How To Play Florida Lottery Games
The Florida Lotto currently consists of draw games and scratch games, with occasional fast play games available from time to time. Online lottery games are not permitted in the state, so you must visit a retail location (of which there are over 13,000 authorized locations) to play the lottery in Florida.
You can also find "Fast Play" games at certain lottery terminals in Florida, which allow you to print games on demand and win instantly. You have to be 18 years of age or older to play the Florida Lottery, or to redeem winning numbers for cash prizes.
You'll find draw games with tickets starting at $0.50, while scratch-off games tend to cost between $1 and $50. If you find yourself with a losing ticket, don't throw it away—"bonus play" offers and promotions may occasionally allow you to use your losing ticket to get free entries to these special drawings.
Can you play the Florida Lottery online?
The Florida lotto is not currently available to play online. Any lottery games you find online in Florida are from offshore operators, and they are not licensed or managed. Fortunately, Florida lottery players have access to over 13,000 retail locations at which they can buy tickets.
Where To Buy Lottery Tickets in Florida
Although the Florida lottery can't be played online, you can find a nearby Florida Lottery retailer just about anywhere in the state. With more than 13,000 locations, lottery retailers in Florida might be found in grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, tobacco shops, supermarkets, department stores, and more. Additionally, you can find self-service vending machine-style lottery kiosks all over the state.
The process for a qualifying vendor to become a Florido lotto retailer is relatively simple, and there are major perks for the business including a portion of proceeds from all ticket sales and even from winning tickets purchased there. Vendors include major chains such as Walmart and Safeway, as well as smaller, independent convenience and grocery store locations.
Self-service lottery ticket vending machines can be found in various convenient locations across the state, including airports, shopping malls, and more. You can play various scratch-off and instant games using these terminals.
How To Use The Florida Lottery Mobile App
The Florida Lottery mobile app includes several helpful features that make it easier and more fun to play. You can find retailers, enter second play promotions, and even see up-to-date information about new scratch-off games using the app.
The app even lets you scan barcodes of tickets to determine if you've won. You can also use it to remember your lucky numbers, creating lottery numbers to use on future draws.
- Check My Ticket
This feature makes it super easy for users of the Florida Lottery mobile app to determine whether a ticket they bought is a winner. Just scan the ticket barcode on the app to get up-to-date info on the status of your ticket.
- Second Chance
You can use the Florida Lottery mobile app to enter second chance promotions. Second chance promotions allow lottery players with losing tickets to enter special games where they can get another chance to win money. You can scan the barcode on your losing ticket to enter second chance promotional games via the app.
- Pick Numbers
Got a lucky number on your mind? You can use the Florida lotto app to build custom lottery numbers, then visit an authorized lottery retailer to use the numbers when you purchase a ticket.
How To Claim Florida Lottery Winning Numbers
Anyone in Florida who wins a lottery prize of less than $600 can claim their winnings at an authorized retail location. For prizes of $600 to $999,999, they cannot be claimed at a Florida lottery retailer; instead, you need to visit a Florida lotto district office to claim your winnings. Finally, prizes of $1,000,000 or more must also be claimed at a district office, but these prizes may have to be approved through the Florida Lottery Headquarters, leading to longer processing times.
You have 180 days from the date you draw your winning ticket to claim your prize. For scratch-offs and people who want to get their prize via a single payment, this is decreased to 60 days.
People who win the lottery in Florida do not have the right to remain anonymous. Records containing the name, city, date and game won, and amount of money won must legally be disclosed to any third party who asks for this information. Jackpot winners or others who win $250,000 or more do have the right to remain anonymous for 90 days from the date you claim the prize.
Multi-State Draw Games
Some Florida lottery games that are available to play in the state are actually multi-jurisdictional or multi-state games. This means that people from other states also play the same game, and contribute to the same jackpot.
The Powerball and Mega Millions games are the two most popular lottery games. These two games, as well as Cash4Life, are all multi-state games that can be played in Florida.
- Drawings: Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 10:59 p.m. ET
How To Watch the Powerball Drawing
The Powerball drawing can be watched every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday night at 10:59 p.m. ET. The draw actually takes place in Tallahassee, even though Powerball is a multi-state game. You can find the draw live on the following local channels, or visit the Powerball website for live streaming draws and replays.
Florida Mega Millions
Mega Millions is a popular lottery game that is available in 45 states, including Florida. The Florida lottery began including Mega Millions in 2013. The game is similar to Powerball, but with some slightly different rule tweaks.
Mega Millions costs $2 for each entry. There are white balls with numbers between 1 and 70, and you must select five numbers in this range for these balls. There is also a "Mega Ball" which holds a number between 1 and 25. Players who match the Mega Ball number only can win $2. If you match four white ball numbers and the mega ball, the prize increases to $10,000. Finally, a jackpot occurs when you match all five white balls and the Mega Ball.
The largest ever Mega Millions jackpot was over $1.5 billion. You have about a one in 300 million chance of winning the jackpot. Interestingly, no one in Florida has ever won a seven-figure jackpot from Mega Millions.
- Drawings: Tuesday & Friday, 11:00 p.m. ET
Cash4Life is another multi-state game that is included in the Florida lottery. The game is available in 10 states, with drawings occurring on a nightly basis.
To play, your ticket will cost $2. You will select five numbers for white balls (between 1 and 60), and one number for the "cash ball/" (between 1 and 4). If you get all five white balls and the cash ball, you'll win the top prize: $1,000 per day, for life!
Your chances of winning the Cash4Life jackpot are about 1 in 21.8 million, which is a lot higher than the other multi-state draw games. If you win, you'll have the option to receive a one-time payment of $7 million, or a yearly payment of $365,000.
- Drawings: Nightly, 9:00 p.m. ET
FL Lottery Games
Florida lottery games include both multi-state games like Cash4Life, Mega Millions, and Powerball, as well as draw games. Draw games include the Florida Lotto, Cash Pop, Jackpot Triple Play, Fantasy 5, and the Pick 5, Pick 4, Pick 3, and Pick 2 games.
Some of the games are state-specific, while some are multi-state games that offer huge jackpots but also lower chances for winning. Whether you play the Florida draw games or the multi-state games, you'll have opportunities to win money in a variety of different ways.
Florida Draw Games
There are eight different draw games offered as part of the Florida Lottery. These games are state-specific and only available in Florida. Their rules vary and the details for each game are included below.
The Florida Lotto was the first lottery game in Florida. Tickets cost $2 and jackpots begin at $1 million, rolling until someone wins. Every Lotto ticket includes a multiplier number that will multiply non-jackpot prizes by a number between two and 10. You can also purchase add-ons to your ticket that enter you into additional drawings.
- Drawings: Wednesday and Saturday, 11:15 p.m. ET
Cash Pop is a Florida lottery game that allows you to choose how much you want to play for each ticket. You select a number from 1 to 15, and cash prizes range up to $1,250. You can play $1, $2, or $5 on each ticket, and the more you play, the more you can win.
- Drawings: Daily, 8:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 2:45 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 11:15 p.m. ET
Jackpot Triple Play
Jackpot Triple Play costs $1 to play, but you can spend another $1 to get the Combo and combine your matches to win more money. There are five panels on the playslip and you will select 3 sets of numbers that are played separately. The jackpot starts at $250,000 and rolls up to $2 million.
- Drawings: Tuesday and Friday, 11:15 p.m. ET
Fantasy 5 is a Florida Lottery game that involves filling out a playslip with 10 panels, each with numbers from 1 to 36. Select 5 numbers for each panel or select "quick pick" to have the computer randomly choose numbers for you. An extra $1 gets you the "EZmatch" feature, which gives you the chance to win cash instantly. If no one wins the daily jackpot of $100,000, prizes roll down to the 4 -of-5 and 3-of-5 levels.
- Drawings: Daily, 11:15 p.m. ET
Pick 5 is a Florida Lottery draw game that gives you three different ways to play: Box, Straight, or straight/box. You can choose to play with either $0.50 or $1, but all straight/box entries cost $1. The game has two daily drawings, allowing you multiple chances to win each day. By doubling the price of your ticket, you can add "fireball", which gives you more chances to win money.
- Drawings: Daily, 1:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. ET
Pick 4 is another Florida Lottery draw game that lets you customize how you play. The Straight and Combo options have lower odds but bigger potential prizes, while Box, Straight/Box, and Pairs give you better chances to win. The top prize is $5,000 and there are two drawings per day to give you multiple chances at winning.
- Drawings: Daily, 1:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. ET
Pick 3 is played similarly to the other Florida Lottery "Pick" games, giving you multiple options to play that can increase or decrease both your odds of winning and top prize you can win. The Pick 3 game has 5 panels to fill out, and your ticket will cost $0.50 or $1, depending on whether you want a shot at the biggest prizes.
- Drawings: Daily, 1:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. ET
Pick 2 is another Florida Lottery game similar to the other "Pick" games. The odds for winning Pick 2 are a lot higher, but the top prize is only $50. This game is great for people who aren't so invested in going for huge jackpots but want a higher chance of winning a significant prize every time they play the lottery.
- Drawings: Daily, 1:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. ET
Florida Lottery Instant Win Games
Instant win games, also called scratch-offs, are lottery games that have no drawing involved but instead reveal whether you have won instantly. You can find scratch-off games with prizes ranging from anywhere between $50 and $5 million.
Instead of choosing numbers and waiting for a drawing to see if you've won, instant win games involve scratching off the coating of your ticket to see if you have won. Another type of instant win games, Fast Play, lets you print a ticket from a terminal and instantly see if you've won money.
Florida has about 100 scratch-off and Fast Play games to choose from. The games change frequently but you'll always find games that cost the following to play, with similar rules and prizes:
- $1 Games: Florida has about 30 scratch-off games that can be played for just $1, with prizes that go as high as $10,000 or $500 per week for life.
- $2 Games: There are about 30 $2 scratch-off games in Florida, with prizes sometimes getting as high as $100,000.
- $3 Games: $3 games tend to be a bit more intricate, with challenges such as crossword puzzles. The prizes for $3 games can be as high as $150,000.
- $5 Games: $5 instant win games in Florida can be more simple or complex, and prizes can range all the way up to $1,000,000.
- $10 Games: Usually, you can find around 12 $10 games at a single time in Florida, with prizes as high as $2,000,000 or $5,000 weekly for life.
- $20 Games: Florida tends to offer around 5 $20 scratch-off games, with prizes as high as $5,000,000.
- $30 Games: $30 scratch-off games are a premium product for big spenders. Jackpots for these games can be as high as $15,000,000!
- $50 Games: If you're really in the mood to risk some money, a $50 scratch-off ticket is the most expensive option. The reward? The chance to win a top prize up to $25,000,000.
Florida Lottery History
The Florida Lottery first launched in 1988 after a constitutional amendment was approved by voters in 1986. The amendment included rules for the lottery itself as well as how the revenue generated would be distributed, including funding for education in Florida.
The Florida Lottery has generated tens of billions of dollars for education in the state, including for programs such as the Bright Future Scholarship Program. The first game was a $1 scratch-off, but the lottery has since expanded dramatically, now offering dozens of new game formats including Fast Play and draw games.
The lottery has continued to adapt and innovate to stay relevant in our fast-changing times. With the addition of the mobile app, the Florida Lottery has demonstrated its commitment to integrating technology and convenience so you can get the Lottery at your fingertips.
Top Florida Lottery Winners
Floridians have won billions of dollars playing the lottery over the 35 years since its inception in 1988. Some of the top winners in the lottery's history include:
- Gloria Mackenzie: In May 2013, Gloria won the Powerball jackpot, collecting a massive prize of $590.5 million. It was the largest-ever solo win in U.S. lottery history at the time.
- Shane Missler: This Port Richey resident won the Mega Millions Jackpot in January of 2018, collecting a $451 million prize.
- David Kaltschmidt and Maureen Smith: This Florida couple won part of the all-time largest Powerball jackpot, which was split three different ways in January, 2016. The couple walked away with $327.8 million, not bad for a third of a jackpot.
Florida Lottery Tax Revenue
Most of the tax revenue generated from the Florida Lottery ends up getting directed towards education programs within the state. Beneficiaries include the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund (EETF) and the Bright Futures Scholarship Program.
The EETF is responsible for supporting a variety of education initiatives. The money generated by the tax revenue from the Florida Lottery goes toward things like school construction, teacher recruitment and training, improving facilities, and enhancing certain programs.
The lottery has generated more than $30 billion for schools in Florida since its inception in 1988. It plays a critical role in providing funding for programs and initiatives that directly impact public school students.
Florida Lottery FAQ
No, lottery tickets are not available for purchase online in the state of Florida. You can, however, use the Florida Lottery mobile app to do things like select your numbers for games such as Mega Millions before you go to play.
Florida Lotto drawings are held twice weekly, on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11:15 p.m. ET. Drawings for other games are held daily, most of them occurring in the evening. Check the Florida Lottery website for information about specific drawings.
Florida Lotto jackpots begin at $1 million. You'll also have the chance to win non-jackpot prizes when you play this game. Buying more tickets increases your chances of winning a Jackpot prize.
Prizes less than $600 can be cashed in at any Florida lottery retail location, which include various convenience stores, gas stations, grocery stores, and more. For larger prizes, you'll need to visit a lottery district office to collect your winnings.
You don't have the right to remain anonymous if you win the lottery in Florida. Jackpot winners can remain anonymous for 90 days, after which their name and location where they won will be made public.
The answer to this question depends on the game you are playing. If you are playing a draw game, you will have until a certain cutoff time to be entered into the next draw. There is no curfew for selling or buying lottery tickets in the state.
There are eight lottery games that are only played in Florida: The Florida lotto, Cash Pop, Jackpot Triple Play, Fantasy 5, Pick 5, Pick 4, Pick 3, and Pick 2. These games vary a lot and have different rules and jackpots.
You generally have 180 days to claim your Florida lottery winnings. However, for scratch-off games and for people who want to collect their prize in one payment, this decreases to a limit of 60 days. In general, it is recommended that you claim your winnings as soon as possible.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires a 24 percent tax on lottery prizes greater than $5,000. Lottery prizes won in Florida by U.S. residents that are less than $5,000 won't have federal withholding tax imposed on them.
The Florida Fantasy 5 game has the best chances of winning. The jackpot chances are 1 in about 375,000, and those odds greatly increase for matching 4 out of 5 or 3 out of 5 numbers, both of which result in prizes.
Yes, you can download the Florida Lottery mobile app to scan your tickets and see whether you have won or enter second chance promotional games. You can also use the app to save numbers that can be played later, among other features.
Adam Wernham has over eight years of professional copywriting experience. Growing up in the Bay Area, Adam developed strong ties to local teams including the Giants, Warriors, and 49ers. His passion for sports and writing make him a strong voice on all things sports betting and a great asset to the FloridaBet staff.