Tri-State Lottery

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Tri-State Lottery refers to terminal-generated games offered specifically by the Maine, New Hampshire, and/or Vermont lotteries. It was the first multi-jurisdictional lottery, with its initial drawing (of the-then Megabucks) on September 14, 1985.[1] The compact includes five games: Megabucks Plus (drawn Wednesdays and Saturdays); Pick 3 and Pick 4 (both have "day" and "night" drawings daily, including Sundays), Gimme 5 (drawn Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays), and Fast Play (terminal-generated "instant" tickets); the latter are games that often differ among the three states.

Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont offer individual instant (scratch) games, although the lotteries are working on a joint instant game, which would be similar to Midwest Millions, a MUSL-sponsored instant game which had been available in Iowa and Kansas.

Prior to the Tri-State compact, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont individually operated online games, including pick-3 and pick-4 games. Maine currently offers a poker-style game that is drawn every few minutes.

With Maine (a Multi-State Lottery Association member from 1990-1992) returning to MUSL in 2004, all three lotteries offer Powerball. Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont also participate in the 46-jurisdiction Mega Millions, which New Hampshire and Vermont joined on January 31, 2010, as part of both major games' cross-sell expansion. (Maine joined Mega Millions on May 9, 2010.) Maine and New Hampshire also offer MUSL's Hot Lotto (played similar to Mega Millions or Lucky for Life), which is offered by 14 lotteries; Vermont ended sales of Hot Lotto in May 2014. Online games featuring an annuity prize allow winners to choose cash or annuity payments.

Tri-State games are not directly part of MUSL, although the Iowa-based organization assists with multi-jurisdictional games. Hot Lotto and Powerball are operated by MUSL, while Mega Millions is not. Hot Lotto is drawn in Iowa using a random number generator, while Mega Millions′ draws are held in Georgia, Lucky for Life draws are held in Connecticut, where the game began in 2009 as Lucky4Life; and Powerball draws are in Florida; the latter three games use tradional drawing machines and numbered balls. Lucky for Life became a "quasi-national" game in January 2015; as of 2017 it is available in 22 states and the District of Columbia, with an additional three states planning to join.

Mega Millions′s latest format change was in October 2013; it features a higher starting jackpot, and a potential second prize of $5,000,000 if its Megaplier is activated. Mega Millions basic plays remain at $1.

The newest Tri-State draw game, Gimme 5, began on May 12, 2013. Gimme 5 draws 5 of 39 numbers; the top prize is $100,000 split among plays matching all five numbers.

Megabucks, whose original version began in 1985, became Megabucks Plus in July 2009, doubling the cost of a ticket to $2. Megabucks Plus is a double-matrix game as in Hot Lotto, Mega Millions, Lucky for Life, and Powerball; players select five numbers out of a field of 41 and a "Megaball" from a field of 6.

The Hot Lotto game (which includes Maine and New Hampshire) was changed on May 12, 2013; it features a revised double matrix (adding 8 "white balls" to the original 39, but leaving the number of "Hot Balls" at 19), and utilizes a "taxes-paid" format (the advertised jackpot amount is after withholdings, rather than the traditional American practice of "before withholdings.") [1] Tennessee joined the game upon the format change to bring membership to 16; however, Vermont and the D.C. Lottery have pulled out. (Click here for information on Hot Lotto's 2010 drawing scandal.)

Tri-State drawings are held in New Hampshire. These drawings use "classic" numbered balls and drawing machines, except for raffles.[2]

New Hampshire and Vermont allow subscription play for Megabucks Plus and Mega Millions; in the case of New Hampshire (which continues to offer subscriptions for Hot Lotto), it does not have a residency requirement for subscription play.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "New Hampshire Lottery Commission : Megabucks". Archived from the original on 2008-06-27. Retrieved 2008-07-17.