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The Pennsylvania Lottery

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The Pennsylvania Lottery has earned the reputation of being one of the most ethical, generous and compassionate of lotteries in the United States. The state lottery of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was on August 26, 1971 and the first lottery drawing was on March 7, 1972.

The Pennsylvania Lottery is unique as it exceeds the requirements dictated by state law that a state lottery commission must devote 30% of profits to fund programs and another 40% of profits to the funding of cash prize amounts for the public to win. The Pennsylvania Lottery has always exceeded those requirements, paying out 55.1% as prizes and 34.5% to programs.

Another one of this organization’s virtues is that its operating vendor and operating costs are also much lower than most lotteries whose expenses are usually eaten up over 20 % of the profits. The Pennsylvania Lottery is easily one of the most efficient and best run lotteries in the country taking only an incredible 10.4 % of the profits.

Pennsylvania Lottery GamesThe Pennsylvania Lottery is also the only lottery in the United States that exclusively targets all of its proceeds to programs for older residents. Since the beginning of the Lottery in 1972, more than $14.6 billion has been donated to such programs as PACE (Pharmaceutical Assistance for the Elderly) Free Ride Programs, Hot and Home Delivered Meals Programs Senior Community Centers and Agencies on Aging.

The Pennsylvania Lottery currently offers the public six online games.

The Daily Number

The Daily Number is a three-digit game that is drawn twice a day, every day at 1:10 pm and 7:00 pm. EST seven days a week. Single tickets are available in various play options and the total cost of a ticket can vary anywhere from 50 cents to five dollars. Numbers that are chosen can be played straight or boxed, as a front pair, back pair or as a straight.

The Big 4 is similar to the Daily Number only it is a game that where four numbers are selected instead of three. It is also a twice a day drawing at 1:10 pm and 7:00 pm. Numbers that are chosen to play Big 4 can be played straight or boxed. These tickets are also available in various play combinations that can cost from between 50 cents to five dollars a ticket.

Cash 5 one-ups Big 4 by one number. It is a game from which players can pick five numbers out of a sequence from 1 to 39. It is drawn once a day (7:00 p.m. EST) every day of the week. The cost of these tickets is a meager one-dollar each.

Additionally, tickets can be purchased up to seven days (one week) in advance. The starting jackpot for each drawing is $100,000, unless there was no jackpot winner for the previous drawing, in which case, the jackpot for the top prize (getting all five numbers correct) rolls over and increases. The Cash 5 jackpot is paid in a cash lump sum (not in annuity) and is popular with residents who love the idea of getting rich quick. The fact that the jackpot gets very large, thanks to the rolling over of unclaimed jackpots from other draws, is also a factor in its popularity.

Cash 5

The Cash 5 has four prize amounts. If you get all five numbers correct you win the pari-mutuel amount (an amount based on the number of tickets bought.) If you win four out of five numbers you win $300, three out of five --$10 and two out of five -- a free ticket or one dollar. Getting one number right doesn’t win you a cent.

Match 6

The Match 6 is a lotto game, which consists of six numbers, from 1 to 49. It is drawn once a day (7:00 p.m. ET) on Tuesdays and Fridays. The tickets that are $2 each can also be purchased for up to 13 weeks in advance (which equals the opportunity to participate in a total of 26 drawings!) The jackpot is seeded with $500,000 and if the previous lottery is not won the jackpot increases as money that is not won is rolled over. The public loves Match 6 as it is yet another lottery where the winnings are progressive and where the jackpot is paid out in a lump sum rather than an annuity.

Match 6 also differs a bit in design from other lotto games offered in Pennsylvania When a player purchases a Match 6 ticket, two additional lines of numbers are computer generated along with the one line selected by the player. This greatly increases your odds of winning. The original numbers selected are called the “base play”. The computer-generated lines of numbers are called the combined play. A player can win additional prizes by matching three through six numbers on each of the two additional lines, or combine the numbers on all three lines, as well. In the combined play, multiple instances of the same number count as many times as it appears.

The MATCH 6 has eleven available prize amounts. If you get all six numbers you win the jackpot. Five out six numbers wins you $1000, four out of six --$20 and 3 out of 6 -- $2. If you pick 10 out of 18 you win $2,500, 9 out of 18 -- $1,000 and dwindling amounts from then on for lesser numbers to a $2 win.


Yet another popular lottery in Pennsylvania is the Powerball that is run by a multi-state organization. The Powerball lottery can be played in any state but the Pennsylvania Lottery is a very active member. The Powerball lottery is drawn every Wednesday and Saturday at 11:00 pm and like in many states in the United States is one of the most popular lotteries in Pennsylvania even though it is such a long shot to win the jackpot that is usually massive and an amount in the millions. You can also find Pennsylvania lottery results here.

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