Frequently Asked Questions

Congratulations! You won! To claim your prize, you will need the original ticket and a signed Claim Form whether you mail your ticket or go to a Lottery Customer Service CenterFor your protection, sign the back of your winning ticket and keep it safe because it is a bearer instrument.

Here’s how to claim your prize:

If your prize is up to and including $600, you may claim it at any licensed New York Lottery retail location, as well as any of the Lottery’s Customer Service Centers located throughout the state.

If your prize is $601 or more, you can claim your prize at one of the Lottery’s Customer Service Centers or mail it to the Lottery.  If the retailer scans your ticket and it has a single prize value of more than $600, the retailer cannot pay the prize.  After the ticket is scanned, the retailer will give you a Lottery terminal-generated "File Claim" receipt and your winning ticket. Be sure to get your ticket from the retailer as it is required to claim a prize. You will also need to complete a Claim Form.   Please click here to download a Claim Form or fill out a form when you visit a Lottery Customer Service Center. 

If you claim your prize at a Lottery Customer Service Center, be sure you have your winning ticket, Claim Form, File Claim receipt (if you have one) and your identification.  Your claim will be processed onsite unless your prize is a Jackpot win, Mega Millions prize over $500,000 or a Powerball prize $50,000 and over.  These claims will be provided to the Lottery’s Schenectady office for processing.  Make a copy of your Claim Form and winning ticket and hold onto them until you receive your prize. 

Winning tickets for all amounts may be mailed to the address below.  Be sure to complete the ticket back and include a Claim Form if your prize is more than $600.  You may want to make a copy of the front and back of your ticket and use registered mail to track your mailing.

Winning tickets for all amounts may also be mailed to:
New York Lottery
PO Box 7533
Schenectady, NY 12301-7533

Remember! Prizes must be claimed within one year of the drawing. Scratch-off game prizes must be claimed one year from the announced end of the game. See the End-of-Game Schedule.

We give 100% of it to public education in New York State! The New York Constitution, as approved by 66% of voters in 1966, requires that all Lottery revenue be used in support of education in New York State. See Who Benefits for more information.

Here's our list of past winning numbers. To get past winning numbers and drawing results further back than listed on this site, check out the Gaming Commission section underneath Agencies and Authorities on the New York’s Open Data Portal catalog.

The estimation of Lotto jackpots is based upon projected sales. Sales are estimated based upon recent historic trends, weather, competing jackpots and the amount to which potential players are distracted by current events. Once sales are estimated, the jackpot is set using a formula regarding how much of each sales dollar goes to the jackpot. This amount of cash is then multiplied by a factor to estimate the announced jackpot annuity value. The jackpot factor is based on the market for 100% U.S. government guaranteed treasury securities. The factor takes into consideration the amount of each scheduled annual payment and the expected interest earned on funds to support those payments. The expected interest rates are estimated before the drawing. Real-time market information (based upon quotes from several brokers) from the first working day after the drawing is used to set the particular drawing's factor.

The schedule for Lottery drawings can be found on our page for the Lottery Team and Draw Info.

There are many ways to contact the NY Lottery! Find them all here: Contact Us

You can check the status of instant games with our Game Reports. Games that have already ended have a deadline posted, which is the last day that a player can redeem any winning tickets. Many times, these games are no longer available in retail locations.

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Buying Tickets

You can check the status of instant games with our Game Reports. Games that have already ended have a deadline posted, which is the last day that a player can redeem any winning tickets. Many times, these games are no longer available in retail locations.

Unfortunately, we can't sell individual Lottery tickets over the Internet. The New York Lottery has subscriptions available online for draw games, including: New York Lotto, Mega Millions, and Cash4Life. To learn more click here: https://www.mynylottery.org/portal/home.do

Yes. Powerball tickets are available at all New York Lottery retail locations. See our map of retailers in New York State.

There are forty-seven states and jurisdictions that sell Powerball tickets: Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Virgin Islands, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming See our map of retailers in New York State.

Here are the forty-four states that currently sell Mega Millions tickets: Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Washington D.C. and the Virgin Islands also offer Mega Millions. See our map of retailers in New York State.

The states that currently offer Cash4Life are: Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia. See our map of retailers in New York State.

Claim a Prize

Congratulations! You won! To claim your prize, you will need the original ticket and a signed Claim Form whether you mail your ticket or go to a Lottery Customer Service CenterFor your protection, sign the back of your winning ticket and keep it safe because it is a bearer instrument.

Here’s how to claim your prize:

If your prize is up to and including $600, you may claim it at any licensed New York Lottery retail location, as well as any of the Lottery’s Customer Service Centers located throughout the state.

If your prize is $601 or more, you can claim your prize at one of the Lottery’s Customer Service Centers or mail it to the Lottery.  If the retailer scans your ticket and it has a single prize value of more than $600, the retailer cannot pay the prize.  After the ticket is scanned, the retailer will give you a Lottery terminal-generated "File Claim" receipt and your winning ticket. Be sure to get your ticket from the retailer as it is required to claim a prize. You will also need to complete a Claim Form.   Please click here to download a Claim Form or fill out a form when you visit a Lottery Customer Service Center. 

If you claim your prize at a Lottery Customer Service Center, be sure you have your winning ticket, Claim Form, File Claim receipt (if you have one) and your identification.  Your claim will be processed onsite unless your prize is a Jackpot win, Mega Millions prize over $500,000 or a Powerball prize $50,000 and over.  These claims will be provided to the Lottery’s Schenectady office for processing.  Make a copy of your Claim Form and winning ticket and hold onto them until you receive your prize. 

Winning tickets for all amounts may be mailed to the address below.  Be sure to complete the ticket back and include a Claim Form if your prize is more than $600.  You may want to make a copy of the front and back of your ticket and use registered mail to track your mailing.

Winning tickets for all amounts may also be mailed to:
New York Lottery
PO Box 7533
Schenectady, NY 12301-7533

Remember! Prizes must be claimed within one year of the drawing. Scratch-off game prizes must be claimed one year from the announced end of the game. See the End-of-Game Schedule.

Congratulations! Here's how to claim Mega Millions prizes or jackpots. First of all, sign the back of your winning ticket for your protection, and keep it safe, because it’s a bearer instrument. Now download and fill out the official Claim Form. Prizes over $500,000, such as jackpot prizes, must be claimed at one of the Customer Service Centers, and they'll send your claim to the Prize Payment Unit in Schenectady for payment.

Winning tickets for all amounts may also be mailed to:
New York Lottery
PO Box 7533
Schenectady, NY 12301-7533

Remember! All prizes must be claimed within one year of the drawing. If your prize is below $500,000, see our expanded How to Claim a Prize section.

Congratulations! Here's how to claim Powerball prizes or jackpots. First of all, sign the back of your winning ticket for your protection, and keep it safe, because it’s a bearer instrument. Now download and fill out the official Claim Form. Prizes over $500,000, such as jackpot prizes, must be claimed at one of the Customer Service Centers, and you’ll be sent to the Prize Payment Unit in Schenectady for payment. Jackpot winners will also need these following forms: Authorization for Deposit Change of Winner Status Form Winning tickets for all amounts may also be mailed to: New York Lottery PO Box 7533 Schenectady, NY 12301-7533 Remember! All prizes must be claimed within one year of the drawing. If your prize is below $500,000, see our expanded How to Claim a Prize section.

“For Life” may be paid annually or as a one-time payment, depending on how you choose to receive your prize. When you come in to claim your ticket, your options will be discussed.

In the event a winning ticket is damaged, we recommend that you sign whatever remains of the back of the ticket, include your social security number, and mail the ticket to the New York Lottery for verification. Our address is on our Contact Page. Be sure to include your return mailing address and phone number in case we have any questions.

Congratulations! Since you're overseas, you can download a Claim Form and mail it to: New York Lottery PO Box 7533 Schenectady, NY 12301-7533 For more information, see how to claim a prize.

You can claim prizes one year from the end-of-game date. End-of-game schedules and cash deadlines are on the game detail pages here.

You don't have to be a citizen to collect a prize, but Lottery tickets must be purchased in the U.S.

Scratch-off Games: some Scratch-off games only offer the jackpot prize as one lump-sum payment, however after May 2013, if you win a Scratch-off game with annuity jackpot, you may be given the choice of a lump-sum prize payment or the annuity payment.

Lotto, Mega Millions, Powerball, or Cash4Life: There are two jackpot payment options available if you win a jackpot prize from any of these games: annuity payments or lump sum cash value. Whether you choose lump sum or annual payments, all payments are made by direct deposit wire two to three business days after the required press event.

You don’t have to choose a jackpot payment option at the time of purchase. If you win a jackpot, you will have up to 60 days to choose from the date you claim your prize at a Lottery Customer Service Center.

The bonus prize of a Take Five Quick Pick is called a Free Play. It can be redeemed at any retailer location within one year of the draw date.

Instant prizes can be claimed up to one year from the announced end of the game. You can check the status of instant games with our Game Reports. You can also ask your retailer for redemption dates, or contact us to inquire about other games. 

Each Scratch-off ticket has features that help to identify whether it is a winning ticket. In addition to the number and/or symbols used for game play, each has a caption printed under it with either the spelling of the number or an abbreviation of the number. Both the number and caption must match to identify a winning ticket and the validation codes on the ticket must match the Lottery's computer records for the game. 

Oh no! All Lottery tickets are bearer instruments, meaning the tickets are like currency. If you lose your ticket and it does not have your signature on it, anyone can use the ticket to claim a prize. If you lose your ticket, please contact a Customer Service Center. Remember to always sign the back of your tickets right away.

That could be good news! All Lottery retailers are required to pay on a winning ticket, except when the prize is over $600. In such cases, prizes must be claimed at any of our Customer Service Centers. See here for more information on how to claim a Lottery prize. If you experience any difficulty with a retailer not offering you a check or cash payment for your prize, please contact us.

The money goes back to the players! Unclaimed prize money is always returned to the prize pool. Sometimes, unclaimed prize money can also be used to subsidize prizes for large jackpots, promotions, and special one-time games. 

The Lottery may continue making payments to the original prize winner, the estate of a deceased prize winner, or whoever the Lottery is ordered to pay pursuant to an appropriate judicial order. This is according to New York State Tax Law Section 1613. Lottery payments will not be accelerated upon a prize winner's death.

Once your prize claim has been approved by the Lottery, and the Press and Community Relations Office completes your media announcement, your lump sum or initial payment will be electronically transmitted to the bank account of your choice. We’ll tell you more when you first claim your prize! See how to Redeem a Prize.

No, sorry! Winning tickets must be cashed in the state in which you purchased them. This is because the states with Cash4Life, Mega Millions, and Powerball run independent computer systems that can’t process or validate tickets from the other states.

Contact

There are many ways to contact the NY Lottery! Find them all here: Contact Us

Drawings

Whenever a Second Chance Drawing is being held, information and rules are published on our website. Check it out here.

Numbers and Win4 both have midday and evening drawings, and the Lottery uses different ball sets for each. These ball sets are changed monthly. The Lottery also uses four different machines, and any machine used in the midday draw is excluded from the evening draw on the same day.

Each drawing is a completely random live occurrence. 

Nope! The Lottery is not fixed. The Lottery adheres to strict protocol for each and every Lottery drawing, with detailed checks and balances. We videotape our drawing processes and each component is observed by an independent auditor to ensure the integrity of each drawing. Each drawing is completely fair and random.

Lotto: three sets of balls, changed every three months Take 5: three sets of balls, changed every two months Pick 10: three sets of balls, changed every two months Numbers: two sets of balls (midday and evening), changed every month Win 4: two sets of balls (midday and evening), changed every month

The schedule for Lottery drawings can be found on our page for the Lottery Team and Draw Info.

Here's our list of past winning numbers and drawing results. To get past winning numbers and drawing results from even further back than our current archive check out the Gaming Commission section underneath Agencies and Authorities on the New York’s Open Data Portal catalog.

For Retailers

There are a few reasons why a retailer's application may not be approved, and they'll be provided in writing when the evaluation is completed. Retailers may be able to improve these conditions and re-apply, but re-evaluation may not automatically happen. See how to become a Lottery retailer.

Yes! NY Lottery retailers who sell a jackpot-winning Mega Millions or Powerball ticket will be eligible for a $10,000 bonus.

It depends. Retailers receive licenses based on the projected amount of sales that might happen within their location. If there are too many retailers near each other, and no extra revenue can be expected, license requests may be denied.

License approval takes around 60 days. Read more.

To learn more about becoming a NY Lottery Retailer, visit our Information for Retailers page.

Games

Only New York Lottery licensed retailers are authorized to sell Lottery products within the State of New York. By law, Lottery tickets cannot be mailed across state lines. However, as a visitor to New York, you can certainly play New York Lottery games. If you win more than $600, applicable U.S. Federal and N.Y. State taxes will be withheld from your prize.

No, draw games can only be played up to 7 drawings in advance.

Draw games are Lottery games that require the winning numbers to be drawn by either a live drawing or a random number generator. New York Lottery draw games are the following: Powerball, Cash4Life, Mega Millions, Lotto, Take 5, Win 4, Quick Draw, Numbers, Pick 10.

Nope! You can match the white balls in any order, but they must be in the same play.

The more players, the merrier! We offer a Group Play option for our Lotto, Mega Millions, and Cash4Life subscribers. Learn more about subscriptions here.

Here's our list of past winning numbers. To get past winning numbers and drawing results further back than listed on this site, check out the Gaming Commission section underneath Agencies and Authorities on the New York’s Open Data Portal catalog.

You can add Instant Win to your wager for an extra $1. Click here to find out how to play Take 5.

Cash4Life has the best odds of all the Lottery's Draw Games. Learn more about Cash4Life.

The Lottery introduces approximately four new games every six weeks, so everyone out there can find their favorite.

Lucky Sum is an extra feature for Numbers and Win4. When you add up your three lucky numbers for Numbers or four lucky numbers for Win4, they become a new number that gives you one more chance to win. Lucky Sum is available for an extra $1.

Every drawing is a random occurrence. This means that every number, whether selected by a player or Quick Pick, has an equal chance of winning!

Yes, each retailer’s terminal has its own little random number generator inside it.

Generally, Scratch-off games pay out at nearly 65%. However, most games that you play for $10 and above can pay out at nearly 75%. 

There are over 8,000 locations statewide, use our Quick Draw retailer search to find a retailer near you.

The estimation of Lotto jackpots is based upon projected sales. Sales are estimated based upon recent historic trends, weather, competing jackpots and the amount to which potential players are distracted by current events. Once sales are estimated, the jackpot is set using a formula regarding how much of each sales dollar goes to the jackpot. This amount of cash is then multiplied by a factor to estimate the announced jackpot annuity value. The jackpot factor is based on the market for 100% U.S. government guaranteed treasury securities. The factor takes into consideration the amount of each scheduled annual payment and the expected interest earned on funds to support those payments. The expected interest rates are estimated before the drawing. Real-time market information (based upon quotes from several brokers) from the first working day after the drawing is used to set the particular drawing's factor.

Cash4Life is a dual matrix game, so the Cash Ball is a separate and distinct second field for you to choose a number from a second set of numbers. Choose your Cash Ball from 1 to 4, after choosing the 5 numbers from 1 to 60 numbers. Confusing? You can also choose a Quick Pick, where the number selections are chosen at random. 

Misc

The New York Lottery cannot accept unsolicited ideas.

We no longer send out coupon mailings, but the good news is that we offer promotions right here on our website. These change weekly and monthly, so check them out here!

If you've lost or damaged your Lottery ticket, please contact our Security Office at 518-388-3416. For more information on how to claim a prize on a damaged Lottery ticket, see here.

The New York Lottery is an agency of the state of New York, and employees are members of the civil service system. We hire our teams from employment lists, after state civil service exams are held. See the New York State website on civil service for more information. 

 Unless you have engaged with the New York Lottery or you have a subscription with the New York Lottery, then please know that the letter or email that you received is not an official New York Lottery communication. Learn more about Lottery scams, and report them to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Mission for Education

We give 100% of it to public education in New York State! The New York Constitution, as approved by 66% of voters in 1966, requires that all Lottery revenue be used in support of education in New York State. See Who Benefits for more information.

To see the breakdown of our aid-to-education contributions and to read more about the NY Lottery's beneficiaries, visit our Who Benefits page.

To see full annual reports, visit our News and Finances page.

Press

You may be required to attend and participate in a press event and public announcement. The New York Lottery is a government agency and Lottery prizes are public funds, so we owe it to all our players to disclose the names of winners. If you’re a Lottery winner, your name and city of residence may be public information, but we won’t release your street address or telephone number. The Lottery requires personal information from prize winners pursuant to its authority under Tax law Section 1604 to operate and administer the New York Lottery, which includes the marketing and advertising of the Lottery and the identification of the person entitled to a prize award. The Lottery may defer the determination of a prize claim pending a claimant's participation in a news conference, announcement, the conclusion of any investigation, or litigation concerning the right to a prize.

Prizes

The New York Lottery is not required to report wins unless the prize amount is over $600. When the prize is over $600 all lottery winnings are subject to be declared on an individual’s tax return, a lottery winning is considered "other forms of income".

The odds of winning are equal across the entire state! There are winners in towns all around New York State, so keep on trying.

Several people may share a Lotto top prize, depending on the number of people who share a single ticket or the number of people who pick the same numbers. Historically, we've often had more than one winner for the top prizes. Read more about Lotto.

For Lotto, and variations: the State Lottery Law allows up to 40% of ticket sales receipts to be used for the payment of prizes. For Mega Millions, Take 5, Numbers, Win 4, Cash4Life, and Pick 10: up to 50% of ticket sales receipts may be used for prizes. Quick Draw: up to 60% of ticket sales receipts as prizes. Scratch-off games have a 65% prize payout, with no more than five games per year paying up to 75% of ticket sales receipts as prizes. The law also allows the use of unclaimed prizes to supplement the prize structures of all the games, which enables the Lottery to return 57 cents of every dollar to players as prizes in draw games and Scratch-off games.

To get the latest information, you may contact us to request a report. For end of game information for Scratch-off games, click here

The New York Lottery maintains a strict policy to recall and replace all outstanding Scratch-off tickets as soon as the final top prize in any particular game has been claimed. If you find a retailer that continues to sell a Scratch-off game after the last top prize has been claimed, contact us so we can notify the store and replace the tickets. See unclaimed top prizes for Scratch-off games here.

Yes. Starting May 1, 2013, a new Scratch-off game annuity jackpot claimant now has the choice of a lump sum prize payment or the announced annuity payment. 

An unclaimed prize mentioned in the Instant Game Report means that it has not been claimed with a Lottery office. This could mean it has been purchased and not turned in, or not simply sold yet. We have no way of telling if a winning ticket has been purchased, meaning we don't know if a winning ticket has been purchased until the winner comes forth to claim their prize.

Taxes

Federal, state, and local income taxes are withheld from prizes over $5,000 or from prizes over $600 when the winner does not provide a social security or tax identification number when claiming the prize. Withholding varies according to the winner's place of residence. If applicable, Public Assistance/Past Due Child Support offsets may be withheld. 

The New York Lottery is required by law to withhold New York State income taxes from taxable prizes over $5,000, regardless of the winner's place of residence. For more information on tax liabilities, see our Rules.

There are potential tax implications when you win a prize. For more information on tax liabilities, see our Rules

The Lottery is required to report any prize over $600 and to withhold applicable taxes from prizes over $5,000, regardless of the winner's age. 

Federal and State laws provide that Lottery prizes are considered income and are therefore subject to Federal, State, and local income taxes. 

If you are identified by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) as owing past due child support and/or having received public assistance in the last 10 years, the Lottery is required by law to withhold money from your Lottery prize of $600 or more. 

At the time you claim your prize and the money is withheld, you will receive a flyer that includes brief instructions on how to contest the withholding of your money. If you believe money for past due child support was withheld in error, please contact your county Child Support Enforcement representative. If you believe money for public assistance was withheld in error, you may call the toll free number at 866-447-4844 or write to New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Public Assistance Unit, PO Box 22078, Albany, NY 11201-2078. Once OTDA receives the funds the following month, a representative will contact you with additional information concerning the seizure of the money. This may take up to 6 weeks. 

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