The Florida Lottery is one of the most popular forms of legal gambling in the Sunshine State. Floridians have many different draw games available to play as well as a wide variety of scratch-off games that afford the chance to win cash prizes instantly.
Online lottery ticket sales are not available in Florida. However, you can buy lottery tickets at over 13,000 authorized Florida Lottery retailers located throughout the state. During the most recent fiscal year, the Florida Lottery established a new record by selling over $9 billion in lottery tickets. The lottery set another record as well by raising over $2.2 billion for education in the state.
As a result of its success, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed off on a budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year that allocated an additional $4.5 million to the Florida Lottery.
Here is an overview of the different games the Florida Lottery features and information about how to play them, plus answers to frequently asked questions and other information.
How to play the Florida Lottery
The Florida Lottery primarily offers two types of games: draw games and scratch-off games. The lottery also on occasion offers another instant win game called Fast Play that invites players to print games on demand from Florida Lottery terminals.
Some of the other games also allow players to buy their tickets directly at the terminals. Meanwhile you can always purchase tickets for draw games and scratch-offs directly from cashiers at any authorized Florida Lottery retailer. You must be at least 18 years old to play the Florida Lottery or to redeem winning tickets for cash prizes.
The draw games start as low as $0.50 and $1 to play with the most popular ones costing $2 or $3. Meanwhile the scratch-off games range from $1 up to $50 per ticket.
The Florida Lottery also provides a couple of ways for players to purchase multiple tickets at once:
- Grouper — for $5, players receive four tickets at once, one each for the Florida Lotto (a $2 ticket plus the $1 Double Play add-on), the Jackpot Triple Play ($1), the Cash Pop ($1) plus a free Fantasy 5 ticket ($1)
- Advance Play — enabling players to purchase multiple draw game tickets for a certain number of consecutive drawings ranging from a couple of days up to six months’ worth of drawings
The Florida Lottery additionally features frequent Bonus Play drawings and promotions that are free to enter with losing lottery tickets. These are like similar “second chance” drawings found in other states’ lotteries.
Can I play the Florida Lottery online?
No, you cannot purchase Florida Lottery tickets online. Nor can you purchase lottery tickets by mail in Florida. You must visit one of the authorized Florida Lottery retailers and buy your tickets in person.
That said, there is a Florida Lottery mobile app that allows players to capitalize on a few perks. By using the app, you can:
- View current winning numbers and jackpots
- Search previous winning numbers and payouts
- View scratch-off game details and remaining prizes
- Scan ticket barcodes to determine if you are a winner
- Create and save your favorite numbers for future draws
- Enter Bonus Play drawings
- Create and store digital playslips on your device
- Scan your digital playslip at a retailer to purchase tickets
- Locate the nearest Florida Lottery retailer
Multi-jurisdictional draw games in Florida
The Florida Lottery sells tickets for a range of draw games, including three different multi-jurisdictional draw games. These include the two biggest and most popular ones, the Powerball and Mega Millions. Florida also invites players to play another multi-state draw game, Cash4Life.
- Drawings: Monday, Wednesday & Saturday, 10:59 p.m. ET
Powerball is one of the most popular lottery draw games in the US. Players from 45 different states can play Powerball, as can those in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Florida first began offering Powerball in 2009. Not long ago, Powerball went from twice-weekly drawings to three drawings per week.
Powerball costs $2 to enter and requires players to select five numbers between 1 and 69 (the white balls) as well as a Powerball number from 1 to 26. You can select the numbers yourself, or you can choose a Quick Pick option to have the machine select your numbers at random. The Power Play option costs $1 and multiplies non-jackpot prizes up to 10 times their values.
Matching only the Powerball number earns a $4 prize, while matching all five regular numbers wins you a $1 million payday. If you are able to guess the numbers for all five white balls and the Powerball, you win the jackpot which often reaches hundreds of millions of dollars. The largest ever Powerball jackpot was $2.04 billion. The chance of winning the Powerball jackpot is about 1 in 292.2 million.
How to watch the Powerball drawing
Here’s a list of the local Florida television stations that will continue to televise the drawings.
|West Palm Beach||WWHB||Azteca||48|
|West Palm Beach||WPEC||CBS||12|
|West Palm Beach||WTVX||CW||34|
|West Palm Beach||WTCN||MyTV||15|
- Drawings: Tuesday & Friday, 11 p.m. ET
Mega Millions became Florida’s second multi-state lottery draw game in 2013. Players from 45 states plus DC and Puerto Rico take part in the game that features two drawings per week.
At a cost of $2 to play, Mega Millions asks players to select five numbers between 1 and 70 (the white balls), plus a Mega Ball number between 1 and 25. For an extra $1 you can also select the Megaplier, which is chosen at random before the draw and multiplies non-jackpot prizes 2 to 5 times.
You win $2 if you match the Mega Ball only. You win $10,000 if you match four regular white numbers, plus the Mega Ball. Matching all five white balls earns you $1 million, and if you can pick all five white balls plus the Mega Ball you win the jackpot. The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are about 1 in 302.6 million.
On Aug. 9, 2023, a $1.58 billion winning ticket was sold in Florida. It was the largest Mega Millions jackpot in the game’s history. No details on the winner have been announced.
- Drawings: Nightly, 9:00 p.m. ET
Cash4Life is another popular draw game. There are 10 states that take part in Cash4Life, with Florida having joined the party in 2017. Cash4Life used to be a twice-a-week game, but recently increased the number of drawings to once per night (i.e., seven per week).
The game costs $2 to play. Players select five numbers (the white balls) from 1 to 60, plus a Cash Ball number from 1 to 4. Guessing all five white balls and the Cash Ball correctly wins the top prize of $1,000 a day for life. There is about a 1 in 21.8 million chance of winning the Cash4Life jackpot.
Winners have options either to take $365,000 a year for a minimum of 20 years or to receive a one-off cash payment of $7,000,000.
State draw games in Florida
In addition to multi-jurisdictional draw games, the Florida Lottery also currently offers eight different state-specific draw games.
- Drawings: Wednesday & Saturday, 11:15 p.m. ET
Florida Lotto is the state’s original lottery draw game. Tickets cost $1, and the top jackpot seeds at $2 million. Florida Lotto offers an EZmatch option that gives you the opportunity to win instant cash prizes. If any of your six EZmatch numbers match any of the draw numbers, you win the cash prize displayed on your ticket. Look out for the XTRA option, too. For an extra $1, your non-jackpot winning prizes are multiplied.
- Drawings: Five times daily, 8:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 2:45 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 11:15 p.m. ET
Cash Pop is the Florida Lottery’s newest draw game. Players select numbers from 1 to 15, with the option to pick just one number or as many as they like up to all 15. They then select their play amount for each number chosen, either $1, $2 or $5, and how many drawings they wish to enter. There are five drawings per day. Prizes range from 5 to 250 times the play amount for each number drawn. The smallest prize is $5 and the largest $1,250.
Jackpot Triple Play
- Drawings: Tuesday & Friday, 11:15 p.m. ET
In Jackpot Triple Play, you purchase three sets of numbers for just $1. You can also pay another $1 and combine your number matches. Select six numbers from 1 to 46, pay $1, and go for the Combo box option. This gives you a chance to win up to $10,000 in addition to your regular win. You win $1 if you match three numbers on any one line, $500 for matching five numbers on a line, and the maximum jackpot for matching six is $2 million. If there is no jackpot winner, the top prize rolls over to the following draw.
- Drawings: Daily, 11:15 p.m. ET
To play Fantasy 5, select five numbers from 1 to 36. Tickets cost $1. Five numbers are drawn, and you win the top prize by matching all five. Fantasy 5 is a pari-mutuel game where the prizes vary depending on how many players have purchased tickets. However, prizes are awarded as single cash payments. You can also pay an extra $1 and select the EZmatch box. EZmatch was added to the game in 2006. If you match any of your random EZmatch numbers to the Fantasy 5 numbers, you win an instant cash prize as displayed on your ticket.
- Drawings: Twice daily, 1:30 p.m. & 9:45 p.m. ET
Pick 5 is not a pari-mutuel game. Instead, it offers set payouts depending on what numbers you choose. Drawings for Pick 5 take place twice a day, and play consists of selecting one number each from five columns for a total of five numbers. The top Pick 5 prize is $50,000. Tickets cost either $0.50 or $1. You can play the Straight, Box or Straight/Box. A Straight is your numbers in exact order, while a Box is your numbers in any order.
- Drawings: Twice daily, 1:30 p.m. & 9:45 p.m. ET
Pick 4 costs $0.50 or $1 to play. Similar to the above game, Pick 4 costs either $0.50 or $1, but it only asks players to choose one number from each of four columns instead of five. You win prizes by matching the numbers drawn in order (Straight) or in any order (Box). You can also pay for 1-off digits for a chance to score up to $2,500. The Combo bet costs between $2 and $24 and covers all Straight combinations of a four-digit number.
- Drawings: Twice daily, 1:30 p.m. & 9:45 p.m. ET
Pick 3 is a smaller variant of Pick 4. Pay $1 and select three numbers from three columns. You get a top prize of $500 if you choose the Combo and cover the six-way option. In Pick 3, you can also select a Front Pair and Back Pair for more chances to win.
- Drawings: Twice daily, 1:30 p.m. & 9:45 p.m. ET
In Pick 2, you can win a top prize of $50. To play, select a number from 0 to 9 on each of the two columns. You win $25 for a $0.50 ticket and $50 for a $1 ticket if you match both numbers in order (Straight). A Box (matching both numbers in any order) can net you $12.50 or $25.
Florida Lottery instant-win games
Florida Lottery scratch-offs award prizes from $50 to as high as $1 million and even $5 million. Each ticket comes with several prize levels depending on the game.
The cost to play scratch-offs in Florida start at $1 and can go as high as $50. Playing is as simple as scratching off the coating on the ticket to see if you won. The aforementioned Fast Play games are another variety of instant-win games. Fast Play games are print-on-demand games available at Florida Lottery terminals, they generally cost between $1 and $5 to play, and often have a maximum prize of $50,000. You can enter non-winning scratch-offs into the Bonus Play second-chance drawings, which can reward cash, bonus plays and various other prizes.
At present there are around 100 scratch-off games from which to choose. The games are of finite duration, and once they end they are removed and replaced with new ones. Types of scratch-off games in Florida include:
- $1 games: Florida often has as around 30 scratch-off games that cost just a buck. Prizes go as high as $10,000, and there has even been a game offering a prize of $500 per week for life.
- $2 games: There are about the same number of $2 scratch-offs as well, including some with prizes as large as $100,000.
- $3 games: Florida Lottery’s $3 scratch-offs are more involved, based on crossword puzzles, Scrabble and other games. They require a few more steps to play, but have prizes as high as $150,000.
- $5 games: Some of the $5 games are similarly complicated, while others are more straightforward. Top prizes go as high as $500,000 or $1,000,000.
- $10 games: There are usually a dozen or so $10 games, some with prizes as high as $2,000,000. There has also been a $10 game awarding $5,000 per week for life.
- $20 games: Most often you’ll find five or so $20 scratch-offs, each featuring a top prize of $5,000,000.
- $30 games: There are a couple of $30 scratch-off games for big spenders. One of them offers a top jackpot of $15,000,000.
- $50 games: The most expensive scratch-off game the Florida Lottery offers costs $50 to play and sports a huge top prize of $25,000,000.
Top 3 winners in Florida Lottery history
Since lottery ticket sales began in early 1988, Floridians have won billions of dollars playing the various games. Here are the top three winners in Florida Lottery history:
- In May 2013, Florida’s Gloria Mackenzie won the Powerball jackpot for a huge prize of $590.5 million. At the time that was the largest ever solo win in US lottery history.
- Shane Missler of Port Richey won the Mega Millions jackpot in Jan. 2018, pocketing a first prize of $451 million. When he won, that total cracked the all-time top five wins in Mega Millions history.
- The second all-time largest Powerball prize of $1.586 billion was split by three different winners in Jan. 2016. One of the winning tickets was purchased by a Florida couple, David Kaltschmidt and Maureen Smith, who ended up banking a cool $327.8 million.
History of the Florida Lottery
Floridians authorized a state-run lottery when voters in 1986 approved a constitutional amendment to do so. The margin was significant, about 2-to-1 in favor, and thereafter lawmakers established the Florida Lottery as well as rules for using a portion of the revenue created to help fund education in the state.
The first Florida Lottery tickets went on sale Jan. 18, 1988, with the first game being a $1 scratch-off game simply called Millionaire. Soon the Florida Lotto, a state-run draw game, was introduced, and more draw games followed including Cash 3 (now Pick 3), Fantasy 5 and Jackpot Triple Play. Eventually Florida joined three multi-jurisdictional draw games, Powerball (in 2009), Mega Millions (in 2013) and Cash4Life (in 2017).
The Florida Lottery continued to expand and add more games over the years, most recently introducing the Cash Pop draw game (in 2022) and a highest-ever $50 scratch-off game (also in 2022).
Who the Florida Lottery benefits
In early 2022, the Florida Lottery announced it had raised over $2.2 billion for the state’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund during the previous fiscal year. That marked the first time the lottery had contributed over $2 billion to education in a single year. That also brought the all-time total amount of contributions to education up over $41 billion since the lottery began.
The lottery is also an important funding source for the Bright Futures Scholarship Program, to which it has contributed over $7.4 billion since 1997.
Florida Lottery FAQ
How old do I have to be to play the Florida Lottery?
Players must be at least 18 years old to purchase Florida Lottery games and redeem prizes.
Does Florida allow players to purchase tickets over the internet?
No. State law does not allow the Florida Lottery to offer online versions of its games. In addition, the lottery cannot sell tickets online, nor can they mail or fax tickets. To play Florida Lottery games, players must visit one of the more than 13,000 authorized retailers in the state.
I just won playing the Florida Lottery. Do I have to pay taxes?
Yes, but only federal taxes. The IRS considers gambling winnings taxable income, and so you need to report those winnings and pay taxes on them when filing your federal taxes. Be aware that the Florida Lottery is required to report any win of $600 or more to the IRS. In addition, if you win $5,000 or more the Florida Lottery will go ahead and withhold 24% of your winnings for federal taxes. (If you’re a nonresident alien or do not have a Social Security Number, the lottery will withhold 24% of any cash prize of $600 or more.) No matter what gets withheld or reported, though, you still have to pay federal income tax on your gambling winnings. Meanwhile, you don’t have to pay any state tax on lottery winnings since Florida is one of a few states without any state income tax.
Where can I claim my Florida Lottery winnings?
For prizes of less than $600, players can claim their winnings at any authorized lottery retailer in the state. All prizes from $600 to $999,999 that do not offer any annual payment option can be claimed at a Florida Lottery district office either in person or by mail. Prizes of $1,000,000 or more as well as other prizes with annual payment options can also be claimed at a Florida Lottery district office, although in those cases the claims must also go through Lottery Headquarters and thus can take some extra time to process.
How long do I have to claim my Florida Lottery winnings?
If you win a prize playing a draw game, you have 180 days from the date of the drawing to claim your winnings. If you’re taking a single-payment cash option (say, after winning the Powerball or Mega Millions), that option will only be available for 60 days of the drawing. For scratch-offs, you have until 60 days after the date the game expires to cash your winning tickets. Don’t wait too long, or your ticket will expire and you won’t be able to claim your prize.
If I win playing Powerball, Mega Millions or Cash4Life in another state, can I cash my ticket in Florida?
No, in these multi-jurisdictional draw games you can only cash a winning ticket in the state where you purchased it. The same goes for a winning ticket purchased in Florida — you have to cash it in Florida and cannot do so in another state.
Can I remain anonymous if I win the Florida Lottery?
No, you cannot. In Florida, the lottery divulges player names, which game they won, what city they’re from and the date of the lottery win. Only players’ telephone numbers and home addresses remain confidential. That said, for big prizes, a lawyer could help you claim winnings through a trust in order to maintain anonymity.