Multi-State Lottery Association
The Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) is a non-profit, government-benefit association owned and operated by agreement of its 33 member lotteries (see below). The MUSL was created to facilitate the operation of multi-jurisdictional lottery games, including Hot Lotto, Mega Millions, Powerball, video lottery, and instant (scratch) tickets.
The MUSL was formed in December 1987 by seven American lotteries. Its first game was launched in February 1988, Lotto*America. That game was changed to Powerball; its first drawing was on April 22, 1992. Powerball was a unique game using two drums, suggested to MUSL by Steve Caputo of the Oregon Lottery. By April 2013, Powerball is played in 45 jurisdictions, including the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands (Mega Millions, which became part of MUSL on January 31, 2010 but is operated by its 12 original members, was also offered in 45 jurisdictions by May 2013).
MUSL's membership consists of 33 lotteries, including those of the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands, which offered Powerball prior to the January 31, 2010 beginning of cross-selling with the 12 lotteries operating Mega Millions.
The 33 MUSL members, alphabetically (and when joined):
- Arizona (1994)
- Arkansas (2009)
- Colorado (2001)
- Connecticut (1995)
- Delaware (1991)
- District of Columbia (1988)
- Florida (2009)
- Idaho (1990)
- Indiana (1990)
- Iowa (1988)
- Kansas (1988)
- Kentucky (1991)
- Louisiana (1995)
- Maine (1990-1992 and 2004–present)
- Minnesota (1990)
- Missouri (1988)
- Montana (1989)
- Nebraska (1994)
- New Hampshire (1995)
- New Mexico (1996)
- North Carolina (2006)
- North Dakota (2004)
- Oklahoma (2006)
- Oregon (1988)
- Pennsylvania (2002)
- Rhode Island (1988)
- South Carolina (2002)
- South Dakota (1990)
- Tennessee (2004)
- US Virgin Islands (2002)
- Vermont (2003)
- West Virginia (1988)
- Wisconsin (1989)
Besides Powerball, MUSL operates 2by2, Hot Lotto, and Wild Card 2. It coordinates with the consortium of 12 Mega Millions lotteries concerning their participation in Powerball as well as MUSL member lotteries in Mega Millions.
Since MUSL games are multi-jurisdictional, these games need unanimous approval before one is changed. For instance, game changes for Hot Lotto (15 members) and Wild Card 2 (four members) must be approved by all lotteries offering that game before the new format is implemented. A new version for Wild Card 2 will begin on January 13, 2013, while a revamped Hot Lotto starts on May 12, 2013. Both games are being redesigned to create larger cash jackpots (the existing Hot Lotto is annuitized with a cash option.) The new Hot Lotto game will advertise the jackpot amount as "taxes-paid" (after withholdings; net) instead of the usual American practice of "before withholdings" (gross.) These game changes are in hopes of increasing both games' membership.
MUSL has retired several games, including Ca$hola (video lottery), Daily Millions, Rolldown, and the Powerball scratchcard game; the latter was tied to a weekly television game show produced for two years in Hollywood, California called Powerball: The Game Show; then for two years from the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, called Powerball Instant Millionaire.
In September 2007, MUSL launched Midwest Millions, a scratch ticket game, in Iowa and Kansas; it was the country's first multi-jurisdictional scratch game since the Powerball television game shows. Midwest Millions returned in 2008 and 2009.
Ca$hola was retired on May 15, 2011 when its 37th jackpot was won. A replacement multi-jurisdictional video lottery game, MegaHits, began on July 15, 2011 in Delaware, Rhode Island, and West Virginia, the three lotteries which offered Ca$hola. MegaHits features five progressives; only the top progressive is shared by the three lotteries, while Ca$hola's top prize was its only progressive.
MUSL provides a variety of services for lotteries, including: game design, management of game finances, production and uplinking of drawings, the development of common minimum information technology and security standards and inspections of lottery vendor sites; the building of a quantum-based Random number generator (RNG), coordination of common promotions and advertisements, coordination of public relations, and emergency back-drawing sites for lottery games. MUSL also hosts the Powerball web site and the websites for more than a dozen U.S. lotteries. The Powerball web site average over 350,000 pageviews per day (over 10.5 million monthly). MUSL provides these services to the lotteries at no cost. MUSL earns its income from non-game sources such as earnings on its accounts, bond swaps, and licensing of its trademarks. MUSL owns the patents and trademarks involved in its operations, holding them for the benefit of its members.
MUSL's director is Chuck Strutt, who was the association's first employee in 1987. Strutt directly responds to players and writes MUSL's unusual FAQ, which elicits strong responses from readers who may find it humorous or insulting. MUSL currently has 12 full-time employees located in Urbandale, Iowa. The Powerball drawings moved to Florida when it joined; however, MUSL's other draw games continue to be conducted in Iowa.
MUSL games operate under the same core game rules in each jurisdiction; however, each lottery is free to vary rules pertaining to such things as purchase age, the claim period, and some validation processes.
Powerball/Mega Millions cross-selling begins
On October 13, 2009 the Mega Millions consortium and MUSL signed an agreement that allowed MUSL members to sell Mega Millions tickets, and consortium members to sell Powerball tickets. On January 31, 2010, all but 2 of the 12 Mega Millions consortium lotteries began selling Powerball tickets. The consortium members did not join MUSL; they were licensed by MUSL to sell Powerball; the consortium coordinates their Powerball participation with MUSL. Likewise, MUSL members may offer Mega Millions through a special MUSL product group that coordinates with the Mega Millions consortium. Before the agreement, the only places that sold both Mega Millions and Powerball tickets were retailers that sat on state lines and offered multiple lotteries; one retailer located along U.S. Route 62 that is largely in Sharon, Pennsylvania but has a small portion lying in Masury, Ohio sold both Mega Millions (via the Ohio Lottery) and Powerball (via the Pennsylvania Lottery) before the agreement and continues to be the only retailer to sell tickets for the Ohio and Pennsylvania Lotteries at one location.