Online purchase options: None

Missouri launched its lottery in 1985 and now sells tickets to an assortment of draw games (including Powerball and Mega Millions) along with instant win scratch games and keno. For the first few years of operation, the MO Lottery dedicated all proceeds to the state’s general fund. Voters changed that in 1992 with an amendment to earmark all revenue exclusively for public education.


Montana Lottery

  • Established: 1987
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: MontanaLottery.com
  • Online purchase options: None

Since selling its first lottery ticket in 1987, the Montana Lottery has expanded over the years to offer a range of games including scratch cards and a variety of drawing-style games. Montana Millionaire is the biggest state-level drawing game on offer while Powerball, Mega Millions and Lucky for Live provide access to the country’s biggest jackpots.


Nebraska Lottery

  • Established: 1993
  • Age to play: 19
  • Official website: NELottery.com
  • Online purchase options: None

The Nebraska Lottery launched in 1993 with the sale of instant win scratch tickets and added drawing games the following year to make it a full-fledged state lottery. Today, the NE Lottery offers an array of scratch card games, tickets to daily drawings and entries to the major multi-state games.


Nevada Lottery

As the country’s biggest casino gaming destination, Nevada has long resisted the establishment of a state lottery. To put it simply, the state’s casinos do not want the competition. The Nevada Resort Association once put it this way to the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

“The potential impact of a lottery on commercial gaming, and therefore the state’s tax revenue, should be well-understood before amending the state’s constitution is considered.

“A state lottery would be a regressive tax which would provide no immediate revenue (and) does not create quality jobs, and lotteries have not proven to solve revenue problems in other states.”

Nevada’s casino industry maintains significant political sway in the state, so the creation of a state lottery remains quite unlikely any time soon.


New Hampshire Lottery

  • Established: 1964
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: NHLottery.com
  • Online purchase options: Instant win games and tickets to Powerball and Mega Millions may be purchased online

New Hampshire is home to a robust lottery that offers instant win games, tickets to major drawings and a keno platform that runs a new game every five minutes. Online play was authorized in 2017 to allow anyone 18 or older and located within state lines to play online.


New Jersey Lottery

  • Established: 1971
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: NJLottery.com
  • Online purchase options: None

The New Jersey Lottery ranks as one of the 10-largest in the country by ticket sales, which is no surprise given the state’s population and well-established lottery that offers a standard array of games. The NJ Lottery does not sell tickets online, but residents do have plenty of other options with online sports betting, casino games and poker all available.

New Jersey also serves as a useful case study on how legalizing online gambling affects lottery sales. After the first online casinos launched in 2013, the NJ Lottery experienced increased sales for the next four straight years.


New Mexico Lottery

  • Established: 1996
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: NMLottery.com
  • Online purchase options: None

New Mexico introduced a state lottery in 1996 and offers an assortment of drawing games, scratchers and Fast Play games (print a ticket and see your results instantly). Income generated by the NM Lottery is used to fund scholarships sending students to public colleges, universities and technical colleges.


New York Lottery

  • Established: 1967
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: NYLottery.NY.gov
  • Online purchase options: Subscriptions to Mega Millions, Cash4Life and NY Lotto games may be purchased online at MyNYLottery.org

With roughly $10 billion in annual sales, the New York Lottery is the biggest in the nation by a longshot. Games on offer include the usual assortment of state drawings, multi-state drawings, daily games and scratchers. Money raised by the NY Lottery funds public education for K-12 and amounts in the billions of dollars every year.


North Carolina Lottery

  • Established: 2005
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: NCLottery.com
  • Online purchase options: May buy tickets to drawing games online through the NC Lottery website

Lawmakers created the North Carolina Education Lottery in 2005 and the first tickets went on sale the following year. Today’s lineup of games includes a mix of draw games and scratch cards along with keno and options to buy tickets to entry games online. Players must be 18 to play in-person or online.


North Dakota Lottery

  • Established: 2004
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: Lottery.ND.gov
  • Online purchase options: All draw games available for purchase online at the official website or through the NC Lottery app

The North Dakota Lottery raises millions of dollars annually for the state’s general fund, but offers a limited selection of games. When the ND Lottery was proposed to voters in an amendment, it was on the understanding that the state would only join established multi-jurisdictional lotteries. This means the ND Lottery only offers multi-state draw games such as Powerball, Mega Millions, Lucky for Life, Lotto America and 2 by 2.

State-specific draw games and instant win scratch cards are not allowed at this time. However, state residents do have the option to buy tickets online through the ND Lottery website and mobile app.


Ohio Lottery

  • Established: 1973
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: OhioLottery.com
  • Online purchase options: Customers may buy a Lottery Card in person to prepay for orders that are completed via mobile, but OH Lottery does not offer true online sales at this time

Ohio runs a robust state lottery that sells tickets to draw games and keno along with instant win scratch cards in-person and through cashless machines. Proceeds from the OH Lottery fund educational efforts throughout the state with upwards of one billion a year going to those programs.

In 2018, the OH Lottery introduced the Lottery Card as a tentative first step to enabling online play. Lottery Cards must be purchased in-person and then redeemed later via text.


Oklahoma Lottery

  • Established: 2005
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: Lottery.OK.gov
  • Online purchase options: None

Oklahoma voters approved a state lottery in 2004 and the first tickets went on sale in 2005 with proceeds earmarked for public education. Tickets must be purchased in-person with cash and the games on offer include instant win scratch-off cards plus drawings including Powerball, Mega Millions, Lotto America, Lucky for Life, Pick 3 and Cash 5.


Oregon Lottery

  • Established: 1985
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: OregonLottery.org
  • Online purchase options: None

The Oregon Lottery generates significant income for various state services with draw games, keno, instant win scratch-offs and roughly 12,000 video lottery terminals spread across the state. Although online ticket sales are not an option at this time, lottery officials have expressed an interest in online play in order to make the lottery more appealing amid changing demographics.


Pennsylvania Lottery

The Pennsylvania Lottery has expanded significantly since it was established in 1971 and now offers draw games, scratch-off cards, keno and a sports-themed game called Xpress Sports. To date, the PA Lottery has raised billions for programs designed to assist older Pennsylvanians.

Sweeping legislation passed in 2017 authorized the lottery to begin selling lottery products online at PAiLottery.com. The legislation approved a variety of game-types for online play, but PA iLottery initially launched with a focus on instant win games.


Rhode Island Lottery

  • Established: 1974
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: RILot.com
  • Online purchase options: None

Rhode Island held its first lottery drawing in 1974 with $0.50 tickets a weekly game called “The Lot” with a top prize of $50,000. The RI Lottery has expanded considerably since then with a full range of instant games, multi-state drawings, pull tabs and video lottery terminals. The RI Lottery also operates both of the state’s casinos where customers will find table games, video lottery terminals and sports betting.


South Carolina Lottery

In South Carolina, customers 18 and over can buy tickets to major multi-state drawings, local drawings exclusive to SC and instant win games at authorized retailers only. As the name suggests, the SC Education Lottery funds educational programs throughout the state. The bulk of money raised goes to higher education and scholarships while the rest goes to K-12 programs and other community education programs.


South Dakota Lottery

  • Established: 1987
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: Lottery.SD.gov
  • Online purchase options: None

South Dakota maintains an expansive state lottery that includes a variety of draw games, scratch-off tickets and thousands of video lottery terminals located across the state. Money raised by the SD Lottery goes to the state’s General Fund and from there is allocated to education, infrastructure and environmental causes.


Tennessee Lottery

  • Established: 2003
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: TNLottery.com
  • Online purchase options: None

Tennessee got off to a quick start after establishing a state lottery in 2003 with the first year alone raising nearly $64 million for education efforts throughout the state. Since then, the TN Lottery has raised billons for education through draw games, instant win games and keno sold in-person and through vending machines.


Texas Lottery

  • Established: 1992
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: TXLottery.org
  • Online purchase options: LottoGopher.com (not officially endorsed, but abides by state law)

The Texas Lottery is one of the biggest in the country with annual sales totaling in the billions despite offering no way to play online. For many years running, the TX Lottery has raised more than a billion dollars for state initiatives such as the Foundation School Fund, Texas Veterans Commission and more.


Utah Lottery

Utah’s longstanding opposition to all things gambling has extended to the lottery with the state being one of the few remaining holdouts not to authorize a lottery. Although some state lawmakers support the idea of a lottery, opposition remains strong. If Utah does one day get a lottery, it will probably be a result of a voter-initiated referendum.


Vermont Lottery

  • Established: 1978
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: VTLottery.com
  • Online purchase options: None

The Vermont Lottery is one of the most efficient in the country with a staff of fewer than two dozen employees who oversee an organization that provides tens of millions to state educational efforts every year. Despite its small staff, the VT Lottery provides a healthy lineup of games consisting of instant win games, multi-state drawings, state-specific drawings and fast-play games that offer instant payouts.


Virginia Lottery

  • Established: 1989
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: VALottery.com
  • Online purchase options: Subscriptions for Mega Millions, Powerball and Cash for Life may be purchased online

The Virginia Lottery offers the usual assortment of draw games and instant win scratch cards in addition to selling subscriptions to the three big multi-state games online. Online subscriptions must be purchased for at least two weeks and the minimum deposit to get started online is $20. Money raised by the VA Lottery is put toward K-12 public education efforts.


Washington Lottery

  • Established: 1982
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: WALottery.com
  • Online purchase options: None

The Washington State Lottery runs a collection of its own draw games, daily keno games, scratch cards and sells tickets to the major multi-state drawings including Powerball and Mega Millions. This is a fairly standard lottery by all measures but is still a big one with roughly half a billion dollars paid out to winners every year.


Washington DC Lottery

  • Established: 1982
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: DCLottery.com
  • Online purchase options: None

The DC Lottery is the country’s smallest in terms of geographic reach, but still manages to achieve annual sales in the range of $250 million. Games sold by the DC Lottery include a variety of daily-draw games, tickets to Powerball and Mega Millions, scratch cards and instant win games played at tap-n-play kiosks.

In 2018, the DC Lottery approved sports betting to take place in-person at authorized locations and through mobile devices.


West Virginia Lottery

  • Established: 1985
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: WVLottery.com
  • Online purchase options: None

West Virginia runs a highly profitable lottery that raises more than $500 million a year for education, senior services, tourism and state parks off sales in excess of $1 billion a year. The bulk of the money raised by the West Virginia comes from video lottery terminals which can be found at the state’s four racetracks and at certain businesses with alcohol licenses.

Games run by the WV Lottery include a mix of state-level draw games, multi-state games, scratch cards, keno and video lottery terminals. The WV Lottery Commission also oversees in-person and online sports betting in the state.


Wisconsin Lottery

  • Established: 1988
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: WILottery.com
  • Online purchase options: None

The Wisconsin Lottery operates a handful of its own draw games, participates in multi-state drawings and sells instant-win games to people 18 and older. Since launching its first games in 1988, the WI Lottery has raised billions for property tax credits benefitting homeowners throughout the state.


Wyoming Lottery

  • Established: 2013
  • Age to play: 18
  • Official website: WyoLotto.com
  • Online purchase options: None

Wyoming tentatively entered the lottery business in 2013 with legislation authorizing draw games only. This means scratch cards and other types of lottery games are off limits for now, but the WY Lottery says it is always researching new ideas for draw-based games. Income earned by the WY Lottery is distributed to cities and towns across the state to use as they see best for their residents.