Pennsylvania Lottery

The Pennsylvania Lottery is operated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Lottery was created by the Pennsylvania General Assembly on August 26, 1971; two months later, Henry Kaplan was appointed as its first executive director. The Pennsylvania Lottery sold its first tickets on March 7, 1972 and drew its first numbers on March 15, 1972.[1]

Pennsylvania Lottery
Agency overview
FormedAugust 26, 1971
HeadquartersMiddletown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Agency executives
  • Drew Svitko, Executive Director
  • Jim Sawyer, Acting Security Director
  • Ewa Dworakowski, Press Secretary
Parent agencyPennsylvania Department of Revenue

Lottery proceedsEdit

By Pennsylvania law, at least 40 percent of Lottery proceeds are required to be paid as prizes, with another 27 percent towards funding programs. Currently, the Pennsylvania Lottery exceeds these requirements, as 60.9 percent is paid as prizes, 29.9 percent to programs, 6.7 percent is paid as retailer and vendor commissions and 2.5 percent is consumed as operating expenses.[citation needed]

For the 2009–2010 fiscal year, approximately $3.065 billion in gross revenue was acquired through proceeds and interest. Approximately $1.87 billion was paid as prizes, $915.7 million to programs, $207 million was paid as retailer and vendor commissions, and $76.6 million was paid to advertising and operations. The gross revenue for fiscal year 2009–2010 represented an increase of approximately 59 percent in sales over fiscal year 2001–02.

The Pennsylvania Lottery is the only US lottery that targets all of its proceeds to programs for its elderly residents. Since the beginning of the Lottery in 1972, more than $20.1 billion has been contributed to programs.

In 2017, following a revenue decrease exceeding $75 million for the fiscal year 2016–2017, Pennsylvania passed a gaming expansion bill that authorized the sale of online lottery products.[2] Governor Tom Wolf's budget plan for 2018 said that he and the state would use new revenues to "re-establish a $75 million reserve fund."[3]

Pennsylvania-only draw gamesEdit

Pick 2Edit

Pick 2 is a two-digit (0–9) game which debuted on January 27, 2015. (Concurrent with the introduction of Pick 2, the Daily Number, Big 4, and Quinto were renamed to Pick 3, Pick 4, and Pick 5, respectively.) Pick 2 is drawn twice daily (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. The minimum play is $1, and tickets can be purchased up to seven days in advance.

Pick 2 can be played in four basic ways:

Bet Probability Prize
Straight 1:100 $50
Box 1:50 $25
Front digit 1:10 $5
Back digit 1:10 $5

Pick 3 (formerly The Daily Number)Edit

Pick 3 debuted on March 1, 1977 as The Daily Number. It is a three-digit (0–9) 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 increments of 50¢, up to $5.00. Tickets can be purchased up to seven days in advance.

Pick 3 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 (if all three digits are different) 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).

Pick 4 (formerly Big 4)Edit

Pick 4 debuted on November 22, 1980 as Big 4. It 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 for the same amounts as in Pick 3, up to seven days in advance.

Pick 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 match (in this case four different digits), regardless of their order, match the winning number, the player wins. 200 to 1
A winning boxed number including three of the same digit (regardless of the remaining single digit). 1,200 to 1
A winning boxed number including two pairs of digits. 800 to 1
A winning boxed number including one pair of digits (regardless of the other two digits). 400 to 1

Pick 5 (formerly Quinto)Edit

Pick 5's first drawing was on August 26, 2008, under the name Quinto. 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 minimum play in Pick 5 is $1. Players can purchase tickets up to seven days in advance.

Odds and payouts for Pick 5 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

Wild BallEdit

The Wild Ball is an add-on to the Pick 2, Pick 3, Pick 4, and Pick 5 games introduced on September 13, 2016. Activating the Wild Ball doubles the cost of the play.

Before the Pick games are drawn, one digit 0 through 9 is drawn and designated as the Wild Ball number. The Wild Ball number may then be used by the player to replace any one digit in any of the Pick games. For instance, if the player selects 123 in the Pick 3 game, and the number actually drawn is 124, but the Wild Ball is a 3, the player may replace the 4 with a 3 to create a winning combination.

Because the Wild Ball creates additional ways to win, a win using the Wild Ball generally pays a lesser amount than a win using the base play (with the exceptions of the front and back digit plays in Pick 2), however, a player can win both from the Wild Ball and from the base play if the Wild Ball matches one of the digits naturally.

Payouts using the Wild Ball are as follows:

Pick 2Edit

Bet Probability Prize
Straight 1:50 $30
Box 1:25 $15
Front digit 1:10 $6
Back digit 1:10 $6

Pick 3Edit

Bet Probability Payout
Straight 1:333.33 200 to 1
6-way Box 1:55.56 36 to 1
3-way Box 1:111.11 72 to 1
Front Pair 1:50 30 to 1
Back Pair 1:50 30 to 1

Pick 4Edit

Bet Probability Payout
Straight 1:2,500 1,500 to 1
4-way Box 1:625 390 to 1
6-way Box 1:416.67 260 to 1
12-way Box 1:208.33 130 to 1
24-way Box 1:104.17 60 to 1

Pick 5Edit

Bet Probability Prize
Straight 1:20,000 $12,000
5 Way Box 1:4,000 $2,400
10 Way Box 1:2,000 $1,200
20 Way Box 1:1,000 $600
30 Way Box 1:666.67 $400
60 Way Box 1:333.33 $200
120 Way Box 1:166.67 $100
Front 4 1:2,500 $1,500
Back 4 1:2,500 $1,500
Front 3 1:333.33 $200
Back 3 1:333.33 $200
Front Pair 1:50 $30
Back Pair 1:50 $30

Treasure HuntEdit

Treasure Hunt's first drawing was on May 8, 2007. It involves selecting five numbers from a field of 30. It is drawn daily 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 Lottery's only game held exclusively during the non-televised midday drawings, as well as its only game always selected via a computer instead of printed balls. The minimum jackpot is $10,000, although sales often allow the actual prize level to be higher. Prizes are also won by matching four, three, or two of the winning numbers. Treasure Hunt has a payout percentage of 58%.

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.

Cash 5Edit

Cash 5 consists of picking five numbers from 1 through 43 (originally 1-39). It is drawn during the live televised nighttime drawings at 6:58:50 p.m. ET, seven days a week. Games cost $1 each; tickets can be purchased up to seven days in advance. The minimum jackpot $125,000 (originally $100,000), increasing until there is a 5-of-5 winner. Cash 5 jackpots also are always paid in lump sum.

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

Starting on March 23, 2021, the price per play increased to $2, and all second through fourth-level prizes became fixed amounts. Concurrent with this change, a “Quick Cash” feature was added, in which a second ticket, similar to a Fast Play ticket (see below) would be printed with one play of Quick Cash given for each play of Cash 5 purchased. Matching any of five “winning numbers” to any of five “your numbers” in the same play wins the player a prize of either $2 or $6.

Match 6Edit

Match 6 consists of picking 6 numbers, from 1 through 49. It is drawn during the live televised Lottery drawings at 6:58:50 p.m. ET Nightly Players get three games for $2 (see below); bettors can play in increments up to 26 drawings. The jackpot begins at $500,000; it always is paid in a lump sum.

Players automatically receive two free "quick picks" for each $2 played; unlike the former game Super 6 (see below), the automatic quick-picks are necessary. This is because, in addition to winning in the normal fashion (matching at least three numbers in one game, "base play"), a player also can win by matching enough numbers on all 3 lines ("combined play"). In "combined play", the 18 numbers across the three lines often repeat. Only when there are enough "repeats" across the three lines is it possible to win the highest possible prize in the "all three lines category" (see list of prize amounts).

Match 6 has 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

The overall probability of winning on a $2 play is approximately 1 in 5.9.

Match 6 originally ran from January 28, 2004 to March 10, 2009. The final jackpot of this run was $900,000, and was won by one set of six numbers. The jackpot would have rolled down if there had been no winner. Match 6 was replaced by the revival of Super 7, which in turn was retired in April 2010 due to poor sales.

On June 1, 2010, however, Match 6 returned, this time replacing Mix & Match. Match 6's gameplay did not change from the previous version, although the drawing days are different than before. It was formerly drawn on Mondays and Thursdays, And also formerly Tuesdays and Fridays. It also has an average payout of 57.95%, up from 53% in the previous version. This extra money goes into the jackpot, as the lower tier prize amounts did not change.

On August 28, 2017, Match 6 increased the frequency of drawings to seven nights per week. This made Pennsylvania one of the fewest lotteries to have all of its draw-games held daily.


Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed a gaming expansion bill on October 30, 2017, making it possible for the lottery to offer Keno.[4]

Keno games went live on May 1, 2018 at hundreds of locations throughout the state.[5]


In May 2018, the Pennsylvania Lottery launched internet lottery games. The suite of products, known as the Pennsylvania iLottery, includes a variety of scratch-off games that reveal lottery ticket results online.[6]

In August 2018, seven Pennsylvania casinos filed a lawsuit to shut the iLottery program down, citing similarities to slot machines which casinos have exclusive rights to offering in the state. The lottery has continued to offer these games, as this style of scratch-off tickets are considered sufficiently different from online casino slot machines in other jurisdictions with similar products.[7]

Xpress SportsEdit

The Pennsylvania Lottery has been offering Xpress Sports' Racing and Football since the summer of 2018. Similar to keno, the virtual sports games are displayed on monitors at select locations and run every few minutes.

Derby CashEdit

On November 19, 2019, the Pennsylvania Lottery began offering Derby Cash, a virtual horse racing game. The virtual races run every 5 minutes and can be bought at all lottery retailers and watched at over 2,000 locations.[8]

Multi-state games offered in PennsylvaniaEdit


Pennsylvania joined Cash4Life on April 7, 2015; it began in New Jersey and New York the previous year. (The game also is available in Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Tennessee, and Virginia.)

Players choose 5 of 60 numbers in one field, and 1 of 4 green "Cash Ball" numbers in the second field. Cash4Life drawings are held live on Monday to Sunday evenings at 9pm Eastern Time on Livestream.[9][10][11] The top prize (win or share) $1,000-per-day-for-life, or the cash option. Second prize is $1,000-per-week-for-life or the cash option.

Mega MillionsEdit

Mega Millions was originally known as The Big Game, which 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. On January 31, 2010, Pennsylvania was among the lotteries that added the "other" game, in this case Mega Millions, on the cross-sell expansion date. Forty-six lotteries, including those of the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, currently offer both games.[12]

The current Mega Millions game requires players to choose 5 of 70 "white ball" numbers, and a gold-colored "Mega Ball" from a pool of 25 numbers. Plays remain $2 each, or $3 if the Megaplier is activated.

The first Mega Millions drawing that included Pennsylvania (held on February 2, 2010) 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 $1,000,000, as the Megaplier was 4. Eventually, a second-prize Mega Millions ticket with Megaplier activated was guaranteed to win $1,000,000, regardless of the multiplier drawn.


Pennsylvania joined Powerball in 2002; it was MUSL's most-populous member until Florida joined in 2009.

The current Powerball game requires players to choose 5 of 69 "white ball" numbers, and a red-colored "Powerball" from a pool of 26 numbers. Plays are $2 each, or $3 if Power Play is activated.

Recurring gamesEdit

Millionaire RaffleEdit

The Millionaire Raffle is normally offered annually. Tickets cost $20; each ticket is assigned a unique eight-digit number starting from 00000001 (quantities being limited). Numbers are assigned in the order that the tickets are purchased; thus, the 100,000th ticket purchased for a given raffle will have the number 00100000. At the drawings, the four $1,000,000-winning ticket numbers, as well as the second prize winners, are drawn by random number generator. As of January 2018, there have been 24 Millionaire Raffles.

Discontinued drawing gamesEdit

The Pennsylvania Lottery has offered several games which would later be discontinued due to low sales and/or relative obsolescence.

These games include (in order of introduction):

(Wild Card) LottoEdit

Lotto was the third game offered by the Pennsylvania Lottery and replaced the traditional "passive draw" games. The first version ran from April 1982 until February 1988.[13] The game was played by selecting 6 numbers from a field of 40. Players got two games for $1, having to play an even number of games. Players won the jackpot, which was paid in 21 annual installments (with no cash option), by matching the first six numbers drawn. Players won by matching at least four of the first six numbers drawn. Players also would win by matching 5 of the first 6, plus a seventh, "alternate", number if no game matched the first six numbers.[14]

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

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

The prize structure with no jackpot winner was as follows:

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

In February 1988, the game became Wild Card Lotto (WCL). The game's changes included the addition of two prize categories and a "permanent" prize for matching 5 of the first 6 numbers drawn along with the "alternate" number (now called the "Wild Card Number").

The new game was played by selecting 6 numbers from 48. Players continued to get two plays for $1, again having to purchase games in pairs. Drawings were now Tuesdays and Fridays. Prizes were won by matching at least four numbers, with or without the "Wild Card" number. The jackpot continued to be paid in 21 annual payments with no cash option.[15]

The first WCL prize structure:

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

On October 31, 1995, the Friday drawing was dropped, only to be reinstated on March 12, 1996. On March 26, 1996, Pennsylvania's first cash option was introduced; WCL players were now required when purchasing tickets (instead of after winning, as in present-day Cash4Life, Mega Millions, or Powerball) to choose between receiving a jackpot prize in the 21-payment annuity or in a lump sum.

On February 24, 1998, the game went through a final overhaul. A seventh prize category was added, a $1 prize for matching 3 of the first 6 numbers. The percentage of sales allocated to the jackpot also increased. The remaining prize categories were decreased as a result.[16]

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

On September 11, 1998, the final WCL drawing was held. The game, along with Keystone Jackpot, was replaced with Super 6 Lotto (see below for both games).

Super 7 (1986–1995)Edit

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

The original Super 7 was played by selecting 7 of 80 numbers; each game cost $1. On Wednesday nights, the Lottery drew 11 numbers. If all 7 numbers in a game matched 7 of the 11 drawn, they won a jackpot that was paid in 26 installments; unlike the 2009-2010 revival of Super 7, there was no cash option.

Originally, the first version of Super 7 offered only three prize levels; players needed to match at least 5 of the 11 numbers drawn. Soon after the game began, a $7 prize was created for matching 4 of 11 numbers.

Except for the $7 prize, all prizes were parimutuel.

The original Super 7's odds were as follows:

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

†Originally, Super 7 had only three prize levels.

On April 10, 1991, the game's format was changed, with 10 numbers drawn instead of 11 and 74 numbers to choose from instead of 80. Players still selected 7 numbers for each game.

The prize structure from April 10, 1991, to game's end was as follows:[17]

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

On July 10, 1993, drawings were moved from Wednesdays to Saturdays.

On October 28, 1995, the Lottery held the last drawing of the original Super 7.

Saturday/Million Dollar Spin (1987–1998)Edit

The original Saturday Spin was weekly beginning on March 7, 1987. Each week, five players who had mailed non-winning instant tickets had their names on a special wheel, the player whose name the wheel stopped on would win $50,000 or $100,000 in cash, or a $1 million annuity.

On May 5, 1990, Saturday Spin was changed to Million Dollar Spin. In the second version of the game, 10 players who had won a $1 free ticket prize were selected each week, and a second wheel selected a prize of $50,000, $75,000, or $100,000 cash or a $1,000,000 annuity. Each of the other nine finalists received $5,000.

Million Dollar Spin was played until December 26, 1998. On the final playing, all prize values were doubled.

Hearts & DiamondsEdit

Hearts & Diamonds began on October 5, 1994.

The game involved selecting 5 of 26 playing cards (from the hearts and diamonds suits only; hence the name). This is the only Pennsylvania Lottery game to date (including raffles) where all ticket selections were by "quick-pick". The game was also Pennsylvania's first to be drawn by random number generator (computer) as opposed to mechanical ball machine(s); this method would later be employed to draw midday games.

The prize structure was:[18]

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

Hearts & Diamonds ended on March 10, 1996.

Keystone JackpotEdit

Keystone Jackpot began on October 29, 1995, replacing the original Super 7. Keystone Jackpot was the first US single-lottery game to draw from two number pools (a la Cash4Life, Mega Millions, or Powerball); it also is the only U.S. game to date using two number pools drawing a total of seven numbers.

Keystone Jackpot was played by selecting 6 of 33 numbers in one pool, and a seventh, blue, Key Ball from another field of 33. To win, players needed to match 4 or more numbers from the first set, or, as in Mega Millions or Powerball, automatically winning by matching the Key Ball. Jackpots were paid in 26 installments; there was never a cash option (although Pennsylvania's first cash option began during Keystone Jackpot's run). Games cost $1 each.

The prize structure went as follows:[19]

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: 1 in 28.526

The $1 prize for matching the Key Ball with 2, 1, or 0 white balls was a fixed prize.

Keystone Jackpot underwent no changes during its history; its final drawing was held September 5, 1998, being replaced by Super 6.

Super 6Edit

Super 6 began on September 6, 1998, replacing Wild Card Lotto and Keystone Jackpot.

Super 6 was one of the first jackpot games in North America where players received automatic "Quick Picks", instead of being allowed to choose all of their numbers. Players selected 6 numbers from 69 in each game, receiving two "free plays" of automatic Quick-Picks, for a total of 3 plays for $1. Matching all 6 numbers in a game won a jackpot, paid either in 26 installments or, if selected when playing, in a lump sum. Players won by matching at least 3 numbers in a game.

The prize pool was arranged as follows:[20]

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

When Super 6 began, it was drawn Wednesdays and Saturdays; in June 2002, its drawings were moved to Tuesdays and Fridays as Pennsylvania was joining Powerball.

Super 6's final drawing was on January 27, 2004. Because there was no jackpot winner, the jackpot pool was added into the lower prize pools instead of into the game's replacement's (Match 6) jackpot, which Pennsylvania had done with previous game changes.

Lucky for LifeEdit

Lucky for Life began on September 30, 2004;[21] its first drawing was held October 2.

Lucky for Life was played by picking 6 of 38 numbers; each game cost $2. Players won by matching 3 or more numbers, and/or the game's "instant win" feature. Matching all 6 numbers won an annuity prize of $3,000 per month, with a $1 million guarantee. There was no cash option, which may have led to the game being retired within three years.

The prize structure was as follows:

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

The game initially was drawn Wednesdays and Saturdays; in August 2005, the draws switched to Mondays and Thursdays.

The game ended on January 22, 2007, replaced with Mix & Match, which lasted until May 31, 2010.

Despite Lucky for Life (not related to the current multi-state game of that name) not being a total success, Pennsylvania joined the multi-state Cash4Life on April 7, 2015. Unlike the Pennsylvania LFL, Cash4Life has two lifetime prize tiers; winners of either can choose the lifetime annuity or the cash option.

Super 7 (2009–2010)Edit

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

This version of Super 7 was 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 drew 11 numbers from 77 numbered balls. If all 7 numbers on a player's ticket matched any 7 of the 11 balls drawn, the player won a jackpot that is paid either in 30 annual installments, or in lump sum, depending on the player's choice. Unlike in Mega Millions or Powerball, where the jackpot choice is made after winning, Super 7 players were required to make the choice when playing; the payment option could not be changed after winning. Except for the $2 fifth prize, all payouts were parimutuel.

The prize structure was 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%).

On April 13, 2010, the Pennsylvania Lottery announced that the revival of Super 7, which had begun just over a year earlier, would hold its final drawing on April 27, 2010. The Lottery cited the addition of Mega Millions to its portfolio early in the year; Super 7 was drawn on Tuesday and Friday nights, the same as Mega Millions. The jackpot was not won the final drawing; the jackpot rolled down to those matching at least 4 numbers (those matching 3 numbers won $2). Super 7 was not replaced, although, about a month later, an updated version of Match 6 replaced Mix & Match.

Mix & MatchEdit

Mix & Match involved selecting five numbers from 1 through 19, as well as the order in which they will be drawn. There were two ways to win: A) for matching three or more numbers in any order ("mixing"), and B) for matching at least one number in its correct position ("matching".) The jackpot started at $50,000 (lump sum) and was won by matching all five numbers in the order in which they were drawn. Games cost $2 each. Mix & Match was drawn during the live nighttime televised drawings at 6:58:50 p.m. ET Mondays and Thursdays.[22]

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 were 1 in 3.57.

The Lottery had planned to retire Mix & Match on November 3, 2009, replacing it with a new game, Double Play. These plans were put on hold by Lottery officials the previous month, and Double Play ultimately never materialized.

Mix & Match did eventually end, however. It held its final drawing on May 31, 2010, and was replaced by a revival of Match 6.

Monopoly Millionaires' ClubEdit

Pennsylvania was among 23 jurisdictions participating in the launch of the Monopoly Millionaires' Club (MMC) multistate drawing game on October 19, 2014. The game was drawn Fridays beginning October 24. With the December 12 drawing, Texas suspended sales of MMC tickets; the 22 other MMC members participated in two more drawings. (A game show featuring MMC players had episodes taped; they aired beginning March 28, 2015) Pennsylvania's MMC payouts for the final drawing were pari-mutuel, and were much higher than the fixed payouts for each prize tier.

In late March 2015, MMC returned as a scratch-off game; as of April 6, there were nine lotteries offering it. Pennsylvania had committed to offering the $5 instant game; as with the draw game, players of the MMC scratch ticket could win a trip-for-two to Las Vegas to participate in a taping of the MMC television game show, which was hosted by Mike & Molly's Billy Gardell, a native of Pittsburgh.

The MMC scratch game (which varied by state) and TV game show were discontinued in 2016.

Instant gamesEdit

Besides offering terminal-based games, the Pennsylvania Lottery has many instant games (such tickets are usually referred to as "scratch off tickets"). Approximately 42% of Lottery proceeds are from instant ticket sales. The Lottery website maintains an updated list. [4]

The Pennsylvania Lottery uses an animatronic groundhog called "Gus", who claims that he is the "second-most-famous groundhog in Pennsylvania" (after Punxsutawney Phil), as the mascot for instant games in television commercials which appear around the beginning of every month.[23]

Pennsylvania instant games range in price from $1 to $30. Typically, higher-priced tickets offer better odds of winning, higher top prizes (up to $1 million for a $20 game; $2,500,000 cash or a $3 million annuity for a $25 game, or $3 million cash for a $30 game), and a higher payout percentage. Payouts range from 57% of sales ($1 tickets) to 76.94% ($30 tickets).

Originally, a winning ticket was denoted by two matching letters in 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). Still later, three letters were 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 of: B, J, K, P, Q, and Z. Any prize over $2,500 on newer tickets is denoted with the letters "C L M" for "claim"; tickets released prior to July 2008 used C L M for amounts over $500. Starting with tickets released at the end of November 2010, tickets no longer have validation codes; an area marked "Scratch to Cash" must be scratched off by the player, revealing a bar code. Concurrent with the removal of validation codes, the Pennsylvania lottery also removed "benday," a random pattern of squiggly lines used as a security feature.[24]

Fast PlayEdit

On February 28, 2017, the Pennsylvania Lottery began offering "Fast Play" games.[25] A Fast Play game is printed from a lottery terminal, however, it is played in a similar manner to the instant games. Typically, the player must match one or more numbers or symbols to the designated winning symbols in order to win. Currently, Fast Play games are offered at price points of $1, $2, $3, $5, $10, $20, and $30.

Certain Fast Play games may offer a progressive jackpot which increases with each ticket sold until a jackpot winning ticket is generated, at which point the jackpot resets to a base amount.

Political impactEdit

A 2016 study of winners of the Pennsylvania Lottery found that its winners had an increased probability of shifting towards the right of the political spectrum. The largest effect was found among winners who were not yet registered to vote. Upon registering, they were 9.6% more likely to register as Republicans than non-winners. This suggests that positive economic shocks have a greater political impact on individuals who are not typically involved in politics or have indistinct political allegiances.[26]

Lottery officesEdit

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

Claiming a winning ticketEdit

Pennsylvania Lottery retailers can pay prizes up to $2,500. (Until June 30, 2008, the maximum on such tickets was $500.) Claiming a prize of $600 or more requires filling out a standard claim form and sending it to Lottery headquarters. For instant games that make annuity payments, as well as the top prizes in Cash 5, etc. a claim should be filed at an area lottery office. For Mega Millionaire or Powerball jackpots, a claim must be filed at Lottery headquarters.

Winnings and taxesEdit

When filing a standard claim form, the claimant, the retailer, and the Pennsylvania Lottery each receive a copy (the form is triplicate). The Lottery then reports all winnings to the IRS. For federal income tax purposes, any lottery winnings over $2,500 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 by Pennsylvania residents are exempt from state tax; however, winnings may be subject to local taxes for residents of some municipalities (e.g. Philadelphia).[27]

Triple Six Fix of 1980Edit

The host of the Pennsylvania Lottery drawings, 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; of the then-record $3.5 million payout, $1.8 million was "paid" to those that were in on the fix. Lottery authorities became suspicious after rumors began that the drawing was fixed. Ticket sales showed a heavy bias towards combinations of only 4s and 6s in that drawing. Perry, in conjunction with Peter and Jack Margos, Jerry Hammer, and five other men either were convicted or entered plea-bargains for their involvement.

Game showEdit

To celebrate the Lottery's 25th anniversary in 1997, Jonathan Goodson, who, at the time produced several other lottery game shows, produced a Pennsylvania Lottery game show, with a format similar to Illinois Instant Riches. The show was hosted by former American Bandstand, and later several incarnations of the Pyramid game show series, Dick Clark, assisted by Gigi Gordon. Players won up to $365,000 on the show; two of its games were Vortex and Freefall, both from Illinois Instant Riches (though Vortex debuted on Bonus Bonanza in Massachusetts).

The special show aired on:

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


All Pennsylvania Lottery drawings are supervised by Harrisburg-based Zelenkofske Axelrod. Previous auditors of the drawings include the firms KPMG Hernwick, Boyer & Ritter, Wooton & Kneisley, the Huber Group, and Akryoyd and Associates. Like most US lotteries, the Pennsylvania Lottery broadcasts drawings on a network of broadcast television stations: WTAJ-TV (Altoona), WPXI (Pittsburgh), WGAL (Lancaster), WJET-TV (Erie), WTXF-TV (Philadelphia), and WNEP-TV (Scranton).[28] Portions of the Commonwealth, particularly in the Northern Tier, are unable to see the drawings because they are served by television markets in New York (e.g. the Bradford region, which has some stations from Erie, but not WJET). Regions such as these can see the Mega Millions and Powerball drawings on the national cable and satellite feed of WGN America. Pennsylvania's midday drawings are only viewable online. Because New Jersey does not have a station that airs Mega Millions nor Powerball drawings, WTXF-TV airs the aforementioned drawings for Central and Southern New Jersey as well.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ [1] Google books
  2. ^ "Pennsylvania Online Gambling: Answers And Analysis". Online Poker Report. 2017-10-28. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  3. ^ "PA Governor: Lottery Will Get A Big Boost From Launch Of Online Games". Online Poker Report. 2018-02-19. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  4. ^ "PA Officially Becomes Fourth State To Legalize Online Poker, Casinos". Online Poker Report. 2017-10-30. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  5. ^ "PA Lottery Launches Keno; Virtual Sports And Online Lottery Games On Way - Online Poker Report". Online Poker Report. 2018-05-02. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  6. ^ "PA Lottery Bonus Code August 2018: WINNER To Claim $5 Free". Bonus Code PA. 2018-08-16. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  7. ^ "Seven PA Casinos File Lawsuit Against The iLottery- BonusCodePA". Bonus Code PA. 2018-08-23. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "New York Lottery: Cash4Life". Archived from the original on 2014-06-25. Retrieved 2014-06-25. (press release)
  12. ^
  13. ^ History of the Pennsylvania Lottery
  14. ^ 61 Pa. Code § 817.98. Determination of prizewinners
  15. ^ 61 Pa. Code § 817.118. Determination of prize winners
  16. ^ Pennsylvania Bulletin Doc. No. 98-265
  17. ^ Pennsylvania Code
  18. ^ Pennsylvania Code
  19. ^ Pennsylvania Code
  20. ^ Pennsylvania Code
  21. ^ lottery: Pennsylvania Lottery Launches New Online Game, Lucky For Life Lotto
  22. ^ An Assessment of the Impact of Slots Gaming on Pennsylvania Lottery ...Pennsylvania. General Assembly. Legislative Budget and Finance Committee - 2008 - According to the Pennsylvania Lottery, Mix & Match was designed to bridge the product gap between the Daily Number and Big 4 prizes and the Cash 5 jackpot. ...
  23. ^ PA Lottery's advertising agency's web page about Gus Retrieved July 2, 2010
  24. ^ [2] Retrieved January 22, 2011
  25. ^ [3] Retrieved March 1, 2017
  26. ^ Margalit, Yotam (2019-05-11). "Political Responses to Economic Shocks". Annual Review of Political Science. 22 (1): 277–295. doi:10.1146/annurev-polisci-050517-110713. ISSN 1094-2939.
  27. ^ City of Philadelphia Department of Revenue. "School Income Tax". Retrieved 14 February 2019. Taxable forms of unearned income include dividends, royalties, short-term rental income, cash lottery winnings from the Pennsylvania Lottery, and some types of interest.
  28. ^ "When and Where Can I See the Live Drawings?". Pennsylvania Lottery. Retrieved 14 July 2015.

External linksEdit