Just seven states offer internet lottery products and services in the U.S., and the ones that do have seen big increases in their popularity. Two states at the forefront of the nascent iLottery market are Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Best Online Lottery Casinos
Each US state is allowed to regulate lottery games on its own. No federal laws prohibit users from playing the online lottery or visiting legal online agents when buying lottery tickets or subscription services.
This legal change occurred in 2011, when the federal government re-interpreted the 1961 Wire Act to allow for states to offer lottery gambling online without being in violation of the law. It was a game-changer, and it also helped pave the way for online casino gaming.
Some states, such as Georgia, Minnesota, and Illinois, allow players to purchase tickets online or via special apps. Players can also access instant games, which are available in real-time. This is a fast-growing market, and more states are interested in legalizing the option.
State online lottery legalization is currently more widespread than real-money online casinos.
Can you buy lottery tickets online?
It depends on the state you are located in. Some states have decided to boost their respective sales by allowing some form of lottery play via the internet.
When we say the internet, we mean either your computer or your mobile device, a convenient option for players.
Only 13 states in the country have some form of online lottery services, but not every state is the same in terms of what it allows.
The most advanced iLottery states not only allow draw games to be played remotely, but also have online instant games. These games are purely luck based, as draw games are, but you can get a more interactive experience through them.
Legal Internet Lottery States
- District of Columbia
- Maine (subscription services only)
- New Hampshire
- New York (subscription services only)
- North Carolina (subscription services only)
- North Dakota (subscription services only)
- Rhode Island
- Virginia (subscription services only)
Georgia Online Lottery
Georgia launched an online lottery in 2012. It is one of the largest markets in the United States, offering Powerball, Mega Millions, Fantasy 5 tickets, Instant-win scratch-offs, and Online keno.
Illinois Online Lottery
Illinois introduced an Illinois online lottery in 2012 for players aged 18 or older. At the moment, users can purchase tickets for Mega Millions, Lucky Day Lotto, Powerball, Lotto, Pick 3, and Pick 4.
Kentucky Online Lottery
Kentucky is another US state which legalized online lottery in 2016. Currently, it offers tickets for Powerball, Mega Millions, Lucky for Life tickets, Cash Ball 225, Instant win scratch-off, and online keno.
Michigan Online Lottery
The state of Michigan approved online lottery in 2014. Only residents aged 18 or older are allowed to buy tickets for scratch card games, major drawings, and keno. It also offers Powerball, Mega Millions, Lotto 47 and Fantasy 5 tickets, over 50 instant games, and online keno.
New Hampshire Online Lottery
New Hampshire legalized online lottery in 2017. The first game was launched in September 2018. Currently, the state allows players to participate in Powerball, Mega Millions, and instant win games.
Pennsylvania Online Lottery
Pennsylvania approved the online lottery in 2018, and now it offers Powerball, Mega Millions, and 70 instant win games. Only residents aged 18 or older can take part in the online lottery.
Rhode Island Online Lottery
Rhode Island introduced an online lottery in 2020. Players can now participate in different games, including Powerball, Lucky for Life, Mega Millions, and MegaHits video lottery. It is also possible to access 25 instant games and in-house draw games.
District of Columbia Online Lottery
On the District of Columbia’s online lottery, people can play DC-3, DC-4, DC-5, Lucky for Life, Powerball, Mega Millions, and e-Instant games from almost anywhere in the District using a smartphone, computer, or tablet.
The DC Lottery also runs the jurisdiction’s mobile sports betting operation.
Draw games are typical lottery options that include a draw that decides the winning tickets. The most famous draw games are Mega Millions and Powerball. While some states allow online draws, other states prefer the traditional approach and organize draw games only at convenience stores or gas stations.
Mega Millions Online
Mega Millions is the most popular draw game in America, which tickets are available in 45 states. Customers can purchase tickets either from the local retailer or online. Tickets for the game cost $2 per play and provide nine winning ways. The biggest jackpot recorded on Mega Millions was $1.537 billion.
Powerball is another US lottery game, with tickets available in 48 states. The game is also accessible online in some states, while users in other states can purchase the tickets from the local retailer. Drawings occur twice per week, and the jackpot amount continues growing until someone wins. The biggest jackpot on Powerball was recorded in 2016 in the amount of $1.585 billion.
State-specific internet draw games
Some US states have specific internet draw games. For example, Michigan offers Lotto 47 and Fantasy 5, and tickets are worth $1. What’s distinct about these games is that players can access them if they are located within the state.
Online Lottery Instant Games
Instant lottery games belong to the lottery draws. While typical lotteries have determined draws, instant lotteries deliver immediate prizes. Players can win different versions of instant lottery, including bingo and slot-type options. All games are based on similar rules, and the most popular forms are revealed, symbol matching, and crosswords. A game is specified as instant if the result of a ticket is decided either before or when the ticket is sold.
Online Lottery Keno
Keno is a well-known game of chance available at different lotteries. It looks like Bingo when it comes to overall mechanics. Players can also find multiple variations of keno for real money depending on the US state. Based on the rules, the player chooses a series of numbers in the range of 1 to 80, and numbers can vary.
Typically, a player chooses up to 15 numbers, and after confirmation of the wagers, 20 numbers are drawn randomly either with a physical ball machine or via a random number generator.
How To Play The Lottery Online
The first step of the process is to first look to see if you live in one of the states that has iLottery products.
After that, visit the state’s lottery website through one of The Game Day Casino’s links to get the best welcome offer from the state lottery. If there’s no bonus offer available from The Game Day Casino, simply visit the website of the respective state lottery.
Bonus or not, you must register for an account and go through the necessary player identification steps.
Select the game you want to play via the lottery website or app.
From there, you will be looking to input your payment information.
Once your account is funded you will be able to play and compete for real cash prizes.
Online Lottery Mobile Apps
Some states, such as New Jersey and Tennessee, do have lottery mobile apps for checking winning numbers from lottery drawings. However, these states do not allow actual gambling to be done online.
The purpose of a lottery mobile app in a state that doesn’t have legal online lottery gambling is to provide players as much information as possible from the palm of their hand, even though you still must visit a brick-and-mortar retailer to play.
Do online lottery tickets ever win?
Absolutely. There have been millions won via online lottery tickets.
To date, the largest jackpots for both Mega Millions and Powerball have come through tickets purchased at a brick-and-mortar retailer, but that track record is bound to change one day as more and more people use the internet to play the lottery.
It’s only a matter of time before someone wins hundreds of millions of dollars in one of the largest multi-state lottery games from their computer or mobile device. That will make for quite the story.
Online lottery is for real money
Unlike online casinos, lotteries aren’t known for offering free games. You have to put up real money to win real money.
That said, many state lotteries offer demo versions of their online instant games, so you can try first without risking cash.
Obviously, the draw games at the state and national level do not have free versions.
Conclusion: Is it worth it to play the lottery online?
You can’t beat the convenience of playing the lottery in whatever form via the internet. It’s no different in terms of your chances of winning as buying a ticket in person at an approved state lottery retailer.
You can claim your winnings online up to a certain amount. Depending on the state, you have to visit a lottery office to claim larger prizes. The lottery in your particular state will let you know what the deal is if you win a larger prize.
Lottery games does not involve skill, but for a small sum you can win life-changing money. That’s part of the attraction of the lottery in general — being able to change your life from a win. This especially applies to Mega Millions and Powerball.
It’s worth remembering that states use a large chunk of their lottery proceeds to fund public services, so even if you don’t win you are contributing some money to public services that benefit the residents of your state.