In 1990, Louisiana voters first approved a constitutional amendment to authorize a state-run lottery. The Louisiana Lottery Corporation was formed, and in 1991, the state sold its first lottery tickets.
Later, in 2003, voters approved another amendment concerning the use of lottery proceeds. Starting the following year, the Louisiana Lottery began funding the state’s treasury in order to support a program funding public education in the state.
Read on to learn about the different games the Louisiana Lottery offers, details about retailers and the Louisiana Lottery app, as well as more detailed information about who the lottery benefits and the corporation’s history.
What multi-state draw games are in Louisiana?
Louisiana offers the two major multi-state draw games to its lottery players: Powerball and Mega Millions. These are games in which players from many different states all participate together, thereby helping create enormous jackpots.
The Louisiana Lottery has been selling Powerball tickets ever since joining the Multi-State Lottery Association in 1995. Today, 45 states plus Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands all offer Powerball.
The minimum jackpot for Powerball is $40 million, and the largest jackpot ever was $1.586 billion. Tickets cost just $2, and drawings are held each Wednesday and Saturday evening. Players pick five numbers from 1 to 69 (the white balls) plus one more between 1 and 26 (the Powerball). Picking all six correctly wins the top prize, with the odds being about 1 in 292.2 million to do so.
There have been 17 Powerball winners from Louisiana over the years. The largest jackpot was $191.1 million won in October 2017 by a group called the 292 Family Partnership. It remains the largest prize in Louisiana Lottery history.
Starting in 2012, the Louisiana Lottery began selling Mega Millions tickets. Mega Millions is a multi-jurisdictional drawing game offered in the same 45 states as Powerball, plus the nation’s capital and the Virgin Islands.
The minimum jackpot for the Mega Millions is $15 million, with the largest ever having been $1.537 billion. Mega Millions also costs just $2 to play, or $3 if adding the Megaplier. Players pick five numbers between 1 and 70 (the white balls) and a sixth one between 1 and 25 (the Mega Ball). Here, the odds are about 1 in 302.5 million to get all six numbers correct and win the top prize.
While many from Louisiana have won large prizes playing Mega Millions, no one has guessed all six numbers correctly to win the top prize.
State draw games to play in Louisiana
The Louisiana Lottery also offers numerous in-house draw games to lottery players in the state. These games may not get the big headlines of the multi-state games, but they are nonetheless favorites among many Louisiana players.
Some of the most popular Louisiana Lottery draw games include:
- Lotto: Also known as Louisiana Lotto, in this game players pick six numbers from 1 to 42. Tickets are $1. The top prize starts at $250,000 and grows until someone wins.
- Easy 5: Players choose five numbers from 1 to 37, with tickets costing just $1. The top jackpot starts at $50,000 and increases until there is a winner.
- Pick 3: Players pick a three-digit number and have four different ways to play — straight, box, straight/box, and combo. The game costs as little as $0.50 to play and can award as much as $500.
- Pick 4: Similar to Pick 3, but in this case, players pick a four-digit number and also have four different ways to play. This one also costs as little as $0.50 and can pay out as much as $5,000.
The Louisiana Lottery also offers something called ticket bundles, allowing players to purchase multiple draw game tickets at once. These include:
- $5 Lotto Bunch: tickets for Lotto, Powerball and Mega Millions
- $5 Easy Bunch: single-play tickets for Easy 5, Powerball and Mega Millions
- $8 Buck Bunch: single-play tickets for all six draw games (Powerball, Mega Millions, Lotto, Easy 5, Pick 3, Pick 4)
Louisiana instant-win scratch-off games
The Louisiana Lottery additionally offers a range of instant-win scratch-off games. These players don’t have to wait for a drawing but can find out right away if they have purchased a winning ticket.
At any given time, there are between 30 and 40 scratch-off games available to lottery players. New scratch-off games are launched each month. They come in a range of prices, including $1, $2, $3, $5, and $10.
The games involve matching numbers or symbols, or they can incorporate other games like tic-tac-toe, bingo, poker, Monopoly, and even crossword puzzles.
The more the player spends on an instant-win scratch-off ticket, the higher the possible prize. For example, the top prize for the $1 games can go as high as $5,000. But rewards increase to $15,000 for $2 games, $30,000 for $3 games, $100,000 for $5 games and $200,000 for $10 games.
The Louisiana Lottery also offers a Fast Play game that involves no scratching off at all. Upon purchase, the ticket prints out at the register and shows whether or not the player has won. Tickets for Fast Play also range from $1 to $10.
Lottery retailers in Louisiana
There are approximately 2,900 businesses in Louisiana that are licensed by the Louisiana Lottery and operate as lottery retailers.
These locations earn a 5% commission on the sale of lottery products plus other incentives and bonuses, including when they sell jackpot-winning tickets.
Many gas stations, convenience stores, and grocery stores serve as lottery retailers across the state. Numerous retailers can be found in all of Louisiana’s major cities.
For example, there are more than 400 retailers within a 25-mile radius of Baton Rouge, almost as many within a similar area around New Orleans, and nearly 180 surrounding Shreveport.
The lottery’s website features a tool to help find the nearest retailer to you.
Louisiana Lottery mobile app
While you cannot purchase lottery tickets online or play games on mobile devices in the state, the Louisiana Lottery does have its own mobile app that provides a number of features and perks.
Players can prepare “virtual playslips” through the app, essentially serving as digital versions of tickets they can then purchase at a Louisiana Lottery retailer. The app also allows users to see if their tickets are winners by using their smartphone’s camera to scan the ticket’s barcode. The app additionally includes fun ways to pick random numbers to help players with their selections.
Users can look up winning numbers with the app as well as opt-in for jackpot alerts and other notifications. They can look up current scratch-off games to find what top prizes are remaining. Players can also use the app to find the nearest retailer, enter exclusive surveys, and find out about special promotions.
The Louisiana Lottery app is available for both iOS (Apple) and Android devices. It can be downloaded directly from the lottery’s website or via Google Play or the Apple Store
Who does the Louisiana Lottery benefit?
According to the Louisiana Lottery, more than half of lottery ticket sales go toward paying out prizes. The remaining proceeds benefit a number of different programs in the state.
Starting in 2004, the Louisiana Lottery has directed proceeds to the state’s treasury that in turn supports the state’s Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) that funds K-12 public education. Also, $500,000 goes each year to fund the Louisiana Department of Health’s Office of Behavioral Health to fund problem gambling programs.
For example, during fiscal year 2020, a little under $228 million went to lottery winners. Meanwhile, just over $179 million went to the state treasury to fund the MFP. The rest of the proceeds went to retailers (just under $29 million) and to fund lottery operations (just over $26 million).
The Louisiana Lottery states that over its entire history, since 1991, it has contributed more than $3.9 billion to the state, about 35% of its revenue.
Louisiana businesses also benefit from the lottery. Those that operate as licensed retailers earn commissions on lottery ticket sales plus other bonuses. Businesses have earned over $550 million in this way since the Louisiana Lottery debuted.
History of the Louisiana Lottery
In 1990, Louisiana lawmakers proposed a state-run lottery. An amendment was placed on the ballot that November asking Louisianans for approval. The result: 69% of voters favored doing so. The Louisiana Lottery Corporation was created, and in 1991 the first scratch-off lottery tickets were sold.
In early 1992, the in-state Lotto draw game launched. Three years later, the Louisiana Lottery joined the Multi-State Lottery Association and began selling Powerball tickets. It wasn’t until much later, in 2012, the state also began selling Mega Millions tickets. For a brief period, from 2000 to 2002, Louisiana also participated in another multi-state game, Rolldown.
In 2003, voters passed another amendment for the Louisiana Lottery to dedicate its proceeds to the Minimum Foundation Program that funds K-12 public education in the state. That change went into effect on July 1, 2004.
After earlier offering an Easy 5 game and replacing it with another game called Easy Quest, the Louisiana Lottery in 2007 relaunched a revised version of Easy 5.
In 2009, the Louisiana Lottery began a partnership with the New Orleans Saints that has continued to this day. The partnership involves Saints-themed scratch-off games and other promotions and events, including special game-day experiences for lottery players.
Louisiana had its largest-ever winner in its history when a group won the Powerball for $191.1 million in 2017.
For the past several years, the Louisiana Lottery has averaged around $500 million in annual sales. Ticket sales since the lottery’s launch in Louisiana in 1991 have totaled almost $11 billion.
Louisiana Lottery FAQ
Can I play the Louisiana Lottery online?
No. Louisiana state law prohibits the sale of lottery products online. Only licensed retailers can sell lottery tickets.
How old do I have to be to play the Louisiana Lottery?
In Louisiana, you must be at least 21 years old to purchase a lottery ticket.
I just won playing the Louisiana Lottery. Do I have to pay taxes?
Both the Louisiana state government and the federal government consider gambling winnings as taxable income. If you win $600 or more on a single ticket, the Louisiana Lottery automatically reports your winnings both to the Internal Revenue Service and the Louisiana Department of Revenue and Taxation. The winner will also receive a W-2G form when claiming the prize. The Louisiana Lottery will withhold 24% of your winnings on prizes of $5,000 or more for federal taxes, plus another 5% for state taxes. All of which is to say, those who win money playing the Louisiana Lottery should plan to pay taxes on their winnings.
Where can I claim my Louisiana Lottery winnings?
Prizes of $600 or less can be claimed at any Louisiana Lottery retailer just by presenting the winning ticket. For prizes of more than $600 up to $5,000 can be claimed by mail by completing a claim form, sending a photocopy of the signed ticket (front and back), and a photocopy of a valid ID to the Louisiana Lottery Corporation. Prizes of more than $5,000 as well as Powerball and Mega Millions tickets can also be claimed by mail, but the original ticket must be sent (photocopies are not sufficient). Prizes can also be claimed by visiting any of the Louisiana Lottery offices located around the state.
How long do I have to claim my Louisiana Lottery winnings?
Winning instant-win scratch-off tickets can be claimed up to 90 days after the game closes. Winning draw game tickets can be claimed up to 180 days after the date of the drawing.
Can I remain anonymous if I win the Louisiana Lottery?
If you win $600 or more playing the lottery, you must fill out a claim form for tax purposes. According to Louisiana law, all lottery prize payment records are open to the public, which means anyone winning $600 cannot be guaranteed anonymity. The Louisiana Lottery is also authorized to use winners’ names and residences for publicity, although the lottery does not advertise such information without the winner’s willing consent.