New York Lottery FAQ
You can find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about New York Lottery games on this page, including important information about how to play and how to claim prizes.
How to Play+ Expand All
The cost of playing the lottery in New York varies between games. In Numbers, Win 4 and Quick Draw, you can choose how much you want to wager.
|Game||Cost of Entry|
|NY Lotto||$1 for two lines|
|Win 4||$0.50 - $1|
|Numbers||$0.50 - $1|
|Quick Draw||$1 - $10|
No. Despite the misconception that Quick Picks reduce your chances of winning, the odds remain the same whether you go for your own numbers or a random Quick Pick line.
New York Lottery games are drawn on different days and at different times. The table below shows when each game takes place and the cut-off time for ticket sales for each one.
|Game||Draw Days||Draw Times (EST)||Ticket Cut-off Time (EST)|
|NY Lotto||Wednesdays and Saturdays||8:15pm||8:00pm|
|Win 4||Twice Daily||2:30pm and 10:30pm||2:15pm and 10:20pm|
|Numbers||Twice Daily||2:30pm and 10:30pm||2:15pm and 10:20pm|
|Powerball||Wednesdays and Saturdays||10:59pm||10:00pm|
|Mega Millions||Tuesdays and Fridays||11:00pm||10:45pm|
|Quick Draw||Daily||Every four minutes||Immediately before each draw|
|Cash4Life||Mondays and Thursdays||9:00pm||8:45pm|
New York Lottery drawings are broadcast on television throughout the state. The only exceptions are Take 5 and Lotto draws, which are aired exclusively on WABC.com.
You do not have to be a resident of New York to play NY Lottery games, but tickets can only be purchased from licensed retailers in the state. If you buy a lottery ticket in New York but reside in another state, you would need to return to claim any prizes. Alternatively, you could mail your winning ticket (and a completed claim form for prizes of $601 or more) to the New York Lottery, PO Box 7533, Schenectady, NY 12301-7533.
If you have damaged your ticket, sign your name and write your social security number on the back of it and mail it to the New York Lottery to be verified. Include your contact details in case a representative needs to get in touch with you.
If you have lost a winning ticket, you may not be able to claim the prize. Contact a Customer Service Center as soon as possible to report the loss.
The New York Constitution states that all profits from the sale of lottery tickets must be put towards public education in New York. Since 1967, over $64 billion has been used to fund the work of the New York State Education Department.
Prize Information+ Expand All
Prizes up to and including $600 can be claimed from any licensed lottery retailer in New York. You can claim prizes of $601 or more by taking your winning ticket and a completed claim form to one of the 16 Customer Service Centers located throughout the state.
Alternatively, you can claim by mail by sending your ticket to the New York Lottery at PO Box 7533, Schenectady, NY 12301-7533. You must also mail a completed claim form for prizes of $601 or more. The How to Claim page goes into more detail about what you need to do if you win a prize.
No, you must claim your prize in the state in which the ticket was bought.
All lottery prizes won in New York must be claimed within one year of the draw taking place. Prizes for scratch-off games must be claimed within one year of the announced end of game.
The New York Gaming Commission is required by law to withhold tax on any prizes over $5,000, or on prizes over $600 if you don’t provide a social security or tax identification number when you claim. The amount you are taxed depends on a number of factors, including how much you win and where you live.
If you win the Powerball, Mega Millions or NY Lotto jackpot or one of the top two Cash4Life prizes you have the choice to take your winnings as a cash lump sum or a series of annuity payments. If you choose the annuity payments you will receive the full advertised jackpot amount over a number of years. If you choose the lump sum option you will receive one payment amounting to the cash value of the jackpot at the time you claim. This will be less than the advertised jackpot, which takes into account any increases in payments over the course of the annuity period.
Any prize money left unclaimed after the one-year claim deadline is returned to the prize fund for subsequent draws or used to subsidize future jackpots or special events.
No, you cannot remain anonymous if you win the jackpot in New York. Your name and city of residence will be released into the public domain, but other personal information such as your street address and telephone number will remain private.
The New York Lottery will never contact you to notify you that you’ve won a prize. If you have received an email, text message, letter or phone call claiming that you’ve won a prize, it is most likely to be a scam. Always remember that you cannot win a prize in a lottery you did not enter, so if you receive a notification that you’ve won money in a lottery that you have never played, it is fraudulent.
Unfortunately, no. The fewest numbers you can match and still win a prize in a New York Lotto draw is three, with prizes increasing for matching more numbers.
Game Details+ Expand All
As each game is played differently, the odds of winning vary. The table below shows the odds of winning the jackpot or top prize in each New York Lottery game, as well as the overall odds of winning a prize in each one.
|Game||Overall Odds of Winning||Odds of Winning Jackpot/Top Prize|
|NY Lotto||1 in 46||1 in 45,057,474|
|Win 4||Varies by play type||1 in 10,000|
|Numbers||Varies by play type||1 in 1,000|
|Powerball||1 in 25||1 in 292,201,338|
|Mega Millions||1 in 24||1 in 302,575,350|
|Quick Draw||Varies by play type||1 in 8,911,711|
|Pick 10||1 in 17||1 in 8,911,711|
|Take 5||1 in 9||1 in 575,757|
|Cash4Life||1 in 8||1 in 21,846,048|
Numbers and Win 4 work slightly differently to standard draw games as you can choose from several different play types when you place your wager. For example, you can choose to play a Straight, where you must match the winning numbers in the exact order they are drawn, or you could play a Box, where you can match them in any order.
Lucky Sum is an additional game you can play with Win 4 and Numbers. It costs an extra $1 and gives you the chance to win a prize if the sum of your chosen numbers matches the sum of the winning numbers. For example, if the winning line 0356 is drawn, you will win a prize if you pick 1607 because both combinations add up to 14.
The amount you win depends on which sum you match. For example, in Win 4 the only combination of numbers that adds up to 36 is 9999, so the prize in this category is much higher than the prize for matching a sum of 18, for which there are 670 possible combinations.
If you win the top prize in Cash4Life, you will receive the equivalent of $1,000 every day for the rest of your life. The second prize is $1,000 every week for life. You can choose to receive these prizes in one cash lump sum deposit or as annuity payments. More information can be found on the Cash4Life page.
The prizes in Take 5 are calculated on a pari-mutuel basis, meaning they are not fixed amounts but depend on how many players enter a particular draw and how many winners there are in each tier.
Fifty percent of the total ticket revenue for each Take 5 draw is allocated to the prize pool. A proportion of this money then goes into each of the top three prize tiers: 50% for the Match 3 tier, 30% for Match 4, and 20% for Match 5. The money is then split equally between all winners in each prize tier.
The Match 2 tier awards a fixed prize of a free Quick Pick ticket, which is redeemable from any licensed lottery retailer. As a result, this tier does not receive any of the money from the prize pool.
Quick Draw is played every four minutes every day and night, except for a short break between 3:25am EST and 4:00am EST.
The Extra Number is a random multiplier that’s drawn after the main numbers. If you opt in to Quick Draw Extra, you have the chance to multiply your winnings by up to 10 times their original value, but it will double your wager.
The Power Play is an optional multiplier you can add to your Powerball ticket for an extra $1 per line. On the night of each Powerball draw, a 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, or 10x multiplier is drawn and if you opted in to Power Play, any non-jackpot prize you win will be multiplied by this number. The 10x multiplier is only active when the advertised jackpot is less than $150 million, and the Match 5 prize of $1 million can only be multiplied by a maximum of x2.
The Mega Millions Megaplier is an optional multiplier which can be added to your ticket for an additional $1 per line. A 2x, 3x, 4x, or 5x multiplier will be drawn alongside the winning Mega Millions numbers, and any non-jackpot prizes you win will be multiplied by this number if you chose to opt in.