New Jersey Lottery
|Headquarters||One Lawrence Park Complex, Brunswick Avenue Circle, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648|
|Agency executives||Frank V. Ragazzo, Chairman
Carole Hedinger, Executive Director
|Parent agency||New Jersey Department of the Treasury|
The New Jersey Lottery is run by the government of New Jersey. Its draw games are: Cash4Life, Mega Millions, Powerball, Pick-6, Jersey Cash 5, Pick-4, and Pick-3. The Lottery also sells scratch tickets. The New Jersey Lottery is headquartered in the One Lawrence Park Complex in Lawrence Township, Mercer County.
New Jersey Lottery players must be at least 18 years old.
The largest prize won on a ticket sold in New Jersey was for the March 23, 2013 Powerball drawing. The annuity value of the ticket was approximately $338,000,000. Pedro Quezada, a Dominican immigrant living in Passaic claimed the ticket on March 26, choosing the cash option.
- 1 Games
- 2 Drawings
- 3 References
- 4 External links
Current draw games
Pick-3 is a three-digit draw game drawn twice daily. It began on May 22, 1975 as a daily game; midday drawings were introduced in November 2001. It was originally known as Pick-it; the name changed to Pick-3 in 1987 to distinguish from the newer Pick-4 game.
The ways to win, in the order of payouts from highest to lowest, are:
- Straight - Matching all three digits exactly as they are drawn. Minimum play is 50 cents.
- Wheel - Match all three digits in any order and win the straight payout. Minimum play is $1.50 (if two digits are the same, such as 211) or $3.00 for three different digits (such as 123.)
- Box - Matching all three digits in any order. Minimum play is 50 cents.
- Pair - A two-digit wager; either the first and second digits, or the second and third (last.)
- Split - Also a two-digit wager, but with the first and last digits. Minimum play is 50 cents.
Typically, the straight payout is over $250, and the box payout (where the three digits are different) averages $38. Unlike most lotteries, New Jersey pays winners of Pick-3 and Pick-4 on a parimutuel basis. Multiple wagers of the same number increase winnings. The most common Pick-3 wager is Straight and Box combined for $1.00 (sometimes known as a "50-50" bet.)
The ways to win, in the order of payouts from highest to lowest, are:
- Straight - Matching all four digits exactly. Minimum play is 50 cents.
- Box - Matching all four digits in any order. Minimum play is 50 cents.
As in Pick-3, the most common Pick-4 wager is Straight and Box combined for $1.00 (some players will make separate "straight" and "box" wagers for the same Pick-4 number, so that the "box" wager, if won, can be collected without filling out a tax form.) Typically, the straight payout is over $2,000. Multiple wagers of the same number increase winnings.
Jersey Cash 5
Jersey Cash 5 is a daily game that draws five balls numbered from 1 through 40. Games cost $1 each. The top prize is a jackpot that grows until there is a wager where all five numbers are matched.
Jersey Cash 5 began on September 30, 1992 as a pick-5-of-38 game. Players won a parimutuel prize by matching at least three numbers. The original version of Jersey Cash 5 did not have a rolling jackpot; instead, if no set of five numbers was a perfect match, the first-prize pool was added to second prize winners (those who matched four numbers.) In September 2003, two numbers were added to make Jersey Cash 5 a 5/40 game, and the top prize level was changed to a progressive jackpot.
Pick-6 Lotto is drawn on Monday and Thursday evenings. It draws six balls from 1 through 49. Games cost $1 each. The jackpot begins at $2 million (annuitized with a cash option) and increases by at least $200,000 per rollover until there is a 6-of-6 winner.
Pick-6 began on May 9, 1980 as one of the first games of its kind in the US. It originally was a pick-6 (hence the name) of 39 numbers. Players paid $1 for each game; a winning ticket needed at least four correct numbers in a game. It later went to a 6/42 matrix, followed by an additional change to 6/46; making even higher jackpots possible. Pick-6, until 2000, also drew a five-digit "bonus" number; an exact match entered the player into a special drawing where the top prize was $50,000 yearly in 20 installments, with no cash option. (Although the Pick-6 cash option began in 1997, it applied only to the "regular" game; choosing "cash" on a betslip, then winning the top prize in the "bonus" drawing, still meant receiving mandatory annuity payments.)
The current Pick-6 game is a 6/49, which began in September 2000; no "bonus" number of any kind is drawn. Unlike with the previous matrixes, there is a $3 prize for matching three numbers. Matching at least four numbers wins a parimutuel prize.
On September 6, 1996, six lotteries began a multi-jurisdictional game, then known as The Big Game. In May 1999, the New Jersey Lottery became its first additional member. The game became known as The Big Game Mega Millions in May 2002; a short time later, the The Big Game part was retired. Mega Millions' starting jackpots is $15 million; a cash option is available.
On January 31, 2010, many MUSL members (until then offering only Powerball) joined Mega Millions; likewise, most Mega Millions members added Powerball; New Jersey offered both games as of the cross-sell expansion date.
The Megaplier option, initially available only in Texas, became available to Mega Millions players in New Jersey during January 2011, the deadline for the then 43 Mega Millions members to offer the Megaplier.
On June 13, 2014; New York and New Jersey began sales of Cash4Life, which replaced Sweet Million in New York. Games are $2 each; the first drawing was on June 16. Drawings are held on Monday and Thursday nights. The top prize is $1,000 per day for life, while second prize is $1,000 per week; both annuity tiers have a cash option.
Unusually, New Jersey requires players to choose cash or annuity when playing Cash4Life, instead of after winning. The cash option (if chosen) is binding, while an annuity ticket can be changed to cash after winning.
Powerball is a multi-lottery game which began in 1992. On October 13, 2009, the Mega Millions consortium and Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) reached an agreement in principle to cross-sell Mega Millions and Powerball in U.S. lottery jurisdictions. On January 7, 2010, the New Jersey Lottery announced that it would join Powerball, effective January 31, 2010; on that date, the 33 MUSL members were joined by 12 lotteries, including New Jersey's, that offered Mega Millions, although some of the 45 lotteries did not add the "other" game on that date.
On March 13, 2010, New Jersey became the first previously Mega Millions-only jurisdiction to produce a jackpot ticket for Powerball after the cross-sell expansion. The annuity value of the jackpot was over $211 million; the ticket was sold in Morris Plains.
Powerball's basic game has always had a $1 price; a game with the Power Play option (introduced in 2001) costs $2. On January 15, 2012, the most recent format change for Powerball included a price increase; games are $2 each, or $3 with Power Play. The minimum jackpot was doubled, to $40 million; a second-prize game (matching all five white balls, but not also the Powerball) wins $1 million, or $2 million if Power Play was selected.
Cash/annuity jackpot choice
Unusually, for Pick-6 (as well as for Cash4Life, Mega Millions, and Powerball within New Jersey), players must choose cash or annuity when playing, instead of after winning. The cash option, if chosen, is legally binding; however, a New Jersey-generated annuity ticket that wins an annuity prize in any of these four games can be changed to cash. Such winners are given a 60-day period upon claiming in which to make the choice
There is no annuity option in Jersey Cash 5, as its jackpot shares are paid in lump sum.
The Lottery offers a form of instant win game known as Instant Match. Available as a $1 add-on to Pick-3, Pick-4 and Jersey Cash 5 tickets, the lottery terminal's random number generator produces a same-sized set of numbers to the main game. If any of the randomly generated numbers match the ticket's chosen numbers, the player wins the indicated prize amount. The maximum prize is $500. It is not available on quick pick tickets; the player must choose their numbers for the main game.
5 Card Lotto
5 Card Lotto was offered from January 11, 1988 to September 18, 1990. It was the New Jersey Lottery's response to the initial wave of terminal-based, all-cash, lottery games with a higher prize potential than those offered in pick-3 and pick-4 games.
Rather than an all-number field, the game used the 52 cards from a standard deck of playing cards. A $1 bet allowed players to choose five cards on each of three plays. The game was drawn twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays. The winning combination was the five "cards" (actually marked balls) drawn. Although a "poker-themed" game, poker hands (four of a kind, full house, flush etc.) were not used to determine winning tickets. Instead, any game matching at least three of the five cards won a parimutuel prize. A ticket with any game matching all five cards won (or shared) the cash jackpot, which started at $200,000 and remained there until sales supported a higher top prize. Unusual at the time, 5 Card Lotto drawings were originally broadcast during the early afternoon, before being shifted to evenings.
When 5 Card Lotto was retired, it left a "void" for those desiring a "pick-5" or similar all-cash, terminal-based game that was gradually introduced by US lotteries; New Jersey did not again offer such a game until Jersey Cash 5 began in 1992.
Lotzee (stylized LOTZEE) was a game offered from June 14, 1998 to September 13, 2003. Originally drawn once a week on Saturdays, it expanded with a Wednesday drawing before being discontinued. It was unpopular with players, who felt the rules, which featured a combination of player- and machine-selected numbers, were too complex and confusing. The top prize was $500,000 cash; although not a progressive jackpot, the prize was split if there were multiple winners.
The New Jersey Network (NJN) aired live televised drawings twice a day, seven days a week; midday at 12:57 p.m. ET, and nightly at 7:56 p.m. ET. Also, NJN aired the twice-weekly Mega Millions drawings at 10:59 PM every Tuesday and Friday night, as well as the Wednesday and Saturday Powerball drawings at the equivalent time. On July 1, 2011, the New Jersey Lottery became the first lottery in the nation to stream their drawings, live, from the New Jersey Lottery's headquarters on either the New Jersey Lottery's website or the New Jersey Lottery's Ustream channel. On September 6, 2011, drawings returned to broadcast on television on NJTV on a one-hour tape delay; the live drawings continue to be held at the Lottery's headquarters and broadcast online. On June 4, 2012, the live drawings from the New Jersey Lottery's Ustream channel moved to Livestream.
On January 1, 2013; the New Jersey Lottery drawings returned to broadcast television. The drawings are shown on WLNY (channel 55) in northern New Jersey, and WPSG-TV (channel 57), in southern New Jersey. These are the first New Jersey Lottery drawings to be aired on commercial television. On July 1, 2014, the New Jersey Lottery live drawings moved to WPIX/channel 11 (New York City) and WPHL/channel 17 (Philadelphia), with Erica Young serving as the hostess for the evening drawings.
- Renai Ellison
- Joe DeRose
- Meredith Orlow (née Parker)
- Carmen Delia-Bryant
- Hela Yungst (deceased)
- Dick LaRossa
- "Contact Us." New Jersey Lottery. Retrieved on March 23, 2009.
- New Jersey Lottery's Pick-3 page
- New Jersey Lottery history
- New Jersey Lottery's Pick-4 page
- New Jersey Lottery's Jersey Cash 5 page
- New Jersey Lottery's Pick-6 Lotto page
- New Jersey Lottery's Instant Match page
- New Jersey Lottery's Instant Games page
- Jonathan Miller (September 12, 2003). "Players Bid Lotzee Goodbye, But Say It Won't Be Missed". The New York Times. Retrieved April 22, 2011.
- Drucker, Judith. "LIVE TELEVISION BROADCAST GIVES NEW JERSEY LOTTERY PLAYERS EVEN MORE WAYS TO WATCH THE WINNING NUMBER DRAWINGS.". New Jersey Lottery. New Jersey Lottery. Retrieved 15 May 2013.