Lucky For Life

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Lucky for Life (which began in Connecticut in 2009 as Lucky4Life) is a US$2 game which became a six-state regional game three years later, and became a "quasi-national" game on January 27, 2015 (adding eight more lotteries, with the District of Columbia joining on February 15); its slogan is "The Game of a Lifetime." Its drawings remain in Connecticut; Lucky for Life is drawn Mondays and Thursdays at 10:38 pm Eastern Time, using two drawing machines and numbered balls.[1] The Connecticut-only version began on March 29, 2009; it became Lucky for Life three years later as it became a regional game, with a modified version (adding a second "lifetime" prize tier) available on September 17, 2013.

With the District of Columbia joining Lucky for Life (the first member added without changing the game's odds), LFL now has 15 members.

Lucky For Life is one of three lottery games available through each of these lotteries. (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.

First- and second-prize payouts[edit]

Unlike other American lottery games (the exception being Cash4Life, offered in New Jersey and New York; possibly adding Pennsylvania in spring 2015) Lucky for Life offers two annuitized prize levels; both are advertised as "lifetime" prizes. Beginning with the 2013 game modification, a first-prize winner can choose cash in lieu of the lifetime annuity; second-prize winners also are offered a cash option. A first-prize winner, if the annuity is chosen, receives, or shares, 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 $25,000 per year for life ($10,000 cash in the Connecticut version, and $25,000 cash in the original version of the regional game.)

Lucky for Life uses a 5/48 (white balls) + 1/18 (green "Lucky Balls"); its 2013 game modification had 43 balls in each of the two drums, while the previous version was 5/40 + 1/21. (The Connecticut-only game drew four white balls and a green "Lucky Ball"; hence the name Lucky4Life.)

The 5/43 + 1/43 version never produced a top prize-winning ticket; all winners of the LFL "$1,000-per-day" prize, as of January 29, 2015, are receiving their winnings according to the pre-cash option rules. (The most recent top prize winner was sold in New Hampshire for the August 12, 2013 drawing).

Winning and probability[edit]

A player wins a prize according to the following chart (beginning January 27, 2015):

Matches Prize Approximate
of winning on a $2 bet
White balls
Lucky Ball
5 1 $1,000/day or cash option† 1: 30,821,472
5 0 $25,000/yr or cash option†† 1: 1,813,028
4 1 $5,000††† 1: 143,356
4 0 $200 1: 8433
3 1 $150 1: 3413
2 1 $20 1: 250
3 0 $25 1: 201
1 1 $3 1: 50
0 1 $6 1: 32
2 0 $4 1: 15

†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 of the LFL lotteries; these amounts are posted at least 30 days before the change(s) occur. †††Second- and third prizes have liability limits as well.

The prize pool is approximately 60 percent of sales.

The overall odds of winning are 1:

Lucky for Life members[edit]

  • Arkansas ††
  • Connecticut (original member)
  • Delaware ††
  • District of Columbia (February 15, 2015)
  • Idaho ††
  • Iowa (future)
  • Kentucky (future)
  • Maine †
  • Massachusetts †
  • Michigan ††
  • Minnesota ††
  • Missouri ††
  • Montana ††
  • New Hampshire †
  • Rhode Island †
  • South Carolina ††
  • Texas ††
  • Vermont †
    • † Joined LFL in 2012.
    • †† Joined LFL on January 27, 2015.

Delaware retired its Cash 5 game to make room for LFL.

The minimum age to play LFL is 18; when Iowa joins, it will require players to be at least 21, per Iowa Lottery regulations..

See also[edit]

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