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California Lottery

California Lottery’s motto is “imagine the possibilities.” The lottery not only gives players the chance to win impressive prizes – ticket sales also benefit public schools, colleges and universities throughout the Golden State. The California Lottery has raised more than $26.6 billion for education since 1985, and 87% of its sales must be returned to the public as prizes or contributions to education. The CA Lottery is a revenue-generating State Agency that does not receive General Fund or taxpayer dollars.

Check the table below to find out the draw days and times for all the exciting CA Lottery games. All times are PT.

California Lottery Drawing Schedule

Game Draw Days Draw Times* Ticket Sales Close At*
Powerball Wednesday & Saturday 7:59 PM 7:00 PM
Mega Millions Tuesday & Friday 8:00 PM 7:45 PM
SuperLotto Plus Wednesday & Saturday 7:57 PM 7:45 PM
Fantasy 5 Daily 6:30 PM 6:30 PM
Daily 4 Daily 6:30 PM 6:30 PM
Daily 3 Daily 1:00 PM and 6:30 PM 1:00 PM and 6:30 PM
Daily Derby Daily 6:30 PM 6:30 PM
Hot Spot Daily Every 4 minutes from 6:00 AM to 2:00 AM N/A
*Times are shown in PST. For all games, except Powerball and Mega Millions, drawings are held immediately after ticket sales close.

Game Information

California offers exciting draw games, many of which give you the chance to win every day. If you want an even faster-paced game, play Hot Spot, which is drawn every four minutes! Californians can also play the Mega Millions and Powerball games, with their multi-million dollar jackpots.

  • SuperLotto Plus: This exciting game has draws every Wednesday and Saturday and nine ways to win. The jackpot starts off at $7 million and keeps rolling over until someone wins! All you have to do is pay $1 per line and pick five numbers from 1 to 47 and a MEGA number from 1 to 27.
  • Fantasy 5: Pick five lucky numbers from 1 to 39. Each play costs $1 and drawings take place daily. Play $5 or more on one ticket to receive a Fantasy 5 – 2nd Chance code for an extra chance to win. The largest Fantasy 5 jackpot ever won was $729,505.
  • Daily 4: Offers daily drawings, three playstyles and even more ways to win. Just pick your favorite four numbers from 0 to 9, like your birthday or anniversary, for a chance to win from $1 per play.
  • Daily 3: Good things come in threes! Daily 3 has two daily drawings, three playstyles and multiple ways to win. Choose your three lucky numbers from 0 to 9 for a chance to win, from $1 per play. Daily 3 is drawn twice a day, Midday and Evening.
  • Daily Derby: With two chances or more to win on every ticket and daily drawings, the race for the Grand Prize is on! Choose your three favorite horses and the amount of time you think it will take your first place horse to finish ($2 per play).
  • Hot Spot: This fast-paced game is drawn every four minutes! Choose 1 to 10 Spots (sets of numbers) you want to play per draw. Pick your numbers from 1 to 80 – the numbers must equal the number of Spots you selected. For example, if you picked a “3 Spot” you must play three numbers.

Other Games

Scratchers, also known as “scratch-offs” or “instant-win games”, can be purchased from any authorized California Lottery retailer. These games cost anywhere between $1 and $20, and can offer prizes of up to $5 million. If you’re looking for a quick hit of lottery fun without waiting for an official drawing to take place, then a scratcher game is perfect for you!

Buying California Lottery Tickets

Claiming Prizes

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, there have been some changes in the way you claim prizes in California. You can find updates on our dedicated Coronavirus Lottery Updates page.

If you want to claim a California Lottery prize, you’ll have 180 days from the date of the draw for which you bought a ticket. The only exceptions are the Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots, which give you one year from the date of the winning jackpot to claim your prize.

Prizes of any amount may be claimed by mail. Any lottery prize worth $599 or less can also be claimed at any California Lottery retailer. You can also visit any California Lottery District Office if you’d like to process the claim in person.

If you win a lottery prize worth more than $600 then the Lottery must inform the IRS about the win.

It may take between six and eight weeks for your claim to be processed by the California Lottery, so you’ll have a lot of time to think about how to spend your winnings!

Claim a prize by mail

To redeem a prize of any value by mail, sign your ticket and complete a claim form.

Keep a copy of the documents, and send the originals to:

California State Lottery
730 North 10th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

History of the Californian Lottery

The California Lottery was established in 1984 by means of a ballot measure known as Proposition 37. The revenue raised from the new lottery was – and still is – intended to benefit public schools, colleges and universities in the Golden State. Tickets went on sale in 1985, and since then the California Lottery has raised more than $26.6 billion for education.

In the past, 37 percent of all lottery revenues were allocated for education and operating expenses were capped at 16 percent. The California Legislature passed Assembly Bill 142 in April 2010, which fundamentally changed how the Lottery operated. Now, 87 percent of California Lottery sales must be returned to the public either as prizes or as contributions to educational initiatives.

Rules

You need to be at least 18 years old in order to play California Lottery games. Prizes worth more than $599 are reported to the IRS for tax purposes, but the state of California itself won’t levy any taxes on your winnings.

All lottery prizes in California must be pari-mutuel, meaning that they are based on the number of tickets sold in each draw and how many winners there are in each prize tier. As a result, the Power Play option is not available when buying Powerball tickets in the Golden State.

A run down of the California Lottery games, their drawing times, claiming Californian lottery prizes and the CA lotto rules, along with links to game details and results

How Late Can You Buy Powerball Tickets in California?

Plus, where are the luckiest locations in the state?

By Renee Schiavone , Patch Staff
Jan 13, 2016 3:52 p m PT | Updated Aug 23, 2017 5:04 p m PT

With the clock ticking, there are just hours left to purchase a Powerball ticket here in California.

Hundreds of thousands of people are testing their luck for the $1.5 billion jackpot, and if you want a (very small) shot at the prize, you better get to a lottery retailer before 7 p.m. PST.

And no, you can’t just have been in line by 7 p.m., as the state cuts off sales promptly at that time, and those left in line will be left without tickets. The drawing for the prize will happen just about an hour later, at 7:59 p.m. local time.

While you’re at it, if you are indeed buying a ticket or two, you may want to do so at a store with a “lucky” history.

The California Lottery has compiled a listing of stores throughout the state that have paid out big in the last year, dubbing them “lucky retailers.”

Click here to search for all California Lottery retailers. Click on ‘lucky retailers’ if you want to buy your ticket from a spot that paid out large amounts of prizes to players in the last calendar year.

HOW TO WIN POWERBALL:

The odds of winning the big prize are 1 in 292,201,338, according to MarketWatch. The service points out that the chances of being struck by lightning in any given year are 1 in 700,000.

According to the official Powerball website, the jackpot is won by matching all five white balls, in any order, and the red Powerball. But if you miss that coveted Powerball, you can still win a cool million dollars.

Any time you match the red Powerball, you win a prize. The overall odds of winning a prize in the game are approximately 1 in 25. Players win a prize by matching one of the 9 Ways to Win.

WORLD’S LARGEST LOTTERY

“We’re calling it the world’s largest lottery at this point,” California Lottery Spokesman Russ Lopez told Patch on Monday— back when the jackpot was a mere $1.4 billion.

According to the representative, though the Spanish ‘El Gordo’ famously offers up billions of dollars in prizes, that game works differently in that no single person gets the entire jackpot.

“This is the largest game where you can win $1.4 billion with a single ticket,” according to Lopez.

Though the thought of winning of this massive jackpot can be exhilarating, Lopez also reminds anyone who plays to do so responsibly.

“I know it gets crazy . please play responsibly; play within your means, within your budget.”

(Patch photo by Renee Schiavone)

How Late Can You Buy Powerball Tickets in California? – Redwood City-Woodside, CA – Plus, where are the luckiest locations in the state?