The Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) is a not-for-profit organization that facilitates the operation of Lotto America. It has existed since 1987 to help administer games which are offered in more than one state, and owns the intellectual rights to other lotteries, including Powerball.
What Does The MUSL Do?
The MUSL oversees the organization of several lottery games and provides a number of key services to the state lotteries which offer those games, including the management of finances, the development of IT systems and the coordination of marketing campaigns.
It is operated by its own members and acts as a facilitator to keep the main rules standard in participating jurisdictions. All members must agree before major changes can be made to any of the games.
All 13 states that participate in Lotto America are MUSL members, along with 19 other states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The full list of 34 members is as follows:
|New Hampshire||New Mexico||North Carolina||North Dakota||Oklahoma||Oregon|
|Pennsylvania||Rhode Island||South Carolina||South Dakota||Tennessee||Texas|
|U.S. Virgin Islands||Vermont||West Virginia||Wisconsin|
Each member lottery offers at least one of the games run by the MUSL. Lotto America was the first game to be run by the MUSL, and its other games are as follows:
- Powerball – A game offered by 47 jurisdictions across the United States which requires you to select five main numbers between 1 and 69 and one Powerball between 1 and 26. The jackpot starts at $20 million (*During the Coronavirus pandemic, the starting jackpot may be lower than this) and has been known to exceed $1 billion with rollovers. Powerball launched in 1992, when the original Lotto America was rebranded.
- 2by2 – Drawings take place every day and the game is played in Kansas, Nebraska and North Dakota. You need to pick two red numbers from 1 to 26 and two white numbers from 1 to 26. There are a total of eight ways to win, with a top prize of $22,000 if you match all four numbers.
MUSL and Mega Millions
Mega Millions is a multi-state game that is played in 46 jurisdictions, but it is not an MUSL game. A separate Mega Millions consortium ran the game from when it was launched in 1996 under its original name – The Big Game – until October 13 2009. At that time, the MUSL signed an agreement with the Mega Millions consortium that would allow states to offer both Powerball and Mega Millions. State lotteries had previously only been allowed to offer one or the other.
States were then allowed to sell tickets for both games without having to join or re-join the MUSL. Georgia, for instance, was removed from the MUSL in 1996 when it wanted to sell tickets for both Powerball and Mega Millions, and it was eventually permitted to do so without having to re-join the MUSL.
The following states currently offer Mega Millions without being MUSL members: Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.
These state lotteries are licensed by the MUSL to play Powerball, and the Mega Millions consortium works with the MUSL to administer Powerball in these locations.
Hot Lotto was one of the MUSL’s previous games, until it was retired in October 2017. Lotto America launched a couple of weeks later with all the same participating states, apart from New Hampshire. The Hot Lotto jackpot was not won in its final draw and so the money was rolled over to the first Lotto America draw, which had a top prize of $15 million.
Hot Lotto ticket sales had started to suffer after the MUSL’s security director Eddie Tipton was found guilty of two counts of fraud, having rigged a draw in 2010. He had not been allowed to buy tickets or claim prizes due to his role with the MUSL but was convicted of fixing the winning numbers and later trying to claim $14.3 million anonymously. In 2015, he was sentenced to ten years in prison.