Texas Lottery

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Texas Lottery Commission
Texas lottery logo.gif
Agency overview
FormedNovember 1991
HeadquartersAustin, Texas
Texas Lottery Commission headquarters in downtown Austin
A lottery drawing being conducted at the television studio at Lottery Commission headquarters

The Texas Lottery is the government-operated lottery available throughout Texas. It is operated by the Texas Lottery Commission, headquartered in downtown Austin.[1]


The voters of Texas approved an amendment to the Texas Constitution in November 1991 authorizing lottery sales in Texas.[2]

The Texas Lottery Commission created an unusual contest for the Lottery logo – designs from a contracted ad agency were pitted against designs from the general public. One logo from each source was placed in head to head competition, and the winning logo – a cowboy hat thrown high in celebration (still in current use) – was the public design (the winner was Susan Holten, from Carrollton).[3]

The Texas Lottery's first game was the scratch ticket Lone Star Millions, with the first ticket sold to then Gov. Ann Richards at Polk's Feed Store in Oak Hill. First-day sales of 23.2 million tickets set a then-world record, with first-week sales (ending June 5, 1992) also setting a world record.[3]

Lotto Texas began sales on November 7, 1992, with the first drawing on November 14, 1992 and the first jackpot (from Schulenburg) won on November 28, 1992.[3] By November 1993, Texas Lottery sales would exceed $1 billion, breaking the Florida Lottery's record set in 1989.[4]

The Texas Lottery Commission was formed via legislation in 1993 to take over management of the Lottery from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts; the legislation also gives the Commission oversight of charitable bingo games (moving that duty from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission).[4]

Texas joined the Mega Millions consortium in 2003, with sales beginning December 3 and the first drawing to include Texas was two days later. Though no Texas ticket won the jackpot, one Texas-bought ticket matched the first five numbers for $175,000.[5] The first Texas jackpot winner of Mega Millions was not until the drawing of October 4, 2004; a Carrollton player took home the $101 million (annuity value) prize.

As part of the cross-selling arrangement between the operators of Mega Millions and Powerball, the Texas Lottery Commission agreed to begin selling Powerball tickets on January 31, 2010; the first drawing including Texas was three days later.

On April 23, 2013, the House voted not to recommission the Texas Lottery Commission, which would potentially bring an end to the lottery in Texas.[6] Later in the day, the House reversed course with a new vote on the bill.[7]

Joan R. Ginther became a four-time lottery winner from 1993 to 2010, one from a Texas Lotto and three from scratchers.[8][9] All of her winning tickets were purchased in Texas, and two of them were bought from the same convenience store in Bishop, Texas.[10][11]

General rules[edit]

As with most US lotteries, players must be at least 18 years of age.

Winning tickets must be claimed within 180 days or the prize is forfeited. For scratch-off tickets, the time limit begins when a game is closed by the Commission; for drawings the time limit begins the date of the drawing.

Within Texas, players must choose when playing (instead of after winning) the cash value option (CVO) or annual pay (AP) when purchasing Powerball, Mega Millions, and/or Lotto Texas tickets (see below.)

According to the Texas Lottery Commission, the allocation of lottery sales (since 1997) is as follows:[12]

  • 64.2 percent is paid out in prizes
  • Approximately 25.8 percent is paid to the Foundation School Fund, which is used to support public education in Texas
  • 5.4 percent is paid as retailer commissions
  • 4.2 percent is retained to cover Lottery Administration costs
  • Approximately 0.4 percent (specifically, the value of unclaimed prizes) is transferred to the Texas Legislature for allocation; since 2009 this money has gone to the Texas Fund for Veterans and other state programs.

Current Texas Lottery games[edit]

Scratch Tickets[edit]

The Texas Lottery began operations on May 29, 1992 with sales of Lone Star Millions. By the game's end on February 1, 2004, it set a world record for first-day sales (23.2 million tickets) and first-week sales (102.4 million tickets),[3] There were 6 prizes of $1 million (annuity-only) and 479 of $10,000 each.[13]

Scratch tickets, most changing frequently, cost $1 to $50 each. The Texas Lottery is the only U.S. lottery to offer $50 scratch-off tickets.

Prizes have included not only cash (from $1 to the millions), and free tickets (which can be used to purchase any Texas drawing game), but also trucks, tickets to sports events, and tours of Cowboys Stadium.

In-house drawings[edit]

Lotto Texas[edit]

Lotto Texas was the first Texas in-house drawing game offered, with sales beginning on November 7, 1992; its first drawing on November 14, 1992, and the first jackpot won on November 28, 1992. By its first anniversary, the Texas Lottery sold over $1 billion in tickets.[4]

Initially sold as an annuity-only game (no cash option), the purchaser having to pick numbers, and the drawings held only on Saturdays, Lotto Texas later added the "Quick Pick" option (random selection of numbers, added on May 29, 1993, the Lottery's first anniversary),[4] the "Cash Value" option (CVO),[14] and changed the drawings to twice weekly, adding Wednesdays.

Among notable winners was Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson, the former Dallas Cowboys linebacker, who claimed a winning jackpot in excess of $14 million in 2000.[15]

The current format utilizes 54 balls drawn from a machine; players choose 6 numbers. The jackpot is paid either in 30 annual payments, or in lump sum (discussed further below). Non-jackpot payments are in lump sum. Each game costs $1, the minimum jackpot is $5 million, and drawings are held at 10:12 PM Central time on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Lotto Texas made the Extra! option available to players on April 14, 2013, with the first drawing to include Extra! winnings being held on April 17, 2013.[16] The Extra! option costs $1 more per play. This gives players the chance to win $2 for matching 2 of 6 numbers. The Extra! option also adds $10 to the base prize amount for matching 3 of 6 numbers, $100 to the base prize for matching 4 of 6 numbers, and $10,000 to the base prize for matching 5 of 6 numbers. No change is made to the jackpot prize amount. [17][18]

Matches Prize Current probability of winning[19]
3 of 6 numbers $ 3 (guaranteed) 1:75
4 of 6 numbers $ 50 (estimated) 1:1,526
5 of 6 numbers $ 2,000 (estimated) 1:89,678
All 6 numbers Jackpot 1:25,827,165

Overall odds of winning are 1:71. Overall odds of winning are 1:7.9 with the Extra! option.[20]

Texas Two Step[edit]

Texas Two Step is the other twice-weekly in-house game in Texas. Sales for Texas Two Step began on May 13, 2001.[21]

The current format utilizes a 4+1 matrix using two sets of numbers 1 through 35). Players choose five numbers; four from the first set of 35 white balls, and the fifth, Bonus Ball, from a set of 35 red balls. All payments, including the jackpot, are in lump sum. Each game is $1, the minimum jackpot is $200,000, and drawings are held at 10:12 PM on Mondays and Thursdays.

Matches Prize Current probability of winning[22]
Zero numbers, plus Bonus Ball $ 5 (guaranteed) 1:58
1 number, plus Bonus Ball $ 7 (guaranteed) 1:102
2 numbers, plus Bonus Ball $ 20 (estimated) 1:657
3 numbers, no Bonus Ball $ 20 (estimated) 1:435
3 numbers, plus Bonus Ball $ 50 1:14,779
4 numbers, no Bonus Ball $ 1,501 1:53,900
All 4 numbers, plus Bonus Ball Jackpot 1:1,832,600

Overall odds of winning are 1:32.4.

Texas Two-Step's jackpot always is paid in lump sum; as such, it is the only Texas Lottery jackpot game not to require players to choose cash or annuity when playing (see below.)

All or Nothing[edit]

The Texas Lottery's newest draw game, All or Nothing, is drawn 24 times weekly; 10:00 am, 12:27 pm, 6:00 pm, and 10:12 pm Central Time Mondays through Saturdays. Players choose (or let the lottery terminal select) 12 numbers from a field of 24. A player wins $250,000 cash if all 12 numbers match those drawn, or, if none match the numbers drawn. (The odds of either way of winning the top prize are the same; the first ball drawn determines whether a player must match all the numbers, or none, to win the top prize.) Other prizes are: $500, $50, $10, and $2; players win either by matching at least eight numbers, or, no more than four. Games are $2 each.

Each number set on an All or Nothing playslip has boxes for "quick pick" and for multi-draw, where a player may select to use the same numbers for up to 24 consecutive drawings.[23]

Cash Five[edit]

Cash Five is a daily-draw game. Sales for this game (which replaced a similarly named game, Cash 5) began on July 29, 2002.[24] On Sept. 23, 2018, Cash Five relaunched with a new matrix, better overall odds of winning and guaranteed prizes, including a $25,000 top prize. The first drawing with the new rules in place was on Sept. 24, 2018.[25]

The current format utilizes one set of 35 balls; players choose five numbers. All payments are in lump sum. Each game costs $1; and drawings are held at 10:12 PM Central time Mondays through Saturdays.

Matches Prize Category Prize Current probability of winning[26]
2 of 5 numbers Fourth Prize Free Cash Five Quick Pick Ticket ($1 value) 1:8
3 of 5 numbers Third Prize $15 1:75
4 of 5 numbers Second Prize $350 1:2,164
All 5 numbers First (Top) Prize $25,000* 1:324,632

Overall odds of winning are 1:7.2

Pick 3[edit]

Pick 3 is a four times daily draw game. It began on October 25, 1993.[4]

The current format utilizes three sets of digits 0 through 9. Players choose: exact order (all three digits), any order (two or three digits), exact and any order (two or three digits), combo (two or three digits; combo two is the same as two exact order plays while combo three is the same as three or six exact order plays) and Sum It Up (the arithmetic sum of the numbers played is the same as the arithmetic sum of the numbers drawn; the numbers drawn do not have to be the same as the numbers played).

All payments are in lump sum. Exact or any order bets cost $0.50 or $1; exact and any order for $1, combo (two digits cost $1.50 or $3; three digits cost $3 or $6), and Sum It Up for an additional $0.50. The prizes are guaranteed amounts, and drawings are held four times a day, at 10:00 AM, 12:27 PM, 6:00 PM, and 10:12 PM Central time Mondays through Saturdays.

Daily 4[edit]

Daily 4 also is drawn 24 times weekly. Sales began on September 30, 2007.[27]

Daily 4 is played as in Pick 3, except there are 4 digits. Players can select: Straight (all four digits in exact order), Box (all four digits in any order), Straight/Box (all four digits), Pairs [two of the four digits in exact order, which can be: front pair (first two digits), middle pair (middle digits), or back pair (last two digits)], Combo [which can be: 4-way (three of the four digits drawn are identical, such as 1112), 6-way (the digits drawn are two pairs, such as 1122), 12-way (two of the four digits drawn are identical, such as 1123), or 24-way (all four digits are different, such as 1234)] and "Sum It Up" (see Pick 3.)

All payments are in lump sum. Players can select Straight or Box for either $0.50 or $1; Straight/Box for $1; Pairs for $0.50 or $1; Combo (4-way for $2 or $4; 6-way for $3 or $6; 12-way for $6 or $12; or 24-way for $12 or $24), and Sum It Up for an additional $0.50. The prizes are guaranteed amounts, and drawings are held at 10:00 AM, 12:27 PM, 6:00 PM, and 10:12 PM Central time Mondays through Saturdays.

Texas Triple Chance[edit]

Play began on September 28, 2015. Texas Triple Chance is a $2 game. You select 7 numbers from 1-55 (or quick pick). In addition to that set, you get two extra sets, both quick picks. 10 numbers are drawn, To win, you must match by a horizontal set.

Matches Prize Current probability of winning
3 of 7 numbers $ 2 (guaranteed) 1:11
4 of 7 numbers $ 5 1:68
5 of 7 numbers $25 1:813
6 of 7 numbers $500 1:21,474
All 7 numbers Top Prize 1:1,691,064

Game's played Monday-Saturday at 10:12 Central time.

Multi-jurisdictional drawings[edit]

Mega Millions[edit]

In 2003, the Texas Lottery joined the Mega Millions consortium.

The current format utilizes one set of 70 white balls, and a second set, of 25 yellow balls (the "Mega Ball".) Players choose six numbers; five white ball numbers, and the "Mega Ball" from the second set. Jackpots are paid in either 30 graduated annual payments, or in cash; see below on jackpot choices. Non-jackpot payments are in lump sum. Each game costs $2, the minimum jackpot is $40 million, and drawings are held at 10:00 PM Central time on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Texas, as in all Mega Millions jurisdictions except for California, offers an option, called Megaplier (similar to Powerball's Power Play) which multiplies non-jackpot prizes by either 2, 3, 4, or 5. Second prize (5+0), normally $1 million, can be quintupled, to $5 million cash, if Megaplier was chosen.


On October 13, 2009, the Mega Millions consortium and MUSL (the operator of Powerball, the other major US lottery game) reached an agreement in principle for lotteries, at their option, to cross-sell Mega Millions and Powerball; the earliest date agreed on was January 31, 2010.

The Texas Lottery Commission elected to participate in the agreement; on November 17, 2009 voted to publish Powerball rules for public comment. On December 14, 2009 the Commission held a public hearing, receiving comments on the proposal to join Powerball.

On January 6, 2010, the Commission voted 3-0 to join Powerball. Texas sales for the game began on January 31, 2010; the first drawing including Texas was conducted three days later.[28]

Former Drawing[edit]

Monopoly Millionaires' Club (suspended)[edit]

Monopoly Millionaires' Club began sales on October 19, 2014; it was drawn Fridays. Plays were $5 each. Players chose 5 of 52 numbers; a sixth number, from a field of 28 (automatically quick-picked), also represented one of the properties on a U.S. Monopoly game board.

Texas suspended sales of MMC following the December 12, 2014 drawing.

Timing of player's jackpot choice[edit]

Unusually, Texas Lottery regulations require players to choose either cash value option (CVO) or annual pay (AP) when playing Lotto Texas, Mega Millions, and/or Powerball. Other lotteries generally allow players to make the cash/annuity choice after winning (including winners of annuitized scratch-game prizes.) The choice when playing in Texas is binding. All three games mentioned above (including Mega Millions and Powerball within Texas) initially had "AP" as the default option. As of 2014, if a playslip was not marked with either choice, the playslip is rejected. The Texas Lottery is the only one offering Powerball that does not allow CVO to be chosen after winning Powerball.

Players of Texas Two Step do not face this choice; it is the only Texas Lottery jackpot game that is all-cash. All other Texas Lottery draw games have all-cash prizes.

Texas' scratch games that are annuitized do not allow winners to choose lump sum in lieu of the annuity.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Agency Directory." Texas Lottery. Retrieved on November 2, 2009.
  2. ^ "Commission History/Milestones". Txlottery.org. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  3. ^ a b c d "Commission History/Milestones". Txlottery.org. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Commission History/Milestones". Txlottery.org. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  5. ^ "Commission History/Milestones". Txlottery.org. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  6. ^ "House Reauthorizes Texas Lottery Commission". Kbtx.com. 2013-04-23. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  7. ^ Saleh, David (2013-04-23). "Texas House kills lottery commission, then revives it". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  8. ^ https://abcnews.go.com/Business/texas-woman-wins-millions-lottery-fourth-time/story?id=11097894
  9. ^ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/7873950/American-woman-wins-lottery-for-a-fourth-time.html
  10. ^ http://www.nbcnews.com/id/38126776/ns/us_news-wonderful_world/t/texan-may-be-worlds-luckiest-lottery-winner/
  11. ^ https://www.mysanantonio.com/g00/news/local_news/article/Three-time-winner-hits-lotto-jackpot-again-785335.php?i10c.encReferrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8%3d&i10c.ua=1&i10c.dv=14
  12. ^ "Supporting Education & Veterans". Txlottery.org. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  13. ^ "Commission History/Milestones". Txlottery.org. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  14. ^ "Commission History/Milestones". Txlottery.org. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  15. ^ "Commission History/Milestones". Txlottery.org. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-29. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
  17. ^ "Lotto Texas". Txlottery.org. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  18. ^ "FAQ". Txlottery.org. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  19. ^ "How to Play Lotto Texas". Txlottery.org. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  20. ^ "template for ROUNDUP" (PDF). Txlottery.org. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  21. ^ "Commission History/Milestones". Txlottery.org. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  22. ^ "How to Play Texas Two Step". Txlottery.org. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  23. ^ "How to Play All or Nothing". Txlottery.org. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  24. ^ "Commission History/Milestones". Txlottery.org. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  25. ^ Lottery, Texas. "Commission History/Milestones". www.txlottery.org. Retrieved 2018-10-30.
  26. ^ "How to Play Cash Five". Txlottery.org. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  27. ^ "Commission History/Milestones". Txlottery.org. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  28. ^ "TEXAS LOTTERY COMMISSION APPROVES POWERBALL® RULE" (PDF). Txlottery.org. Retrieved 2016-07-22.

External links[edit]