Legal Online Scratch-Off Lottery Tickets
Reviewing the best online lottery -sites that are legally authorized to accept USA players in 2023.
Since the dawn of mankind, people have found ways to gamble. History shows us that even in ancient civilizations like Egypt and China and Rome, people gambled on a wide variety of games.
While our games these days might look a lot better, be more plentiful, and are a lot more easily accessible thanks to the Internet, the fact is that we're no different culturally than our ancestors who loved to play games of chance. There's a thrill provided when you're risking money for a shot at winning a lot more money. Gambling deals directly with our base instincts as human beings for excess. We want those millions of dollars. We want to win while gambling.
Legal Betting Online recognizes that gambling is a widespread genre, not only dealing with sports or online casino games. This is why we try to touch on a little bit of everything, even scratch-off lottery tickets.
Earning billions of dollars in revenue every year, scratch-offs are huge in the United States, and most states allow them. Some only cost a buck and might pay out a few thousand dollars, while some tickets cost $20 or more and can turn you into an instant millionaire. But can you buy online scratch-off lottery tickets legally in the US? Our guide answers all the questions you have and even the ones that you wouldn't think to ask.
What Are Scratch-Off Tickets?
In all the gambling topics we have ever covered, scratch-off lottery tickets are perhaps the easiest to explain. In essence, these are pieces of paper that have winning or losing number combinations on them. The numbers are covered up by a sort of thick film that must be scratched off.
This covering keeps the tickets a mystery, and so people who buy a scratcher don't know if they've won or lost until after they've scratched off the covering, typically using a coin or their fingernail. With online scratch-off tickets, the same principle applies. Only you will use your computer's mouse, or finger on a touchscreen, to scratch away the covering.
These tickets are produced typically by states, or at least sanctioned by the state, and they are available in dozens of varieties. You can find tickets for $1, $2, $3, $5, $10, $20, and some tickets might even cost you $50 to try your luck!
Your odds of winning depend on the ticket you buy. It should tell you what your chances of winning are; e.g. "1 in 4 tickets win; 1 in 6 tickets win, 1 in 2 tickets win." This usually also depends on the amount. For instance, if you're paying $20 for a ticket, you'll probably find that 1 in 4 wins, whereas a $1 ticket might have odds like 1 in 10 of winning.
Winning amounts also depend entirely on the ticket itself. Some pay out a few hundred or a few thousand dollars, while some have very large jackpots that can reach a million or more.
Is Playing Online Scratch-Off Tickets Legal In The US?
Two very quick, very simple points to make here. Point #1: It is perfectly legal, no matter where you live in the US, to play a scratch-off lottery ticket and to be eligible to win. No states, nor the federal government, have laws that stop you from purchasing a scratch-off ticket where you can find one legally offered. So, yes, they're legal for you to play as a US citizen. Point #2: Not every state offers legal tickets. This doesn't mean they're illegal for you to play if you live in that state; it just means your state doesn't offer them.
To point 2, there are six states in the USA that do not allow legal lotteries like scratch-off tickets: Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, and Utah. One can understand the morality police in Utah not offering scratchers, but what's with Mississippi and Nevada? These states have hundreds of legal on-location casinos. And that's the crux. These states want you supplying revenue to their brick-and-mortar establishments. They don't want you putting money into a lotto machine. Though if you're in Mississippi and go buy you some scratch-offs from Louisiana, you're operating perfectly within the law, per point 1.
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- Restricted State: New Jersey
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Online Scratchoff FAQs
Which Tickets Are Good Options? - Some people believe there are ways by which you can spot a winning ticket before buying it. They believe that winning tickets have thicker ink lines between the perforations. They believe that if you hit a winning ticket on a reel, you must wait until 4 or 5 more tickets go off the reel before getting a winner. They believe they have a system. However, when these tickets are made in the factories, they're completely random. You might purchase a roll of 20 and not hit a single ticket, and the person behind you might buy a roll of 5 and hit on every one. It's all random. If you're looking for good ticket options, what you're looking for are odds vs. payouts.
For instance, let's say a $1 ticket gives you a 1 in 8 shot of winning, with an average prize of $5. So, this would be hard to profit from. You buy 8 tickets, only win $5, you're out $3. You'd have to be very lucky to hit something like $20 or $50 to come out on top in the long run. A $10 ticket, on the other hand, might give you a 1 in 3 shot at winning, with the average prize being $20.
Still not ideal odds in your favor, but a heck of a lot better. Now, a $20 ticket may give you a 1 in 2 shot of winning, with the average prize being $50. These odds are more in your favor. However, these odds are created to entice you to play for more money, so be careful shoveling sawbucks into the machine. Just because the odds are 1 in 2 doesn't mean you're guaranteed to win 50% of the time.
And just because the average win is $50 doesn't mean anything in the aggregate. You can win $5, with every 10 $5 winners getting $500, and it's still an average of $50, though meaningless to the 9 who hit $5. You can lose 10 in a row, and since the odds are calculated over millions of tickets made, it's just your bad luck. Your best ticket option will be something that gives you decent odds of hitting a winning ticket without having to spend too much money. This will typically be in the $5-$10 range, but there are simply no guarantees.
Can I Play Scratch Off Tickets Online? -Technology has been consistently improving in the realm of online games, and today's gaming sites do provide a range of options for playing scratch-off tickets. Now, that's not to say that every online casino will provide this option. It's still much more of a niche game.
Because scratch-off tickets are so widespread throughout the nation, with only a handful of states not offering them, the online market for such a game/activity isn't very large. It's not like, say, poker, where only a few states offer this on location. Most people can find scratch-off tickets everywhere, and so the demand has never forced the Internet to create a big supply. However, many sites do offer these tickets.
An online scratch-off ticket is essentially the same as the one you'll purchase at a store. It's digital, of course, but how the game operates is still the same. You will receive a card that has number combinations under a covering. You will remove the covering to reveal the numbers, and then see if you won any sort of prize. By purchasing your tickets online, you should be able to find tickets with different odds, different dollar amounts, and different prize amounts.
Are Scratch Off Tickets Fair? - Now for the million-dollar question, possibly literally: Many reports exist out there about tickets not having enough winners per ticket purchased, and some states like Illinois are actually so dysfunctional that they are not paying lottery winners. By and large, however, most tickets are fair. Most ticket lines do provide winners per their estimated win scale, and most will pay you if you win and the bar code scanned says your ticket is a winner.
Online tickets may operate by different standards. To know if these are fair, it really depends on the website on which you're playing these tickets. For instance, if the casino where you find scratch-off tickets isn't reputable and isn't received well, then you shouldn't expect that the tickets are going to be fair.
They are probably more tilted in the house's favor so that they can collect more money. Contrarily, an online establishment with a solid reputation for fair play is going to provide you with fair lottery tickets. So it boils down to location and reputation. For a reputable site, it really doesn't make any sense to cheat players. They already make hundreds of millions of dollars per year, and by default, lottery games are a guaranteed winner for the house anyways.
How Do I Collect Winnings? - If playing online, everything is instant, meaning you can instantly scratch off the tickets, and you can get paid immediately when you win. For example, if you win $100, your available balance would increase by $100.
Understanding Bonus Terms - It's very important that you understand the terms and conditions of any promotion you take advantage of. For example, BetOnline offers players an incredible 200% bonus up to $5000. In order to be able to cash out any winnings, you must rollover your deposit + bonus a certain amount of times. This essentially stops any abuse from players who are looking to take advantage of a casino, without genuinely risking their own money.
Your 2023 Guide To Playing Scratch Off Lottery Tickets
Pick Your Ticket - Picking your ticket isn't always going to be as simple as putting the money in and selecting which ticket you want. Technically speaking, that's all there is to the process of buying a ticket, but what's more important here is that you purchase a ticket whose odds are more in your favor. You're never going to have quite even-money odds, or the odds in your favor explicitly, but, for instance, a ticket that's 1 in 4 is better than 1 in 8, so choose tickets based on your likelihood of winning. If this means spending $5 instead of $1, it will pay off more in the long run.
Scratch it Off - Okay, this step seems axiomatic, and there's really no reason for us to say anything about it, right? Well, we want to urge some caution here when scratching. If you damage the numbers or the bar code by handling a real ticket too roughly, you may end up having difficulties when cashing it in. So scratch off gently, just hard enough to remove the covering.
Look Carefully at the Rules - Look very, very carefully at the rules. Some tickets don't want you scratching off more than one column or section, and scratching off the entire ticket will render it void. Some tickets have complex rules, like you have to add up all numbers in a row to beat the dealer's (house/card) number, and so you might win while actually thinking you've lost if, for instance, you overlook a number. Again, this is another one that seems axiomatic, but it's always best to exercise caution and to read the fine print so that you understand how the ticket is played.
Legal Betting Online knows just how insanely popular scratch-off tickets are, and we know that a lot of our base, even if they primarily play poker or blackjack, also love to play the scratchers. We hope this guide has given you some important information about the genre. Don't forget to check out our casino reviews to find the most reputable sites to buy your tickets!
If you are looking for regular lottery tickets such as Powerball and Megamillions instead of scratch-offs, check out our Legal US online lottery guide that contains everything you need about where to buy these tickets.