Best US Online Lotteries

Sportsbooks · Online Lotteries

As technology has advanced, so has the US online lottery system. Each state has its own set of laws that govern what the population can and can’t play virtually. Because of this, it can be hard to keep up with what you can play and where. Read below for our guide to the currently available online lotteries in the United States.

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BRIEF OVERVIEW OF ONLINE LOTTERY USA

The United States’ history with the lottery and gambling has been a rollercoaster. Lotteries have existed in the US for centuries; there’s evidence of more minor, local games played as early as Colonial times. Puerto Rico established the first official territory-wide lottery in 1934. The first official state to feature a lottery was New Hampshire in 1964.

Today, 44 states and three territories (Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands) run a state-wide lottery. The only states that don’t feature a lottery at the time of this writing are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, and Utah.

The United States doesn’t have a federal lottery, but Americans can play both Mega Millions and Powerball nearly everywhere. Therefore, Americans view them as the de facto “national” lottery games even though they aren’t federally run.

Out of those 48 jurisdictions, only seven offer online lotteries. This number was eight as recently as 2015, before Minnesota decided to terminate its program. The Department of Justice clarified its stance on the Wire Act related to sports betting in 2011; its perspective on the legislation also opened the doors for states to offer lottery tickets for purchase online.

This process is ongoing. Some states have a lotto online app, while others defer to a third-party application. The states that don’t currently offer online lotteries have stated myriad reasons why. These reasons include the challenge of verifying age and location.

Additionally, online lotteries make it more challenging to keep track of at-risk players. The purchase of an online lotto ticket will also vary from state to state: some require a third-party app while others let their constituents make purchases right on the state’s official application.

STATES WITH ONLINE LOTTERY GAMES

The United States is still moving its lotteries to a virtual space, but navigating the multitude of issues that comes with that process. The following is a list of all seven states that currently feature online lotteries:

  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Michigan
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • New Hampshire

Regardless of where and how you choose to play, make sure that you’re clear on all terms and conditions. Remember that the responsibility always falls on the player, so set limits and know when to call it.

Many gambling sites and online lotteries will allow you to set daily, weekly, or monthly limits on spending. With this in mind, keep yourself accountable and stick to them if the site itself doesn’t.

NEW JERSEY ONLINE LOTTERY

New Jersey holds one of the oldest lotteries in the country. Since its founding in 1970, the New Jersey Lottery has awarded over $42 billion in prizes and contributed over $28 billion to the state, including just under $1 billion to local education in 2017 alone. They were one of the first states to switch to online lottery ticket number drawings instead of televising them.

Gamblers in New Jersey can use Jackpocket to play the lotto online. Jackpocket is a third-party application that helps players buy lottery tickets online. Of course, the state hasn’t authorized the app to sell all the games that other online lotteries can. Jackpocket provides the ability to buy a lotto ticket online for Powerball and Mega Millions.

In 2019, New Jersey introduced its own US online lottery ticket app. Although you can’t bet directly in the application, you may check numbers and create tickets. However, to submit these slips, you must bring your mobile device to an in-person ticket distributor to have them scan your online lottery ticket.

PENNSYLVANIA ONLINE LOTTERY

Pennsylvania introduced its iLottery system in 2018. Pennsylvanians can play the lotto online from their desktop and mobile devices. They began by offering a collection of instant-win scratch offs and now include Mega Millions and Powerball. The PA Lottery has committed to expanding into other real-world drawing games and keno.

Similar to other online lotteries, Pennsylvania uses geolocation technology to monitor where people are playing. Consequently, Pennsylvania natives are eligible for money to go toward buying lottery tickets online when signing up.

MICHIGAN ONLINE LOTTERY

Michigan has been offering its residents the ability to play the lotto online since 2014. During this time, the Michigan state lotto sold tickets and instant-win scratch-off games. Now, the lotto online in Michigan has grown to include keno, Lotto 47, and Fantasy 5. Expect this list to continue expanding as the years go on.

It is one of the few online lotteries to offer keno. In addition to this, Michigan is the only state on this list to provide instant draw Keno. Playing scratch-offs through the Michigan lotto online can yield winnings of up to $500,000. However, any payout over $50,000 will have to be picked up in person.

GEORGIA ONLINE LOTTERY

Georgians could buy lottery tickets online as of 2012. Players at that time were limited to Mega Millions, Powerball, and Fantasy 5. The Georgia Lottery has since expanded to include Keno and instant-win scratch offs known as “Diggi Games.”

In contrast to Michigan, Georgia draws keno games every 3.5 minutes. Diggi Games offer payouts of up to $150,000. Georgia features a US online lottery with a well-rounded experience. Because of this, the Georgia lottery provides a similar dynamic when playing in person or virtually.

ILLINOIS ONLINE LOTTERY

Players from Illinois have been able to purchase a lotto ticket online individually and in bulk since 2012. The US online lottery games featured range from Powerball and Mega Millions to Pick-3 and Pick-4. The latter two are only available to subscription holders with the Illinois Lottery.

Subscription holders can only play the lotto online in bulk when it comes to Pick-3 and Pick-4. These pick games are smaller versions of more powerful lottery draws that only require players to select a handful of numbers.

KENTUCKY ONLINE LOTTERY

The ability to play the lotto online became available in Kentucky in 2016. In April of that year, Kentuckians could buy lottery tickets on the web for its draw and instant-play games. In late 2016, Kentucky introduced an app to play the lotto and view your lotto ticket online through mobile devices. After that, they brought keno drawings to the virtual world in March of 2018.

When you buy a lotto ticket online or in person, the Kentucky Lottery will donate a portion of the money to the various grant and scholarship programs they work with. One such program that receives funding is the KEES Scholarship Program. It is one of many online lotteries on this list to donate a portion of their earnings to charity. Other examples include Pennsylvania’s donations to the elderly in the state.

NEW HAMPSHIRE ONLINE LOTTERY

New Hampshire is another in the line of online lotteries named “iLottery.” The iLottery was introduced in late 2018 and allowed for the purchase of an online lottery ticket for significant draws. These games pay instantly into the player’s account.

New Hampshire is one of the best states in terms of purchasing tickets in bulk over the internet. Games like Powerball and Mega Millions offer purchase ranges of 1-100 tickets at a time. You may also purchase numbers for up to 104 consecutive drawings. This makes it the perfect state to play the same numbers repeatedly. While this option is available, make sure you never purchase more tickets than you can afford in one go.

MINNESOTA ONLINE LOTTERY

Minnesota was the first US online lottery to feature a full list of games. However, the state legislature voted in 2015 to discontinue their lottery entirely. The only way to play in Minnesota at the time of this writing is by purchasing tickets in person. These tickets are available from similar retailers that sell them in other states, including gas stations and convenience stores.

FAQ - US ONLINE LOTTERY

If you still have any remaining questions about online lotteries in the United States, check out this handy FAQ list. Note that the United States’ history with online lotteries is still relatively young. Only seven states currently offer these games. As legislation becomes clarified federally, states will make their own decisions in this arena. Additionally, the laws are changing rapidly, so keep an eye on your state to see when they’ll join this list.

CAN YOU BUY LOTTERY TICKETS ONLINE IN NJ?

Yes. You can purchase online lottery tickets in New Jersey through the third-party app Jackpocket. The official New Jersey Lottery app allows you to view your lotto ticket online only; you must bring that ticket to an in-person kiosk to have it accepted.

CAN YOU PLAY THE LOTTERY ONLINE IN NJ?

Yes. New Jersey players can access their lotto ticket online through the app but must present it to a physical counter after purchase. Online lottery tickets bought through Jackpocket are valid for drawings.

WHAT ONLINE LOTTO GAMES ARE AVAILABLE?

Most online lotteries will allow the purchase of Mega Millions and Powerball tickets as they’re the closest the US has to a national game. The online lotteries in Michigan, Georgia, and Kentucky currently offer keno as well. Those that choose to play the lotto online in Illinois can also access Pick-3 and Pick-4 games if they subscribe to the website.

WHICH ONLINE LOTTERIES USE A THIRD-PARTY DISTRIBUTOR FOR THEIR TICKETS?

The only state on this list that requires a third party to access the lotto online is New Jersey. The app in question is called Jackpocket and allows users to buy lottery tickets online for Mega Millions and Powerball.

WHICH ONLINE LOTTERIES OFFER KENO GAMES?

The states that offer keno games in their online lotteries include Michigan, Georgia, and Kentucky. Also, Pennsylvania is looking to include keno in the near future. Michigan is currently the only state in this group that offers an instant-draw version of keno.

WHERE CAN I BUY SCRATCH OFFS ONLINE?

Most online lotteries allow the purchase of scratch offs. The online lotteries on this list that offer scratch offs include Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Kentucky.

CAN I PURCHASE AN ONLINE LOTTERY TICKET IN MINNESOTA?

No. Minnesota was the first state in the US with an online lottery that featured a full list of games. However, they pulled them all only a year later due to state regulations. The Minnesota Lottery still operates in person.

HOW DO ONLINE LOTTERIES KEEP TRACK OF WHERE PEOPLE ARE PLAYING FROM?

Most applications and websites will use geolocation when you purchase a lotto ticket online. If you buy a ticket in person, this location doesn’t exactly matter. However, some states will require players to be native residents of that state to purchase a ticket.

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