Lucky For Life

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Lucky for Life (which began in Connecticut in 2009 as Lucky4Life) is a US$2 game played in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island; it is called "New England's Game." Its drawings remain in Connecticut; the game is drawn Mondays and Thursdays at 10:38 pm Eastern Time.[1] The Connecticut-only version began on March 29, 2009, with the regional game beginning on March 11, 2012, and was changed again on September 17, 2013; the current version's first drawing was September 19.

Lucky For Life is one of three lottery games available throughout New England. (The 2009 Mega Millions/Powerball cross-selling agreement allowed American lotteries, which could each offer either "national" game before January 31, 2010, to add the other on that date. Five of the six lotteries immediately added "the other" game; Maine joined Mega Millions on May 9, 2010.)

First- and second prize payouts[edit]

Unlike other American lottery games (the exception being Cash4Life, played in New Jersey and New York), Lucky for Life offers two annuitized prize levels; both are advertised as "lifetime" prizes. Unlike in previous versions, first-prize winners can choose cash in lieu of the lifetime annuity; second-prize winners also are offered a cash option. First-prize winners (if the annuity is chosen) receive, or share, the equivalent of "$1,000 a day for life" (the timing of the payments is according to the rules where the ticket was sold), with a 20-year guarantee; if the winner dies, payments continue to the winner's estate.[2] (The Connecticut-only game's top prize was "$2,000-per-week-for-life", also split among multiple winners.)

Second prize is now $25,000 per year for life ($10,000 cash in the Connecticut version, and $25,000 in the previous regional game), as the game's double matrix added 3 white balls and 22 green "Lucky Balls"; players now choose 5 of 43 white balls, and a "Lucky Ball" from a second set of 43 numbers. The first drawing (September 19, 2013) in which second prize is a choice of cash or lifetime annuity had two such winners, both sold in Maine.

Winning and probability[edit]

A player wins a prize according to the following chart:

Matches Prize Approximate
of winning on a $2 bet
White balls
Lucky Ball
5 1 $1,000/day or cash option† 1 in 41,391,714 (43C5×43)
5 0 $25,000/yr or cash option†† 1:985,517 (43C5×43/42)
4 1 $3,000††† 1:217,851
4 0 $150 1:5,187
3 1 $100 1:5,888
2 1 $20 1:491
3 0 $10 1:140
1 1 $5 1:112
0 1 $4 1:82
2 0 $2 1:12

†First-prize cash option is $5,750,000. ††Second-prize cash option is $390,000. The cash option amounts are decided by a unanimous vote by the six lotteries; these amounts are posted at least 30 days before the change(s) occur. †††Second- and third prizes have liability limits as well.

The overall odds of winning are 1:8.6.


On January 25, 2015, Lucky for Life, which began as a Connecticut-only game six years prior, will expand into other regions of the United States,[citation needed] and have 21 members on that date; 20 states and the District of Columbia. The double matrix will become 5/48 + 1/18. First- and second-prize prizes will remain unchanged; most other prize amounts will be increased.

See also[edit]

  • Cash4Life, a similar game offered in New York and New Jersey.