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Pennsylvania Lottery keystone logo

The Pennsylvania Lottery is operated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It was created by the Pennsylvania Legislature on August 26, 1971 and that October, Henry Kaplan was appointed as its first Executive Director. The lottery debuted on March 7, 1972.

Contents

Lottery proceeds

By state law, at least 40 percent of lottery proceeds is required to be paid as prizes and at least 30 percent is required to fund programs. Currently, the Pennsylvania Lottery exceeds these requirements, for 55.1% is paid as prizes, 34.5% is paid to programs, 8.0% is paid as retailer and vendor commissions, and 2.4% is consumed as operating expenses.

For the 2003-2004 fiscal year, approximately $2.37 billion in gross revenue was acquired through proceeds and interest. Approximately $1.306 billion was paid as prizes, $817.8 million was paid to programs, $189.6 million was paid as retailer and vendor commissions, and $56.9 million was paid to advertising and operations. The gross revenue for fiscal year 2003-2004 represents an increase of approximately 40.6% in sales over the past five years (since fiscal year 1998-1999).

The Pennsylvania Lottery is the only lottery in the United States that exclusively targets all of its proceeds to programs for older residents. Since the beginning of the Lottery in 1972, more than $14.6 billion has been contributed to programs. Such programs include:

  • Property tax and rent rebates
  • Shared/Free Ride program
  • PACE (Pharmaceutical Assistance for the Elderly)
  • PACENET (Enhanced Tier PACE)
  • 52 Area Agencies on Aging
  • 650 senior community centers
  • Hot Meals program
  • Home-delivered meals

The Pennsylvania Lottery website contains more detailed information about its lottery proceeds and associated programs. [1]

Current and future online games

The Pennsylvania Lottery currently has several online (lottery terminal) games in operation.

Daily Number

The Daily Number is a three-digit game, drawn twice a day (at 1:10 p.m. ET, with the numbers posted on the Lottery's website after 1:35 p.m. ET, and on a live televised drawing at 6:58:50 p.m. ET), seven days a week. Single tickets can be purchased in amounts of $0.50, up to $5.00. Additionally, tickets can be purchased up to seven days (one week) in advance.

The Daily Number can be played in five basic ways:

Way to play To play To win Payout
Straight The player chooses any three digits. If the three digits, and their order, match the winning number drawn, the player wins. 500 to 1
Boxed If the three digits, regardless of their order, match the winning number, the player wins. 80 to 1
The payout differs if a winning boxed number includes two of the same digit. 160 to 1
Front Pair The player chooses any two digits. If the two digits, and their order, match the front (left) two digits of the winning number, the player wins. 50 to 1
Back Pair If the two digits, and their order, match the back (right) two digits of the winning number, the player wins. 50 to 1
Super Straight The player chooses any three digits. The online system plays all six possible combinations of the number. Consequently, tickets cost six times the normal price of a ticket. A win is, therefore, treated like a Straight win. 500 to 1
If a Super Straight number includes two of the same digit, the cost is three times that of the regular cost, since there are only three possible winning combinations (instead of six).

Big 4

Big 4 is a four-digit game, drawn twice a day (at 1:10 p.m. ET, with the numbers posted on the Lottery's website after 1:35 p.m. ET, and on the live televised drawing at 6:58:50 p.m. ET), seven days a week. Single tickets can be purchased in amounts of $0.50, up to $5.00. Additionally, tickets can be purchased up to seven days (one week) in advance.

Big 4 can be played in two basic ways:

Way to play To play To win Payout
Straight The player chooses any four digits. If the four digits, and their order, match the winning number drawn, the player wins. 5,000 to 1
Boxed If the four digits, regardless of their order, match the winning number, the player wins. 200 to 1
A winning boxed number includes three of the same digit (regardless of the remaining single digit). 1,200 to 1
A winning boxed number includes two pairs of digits. 800 to 1
A winning boxed number includes one pair of digits (regardless of the other two digits). 400 to 1

Quinto

Quinto was first drawn on August 26, 2008. It is a five-digit game, drawn twice a day (at 1:10 p.m. ET, with the numbers posted on the Lottery's website after 1:35 p.m. ET, and on the live televised drawing at 6:58:50 p.m. ET), seven days a week. The game is the next logical step in a sequence beginning with The Daily Number and Big 4, being a five-digit game with each number picked from balls marked 0-9. The minimum play in Quinto is $1. Players can purchase tickets up to seven days in advance.

Odds and payouts for Quinto are as follows:

Bet Probability Prize
Straight 1:100,000 $50,000
5 Way Box 1:20,000 $10,000
10 Way Box 1:10,000 $5,000
20 Way Box 1:5,000 $2,500
30 Way Box 1:3,333.3 $1,700
60 Way Box 1:1,666.7 $850
120 Way Box 1:833.3 $425
Front 4 1:10,000 $5,000
Back 4 1:10,000 $5,000
Front 3 1:1,000 $500
Back 3 1:1,000 $500
Front Pair 1:100 $50
Back Pair 1:100 $50

The payout percentage is 50.04% (slightly higher on "box" wagers).

Treasure Hunt

Treasure Hunt was first drawn on May 8, 2007. It involves selecting five numbers from a field of 30. It is drawn each day at 1:10 p.m. ET, and the results are released at 1:35 p.m. ET on the Lottery's website. It is the only game in the Lottery's rotation that is only played during the non-televised midday drawing, as well as the only one whose numbers are selected via a computer instead of numbered balls. The jackpot has a minimum value of $10,000 to a single winner, although sales often bring the top prize to single winner higher than that. Prizes are also won by matching four, three, or two of the winning numbers. Treasure Hunt, on average, contributes 58% of sales back into prize money.

Numbers matched Probability Payout
5 of 5 1:142,506 Jackpot
4 of 5 1:1,140.05 $100
3 of 5 1:47.5 $6
2 of 5 1:6.2 $1

Overall odds of winning are 1 in 5.45. Odds are rounded.

Mix & Match

Mix & Match is game that involves selecting five numbers from 1 to 19, as well as the order in which they will be drawn. There are two ways to win: one for matching three or more numbers in any order ("mixing"), and the other for matching at least one number in its correct position ("matching"). The jackpot starts at $50,000 (lump sum) and is won by matching all five numbers in the order in which they are drawn. The price of one play is $2. Mix & Match is drawn during the live nighttime televised drawings at 6:58:50 p.m. ET on Mondays and Thursdays.

Numbers matched in exact order ("Match") Probability Payout
5 of 5 1:1,395,360 Jackpot
4 of 5 1:19,934 $1,000
3 of 5 1:661.3 $100
2 of 5 1:22.75 $4
1 of 5 1:4.77 Free Ticket
Numbers matched in any order ("Mix") Probability Payout
5 of 5 1:11,268 $2,000
4 of 5 1:166 $20
3 of 5 1:12.8 $2

Overall odds of winning are 1 in 3.57. Odds are rounded.

The Pennsylvania Lottery had planned to retire Mix & Match on November 3, 2009, replacing it with a new game called Double Play. These plans were put on hold by Pennsylvania Lottery officials the previous month.

Cash 5

Cash 5 is a game which consists of five numbers, from 1 to 43 (previously 1 to 39). It is drawn once a day during the live televised nighttime drawings at 6:58:50 p.m. ET, seven days a week. Tickets cost $1.00 each. Additionally, tickets can be purchased up to seven days (one week) in advance. The starting jackpot for each drawing is $125,000 (originally $100,000), unless there was no jackpot winner for the previous drawing, in which case the jackpot increases. The Cash 5 jackpot is paid in cash (never in annuity).

Cash 5 has four available prize amounts:

Numbers matched Probability Payout Average prize (if known)
5 of 5 1:962,598.00 Varies; 67.94% after deduction of fourth-level ($1) prizes, divided among all 5-of-5 winners.
4 of 5 1:5,066.30 Varies; 11.90% after deduction of fourth-level ($1) prizes, divided among all 4-of-5 winners. $250
3 of 5 1:136.90 Varies; 20.16% after deduction of fourth-level ($1) prizes, divided among all 3-of-5 winners. $11
2 of 5 1:11.40 Fixed at $1

Super 7 (2009)

Super 7 was re-introduced on March 11, 2009; the first drawing of the current Super 7 game was on March 13, 2009. It is a revival of the game of the same name which ran from 1986 to 1995.

The game is played by selecting seven numbers from a field of 77, with each selection costing $2. Every Tuesday and Friday night during the live evening televised drawings at 6:59 p.m. ET, the lottery draws 11 numbers from a mix of 77 numbered balls. If all 7 numbers on a player’s ticket match any 7 of the 11 balls drawn, the player wins a jackpot that is paid over 30 years, or a cash option jackpot paid in one lump sum, depending on the player's choice. Unlike in Powerball, where the jackpot choice is made after winning, Super 7 players are required to make the choice when playing; the payment option cannot be changed after winning. Except for the $2 fifth prize, all payouts are parimutuel.

The prize structure is as follows:

Numbers matched Probability Payout Average prize (if known)
7 of 11 1:7,287,298 Varies; 48.16% after deduction of fifth-level ($2) prizes, divided among all 7-of-11 winners.
6 of 11 1:78,866.9 Varies; 13.42% after deduction of fifth-level ($2) prizes, divided among all 6-of-11 winners. $10,000
5 of 11 1:2,426.7 Varies; 21.81% after deduction of fifth-level ($2) prizes, divided among all 5-of-11 winners. $500
4 of 11 1:159.3 Varies; 16.61% after deduction of fifth-level ($2) prizes, divided among all 4-of-11 winners. $25
3 of 11 1:20.2 Fixed at $2
Overall odds of winning: 1 in 17.81

The payout percentage in Super 7 is 52.19% (the original Super 7's payout percentage was 49%).

Powerball (multi-lottery game)

Pennsylvania joined Powerball in 2002. Until Florida began Powerball sales in January 2009, Pennsylvania was Powerball's most populous member.

Mega Millions (multi-lottery game)

Mega Millions, originally known as The Big Game, began in 1996. The current name was adopted in 2002. On October 13, 2009, an agreement was reached between the Mega Millions and Powerball groups. Of the 45 lotteries offering either game before January 31, 2010, a total of 33 currently offer both games. The Pennsylvania Lottery started selling Mega Millions tickets on the above date.[1]

The first Mega Millions drawing that included Pennsylvania produced three winners of $250,000; two were in areas new to the game: one each in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Neither ticket holder had activated the Megaplier, which would have won $1 million.

Other online games

Saturday Spin (2009)

Saturday Spin, introduced in the summer of 2009, is a revival of a game played during the 1980s and 1990s. Each week, ten names are selected from amongst players who have submitted non-winning tickets for all three of The Daily Number, Big 4, and Quinto. The player whose name is "spun" on a "wheel" (actually a graphical representation of a random number generator) wins $20,000; the other nine players win $5,000 each.

Another Saturday Spin promotion was run for five weeks in November and December for players who submitted a total of $20 worth of non-winning Christmas-themed instant game tickets. The top prize in the first four of these spins was $31,000 ("Grand-a-Day for a month"); in the fifth and final spin, the top prize was $365,000 ("Grand-a-Day for a year"). In all cases, the remaining nine players each won $1,000.

Saturday Spin was originally played from 1987 to 1990, at which time it was revamped as Million Dollar Spin, a form in which it continued until its retirement in 1998. The graphics for the new Saturday Spin are actually based on those for the Million Dollar Spin version of the original game.

Millionaire Raffle

The Millionaire Raffle is the only online game shown on the nightly broadcast that uses a computerized random number generator. The cost of a ticket is US$20, and that ticket is assigned a unique eight-digit number from 00000001 up to the number of tickets available (quantities being limited). Numbers are assigned in the order that the ticket is purchased, thus, the 100,000th ticket purchased will have the number 00100000. As of this writing, there have been eight Millionaire Raffles, each run as one-time special events.

The first Millionaire raffle was held on December 31, 2005. The ticket numbers went up to 00500000. Four numbers were selected on-air, with the holders of those tickets winning $1 million. A further five numbers were selected on-air, representing five $100,000 winners. Then 500 other numbers were selected off-air, winning those players $1,000 each. This resulted in a total payout of $5 million USD.

A second Millionaire Raffle was held on July 4, 2006. The field of tickets was expanded to include numbers to 00625000. An additional million-dollar winner (for a total of five) was added to the matrix, as were a further 250 that won $1,000 (for a total of 750), and therefore a total payout of $6.25 million USD.

A third Millionaire Raffle was held Saturday December 30, 2006 with sales on the raffle beginning November 21, 2006. The number of tickets and prizes were the same as the July 4 drawing.

A fourth Millionaire Raffle drawing was held on July 7, 2007. It had a total of 7,777 winners: 5 winners of $1 million, 5 winners of $100,000, 200 winners of $1,000, and 7,567 winners of $100.

The 5th edition of the Millionaire Raffle drawing was held on December 29, 2007 during the live 6:59 PM ET nighttime TV drawings show. The 5 $1 million top-prize Raffle ticket numbers and the five, $100,000 second-prize Raffle ticket numbers was televised during that broadcast. The remaining 7,790 numbers for the 5th edition game was drawn off air. The lottery awarded 200 prizes of $1,000 cash; and 7,790 prizes of $100 cash in the 5th edition of this game.

The 6th edition of this game took take place on July 5, 2008. Tickets went on sale on May 1 and sold out on July 4. The field of available tickets was reverted back to 500,000. The drawing produced 4 winners of $1 million, 4 winners of $100,000, 100 winners of $1,000, and 5,892 winners of $100. In all, there was a total of 6,000 winning tickets sharing $5,089,200 in prize money. The Lottery's live 6:59 PM ET drawing show on July 5 televised the selection of the four $1 million top-prize raffle ticket numbers and the four $100,000 second-prize raffle ticket numbers. The remaining 5,992 winning ticket numbers were selected off-air and posted on the PA lottery's website later that night and Lottery retail locations the next day.

The 7th edition of this game took place on January 3, 2009. Tickets went on sale on October 27, 2008. The prize structure was the same as the 6th edition of the game, i.e., 4 winners of $1 million, 4 winners of $100,000, 100 winners of $1,000, and 5,892 winners of $100; only the $1 million and $100,000 prizes were selected on-air.

The 8th edition of this game took place on July 4, 2009. This edition of the game offered 6,000 cash prizes worth more than $5 million. Each of the game's $20 tickets offered a 1-in-125,000 chance of winning $1 million. The drawing will awarded four top prizes of $1 million cash; four $100,000 cash prizes; 100 prizes of $1,000 cash; and 5,892 prizes of $100 cash. A total of 6,000 prizes worth $5,089,200 were awarded. Sales for the 8th edition of the game started on April 27.

The 9th edition took place on January 2, 2010. The four $1 million top-prize raffle ticket numbers; four $100,000 second-prize ticket numbers; 100 prizes of $1,000 each; and 5,892 prizes of $100 each – a total of 6,000 prizes – came from a pool of 500,000 tickets that were sold between Nov. 20, 2009, and Jan. 2, 2010.

Past online games

The Pennsylvania has offered a number of games which would later be discontinued due to low sales or relative obsolescence compared to games both within and outside of Pennsylvania.

Some of these games include (in order of introduction):

(Wild Card) Lotto

Lotto was the third game offered by the Pennsylvania Lottery, and replaced the traditional "passive draw" games. The first version ran from April 16, 1982 until February 1988.[2] The game was played by selecting 6 numbers from a field of 40. Players got two plays for $1, and had to purchase tickets in multiples of two. Players won the jackpot, which was paid in 21 annual installments, by matching all six of first six numbers drawn. Players also won prizes by matching four, five, or all six of the first six numbers drawn. In addition, players could win by matching 5 of the first six plus a seventh "alternate" number if, and only if, no ticket matched all of the first six numbers.[3]

The prize structure with one or more jackpot winners was as follows:

Matches Prize Category Avg. Prize  % of Sales Odds ($1 purchase)
6 out of 6 Regular First Prize Jackpot 24.5% 1:1,919,190
5 out of 6 + Alternate Alternate First Prize* $0 0% 1:319,865
5 out of 6 Second Prize $921.50 9.80% 1:9,407.79
4 out of 6 Third Prize $33.50 14.70% 1:228.07
*Alternate 1st Prize only available if there were no jackpot winners Overall odds of winning: 1 in 222.644

The prize structure with no jackpot winners was as follows:

Matches Prize Category Avg. Prize  % of Sales Odds ($1 purchase)
6 out of 6 Regular First Prize Jackpot 19.6% (carried over to next draw) 1:1,919,190
5 out of 6 + Alternate Alternate First Prize* $15,673.00 4.9% 1:319,865
5 out of 6 Second Prize $921.50 9.80% 1:9,407.79
4 out of 6 Third Prize $33.50 14.70% 1:228.07
*Alternate 1st Prize only available if there were no jackpot winners Overall odds of winning: 1 in 222.644

In February 1988, Lotto was changed to Wild Card Lotto. Certain elements of the game changed, including the addition of two prize categories, the ability to win by matching 5 of the first six numbers drawn plus the "alternate" (now called the "Wild Card") with or without a jackpot winner, and the addition of numbers to the number field.

The game was played by selecting 6 numbers from a field of 48. Players got continued to get two plays for $1, and still had to purchase tickets in multiples of two. Players won prizes by matching four, five, and for the 21-year annuitized jackpot, all six of the first six numbers drawn on Tuesday and Friday nights. In addition, they could win by matching three, four, and five of the first six drawn in addition to the seventh "Wild Card" number.[4]

The first "Wild Card Lotto" structure was as follows:

Matches Avg. Prize  % of Sales Odds ($1 purchase)
6 out of 6 Jackpot 29.4% 1:6,135,756
5 out of 6 + Wild Card $25,054.00 2.45% 1:1,022,626
5 out of 6 $1,099.50 4.41% 1:24,942.10
4 out of 6 + Wild Card $488.50 4.90% 1:9,976.84
4 out of 6 $24.00 4.90% 1:498.84
3 out of 6 + Wild Card $11.00 2.94% 1:374.13
Overall odds of winning: 1 in 207.5135

The game went unchanged until Halloween of 1995 when the Friday drawing was dropped, only to be reinstated on March 12, 1996. On March 26, 1996, a cash option was instituted, which allowed players to choose at the time of purchase whether they wanted to receive their jackpot in the traditional 21-year annuity, or in a single lump sum.

On February 24, 1998, the game went through a final overhaul. A seventh prize category was added giving players a $1 prize for matching 3 out of the first 6 numbers. The amount allocated to the jackpot was also increased. The remaining prize categories were decreased as a result.[5]

Matches Avg. Prize  % of 49% Prize Pool Odds ($1 purchase)
6 out of 6 Jackpot 74.17% After Deduction of 3-of-6 Prize 1:6,135,756
5 out of 6 + Wild Card $20,041.50 4.305% After Deduction of 3-of-6 Prize 1:1,022,626
5 out of 6 $488.50 4.305% After Deduction of 3-of-6 Prize 1:24,942.10
4 out of 6 + Wild Card $195.50 4.305% After Deduction of 3-of-6 Prize 1:9,976.84
4 out of 6 $19.50 8.61% After Deduction of 3-of-6 Prize 1:498.84
3 out of 6 + Wild Card $7.00 4.305% After Deduction of 3-of-6 Prize 1:374.13
3 out of 6 $1.00 (Fixed) 1:28.78
Overall odds of winning: 1 in 25.274

On September 11, 1998, the final Wild Card Lotto jackpot took place after 16 years. The game, along with Keystone JackPot, was replaced with Super 6 Lotto.

Super 7 (1986)

Super 7 is a jackpot game similar to keno, originally introduced on August 14, 1986.

The game was originally played by selecting seven numbers from a field of 80, with each selection costing $1. On Wednesday nights, the lottery would draw 11 numbers from a mix of 80 numbered balls. If all seven numbers on a player’s ticket matched any 7 of the 11 drawn, they would win a jackpot that would be paid over 26 years; there was no cash option. Except for the $7 prize, all prizes were parimutuel.

The original odds were as follows:

Matches on Ticket Odds
7 out of 7 1: 9,626,413.3
6 out of 7 1: 99,652.3
5 out of 7 1: 2,931.0
4 out of 7 ($7 prize) 1: 183.7
Overall odds of winning: 1 in 172.591

The first few Super 7 drawings did not award a prize for matching only four numbers.

On April 10, 1991, the game’s format was changed. Ten numbers were drawn instead of 11, and there were 74 numbers to choose from instead of 80. Players still selected 7 numbers on their ticket.

The prize structure from April 10, 1991 to game’s end are as follows:[6]

Matches on Ticket Avg. Prize  % of 49% Prize Pool Odds
7 out of 7 Jackpot 70% 1: 14,996,492.2
6 out of 7 $4,189.50 25% After Deduction of Jackpot & 4-of-7 Prize 1: 133,897.3
5 out of 7 $332.50 75% After Deduction of Jackpot & 4-of-7 Prize 1: 3,542.3
4 out of 7 $15.00 (Fixed) 1: 205.7
Overall odds of winning: 1 in 194.108

On July 10, 1993, drawings were moved from Wednesday night to Saturday night.

On October 28, 1995, the lottery held the original edition's last Super 7 draw. Super 7 was replaced by Keystone JackPot. Super 7 was revived in 2009. Among the differences compared to the former version is that players now have to choose whether to receive a jackpot prize in lump sum, or annuity, should they win. (All jackpot winners in the former Super 7 game received their winnings in 26 annual payments, as there was no cash option.) Tickets for the new Super 7 cost $2 each.

Saturday/Million Dollar Spin (1987)

The original Saturday Spin was a weekly game first played on March 7, 1987. Each week, the owners of five redeemed instant games that had awarded "free tickets" were selected to have their names placed on a wheel; the player whose name the wheel stopped on would win $50,000, $100,000, or a $1,000,000 annuity.

On May 5, 1990, Saturday Spin was changed to Million Dollar Spin. In the new version of the game, ten players were selected each week, and a second wheel randomly selected a grand prize of $50,000, $75,000, $100,000, or a $1,000,000 annuity. Each of the nine finalists whose names the wheel had not stopped on received $5,000.

Million Dollar Spin was played for the last time on December 26, 1998. For this last spin, all prize values were doubled.

Hearts & Diamonds

Hearts & Diamonds began on October 5, 1994.

The game involved selecting 5 playing cards from a field of 26 (containing each card from the Heart and Diamond suits, hence the name). Players could not make their own selections; instead, all plays were done by quick-pick. The game was also the first game in Pennsylvania to be drawn by computer as opposed to mechanical ball machine(s); this method would later be employed to draw the midday games.

The prize structure went as followed:[7]

Matches Avg. Prize  % of Sales Odds
5 out of 5 $20,062.50 30.5% 1:65,780
4 out of 5 $72.00 11.5% 1:626.5
3 out of 5 $2.50 8.0% 1:31.3
Overall odds of winning: 1 in 29.819

Sales ended for Hearts & Diamonds on March 10, 1996.

Keystone JackPot

Keystone JackPot went on sale on October 29, 1995, replacing Super 7. The game was the first in-state “Powerball”-type game in the U.S., and the only one to have seven total numbers as opposed to six or five.

The game was played by selecting six numbers from a field of 33, and a seventh blue “Key Ball” from another field of 33. To win, players need to match 4 or more numbers from the first set, or matching any amount of numbers from the first set in addition to the Key Ball. Players could also win by matching the Key Ball alone. If a player matched the first six numbers and the Key Ball, they would win a jackpot that was paid over 26 annual payments. Tickets cost $1 each.

The prize structure went a follows:[8]

Matches Avg. Prize  % of Sales Odds
6 + Key Ball Jackpot 29.3412% 1:36,549,744
6 $77,793.50 6.811% 1:1,142,179.5
5 + Key Ball $7,771.50 3.4447% 1:225,615.7
5 $77.00 1.0927% 1:7,050.5
4 + Key Ball $77.00 1.1074% 1:6,942.0
4 $7.00 3.2291% 1:216.9
3 + Key Ball $7.00 1.1221% 1:624.8
2 + Key Ball $1.00 1.47% 1:138.8
1 + Key Ball $1.00 2.7% 1:75.5
Key Ball Only $1.00 1.65% 1:123.5
Overall odds of winning: 1 in 28.526

The $1 prize for matching the Key Ball with 2, 1, or no white balls was a fixed prize.

Keystone JackPot underwent no changes during the game's history, and the final drawing was held September 5, 1998. It was replaced by Super 6 Lotto.

Super 6 Lotto

Super 6 Lotto began on September 6, 1998, replacing two games, Wild Card Lotto and Keystone JackPot.

Players selected 6 numbers from a field of 69, each selection costing $1, and for each selection, players received two additional quick picks, for a total of 3 plays for a dollar. If a player matched all six numbers, they would win a jackpot that would paid in 26 annual payments or, if selected at the time of purchase, a single lump sum. Players could also win prizes by matching, three, four, and five numbers out of the six drawn.

The prize pool was arranged as follows:[9]

Matches Avg. Prize  % of Sales Odds ($1 Purchase)
6 out of 6 Jackpot 39.52% 1:39,959,157.33
5 out of 6 $4,397.50 4.16% 1:105,712.06
4 out of 6 $53.00 3.90% 1:1,364.03
3 out of 6 $2.00 4.42% 1:50.31
Overall odds of winning: 1 in 48.5

When the game first began, numbers were drawn on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and in June 2002, the drawings were moved to Tuesdays and Fridays to make room for the addition of the multi-state Powerball.

The last drawing took place on January 27, 2004. Because no jackpot winners were drawn on the final draw, the jackpot rolled down the lower prize levels, increasing them, as opposed to rolling over into the game's replacement as its predecessors had. Super 6 Lotto was replaced by Match 6.

Lucky for Life

Lucky for Life began sales on September 30, 2004,[10] and the first drawings were held October 2 of that same year.

LfL was played by picking 6 numbers from a field of 38, and each selection cost $2. Players could win by matching 3 or more numbers on their ticket to those drawn, or they could win at the time of purchase by way of the game’s instant win feature, or a combination thereof. If they matched all 6 numbers, they won the top prize, which was advertised as $3,000 per month for the rest of the player’s life, and was received in annual installments of $36,000 per year. Players would receive payments until their death, or when the total payments added up to $1 million, whichever came last. There was no cash option, which may have led to the game being withdrawn after less than three years.

The prize structure was as follows:

Matches Prize Odds
6 out of 6 $3,000/month/life 1:2,760,681
5 out of 6 $2,000 1:14,378.5
4 out of 6 $40 1:371.1
3 out of 6 $3 1:27.8
Overall odds of winning: 1 in 25.841
Instant Win $10 1:20.0
Overall odds of winning with Instant Win: 1 in 11.5

The game was originally drawn on Wednesday and Saturday nights, but on August 1, 2005, the draws were moved to Mondays and Thursdays.

The game ended on January 22, 2007, and was replaced with Mix & Match, which is still available.

Match 6

Match 6 was a game which consisted of six numbers, from 1 to 49. It was drawn during the live televised nighttime lottery drawings at 6:58:50 p.m. ET on Tuesdays and Fridays. Tickets cost $2.00 each. Additionally, tickets could have been purchased up to 26 drawings (13 weeks) in advance. The starting jackpot for each drawing was $500,000, unless there was no jackpot winner for the previous drawing, in which case, the jackpot increased. The Match 6 jackpot was paid in cash (not in annuity).

When a player purchased a Match 6 ticket, two additional lines of numbers were generated along with the one line selected by the player. Therefore, not only could a player win by matching three through six of the six numbers drawn (called the "base play"), but a player could win additional prizes by matching three through six numbers on each of the two additional lines, or combine the numbers on all three lines, as well (called the "combined play"). In the combined play, multiple instances of the same number count as many times as it appeared.

Match 6 had 11 available prize amounts:

Numbers matched Probability Payout
6 of 6 1:4,661,272.3 Jackpot amount
5 of 6 1:18,067.3 $1,000
4 of 6 1:344.5 $20
3 of 6 1:19.2 $2
10+ of 18 1:597,302.6 $2,500
9 of 18 1:45,267.4 $1,000
8 of 18 1:4,440.4 $50
7 of 18 1:590.9 $25
6 of 18 1:106.7 $10
5 of 18 1:26.4 $5
4 of 18 1:9.1 $2

Match 6, on average, had a 53 percent payout percentage. The overall probability of winning on a $2 play was approximately 1 in 5.9.

Match 6 had its final drawing on March 10, 2009. The final jackpot of $900,000 was won by a single ticket. The jackpot would have rolled down if there had been no winner. The game was replaced by Super 7 (still available as of January 2010).

Instant games

Besides conducting online games, the Pennsylvania Lottery has many instant games (such tickets are usually referred to as "scratch off tickets"). In fact, approximately 42% of all lottery proceeds are from instant ticket sales. The Pennsylvania Lottery website maintains an updated list. [2]

Pennsylvania instant games range in price from $1 to $25. Typically, higher-priced tickets offer better odds of winning, higher top prizes (up to $1,000,000 for a $20 game; $2,500,000 cash or a $3,000,000 annuity for a $25 game), and a higher payout percentage. Payouts range from 57% of sales (for a $1 ticket) to 76.91% (for a $25 ticket).

Originally, a winning ticket was denoted by two matching letters on the play area. Later, this was updated to the winning amount being highlighted with parentheses at the top or bottom of the play area, in order, but not necessarily consecutively; for example, a $100 winner would be denoted (1)(0)(0). Currently, three letters are scattered around the play area, spelling out the winning amount; for example, a prize of $100 is denoted H U N; losing tickets are denoted with a combination from the letters B, J, K, P, Q, and Z. Any prize over $2,500 on newly released tickets is denoted with the letters C L M, for "claim"; any tickets released prior to July 2008 use C L M for any amount over $500.

Lottery offices

The Pennsylvania Lottery maintains seven area lottery offices, including its headquarters:

Claiming a winning ticket

Pennsylvania Lottery retailers can pay prizes up to, and including, $2,500 for all tickets. (Until June 30, 2008, the maximum on a scratch ticket was $500.) In such cases, no personal information needs to be disclosed by the winner. Claiming a higher prize, however, requires a standard claim form to be filed with a lottery retailer. For instant games that make annuity payments, as well as the top prizes in Cash 5 or Match 6, a claim should be filed at an area lottery office. For Powerball jackpots, a claim must be filed at Lottery Headquarters.

Winnings and taxes

When filing a standard claim form, the claimant, the retailer, and the Pennsylvania Lottery each receive a copy (the form is triplicate). The Pennsylvania Lottery then reports all winnings to the IRS. For federal income tax purposes, any lottery winnings over $600 in a fiscal year are taxable. However, when the winning amount is greater than $5,000, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue withholds the proper amount of federal income tax before a check is mailed to the claimant. Pennsylvania Lottery winnings are not taxable for state or local tax purposes.

Triple Six Fix of 1980

The host of the Pennsylvania lottery drawing, Nick Perry, and seven others participated in a plot to rig the Daily Number, colloquially known as the "Triple Six Fix." On the night of April 24, 1980, the number 666 was drawn and a handful of players came forward to claim $1.8 million of the then record $3.5 million pay-out. Lottery authorities and local bookmakers became suspicious after word on the street came out that the game was fixed. Tickets sales showed a heavy bias towards tickets purchased containing all combinations of 4s and 6s.

The lottery was fixed by Perry and Fred Luman, who managed to switch the normal ping pong balls with ones weighted with latex paint for all numbers except 4 and 6. Later viewing of the drawing tapes by the FBI conclusively showed that only the numbers 4 and 6 were light enough to enter the tube to be drawn.

Perry, in conjunction with Peter Margos, Jack Margos, Jerry Hammer, and five other men either were convicted or entered plea-bargains for their involvement.

The 2000 film Lucky Numbers, starring John Travolta and Lisa Kudrow, was loosely based on Perry’s story.

The last time the triple six was drawn in the Daily Number was on December 21, 2007 during the live nighttime televised drawing.

A similar occurrence occurred on an episode of Monk ("Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever").

Game show

To celebrate the lottery's 25th anniversary in 1997, Jonathan Goodson (who produced lottery games in Illinois, Florida, Massachusetts, and New York at the time) produced a game show, with a format similar to Illinois Instant Riches. The show was hosted by American Bandstand and Pyramid host Dick Clark, assisted by Gigi Gordon, with $365,000 up for grabs on the show. Two games featured were Freefall and Vortex.

The special show aired on:

  • Harrisburg - WGAL
  • Philadelphia - WPVI
  • Pittsburgh - KDKA

See also

References

External links








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