Lotto America FAQs

Find the answers to frequently asked questions about Lotto America.


1. When do drawings take place?

Lotto America drawings are held on Wednesday and Saturday evenings at 11pm ET. They take place in the studios of the Florida Lottery in Tallahassee, straight after the Powerball numbers are revealed.

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2. How do I win a prize?

You win the jackpot by matching all five main numbers and the Star Ball. However, there are nine prize tiers in total, ranging from $2 on offer for matching the Star Ball alone. See all the winning Lotto America tiers on the Prizes page.

The All Star Bonus is a multiplier offered by all states, which increases the value of non-jackpot prizes. Players opt in when they buy a ticket and, if they win a prize in tiers two to nine, it is multiplied by the All Star Bonus number drawn just before the main numbers.

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3. What are the odds of winning a prize?

You have a 1 in 9.6 chance of winning a prize and odds of 1 in 25,989,600 for winning the jackpot.

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4. I live in a state that doesn't sell tickets, can I still play?

You can play for and win Lotto America prizes by visiting any of the participating states, but you must return to that state to claim any winnings.

You do not have to be a resident of one of the states that play the game, or even an American citizen, to win prizes. You will, however, be liable for federal tax and a withholding from the state in which you played, if that state collects its own local tax. See the Rules page for more information.

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5. How long do I have to claim a prize?

Claim periods range from 90 days to a year, depending on the state in which you play. See the Claims page to find out how long you have to come forward with a winning ticket in your state.

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6. How old must I be to play?

The age limit for playing Lotto America stands at 18 in all participating states except Iowa, where you must be at least 21 to take part.

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7. Will I pay tax on Lotto America prizes?

Lottery prizes count as income so must be declared on your income tax form, where you will be charged the appropriate rate.

As a rule, lotteries immediately withhold 25 percent for federal taxes on prizes above $5,000, with the balance dependant on your circumstances and due at the end of the tax year. You may even be due a rebate.

In addition, all states withhold state taxes on wins above a certain level, except South Dakota and Tennessee, which do not collect state income tax. The taxes page contains a full run down of state tax rates.

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8. Is there a minimum jackpot?

Yes. Jackpots begin at $2 million and grow by at least $50,000 every time they roll over. The prize level can increase at a faster rate due to a larger than usual volume of ticket sales.

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9. Why is there a difference between the cash and annuity values of the jackpot?

The cash value of the jackpot represents the total jackpot fund on the day of the drawing, whereas the annuity value shows how much it would be worth after a 29-year investment. You can either take the lump sum immediately to spend or invest as you see fit, or opt to receive 30 payments over the 29 years (the first installment is made straight away).

Both options are liable for federal and state taxes, as they are both counted as income. Although your tax bill for the cash sum will be paid in one go at the end of the tax year in which you win, you could also owe taxes in the future on income gained from interest on the sum.

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10. What happens if a winner dies before the end of their annuity?

If an annuity winner dies before receiving all of their payments, the prize transfers to their estate or to a beneficiary designated by them. Different states have different rules on whether the estate receives annual payments or the balance of the prize:

State Lump Sum or Continued Payments?
Delaware Payments
Idaho Lump sum
Iowa Payments
Kansas Payments
Maine Payments
Minnesota Payments (estate can request the lump sum)
Montana Payments
New Mexico Payments (estate can request the lump sum)
North Dakota Lump sum
Oklahoma Payments
South Dakota Payments (estate can request the lump sum)
Tennessee Payments
West Virginia Payments (estate can request the lump sum)
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11. Can I stay anonymous if I win?

In most US states, lotteries require you to go public with a big win. Of the Lotto America states, only Delaware, Kansas and North Dakota allow lottery winners to remain anonymous. However, in some other states, you may be able to claim through a blind trust, but you should seek expert advice on this before coming forward with your winning ticket.

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12. When does the next drawing take place?

The next drawing will take place on Wednesday, February 20th 2019.

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13. How much is the next jackpot worth?

The next jackpot is worth $15,500,000.

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14. I’ve been contacted by saying I have won a prize. Is this real? will never contact you via email or any other communication method to inform you of a lottery win. If you are contacted purporting to be from this website, then it is a scam. Take a look at our Scams page for more information on lottery scams.

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