- 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.
By Pennsylvania law, at least 40 percent of Lottery proceeds are required to be paid as prizes, with at least 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.
For the 2009–10 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 2009–10 represented an increase of approximately 59 percent in sales over fiscal year 2001–02.
The Pennsylvania Lottery is the only U.S. lottery that targets all of its proceeds to programs for older residents. Since the beginning of the Lottery in 1972, more than $20.1 billion has been contributed to programs.
Current number-draw games
The Daily Number
The Daily Number 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.
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 (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).
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 for the same amounts as in The Daily number, up to seven days 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 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
Quinto's first drawing was 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 similar to The Daily Number and Big 4, except Quinto is a five-digit game. 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'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 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
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 on Mondays and Thursdays. Players get three games for $2 (see below); bettors can play in increments up to 26 drawings. The jackpot begins $500,000; it always is paid in 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 is now drawn on Mondays and Thursdays, instead of its former 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.
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 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. Of the 45 lotteries offering either game before January 31, 2010, currently 42 offer both games. Pennsylvania was among those joining Mega Millions on the expansion date; likewise, most lotteries previously with Mega Millions added Powerball.
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. (Of the original 12 Mega Millions lotteries, only Texas offered Megaplier before, and on, the cross-selling expansion date). Eventually, a second-prize Mega Millions ticket with Megaplier activated was guaranteed to win $1,000,000, regardless of the multiplier drawn.
The Millionaire Raffle is a statewide, biannual raffle. 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 4 $1,000,000-winning ticket numbers, as well as the second prose winners, are drawn by random number generator. To date, there have been nine Millionaire Raffles.
Past number-draw games
The Pennsylvania Lottery has offered a number of games which would later be discontinued due to low sales and/or relative obsolescence.
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 1982 until February 1988. 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.
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 of 5 of the first 6 numbers drawn, plus the "alternate" (now called "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..
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 Mega Millions and 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.
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)
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 there were 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 are as follows:
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)
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 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. For this last spin, all prize values were doubled.
Hearts & Diamonds
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:
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 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 Mega Millions or Powerball); it also is the only US 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 a follows:
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 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, either paid in 26 installments, or, if selected when playing, in lump sum. Players won by matching at least 3 numbers in a game.
The prize pool was arranged as follows:
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 winners, the jackpot pool was added into the lower prize pools, instead of into the game's replacement's (Match 6) jackpot, which Pennsylvania did with previous game changes.
Lucky for Life
Lucky for Life began on September 30, 2004; its first drawing was held October 2, 2004.
LfL was played by picking 6 numbers from 38; each game cost $2. Players won by matching 3 or more numbers in one game and/or the game's "instant win" feature. Matching all 6 numbers won an annuity prize of $36,000 per year. Winners would receive payments until death, or when the payments totaled $1 million, whichever comes last. 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/life 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 was originally drawn Wednesdays and Saturdays; on August 1, 2005, the draws were moved to Mondays and Thursdays.
The game ended on January 22, 2007, replaced with Mix & Match, which ended itself on May 31, 2010.
Super 7 (2009–2010)
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 & Match
Mix & Match involved selecting five numbers from 1 to 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 are 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.
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.
Mix & Match did eventually end, however. It held its final drawing on May 31, 2010, and was replaced by a revival of Match 6.
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. 
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.
Pennsylvania instant games range in price from $1 to $25 (however, there are no $25 games currently active; the Lottery has had two $25 games, and both were retired in 2010). 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), and a higher payout percentage. Payouts range from 57% of sales ($1 tickets) to 76.91% ($25 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.
The Pennsylvania Lottery maintains seven lottery offices, including its headquarters:
- Area 1: Philadelphia
- Area 2: Wilkes-Barre
- Area 3: Middletown (headquarters)
- Area 4: Clearfield
- Area 5: Pittsburgh
- Area 6: Erie
- Area 7: Bethlehem
Claiming a winning ticket
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 Millions or 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 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 are taxable only on the federal level..
Triple Six Fix of 1980
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.
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
Like most US lotteries, the Pennsylvania Lottery broadcasts drawings on a network of broadcast television stations: WNEP (Scranton), WTAE-TV (Pittsburgh), WGAL (Lancaster), WTAJ (Altoona), WJET-TV (Erie), and WPVI (Philadelphia.) 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.
- ^ http://www.palottery.state.pa.us/news.aspx?id=135332
- ^ History of the Pennsylvania Lottery
- ^ 61 Pa. Code § 817.98. Determination of prizewinners
- ^ 61 Pa. Code § 817.118. Determination of prize winners
- ^ Pennsylvania Bulletin Doc. No. 98-265
- ^ Pennsylvania Code
- ^ Pennsylvania Code
- ^ Pennsylvania Code
- ^ Pennsylvania Code
- ^ lottery: Pennsylvania Lottery Launches New Online Game, Lucky For Life Lotto
- ^ PA Lottery's advertising agency's web page about Gus Retrieved July 2, 2010
- ^  Retrieved January 22, 2011
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