FAQ's About Legally Buying Lottery Tickets On The Internet
Online buying of lottery tickets has become an easy and convenient solution for the consumer. How then, can a consumer know if a website is legit, safe, and secure? To ensure the consumer, a list of complete questions was compiled. The list answers the questions on legal issues, number using, and buying options. The consumer will walk away with a better understanding of how online lottery buying works.
Is Playing Online Lottery Legal In The USA?
In 2007, the Department of Justice (DOJ) stated that under the federal Wire Act of 1961, that all forms of gambling online were in fact illegal. The Wire Act of 1961 was formed to thwart organized crime, in particular sporting events and contests. Then, in 2011, the DOJ reevaluated the policies of the Wire Act and concluded that it did not pertain to the web. On December 23, 2011, the DOJ reversed its decision stating that all types of online gambling were acceptable with the exception of one: buying or betting on any type of sports related event. Though not considered illegal to buy lottery tickets federally, the consumer must keep in mind the individual state's constitution and gambling laws.
The legality of lottery games is left up to each individual state, with no federal laws in place that prohibit players from participating in online lottery games or from visiting licensed lottery agents online for the purpose of purchasing lottery tickets and subscription services. Currently, there are approximately 42 states which offer one or more state lottery games and/or that participate in the multi-jurisdictional lottery games such as Mega Millions and Powerball games. Several of these states, such as Georgia, Illinois and Minnesota already have a process in place that supports online ticket purchasing, while other states, including New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota and Virginia also have state sanctioned online lottery subscription services in place. The caveat is that you must be a resident of one of these states in order to be eligible to register for and participate in the state's official online lottery ticket services.
In addition, several states, including California, allow private lottery agents to provide online lottery subscription and lottery ticket purchasing services to players. When using an online lottery agent, one of their representatives actually goes to a retail location and physically purchases your ticket for you and then sends you a digital copy of your ticket. You typically pay a subscription fee or service fee to compensate the agent for making the purchases on your behalf. It is up to each state whether or not they want to offer these services or allow private agents to offer them, so the laws concerning state based legal online lottery ticket purchases will vary from state to state.
The good news for US players is that there are a handful of legally licensed and regulated online lottery agents that are based outside of the US and that offer online lottery purchase options to players throughout the entire United States. This means that if you live in a state that has not yet implemented online purchase options, or that doesn't even offer any type of lottery games, you still have access to playing the nation's and even the world's largest lottery jackpot games. Because these agents are based outside of the US, they also have access International lottery games in the UK, the Americas and all over Europe. They operate exactly like the US based lottery agents do. They receive your order and service fee online and then go purchase your ticket for you from a retail location. They have representatives stationed in destinations that sell tickets for the major US games and for the International lottery games as well. Most of the time winnings that are below a certain threshold can be easily transferred to you. Depending on the laws that are in place where your lottery agent is located, you may have to redeem larger winnings in person, and something tells me that most winners won't mind this at all. It is not legal for them to mail your lottery ticket to you.
Can I Use My Favorite Numbers Which I Buy My Lottery Ticket Online?
When purchasing a lottery ticket, the consumer has the option to either use his or her favorite numbers or for the quick pick. The quick pick option randomly picks numbers electronically for the consumer.
What Is A Lottery Syndicate
A lottery syndicate is where a group of people buys a lottery ticket to increase their chance of winnings. This allows them to buy even more games. More games mean more chances of winning. If the syndicate wins, the prizes are divided up evenly among the group. The syndicate is not limited to individuals, but businesses and entities as well.
What Is A Lottery Subscription Service And Are There Advantages To Using Them?
A lottery subscription service is a service that buys lottery tickets on your behalf in the state where you live. The advantage of a lottery subscription is the convenience, and the ability to manage all of your lottery games.
If I Purchase A Ticket Through A Lottery Agent, How Do I Know If I Won?
Most lottery sites will send you an email if you win. You can also signup for email and sms alerts on some sites for constant updates.
If My Ticket Is A Winner, How Do I Claim My Winnings?
For winnings below $600, winnings are typically credited to your online account. You can purchase additional ticket or withdraw your winnings. For any winnings above $600, you will receive a personal call from the lottery site to arrange payment.
Do These Sites Also Offer Scratch off Tickets?
The sites listed on this particular page actually do not offer any sort of instant win scratch off games. However we have another page dedicated to playing online scratchoff lottery tickets legally that will recommend some excellent places to play that are all US friendly.
Is Buying Lottery Tickets Online Safe?
The online lottery sites that we endorse are all legally licensed and regulated in their respective jurisdictions. Keep in mind these are huge companies with deep pockets that have been in business for years, so it's 100% safe to do business with these companies. They guarantee payment on winnings and will facilitate the collection process with their winners support team dedicated to helping players claim winnings.
VIP And Rewards
Many of these sites offer a rewards program similar to what you would find in Las Vegas. The more tickets you purchase, the more rewards and special promotions will be available to you. Each website offers a little something different, so it doesn't hurt to spend a few minutes familiarizing yourself with the inner workings of their VIP program.
Powerball – The largest jackpot in the game's history, and the largest single prize ever on one ticket, was the $595 million mentioned above. Consistently above $60 million, and routinely over $100, the jackpot here is always one of the biggest in the world. There are 9 levels of prizes awarded in the 45-state combined lottery, and Powerball is drawn twice a week.
Mega Millions – Starting at $15 million and supported by multiple jurisdictions that cause it to grow rapidly, the US Mega Millions lottery has issued a $656 million jackpot (3 winners), a single ticket $319 million payday and a $648 million jackpot split by 2 ticket holders, with all of those wins recorded in just a 32 month period ending December 17, 2013. Mega Millions is drawn twice a week.
EuroMillions – Delivering Europe's biggest lottery prizes and a guaranteed €15 million jackpot, EuroMillions began making millionaires in 2004 with a twice-a-week draw. Jackpot totals of €190 million ($256.8 million), €187 million ($252 million), €162 million ($219 million) and several over €80 million ($108 million) have already been won playing EuroMillions.
Lotteries With the Best Overall Odds
Australia Saturday Lotto – With a 6/45 structure and 6 pay levels, you have a 1 in 85 chance of winning some prize in the Australia Saturday Lotto. Currently offering a guaranteed $4 million first prize and regularly paying as much as $30 million or more, the Australian Saturday Lotto boasts some of the best odds of any lottery in the world.
La Primitiva - Spain's weekly La Primitiva is the oldest national lottery draw in the world, running since 1812. With its 6/49 structure and 6 prize levels, it is very attractive statistically. The record jackpot is €30 Million and you have a 1-in-10 chance of winning a cash prize due to the many levels of prizes awarded. La Primitiva pays out more than €1 Billion annually.
Florida Mega Money – choosing just 4 out of 44 numbers with a Mega ball, and delivering 8 levels of winning, the Florida Mega Money lottery is a smart statistical play. This makes your overall Jackpot odds just 1 in 2.98 million, one of the most favorable of any lottery in the world. You also enjoy a 1 in 12.58 chance at winning some prize.
This section of our legal betting online website is devoted to keeping you informed on all fronts regarding buying lottery tickets online, as well as pointing out those legal online lottery sites which offer legitimate ticket buying options with excellent customer service features. International lotteries like the Australia Saturday Lotto deliver some of the best international lottery odds, but until recently were not available to worldwide lottery players until legislation was changed. Some online lottery sites offer features that also allow you to play the Top 10 Biggest and/or the Top 10 Smartest (best cost/payout ratio) lotteries on a subscription basis, and to join syndicates to improve your odds. Check back often and we will keep you informed with all the online lottery news and information that helps you make an informed buying decision, and hopefully delivers a big win for you.
The lottery retailers above offer ticket sales for the most popular lottery games offered from most US States.
Powerball - Arizona (AZ), Arkansas (AR), California (CA), Colorado (CO), Connecticut (CT), Delaware (DE), District Of Columbia (DC), Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), Idaho (ID), Illinois (IL), Indiana (IN), Iowa (IA), Kansas (KS), Kentucky (KY), Louisiana (LA), Maine (ME), Maryland (MD), Massachusetts (MA), Michigan (MI), Minnesota (MN), Missouri (MO), Montana (MT), Nebraska (NE), New Hampshire (NH), New Jersey (NJ), New Mexico (NM), New York (NY), North Carolina (NC), North Dakota (ND), Ohio (OH), Oklahoma (OK), Oregon (OR), Pennsylvania (PA), Rhode Island (RI), South Carolina (SC), South Dakota (SD), Tennessee (TN), Texas (TX), Vermont (VT), Virginia (VA), Virgin Islands (VI), Washington (WA), West Virginia (WV) and Wisconsin (WI).
Mega Millions - all but 6 states
Hot Lotto - District of Columbia (DC), Delaware (DE), Idaho (ID), Iowa (IA), Kansas (KS), Maine (ME), Minnesota (MN), Montana (MT), New Hampshire (NH), New Mexico (NM), North Dakota (ND), Oklahoma (OK), South Dakota (SD), Tennessee (TN), Vermont (VT), and West Virginia (WV).
State Lotto Games -
Fantasy 5 -
Daily Pick 4 -
Lottery Website Resources
The following resources are helpful to lottery players and offer useful information such as winning numbers, past winner bios and more.