The Oklahoma Lottery is one of America’s newest state lottery programs, having launched in October of 2005. Proud of having created “72 millionaires” in under two decades of existence, Oklahoma Lottery maintains one of the best-looking state lottery websites, stuffed with information and designed to be user-friendly. It’s an exciting young program that’s already looking to expand, with rumors of state-sponsored sports betting options on the horizon.
Evidence of Oklahoma Lottery’s youth comes mostly from looking at the program’s financial details. Sales are slight relative to the big boys in the industry. Average annual sales hover around $27 million, which is about as much as New York Lottery sells in a single day. The average Oklahoman spends just $55.83 a year playing lottery games, a paltry amount compared to the average citizen of Massachusetts, who spends more than $760 on lottery games in the same amount of time.
Despite the program’s youth and the relatively small amount of cash flow, Oklahoma Lottery is an upstart, showing a willingness to trim games that aren’t working and running a heavy ad campaign targeting the state’s increasingly-young and increasingly-moneyed population.
Here’s the complete list of games available from the Oklahoma Lottery:
- Cash 5
- Pick 3
- Quick ticket
- Mega Millions
- Lucky for Life
Missing from this list are a few modern game options you might expect from a young and progressive state lottery system – keno and video lottery games. In states that offer these games and regulate them from within an existing state lottery framework, they’re worth a huge amount of money. Video lottery games, indistinguishable from slot machines, could add hundreds of millions of dollars in annual sales to Oklahoma Lottery, bolstering what’s considered one of the least-profitable programs in America.
Where Oklahoma shines, for the moment, is in revenue distribution. Oklahoma Lottery retailers enjoy some of the largest payments for ticket sales in the country. The 6% guaranteed sales commission on every ticket sold should be the industry standard. Oklahoma Lottery pays about $20 million yearly in sales commissions to almost 2,000 individual retailers statewide.
As for the millions of dollars that roll in from lottery revenue, it’s almost all dedicated to bolstering education efforts in the Sooner State. Since the program’s launch 16 years ago, just over $1.1 billion has been distributed to various K-12 and higher education programs.
This post is all about the Oklahoma Lottery. Details include ticket costs, drawing schedules, odds, and game features. Information on collecting prizes and contacting the state lottery program are also included.
Probability, Return to Player, and the Oklahoma Lottery
This page includes lots of information about probability. Probability math and gambling go together like tea and honey. When you research lottery games, you’ll find all sorts of details about game odds and payouts and such – those details can help you make good decisions about your lottery ticket purchases.
On this page, you’ll find details about game odds, and as you look deeper into lottery strategy, you’ll likely come across something called “return to player.” Sometimes called RTP, return to player is a statistic that helps people compare games of chance to one another in terms of odds. RTP is usually shown as a percentage. This percentage tells you how much you’re likely to win back for each dollar you play on a particular game. If a lottery game’s RTP is listed as 20%, you’re winning back $0.20 for every $1 you make in ticket purchases.
Here’s a specific example of RTP involving an Oklahoma Lottery scratcher game. The $2 ticket Electric 8s has a top prize of $18,000. Its listed overall odds are 1 in 3.47. That means you should win some prizes (including a break-even prize) on just about 29% of all tickets you buy.
Does this mean that you’ll win 29 times if you buy and scratch 100 tickets?
Not necessarily. Odds and return to player and all of that are mathematical representations of likely possibilities. They aren’t predictions of real-world performance.
You could win that $18,000 top prize on your very first Electric 8s ticket, or you could buy 20 tickets and lose every single time. Both of those are within the realm of mathematical possibility. They aren’t likely, but they can (and do) happen. This back-and-forth swing in luck is what is known as variance. The more you play, the less variance you’ll see. By the same token, the fewer times you play, the less likely your real-world results are to look like the odds printed on the ticket.
How to Play the Oklahoma Lottery (Drawing Schedules & Buying Tickets)
Oklahoma Lottery participates in four multi-state games, hosts two in-state lottery draws and maintains a library of dozens of scratch cards. Below is a brief guide to each game available, including drawing schedules, odds, payouts, and other important game details.
Cash 5 is Oklahoma Lottery’s flagship in-state draw game. This was the first draw game in the state – it was drawn three times a week at launch, though it’s been a daily draw game since 2009. Drawings occur right after 9 PM CST every night, with tickets cut off at 8:45 PM for each day’s drawing.
Cash 5 tickets cost $1 to play. The goal of the game is to match your 5 numbers between 1 and 36 to the 5 numbers drawn by the state. The more numbers you match, the larger your prize.
Here’s the pay table for Cash 5:
Overall odds of winning any prize on Oklahoma Lottery’s Cash 5 are 1 in 7.6. Theoretically, you should win on just about 13% of all Cash 5 tickets you buy and play.
The only other in-state draw game currently played in Oklahoma, Pick 3 is a traditional pick-em-style lottery game that allows a number of different ways to wager. Each play costs $1. Bettors attempt to match their three numbers to the three numbers drawn by the state’s lottery commission.
Pick 3 is drawn nightly just after 9 PM CST. Ticket sales are cut-off at 8:45 PM CST.
For more details on the pay table and ways to bet on this game, see Oklahoma Lottery’s How to Play Pick 3 page.
Powerball & Mega Millions
Oklahoma Lottery has been a part of the MUSL since its launch, offering both Powerball and Mega Millions from the program’s inception.
Powerball and Mega Millions are the giants in the US draw lottery industry, producing the biggest jackpots and most-frequent lottery headlines. Just about every American state lottery system participates in one or both of these games.
Powerball and Mega Millions are similar enough that they can be covered under a single heading.
Playing either game costs $2 unless you activate the $1 prize multiplier option. Both games have the same overall goal – match all six numbers drawn and win the ever-increasing top prize. The first slight difference between the two games rears its head here – Mega Millions is based on the numbers 1 to 70, while Powerball uses the numbers 1 to 69. This slight difference in the number pools of the two games produces a tiny difference in overall game odds, not big enough to make a significant difference on your bottom line.
Look at the pay tables for the two games to see further similarities:
Mega Millions Pay Table
The overall odds of winning any prize on a Mega Millions ticket are 1 in 24. That means you should win a prize on just about 4% of all Mega Millions tickets you buy.
Powerball Pay Table
The overall odds of winning any prize on a Powerball ticket are 1 in 24.87. Again, that’s theoretically a win on just about 4% of all the Powerball tickets you buy.
Depending on the size of the top prize, Powerball may be slightly more advantageous than Mega Millions, or vice versa. The truth is a difference in odds of 0.1 or 0.2% isn’t worth the time it takes to crunch the numbers. Play as though these games have identical odds.
Quickticket is a new way to play Powerball and Mega Millions. Rather than the traditional way of playing – purchase a ticket using your own numbers or a computer quick-pick system – Quickticket uses preprinted numbers under a scratcher surface. Tickets are either $4 (for two plays) or $10 (for five plays), and the numbers shown are valid for the next Mega Millions of Powerball drawing.
There’s nothing different about Mega Millions or Powerball when you play using Quickticket. It’s just a simpler way to play that combines scratcher card tech with traditional draw lottery play.
Lucky For Life
Oklahoma Lottery has participated in Lucky for Life (alongside 22 other US states) since the beginning of the state’s lottery program.
Lucky for Life is a multi-state draw game known for having a unique jackpot. It’s a fixed annuitized payout that’s worth $1,000 a day, paid out in a “for life” format. Lucky for Life has several other prizes that are traditional fixed lottery jackpots, all of which is shown in the paytable below.
Lucky for Life tickets cost $2. There’s no multiplier or other option that increases the ticket cost – it’s always $2 to play. The goal is to match your 5 numbers to the 5 numbers drawn. Four of the numbers are between 1 and 48, and the fifth number is the Lucky Ball, between 1 and 18.
Payouts are determined by the number of matches according to the pay table below:
The overall odds of winning any prize on a Lucky for Life ticket are 1 in 8. That’s, theoretically, a win on 12.5% of all the Lucky for Life tickets you buy.
Small-scale state lotteries, like Oklahoma Lottery, are the only participants in Lotto America. To date, 13 states participate. It’s a multi-state draw lottery game similar to Mega Millions or Powerball, but on a reduced scale. It began as a way for smaller lottery programs to participate in a multi-state game with access to larger jackpots. Lotto America’s jackpot resets to $1 million – compare that to Mega Millions/Powerball’s reset value of $20 million.
A Lotto America ticket costs just $1, and as with other multi-state draw games, you can add another $1 to activate a win multiplier option.
Here’s the current pay table and odds information for Lotto America:
The overall odds of winning any prize on a Lotto America ticket are 1 in 9.63. Theoretically, you should win on just about 10% of all the Lotto America tickets you buy.
At the time of this post, Oklahoma Lottery has a library of 42 tickets. Here’s a breakdown by denomination, including average overall odds of winning:
- 8 $1 tickets – odds of 1 in 4.21
- 9 $2 tickets – odds of 1 in 3.61
- 4 $3 tickets – odds of 1 in 3.45
- 10 $5 tickets – odds of 1 in 3.43
- 7 $10 tickets – odds of 1 in 3.1
- 2 $20 tickets – odds of 1 in 2.87
- 1 $30 ticket – odds of 1 in 2.55
- 1 $50 ticket – odds of 1 in 2.6
Here’s a quick zoom-in on one particular ticket to get a sense of the scratcher market in Oklahoma. The $1 Lucky Dog ticket is popular, in part because each ticket has a unique dog photo taken by an Oklahoman on its face – a cool gimmick that you won’t find in any other state. Here’s the pay table:
- $2,500 – odds of 1 in 303,825
- $250 – odds of 1 in 15,900.79
- $20 – odds of 1 in 599.56
- $12 – odds of 1 in 300
- $10 – odds of 1 in 300.74
- $6 – odds of 1 in 100
- $5 – odds of 1 in 99.88
- $4 – odds of 1 in 75
- $3 – odds of 1 in 37.5
- $2 – odds of 1 in 18.75
- $1 – odds of 1 in 8.33
Overall odds of winning any prize on OK Lottery’s Lucky Dog scratcher are 1 in 4.14. That means, theoretically, you should win on about 24% of all the tickets you buy.
Where to Buy Oklahoma Lottery Tickets
Most Oklahoma Lottery retailers are small retail stores like gas stations, grocery stores, and liquor stores. You can find vending machines selling lottery tickets in places where cashiers aren’t available to sell them. The state boasts of thousands of Oklahoma Lottery retailers spread across the state.
How to Claim Oklahoma Lottery Prizes
Oklahomans who win big on the lottery face a relatively small 4% state tax on top of the standard 25% federal tax. Oklahoma Lottery automatically withholds this 29% in taxes from prizes of $5,000 or more.
Prizes of $99 or less can be claimed at a participating Oklahoma Lottery retailer. Use this find a retailer tool from Oklahoma Lottery for easy access to one of the thousands of stores selling OK Lottery tickets.
If your prize is worth $100 to $600, you’ll need to redeem it by emailing certain required documents to email@example.com. Basically, the state wants a copy of the front and back of your signed ticket along with a voided check or direct deposit letter from your bank.
If your prize is worth between $601 and $49,999, you do the same as above, except you’ll also need to download and fill out a claim form (located here) and send that in along with an image of your state ID and Social Security card.
Prizes of $50,000 or more must be claimed in person at the Oklahoma Lottery Winner Center in Oklahoma City.
Contact the Oklahoma Lottery
You can contact the Oklahoma Lottery through a contact form located on their website.
You can also reach a live person on the phone during normal business hours at 405-522-7700.
The Oklahoma Lottery’s physical headquarters are located at:
300 N. Broadway
OKC, OK 73102
Make an appointment or walk in between the hours of 7:30 AM and 4 PM, Monday – Friday.
Oklahoma was well-positioned to launch a successful lottery program.
The state’s tribal gaming industry is thriving, which softened the hearts of the voting public toward all things gambling-related. Oklahoma’s population is increasingly young, urban, and professional. Bordering states with successful lottery programs – Texas and Arkansas in particular – lent a bit of regional political pressure. And as we’ve seen with other state lotteries, the fact that Oklahomans were able to vote on their own lottery laws put the issue in the hands of the people most likely to approve new gambling options.
Expect Oklahoma Lottery to continue growing, particularly if the state adds sports betting options to the list of existing games controlled by the Lottery Commission. As Oklahoma trends younger and wealthier, options for gaming will continue to expand.