Massachusetts Lottery

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Massachusetts Lottery was established on September 27, 1971, following the legalization of gambling by the Massachusetts General Court, the legislature of the Commonwealth. The Lottery is administered by a commission of five members, who include the Treasurer and Receiver-General (who serves as chairperson), the Secretary of the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety, and the Comptroller, who serve on an ex officio basis. The Governor appoints the other two members.

The state's lottery is unusual in that it withholds 5 percent on prizes over $600, instead of only over $5,000. The Federal withholding on prizes of at least $5,000 is 25 percent.

Current draw games[edit]

In-house draw games[edit]

The Numbers Game[edit]

The Numbers Game is played twice daily. It draws four 1-digit numbers; bets can be made on a one-digit and/or two-digit number. Three-digit numbers are "first three" or "last three", as a three-digit number is not drawn separately. Minimum wagers are 25 cents on a three-digit or four digit number, 50 cents on a two-digit number or one-digit.

Payouts are on a pari-mutuel basis; the payout percentage is 60 percent on one- and two-digit wagers, 70 percent on three-digit bets, and 50 percent on a four-digit number.


Keno is mainly played at retailers that are equipped with game monitors, although it is available at every location. Drawings are five minutes apart from September 30, 1993 to February 28, 2003 after 475,622 games, and then it went down to four minutes apart on March 1, 2003. Prizes and options vary.

Jackpot Poker[edit]

This is a poker-themed game with a side bet. Jackpot Poker started on June 17, 2013 and ended on June 30, 2016 after 318,953 games, and was replaced with All Or Nothing on July 18, 2016. The basic game costs $1; if the computer-generated "hand" is a Royal Flush, the player wins $25,000. Smaller prizes are for other poker hands. A $2 wager is eligible for the Progressive Jackpot option; the minimum jackpot is $100,000.[1]

Mass Cash[edit]

In 2011, Mass Cash expanded to daily drawings. Five numbers 1 through 35 are drawn. Top prize is $100,000 (with a $1 million liability limit). The game is similar to neighboring Connecticut's Cash 5 basic game (without the Kicker). Four numbers wins $250, three numbers, $10.

Megabucks Doubler[edit]

Megabucks Doubler is drawn Wednesdays and Saturdays. Six numbers from 1 through 49 are chosen. The jackpot starts at $500,000; unlike previous versions of the game, there is a cash option. Matching 5 out of 6 wins $2,500 ($5,000 with doubler). Matching 4 out of 6 wins $100 ($200 with doubler). Matching 3 out of 6 wins $2 ($4 with doubler).

Multi-jurisdictional games[edit]

Lucky for Life[edit]

In 2009, the Connecticut Lottery introduced Lucky4Life, which became a regional game, Lucky for Life, three years later when the game expanded to include Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.

In January 2015, Lucky for Life became a "quasi-national" game; as of 2017 it is offered in 25 states and the District of Columbia.

Mega Millions[edit]

On September 6, 1996, Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, and Massachusetts began a jackpot game, then called The Big Game. The current name, Mega Millions, was adopted in 2002, with The Big Game name retired soon after. The jackpot starts at $15 million. Games are $1 each, or $2 with the Megaplier option, which became available in Massachusetts in 2011.

The current version of the game began in 2013. In October 2017, the format for Mega Millions will change again; among the changes is a $2 price point ($3 with the Megaplier). Massachusetts will be among the game's lotteries offering the Just the Jackpot option ($3 for two game); such a ticket is eligible for only the jackpot.


Powerball began in 1992. Massachusetts added Powerball on February 3, 2010.

Instant Tickets[edit]

The Lottery offers scratch tickets with price points of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, and $30. Top prizes range from $5,000 to $15 million. "Cash for Life" tickets offer the chance to win $500 to $10,000 a week for life.

Former Games[edit]

The Daily Race Game[edit]

The Daily Game Race was played much the same as Keno. It used a horserace-themed Keno-style computer monitor. The Daily Race Game started on April 2, 2007 and ended on June 11, 2013, due to poor sales and players' preference for poker.[2]

Cash Winfall[edit]

Cash Winfall was drawn Mondays and Thursdays. Six numbers 1 through 46 were chosen. The jackpot began at $500,000; it always was paid in lump sum. Lower-tier prizes were $4,000, $150, or $5 for matching five, four, or three numbers respectively; two numbers won a Cash Winfall bet. If the jackpot reached $2 million and was not won, the jackpot was "rolled down" with the secondary prizes increased.

After the Boston Globe published reports of individual stores selling millions of dollars in tickets, state officials suspended the game, suspecting organized crime involvement. Investigations revealed that the profiteers were a retired couple and a group of college students who were legally exploiting elements of the game that would almost surely produce profits of approximately 20% when tickets were bought in rolldown conditions.[3]

Cash Winfall ended on January 26, 2012.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Massachusetts State Lottery - The Jackpot Poker Games". Retrieved 2014-05-13.
  2. ^ "Massachusetts State Lottery - About the Lottery - Lottery News". Retrieved 2014-05-13.
  3. ^ Wertheim, Jon. "How a retired couple found lottery odds in their favor", CBS 60 Minutes, 2019-01-27. Accessed 2019-02-27.
  4. ^

External links[edit]