US citizens spend more on lotteries than they do on virtually all other forms of leisure and activities on a yearly basis. In fact, well over $70 billion is regularly spent on playing major lotteries across the country. Most US lotteries are state-only affairs, although some of the bigger ones are played with a tristate or multi-state audience. In this article, we will peek at the USA lottery scene, and look at some of their most popular lottery games.
Most Popular US Lotteries
Understandably, the most popular USA lotteries tend to be those which are played over several states. These include the Mega Millions and Powerball Lottery games. Of course, individual state lotteries are also popular, and some of the more renowned ones include California’s Super Lotto Plus and Michigan’s state lottery.
Mega Millions Lottery
The Mega Millions lottery first appeared in 1996, when it launched as The Big Game. It was shortly renamed to the Big Game: Mega Millions, and eventually just Mega Millions by 2002. This lottery comes with a minimum jackpot of $15 million paid over 30 years, although players can claim a lump sum cash prize considerably smaller in value if they wish. To date, the record for this lottery stands at $656 million, which was split between three players based in Illinois, Kansa, and Maryland.
New York Lottery
New York’s main lottery is known simply as the New York Lottery, and it began in 1967. It was the third major lottery to appear in the US and goes by the slogan “Hey, you never know!”. Although there are various games played under the lottery’s banner, the main event is the Lotto game. It is played on Wednesdays and Saturdays and has seen prizes worth up to $10 million paid out in the past.
The USA’s Powerball Lottery is played in 44 states and first appeared in 1992. This lottery game has paid out a massive $1.5 billion prize in the past – which the largest ever lottery jackpot in history. It was won by three separate ticket holders in California, Florida, and Tennessee. In 2015, the Powerball Lottery changed its format. It now includes 69 white balls (up from 59), and 26 powerballs (down from 35). The odds of winning the jackpot have now lengthened to 1 in 292,201,338. Tickets still cost $2 per game.
Which lottery is the best?
Which USA lottery game is best suited to your needs depends entirely on where you reside. Almost all states play the Mega Millions and Powerball lotteries (as well as their own state lotteries). Your chance of success in the Mega Millions lotto is greater than the Powerball Lottery, though, at 1: 258,890,850, although understandably the total amount you can win is worth less. The ticket price is just $1 a game, though. Many US players are known for having tickets to both major lottery games, as they simply cannot decide between them or don’t want to miss out on the huge jackpots offered in either game.