Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you claim a prize with family or friends? Why is the cash value of a jackpot about half of what is advertised? Get the answers to these questions and more. If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to respond to informational requests.
- Do Lottery proceeds really go to schools?
- Yes. About 24.8 cents of every dollar spent on the Missouri Lottery goes to Missouri's public schools. See the Where The Money Goes section for more detailed information.
- Does the Missouri Lottery offer subscription sales to players?
- No. Players can purchase Missouri Lottery tickets from a licensed Missouri Lottery retailer. The Lottery cannot mail tickets across state lines.
- Does the Lottery keep most of its proceeds?
- From every dollar spent on a Lottery ticket, more than 95 cents is returned to Missouri residents: an average of 64.8 cents goes back to players through prizes, 24.8 cents goes to Missouri's public education system and 6.2 cents is earned by retailers who sell Lottery tickets. Just 4.2 cents of every dollar goes to pay administrative expenses including advertising, ticket printing and computer system costs. For more information see Where the Money Goes.
- Who oversees riverboat gambling and bingo games?
- Riverboat gambling and bingo games are not a part of the Missouri Lottery. They are governed by the Missouri Gaming Commission.
- Who is the "average" Missouri Lottery player?
- The typical Lottery player is a married high school graduate with some college, between the ages of 25 and 54, and has a household income between $25,000 and $60,000. For more information, see Fun Facts.
- Is there a danger of Lottery players becoming compulsive gamblers?
- Studies show that about 1 to 5 percent of those who gamble through any means experience problems. For more information, see Responsible Gaming.
- How can I become a Missouri Lottery retailer?
- Only businesses located within the state of Missouri can be Missouri Lottery retailers. For more information, see the Lottery's Retailer Portal.
- Can I purchase Lottery tickets on-line?
- No. The Missouri Lottery does not currently offer sales via the Internet. While federal legislation has exempted state lotteries from a new law restricting interstate online wagering, it is still unclear at this time how the new law will impact the sales of Lottery tickets via the Internet.
- If I win a big jackpot prize or an annuitized Scratchers prize and die before I receive it all, where does the remaining money go?
- When a winner receiving annuity payments dies, the Missouri Lottery continues to make payments to the winner's estate.
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- Where can I find past winning numbers?
- You can find complete lists of past numbers drawn in the Winning Numbers section.
- Why is the cash value of a jackpot only about half of what is advertised? Where does the rest of the money go?
- The lump-sum payment is approximately half of the advertised amount since the Lottery will be giving you the money it would have invested over 25 years for a Lotto jackpot, 29 years (30 payments) for a Powerball jackpot, or 26 years for a Mega Millions jackpot.. For more information, see If You Win a Jackpot.
- Are the terminals in retail locations and the drawing equipment connected in any way?
- No. Each drawing machine is self-contained and independent of any other system. For more information, see Game Security.
- Does anyone in Missouri ever win the Powerball jackpot?
- Actually, Missouri is quite a lucky state! Out of the 45 lotteries participating in the Powerball game, Missouri ranks second behind Indiana in the number of Powerball jackpot winners.
- Can a group of people claim a prize?
- Yes. When a group wins, the person who signs the ticket typically designates who will receive a portion of the prize and how much that person should receive. For more information, see If You Win a Jackpot.
- When do Draw Games shut down for the drawings?
- Tickets cannot be purchased during draw breaks. Draw breaks are as follows:
Pick 3 and Pick 4
MIDDAY: 12:45 p.m. to 12:59 p.m., daily
EVENING: 8:59 p.m. to 9:15 p.m., daily
8:59 p.m. to 9:15 p.m., Wednesday and Saturday
Show Me Cash
8:59 p.m. to 9:15 p.m., daily
2 a.m. to 5 a.m., daily
8:59 p.m. to 10 p.m., Wednesday and Saturday
8:59 p.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday and Friday
- Can Powerball and Mega Millions players redeem their winnings in any member state?
- No. Players must redeem their prizes in the same state they bought the tickets. Because there are so many participating lotteries, all tickets and playslips must be identified by the state that sold the ticket so the prize can be claimed and paid properly.
- Since so many people play Powerball and Mega Millions, aren't the chances of winning worse?
- No. No matter how many people play Powerball or Mega Millions, the chances of winning never change. The chances are based on the amount of number combinations, not the number of players.
- Why does it seem like all the jackpot winners come from big cities?
- Missouri Lottery jackpot winners have come from all across the state. For more information, see Winning Numbers and Winners.
- If I buy a Quick Pick ticket, can anyone else buy those numbers using Quick Pick?
- Yes. Quick Pick tickets are generated randomly by the terminal at the retailer, and there is no central computer that is controlling ticket generation. The chances of buying a Draw Game ticket with the same numbers as someone else are the same as the chances of winning the jackpot.
- If I should win the jackpot, do I have the option of remaining anonymous to the public and the media?
- Missouri state law requires the Lottery to release your name, city of residence and the amount of the prize. For more information, see If You Win a Jackpot.
- What lotteries participate in Powerball?
- Powerball is played in Washington D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and the following states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
NOTE: All Powerball tickets are identified by the state that sold the ticket and must be redeemed in the state where they were purchased.
- Who decides how much the Powerball jackpot should be and how is it figured?
- The jackpot comes from a percentage of the sales for each individual drawing. Fifty percent of the ticket sales go into the entire prize pool. From the prize pool, 32.6689 percent funds the jackpot prize and 17.3311 percent is used for the lower-tier prizes. For more information, see Powerball.
- What lotteries participate in Mega Millions?
- Mega Millions is played in Washington D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and the following states: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
NOTE: All Mega Millions tickets are identified by the state that sold the ticket and must be redeemed in the state where they were purchased.
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- Where can I hear about top-prize winners in Scratchers games?
- News releases with the names of prize winners of $10,000 or more are sent to media throughout the state. To see all winners of $1,000 or more, see our Winners Release each month.
- Does anyone know where the winning Scratchers tickets are located?
- No. Thanks to strict security measures, no one — including Missouri Lottery employees — knows where winning Scratchers tickets are located. For more information, see Game Security.
- Are there fewer Scratchers prizes now?
- No. Actually, the chances of winning Scratchers games continue to improve. In the Lottery's early days, the games only paid out 45 percent of sales in prizes, the maximum amount allowed by law. Now Scratchers games pay out an average of 69 percent of sales in prizes, and an average of approximately 1 in every 4 tickets is a winner.
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