Lottery games in the US
Lottery games in the US are offered by 47 jurisdictions: 44 states and other places like D.C., Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. There isn’t a national lottery, however several states have joined forces to create lottery games that are open to players from participating territories.
Read on to find out how to play lottery online, finding the best game for you, and playing on your mobile.
How to play the lottery online
Most people are probably more familiar with the usual method of buying lottery tickets from an authorized reseller or convenience store. However, online lottery sites are a booming sector in the internet gaming industry and many players are discovering how convenient and fun it is to pick their own numbers or try their luck with friends with a group ticket.
To play the lottery online, all you have to do is head to one our featured sites and then select the lottery you would like to participate in. Most lottery games from the jurisdictions that offer it are represented, and the most popular will be prominently featured on the front page, giving you rapid access to purchasing your chance for a life-changing win.
Taking the first steps to a windfall is easy. After clicking on a lottery product, pick the numbers from the screen, customize the ticket with your strategy or playing options, then hit buy to lock in your entry. You’ll be asked to set up a free gaming account, which you can create in seconds by using your email address or connecting your social media profile.
Completing this step will take you to the purchasing screen, where you can select from the online payment methods available to buy your ticket.
Finding the best lottery game for you
There are so many lotteries you can participate in, all offering you an opportunity to win tremendous jackpots. With such an extensive choice available, it’s easy to get confused where to start.
That’s why we’ve dispatched our lottery experts to do a deep-dive review of the most popular online lottery partners which offer tickets to state and joint lotteries in the US. Our reviewers have shortlisted the very best sites based on various criteria, such as: ease-of-use of the interface, the range of lotteries you can participate in, the variety of payment methods available, player support, as well as their security track record, including safety certifications.
Playing lottery on your mobile
Playing lottery from your mobile device is easy and secure. All you need is a wireless internet connection and a web browser to visit one of our top recommended sites, where you can you’re your lottery numbers and purchase a lottery ticket.
Every site that appears on this site has been pre-tested by our reviewers to ensure they are compatible on mobile devices, including iOS and Android smart phones and tablets.
You can quickly add multipliers, buy group or bundle offers, enter multiple draws, or choose multiple lines and systematic forms, all with just a few taps on your screen. The creation of mobile lottery apps recently have made it even easier to purchase lotteries on mobile devices.
Frequently asked questions
How does the lottery work?
Lottery is a game of chance in which players try to guess numbers that are drawn at random in order to win a cash prize.
You can purchase a ticket with the numbers you’ve selected or that have been selected for you by the system online and later, at the time of the draw, check the results to find out how many numbers you guessed correctly.
The size of your payout will depend on how many of the numbers drawn match those printed on your ticket.
What types are there?
In the US, each jurisdiction regulates their lotteries independently, however there are games that are offered by several states and which feature shared progressive jackpots that are pooled by all participants.
The best-known lottery games include: Powerball, which uses 69 white balls and 26 Powerballs and from which 6 balls (5 white ones and 1 Powerball) are drawn during each game; and Mega Millions which also uses 6 balls drawn in a 5/75 + 1/15 format.
Scratch cards, which are a form of instant lottery, are also a popular type of lottery game in the US. The maximum jackpot possible and rules of each game are different.
Which one has the best odds?
Your chances of winning the Powerball jackpot on a single ticket is 1 in 175 million, whereas the probability for Mega Millions are substantially lower at 1 in 259 million. The larger the odds against winning, the bigger the potential payout will be. Expert players purchase multiple tickets for a single game and combine various strategies that use lottery mathematics in order to improve their chances of winning. However, since the outcome of a lottery is random, luck plays a determining factor in whether your ticket is a winner and many casual players who never used a strategy or played regularly ended up winning huge sums of money by taking a chance at the lottery.
Can I play online?
Yes, you can purchase tickets for various state and joint lotteries easily and safely online. You’ll find the best sites where you can do this featured on this page. Click on any of the links to go to the operator’s website, select your numbers, and buy a ticket using secure online payment methods, including bank cards and popular e-wallet services. Note that US state and joint lottery tickets can be purchased from anywhere in the world through online lottery ticket partners.
How are the jackpots calculated?
There are various ways how jackpots are calculated for different lotteries. Most lotteries offer guaranteed prizes for people who don’t guess all the numbers correctly, and a minimum guaranteed jackpot for players who get every number right. The maximum jackpot can be a shared progressive one, where various states pool the contributions made from ticket sales into one prize. If a jackpot is not won, the money is rolled over to the next draw and more money added from the proceeds of that weeks’ sales.
Are lottery tickets worth it?
While the odds are never in your favor and casual players who don’t buy several tickets and use complicated systems have the lowest probability of winning, the potential return is too big to ignore! With tens of millions of dollars on the line every week and tickets available for as little as $1 or $2, it’s only natural that people take a chance by picking their lucky numbers and possibly win a jackpot that lets them live a lifestyle beyond their wildest dreams!
Do I need to pay tax on lottery winnings?
Yes, citizens of the US are taxed on all sources of income that amount to over $600, including any money earned from lottery wins. Jackpots are subject to Federal and State income tax whether they’re paid out as a lump sum or through annual payments. If a non-US citizen wins a lottery prize, they are subject to a 30% federal withholding tax on their winnings.