The Arizona Lottery has been going strong for over 30 years and continues to improve based on prize payouts, financial support for the retailers involved, and the state agencies that depend on funding from the proceeds.
By law, at least half of the lottery money must be paid out in prizes. The Arizona Lottery funds a wide variety of public projects and programs, including transportation, health care, parks, education, arts, wildlife and historic preservation all over Arizona. In 2011 Arizona's General Fund received over 146 million dollars.
To play the Arizona lottery, you must be at least 21 years of age or older, and you can only buy Arizona lottery tickets at a participating Arizona Lottery retailer. Legitimate Arizona lottery tickets cannot be purchased over the phone, by mail, or on the Internet.
Powerball and Mega Millions are multi-state lotteries. Drawings for Powerball are held each Wednesday and Saturday night, and drawings for Mega Millions are held each Tuesday and Friday night. The minimum jackpot for each drawing of Powerball (two dollars per ticket) is 40 million dollars, and the minimum jackpot for Mega Millions is 12 million dollars.
How to Select Your Numbers
No matter which lottery you choose, you'll have to select a group of numbers and hope all of them are drawn during the next game. For Powerball, you have to choose five white numbers (1 through 59) and one red Powerball (1 through 35), and for Mega Millions, you have to choose five white numbers (1 through 56) and one Megaball number (1 through 46). However, there are a few different ways you can complete this process and start playing the Arizona lottery:
- Let the computer select the numbers randomly
- Fill out a selection slip at a participating retailer and choose your own numbers
- Choose your own numbers for just the white numbers or just the Powerball number and ask for a Quick Pick for the other number(s)
- Play the same numbers (or Quick Picks) for up to 10 consecutive drawing dates on the same ticket by telling the retailer at the time of purchase or marking the appropriate box on your selection slip
Winning Combinations for Powerball
When it comes time to match your numbers up with those selected during the televised drawing, there are nine possible ways to win money on your ticket:
- 5 white and Powerball: Jackpot
- 5 white: $1,000,000
- 4 white and Powerball: $10,000
- 4 white: $100
- 3 white and Powerball: $100
- 3 white: $7
- 2 white and Powerball: $7
- 1 white and Powerball: $4
- Powerball only: $4
You can multiply your prize by marking the Power Play box on the front of the selection slip or by asking the cashier for the Power Play option. For an extra one dollar per game, your winnings (except the jackpot prize and Match-5 Bonus Prizes) can be multiplied by a number from two to five, which is randomly selected at draw time.
Winning Combinations for Mega Millions
Similar to the Powerball combinations, there are also nine ways to win at Mega Millions, but the payout is considerably lower:
- 5 white and Megaball: Jackpot
- 5 white: $250,000
- 4 white and Megaball: $10,000
- 4 white: $150
- 3 white and Megaball: $150
- 2 white and Megaball: $10
- 3 white: $7
- 1 white and Megaball: $3
- Megaball only: $1
For an extra one dollar per game, you can multiply your winnings (except jackpot) up to five times based on a number from two to five randomly selected at draw time.
What Happens When You Win
You can usually catch the live drawing for the Arizona Lottery on local news stations, but if you miss the live broadcast, you can also visit a participating Arizona Lottery retailer to check. Additionally, you can go to the Arizona Lottery website the following day, or check Powerball or Mega Millions individually online.
If you won a prize of up to 599 dollars, any Arizona Lottery retailer can redeem the ticket for you. However, if you won 600 dollars or more, you must complete a claim form and submit it either in person or by mail to the Arizona Lottery office. Additionally, because lottery winnings of over 600 dollars are taxable, the Arizona Lottery may withhold taxes on your earnings or report your winnings, depending on the amount you receive.
For scratch cards, you have up to 180 days from the announced game ending date to redeem your prize, and for The Powerball, Mega Millions, The Pick, Fantasy 5, 2 By 2, Ca$h 4, and Pick 3, you also have 180 days from the date of purchase to claim your prize.
If you win a jackpot, you have 60 days to decide whether you'd like a 30-year annuity or a lump-sum cash payment of approximately half the amount of the announced jackpot. After 60, days you can only receive the annuity.
The Pick and Fantasy 5
For more fun, you can also check out the one-dollar jackpot game The Pick or press your luck every weeknight with Fantasy 5. Drawings for The Pick are held each Wednesday and Saturday night while Fantasy 5 drawings are held Monday through Saturday evenings. The minimum jackpot for each drawing of The Pick is one million dollars, and for Fantasy 5, the jackpot starts at $50,000 but grows nightly until someone matches all five numbers and wins.
Selecting Numbers for The Pick: You can use Quick Pick, which allows a computer to select numbers randomly, fill out a selection slip at a participating retailer, or play the same numbers for 10 consecutive games. For The Pick, you must select six number from 1 through 44. There are five ways to win:
- 6 of 6: Jackpot
- 5 of 6: $2,000
- 4 of 6: $50
- 3 of 6: $3
- 2 of 6: $1
You have 60 days to decide whether you'd like a 30-year annuity or a lump-sum cash payment of approximately half the amount of the announced jackpot.
Selecting Numbers fo Fantasy 5: You can use computer-generated numbers, fill out a selection slip, or play the same numbers for 12 consecutive drawing dates. For Fantasy 5, you must select five numbers from 1 to 41. There are four ways to win:
- 5 of 5: Jackpot
- 4 of 4: $500
- 3 of 5: $5
- 2 of 5: $1
Approximately one in every ten tickets will be a special ticket that will double any winnings, except the jackpot, on that ticket. It doesn't cost anything, it's random. Winning game plays on a ticket designated as "THIS IS A DOUBLER TICKET!"
Pick 3 and Weekly Winnings: Two-Dollar Drawing Game
The Arizona Lottery game Pick 3 is a two-dollar drawing game you can purchase tickets for every day, with drawings taking place nightly from Monday through Saturday.
To play, you decide on either one or two plays per ticket and can win up to $500 per entry. You must pick one or two sets of three-digit numbers (000 through 999) then choose how you want to play your numbers: Straight, Box, Straight/Box, Front Pair, or Back Pair. The play type you choose then determines the amount you win:
- Straight means three numbers in the exact order drawn.
- Box means three numbers in any order. Box play has two options: 3-way, where two numbers selected are the same, and 6-way where three different numbers are selected.
- Straight/Box means three numbers in either exact or any order, but you win more if the numbers are drawn in the exact order.
- Front Pair means the first two numbers are in the exact order.
- Back Pair means the last two numbers are in the exact order.
You can play the same numbers up to 12 consecutive drawing dates on the same ticket. Just tell the retailer at the time of purchase or mark the appropriate box on your selection slip.
For Weekly Winnings, another two-dollar drawing game that holds its drawings on Tuesday and Friday evenings, there are five ways to win:
- All four numbers on the top line: $1,000 per week for one year
- All four numbers in either of the two Second Prize sets of numbers: $10,000
- All 4 numbers in any of the three Third Prize sets of numbers: $1,000
- Three numbers in any set: $50
- Two numbers in any set: $2
Scratch Cards: Instant Lottery
If you're looking to instantly satisfy your craving for gambling, you can purchase a scratch card, or scratcher, at any licensed retailer (which often include gas stations). Scratchers can be played every day, multiple times per day and are instant-winning tickets. There are always many different Scratchers games offered by the Arizona Lottery.
Scratch cards have different denominations ranging from one-dollar to twenty-dollar games, each of which carries a bigger prize, which range from one dollar to $1,000,000. You can buy Scratch cards tickets at any Lottery retailer, but you might not find all games at every retailer at any point in time.
Complete rules of all games and a complete list of current Scratchers games are available from the Arizona Lottery. The details and rules mentioned herein are subject to change without notice.