The Montana Lottery is run by the government of Montana. It is a member of the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL). The Montana Lottery's portfolio consists of scratch tickets, plus Mega Millions, Powerball, Hot Lotto, Wild Card 2, and Montana Cash.
The Montana Lottery was created by referendum in 1986. Since then, it has paid out at least $310 million to players in prizes and returned at least $142 million to good causes in Montana.
In Montana, the minimum age to purchase a lottery ticket is 18.
On August 31, 2008, the Montana Lottery began fantasy sports wagering, called Montana Sports Action, which is offered under the authority of MCA 23-4, a law passed by the Montana Legislature in 2007 to help the Board of Horse Racing increase purses in Montana. The Board of Horse Racing may also use the funds raised in other ways to stimulate horse racing in Montana. The law requires that 74% of the money wagered be returned to players in prize payouts. The remaining 26% is shared between the establishments offering Montana Sports Action, the Board of Horse Racing, and the Montana Lottery. (Sports betting in the US also is legal in Delaware, Nevada, and Oregon.)
Montana Cash is played Wednesdays and Saturdays. It draws 5 numbers from 1 through 37. Players get two games for $1. The jackpot starts at $20,000.
10 Spot is played like keno. Players choose 10 numbers; 20 are drawn by the Lottery. Matching any 10 of the 20 numbers wins $25,000.
Wild Card 2 (multi-lottery game)
Wild Card 2, a MUSL game, is currently offered by four lotteries including Montana's. It is drawn Wednesdays and Saturdays. Players get two games for each $1 wagered. Each game is played in a similar fashion to Powerball; in each drawing, five numbers from 1–31 are selected. The sixth "number" is actually one of 16 playing cards, either a Jack, Queen, King, or the Ace of any of the four suits (Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades).
Hot Lotto (16 members)
Hot Lotto, another MUSL game, is played in 15 states and the District of Columbia. It is also drawn Wednesdays and Saturdays. Hot Lotto draws 5 "white balls" numbered from 1 through 47, and the orange "Hot Ball", numbered from 1 through 19. The jackpot starts at $1 million (all-cash, and "taxes paid") and increases by at least $50,000 if there is no top prize winner. Hot Lotto has an option, called Sizzler (similar to the former version of Powerball's Power Play) which costs an additional $1 per play, and triples any non-jackpot prize.
Through May 11, 2013, the Hot Lotto game drew from 39 "white balls"; its jackpots were paid in 25 annual installments unless the cash option was chosen.
Powerball (multi-lottery game)
Since 1989, the Montana Lottery has been a member of MUSL. Powerball began in April 1992. Powerball's jackpots are at least $20 million. It is also drawn Wednesday and Saturday nights. Powerball draws 5 white balls from 1 to 59 and 1 red Powerball from 1 to 39. Powerball also has an optional multiplier, PowerPlay, which multiplies a non-jackpot prize by 2x to 5x.
Mega Millions (multi-lottery game)
On September 6, 1996, six lotteries began the-then The Big Game; it became Mega Millions in May 2002. Its jackpots begin at $12 million. Mega Millions draws 5 white balls numbered 1 through 56, and 1 yellow Mega Ball numbered 1 through 46.
Most lotteries with either Mega Millions or Powerball prior to January 31, 2010 added the other game on that date. The Montana Lottery added Mega Millions on March 1, 2010, becoming the first lottery to add the "other" game after the official cross-selling expansion about a month prior. Unlike most of the 12 Mega Millions members that had the game before the cross-selling expansion, Montana offers Mega Millions' multiplier, called Megaplier, which is similar (but not identical) to PowerPlay.