Powerball, Mega Millions: These are the luckiest states for jackpot winners
Chances of winning the lotto are extremely low, but if you do win here’s what not to do.
If you haven’t come close to winning either the Powerball or Mega Millions jackpot, maybe it’s time to change the location of where you buy your tickets.
Of course, buying a ticket in another state won’t guarantee you luck, either.
We tracked down where the luckiest states are for Powerball and Mega Millions, the two most popular national lottery games.
Six states – Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah – do not have state lotteries, and therefore do not sell Powerball or Mega Millions tickets.
But the other 44 states, plus Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, do play Powerball. So, where does your state rank?
With 39 winners, Indiana represents over 10% of all jackpot winners in this game.
Missouri is second with 31 winners, followed by Minnesota at 22.
Florida has had 12 big winners, including a Melbourne Beach couple, Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt, who shared the biggest jackpot of any kind in U.S. history, dividing the $1.58 billion prize on Jan. 13, 2016, with winners from California and Tennessee.
Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt of Melbourne Beach, Florida, claim their Powerball jackpot in Tallahassee on Feb. 17. (Photo: KARL ETTERS/TALLAHASSEE DEMOCRAT)
Just four states – Maine, North Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming – plus the U.S. Virgin Islands – have yet to sell a ticket with six matching numbers.
Amazingly, five Powerball tickets have gone unclaimed, including a ticket worth $16 million purchased at a suburban Tampa convenience store in 2013.
State-by-state Powerball jackpot winners
- Indiana: 39
- Missouri: 31
- Minnesota: 22
- Kentucky: 18
- Pennsylvania: 18
- Louisiana: 17
- Wisconsin: 17
- Arizona: 13
- Florida: 12
- Kansas: 11
- New Hampshire: 11
- Washington, D.C.: 11
- New York: 11
- Nebraska: 10
- Delaware: 10
- Iowa: 9
- California: 9
- New Jersey: 8
- West Virginia: 8
- Connecticut: 8
- Rhode Island: 8
- Tennessee: 7
- South Carolina: 6
- North Carolina: 6
- Georgia: 6
- Massachusetts: 6
- New Mexico: 5
- Oregon: 5
- Idaho: 5
- Oklahoma: 4
- Montana: 4
- Michigan: 4
- Ohio: 3
- Colorado: 3
- South Dakota: 3
- Puerto Rico: 2
- Texas: 2
- Illinois: 2
- Maryland: 2
- Virginia: 1
- Arkansas: 1
- Washington: 1
- Maine: 0
- North Dakota: 0
- Vermont: 0
- Wyoming: 0
- U.S. Virgin Islands: 0
When it comes to the Mega Millions, only 25 states have claimed big jackpot winners, with New York’s 37 mega-millionaires leading the way.
California is second with 31 and Ohio recently joined New Jersey in a third-place tie with 20. The latest Ohio winner claimed a $375 million jackpot on Dec. 17.
Sadly, three winning Mega Millions jackpot tickets – all bought in New York, in 2002, 2003 and 2006 – went unclaimed.
State-by-state Mega Millions jackpot winners
- New York: 37
- California: 31
- New Jersey: 20
- Ohio: 20
- Georgia: 17
- Michigan: 17
- Texas: 13
- Illinois: 11
- Maryland: 11
- Virginia: 9
- Washington: 5
- Massachusetts: 3
- North Carolina: 2
- Pennsylvania: 2
- Missouri: 2
- Florida: 2
- Indiana: 2
- Arkansas: 1
- Kansas: 1
- South Carolina: 1
- Idaho: 1
- Illinois: 1
- Tennessee: 1
- New Hampshire: 1
- Rhode Island: 1
Is Indiana lucky? People from that state represent 10% of all Powerball jackpot winners. New York has the most Mega Millions winners.
Buying Powerball Tickets Online
You can buy Powerball tickets in stores from most states in America, but residents of Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah do not have a state lottery of their own to enjoy. Players in non-participating states previously had little option but to travel outside their borders if they wanted to take part in the game, but it is now possible to play Powerball online.
How to Play
Concierge services such as WinTrillions allow you to buy online lottery tickets from anywhere in the USA. Click the Powerball banner below to get started and follow the 4 simple steps to receive your tickets in no time!
- 1. Decide how many lines to play – You can select up to 19 lines of numbers to enter into the Powerball draw.
- 2. Select your numbers – Choose your own lucky numbers, or allow the QuickPick option to make a random selection for you.
- 3. Subscribe to your chosen number of draws – WinTrillions allows users to buy tickets for up to 12 months worth of Powerball draws at a time, meaning that you never have to worry about missing a big jackpot.
- 4. Confirm your selection – Once you are happy with your choices, create your online player account and purchase your tickets.
A lottery agent based in a participating state will then buy the official tickets from an authorised retailer and you will be sent a scanned copy as proof of purchase. Your numbers will be securely stored in your account until the Powerball draw.
The payment system is fully encrypted and refunds are guaranteed if your expectations aren’t met.
All of your tickets are scanned securely into your online account.
Your winnings will also be automatically paid into your account.
How to Claim
You will be automatically notified of any prize win on Powerball and in most cases the money will be transferred directly to your online account. From there, you can use your winnings to purchase tickets for future draws, or withdraw it into your bnak account. For a larger amount such as the jackpot, arrangements may need to be made for you to collect the prize in person, but officials from the lottery concierge service will be able to guide you through the process.
Is it Legal?
Yes. Online services such as WinTrillions provide a messenger business rather than a gambling business, buying official tickets on the behalf of players.
Online services do not charge commission so you can win all the same prizes as anyone who buys a Powerball ticket from a retailer, but you still have to pay taxes like everyone else. All big prizes are subject to federal tax of 25%, and there is then a state withholding depending on where the ticket is purchased. Each state has a different tax rate, and some cities also apply their own separate rules.
For details of the exact rates charged in each state, visit the Taxes page.
Benefits of Playing Online
If you play online, it takes away the need to go and find a store and wait in line for a ticket. You cannot lose your ticket as you are sent a scanned copy as proof that you have played, and you will be paid any prize money straight away. Find out more about previous winners who have used concierge services and the benefits they have enjoyed by playing online.
Why do some states not sell Powerball tickets?
Legislators in Utah and Hawaii have always been opposed to gambling of any kind. Whereas Nevada has state-approved casinos which have left their respective gaming boards reluctant to introduce lotteries. Alaska is so sparsely populated that there has never been a huge demand for a lottery, but it has been a big issue in Alabama as so many residents cross state lines to spend money on tickets elsewhere that politicians regularly debate the merits of bringing in a lottery.
You can also take part in international lottery games from outside the USA, using similar online services to choose numbers online and try to win great prizes.
Find out how to play Powerball from Alabama (AL), Alaska (AK), Hawaii (HI), Nevada (NV) and Utah (UT). Residents of non-participating Powerball states can now buy tickets from authorised online services.