Introduced first on February 13th, 1998, Lotto America was replaced in 1992 by the Powerball game. The first winner of Lotto America was announced on February 20th, 1988 and they took home $3 million.
Now, the first-ever Multi-State Lottery Association game has made a comeback and was launched on November 15th, 2017. The ticket sales for the game’s draw began on November 12th. It replaced another multi-state game called the Hot Lotto. Currently, there are about 13 states participating in the Lotto America game, which are Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia. New Hampshire will also join in from February 4th, 2018. The cost of the main game is $1, but players have the option of adding the All-Star Bonus by spending an additional $1.
Lotto America is here to give other multi-state lottery games some tough competition as the overall odds of winning it are 1 in 9.63. The starting jackpot is $2 million and since the game doesn’t have a cap like Mega Millions and Powerball, we can expect to see some really huge jackpots on a regular basis.
How to Play
If you are interested in playing Lotto America and get a chance to win millions, you can just follow the steps outlined below:
- From a set of 1-52, you have to choose five main numbers and one Star Ball number from 1-10.
- You have to match three number of main balls at the least in order to win and this will get you $5. If you only match the Star Ball number, you will win $2.
- Depending on what state you are participating from, you will have anywhere between 90 and 365 days to claim your prize.
In some states, you are given the option of advance play for Lotto America, which means that you can purchase tickets for several future draws. The exact number of these advance draws you can participate in at one time vary for every state. You can check your odds of winning the prize and the amount you will win below:
- The odds of getting a 5+1 match are 1 in 25,989,600 and you can take the jackpot home.
- The odds of matching 5 numbers are 1 in 2,887,733.33 and this will give you a prize of $20,000.
- The odds of getting 4+1 numbers are 1 in 110,594.04 and you can take home winnings worth $1,000.
- There are 1 in 12,288.23 chances that you will be able to match 4 numbers and this will earn you $20.
- The odds of matching 3+1 numbers are 1 in 2,404.22 and you will be able to win $20 with them.
- The odds of getting 3 numbers are 1 in 267.14 and this will help you win about $5.
- There are 1 in 160.28 chances of you matching 2+1 numbers and this will help you win $5.
- The odds of getting a 1+1 match are 1 in 29.14 and this will also net you a prize of $2.
- There are 1 in 16.94 chances of you being able to match 0+1 match and you will win $2 as a result.
If you want to try your hand at the All Star Bonus as well, you can follow these steps:
- When you are purchasing your Lotto America ticket, you need to select the option of the All Star Bonus and this will require you to pay an additional $1.
- If you are able to match the numbers on your ticket and win a prize, it will be multiplied by the All Star Bonus multiplier. But, this will not be applicable if you win the jackpot. For instance, matching 1+1 enables you to win $2, but it is multiplied by the All Star Bonus, which means your prize increases to $4.
- Check with the state lottery operator about the time you have for claiming your prize or else it just might slip through your fingers.
The time frame for claiming the prizes of Lotto America are different for every state. Mentioned below is the time period for all states, after which the draw date will expire:
- In New Mexico, you have to file for a claim within 90 days of winning the lottery prize, after which it will expire.
- A claim should be made within 180 days of winning the prize in Tennessee, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and Oklahoma.
- Winners in Montana have to claim the prize within 182 days.
- For Minnesota, Maine, Kansas, Iowa and Delaware, you have to claim your winnings in 365 days.
Jackpot winners of Lotto America are given the option of claiming their prize in a lump sum or use the annuity option in which 30 payments are made over 29 years. In the original game, winners could only get annuity payments. These days, winners have 60 days before they have to make a decision. During these 60 days, a winner who opted for the annuity payments has the choice of switching to a lump sum payment. If a decision is not made by the player within 60 days, they will automatically become eligible for the annuity option.
Winners who claim a prize $5,000 or higher will have to pay Federal Tax of about 25%. In addition, a certain amount may also have to be paid in income tax, depending on the state in which you win. For those who are not US citizens, a Federal Tax of 30% is applicable and have to pay income tax in the state from where the winning ticket was purchased. Some other fee may also have to be paid.
As the Multi-State Lottery Association is supervising Lotto America, jackpot winners have to go public with their winnings unless they win in North Dakota, Delaware and Iowa. Residents of any state can take part in Lotto America, but they have to visit a participating state for buying a ticket and have to revisit the same in order to claim their prize, if they win.