Decades of Dollars
Decades of Dollars is the name of a lottery game that became available on January 30, 2011 in Georgia, Kentucky, and Virginia; its first drawing was four days later. Decades of Dollars is drawn Monday and Thursday nights, including holidays.
Decades of Dollars, in which top-prize winners can choose cash in lieu of the 30 annual payments, replaced Win for Life in Kentucky; Win for Life is now a Virginia-only game.
Decades of Dollars became available in Arkansas on May 3, 2011; the first drawing to include Arkansas was two days later.
Each Decades of Dollars game costs $2; players choose 6 numbers from 1 through 47. Any game with at least two matching numbers wins (see below.)
- Match 2 of 6:
- a free Decades of Dollars play automatically generated by a lottery terminal (in Kentucky and Virginia)
- $2 cash (in Arkansas and Georgia)
- Match 3 of 6: $10 cash
- Match 4 of 6: $100 cash
- Match 5 of 6: $10,000 cash (liability limit $250,000 across the four jurisdictions)
- Match 6 of 6: $250,000 per year in 30 installments or $4,000,000 cash
Matching all six numbers wins $250,000 yearly over 30 installments; unlike WFL, a cash option ($4,000,000) is available. These amounts are reduced if a given drawing produces more than two top-prize winners, as the top prize liability is $10,000,000 cash.
In the first Decades of Dollars drawing (Thursday, February 3, 2011, as the first Monday of game sales did not have a drawing), 11 plays each won the $10,000 second prize: seven in Virginia, with two each in Georgia and Kentucky.
Unexpectedly, none of the game's first 112 drawings produced a top-prize winner (of either payment option.) Finally, for the March 5, 2012 drawing, a ticket sold in Georgia matched all six numbers.
Of the four lotteries offering Decades of Dollars, only Arkansas has yet to produce a top prize.
- Decades of Dollars top-prize winners:
To date, all Decades of Dollars top-prize winners have chosen the cash option.
As with other US multi-jurisdictional games, a Decades of Dollars winning ticket must be redeemed in the jurisdiction where the ticket was bought.
Decades of Dollars drawings are conducted by the Georgia Lottery at WSB-TV in Atlanta, which also hosts Mega Millions drawings.
The first draw game which linked Georgia, Kentucky, and Virginia was called Lotto South, which began in 2001 and ended in 2006. (In 2002, the Multi-State Lottery Association, or MUSL, began Hot Lotto with 6 members, growing to 15 in 2009; it is played in other regions of the U.S. The Tennessee Lottery joined Hot Lotto on May 12, 2013 as part of that game's revised format; Tennessee borders all four Decades of Dollars states.)
On January 15, 2015, Arkansas will pull out of Decades of Dollars; it will be joining Lucky for Life, which began as a Connecticut-only game in 2009.