FAQs

Find answers right here to your frequently asked questions about the Texas Lottery, including information on where the money goes, playing the lottery, claiming a prize, taxes, staying anonymous, and more.

Draw Details

What time are the draws?

The draw times for Texas Lottery games are as follows:

  • Lotto - Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 10:12 p.m. CT
  • Two Step – Monday and Thursday at 10:12 p.m. CT
  • Cash Five – Monday to Saturday at 10:12 p.m. CT
  • Daily 4 - Monday to Saturday at 10:00 a.m., 12:27 p.m., 6:00 p.m. and 10:12 p.m. CT
  • Pick 3 - Monday to Saturday at 10:00 a.m., 12:27 p.m., 6:00 p.m. and 10:12 p.m. CT
  • All or Nothing - Monday to Saturday at 10:00 a.m., 12:27 p.m., 6:00 p.m. and 10:12 p.m. CT
  • Free Lottery – Daily Draws every day at 7:30 p.m., Weekly Draws on Monday at 3:00 p.m.
  • Powerball – Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 9:59 p.m. CT
  • Mega Millions – Tuesday and Friday at 10:00 p.m. CT

What is the cut-off time for ticket sales?

You need to purchase Texas Lottery tickets before the deadline on draw nights. The cut-off times are shown below:

  • Lotto - 10:02 p.m. CT
  • Two Step – 10:02 p.m. CT
  • Cash Five – 10:02 p.m. CT
  • Daily 4 - 9:50 a.m., 12:17 p.m., 5:50 p.m. and 10:02 p.m. CT
  • Pick 3 - 9:50 a.m., 12:17 p.m., 5:50 p.m. and 10:02 p.m. CT
  • All or Nothing - 9:50 a.m., 12:17 p.m., 5:50 p.m. and 10:02 p.m. CT
  • Free Lottery – Daily Draws every day at 5:30 p.m., Weekly Draws on Monday at 1:00 p.m.
  • Powerball – 9:00 p.m. CT
  • Mega Millions – 9:45 p.m. CT
Playing in Texas

Do you have to live in Texas to win the Lottery?

No, anyone age 18 and over who visits the Lone Star State may purchase a Lottery ticket and is eligible to win and claim a prize, just like Texas residents.

Can I play the Lottery in a group?

Yes, players can participate as a group or lottery pool. However, only one individual or legal entity is able to claim a win. The Lottery encourages groups to put their agreement in writing before playing.

What is a Quick Pick?

For many games, you can check a box on your playslip or ask the retailer for a Quick Pick. That means the Lottery computer will randomly generate numbers for you to play so you don’t have to choose them yourself. The generator does not “remember” its past selections, so each new play is completely unrelated to the previous picks generated. A number or set of numbers being picked before has no bearing on whether or when they’ll be generated again.

What do the tones mean when a ticket is scanned?

When a ticket is scanned, the terminal plays one of four tones to tell players the status of their ticket:

  • Winner of under $600 or a free play
  • Winner of $600 or above or a non-cash prize
  • Not a winner
  • Retailer cannot validate (for example, because the ticket has expired)

What are Lottery proceeds used for?

Since 1992, the Texas Lottery has contributed over $35 billion to state programs, including education and veterans' services.

Winning in Texas

How many numbers do I need to win Lotto?

To win a Lotto Texas prize, you need to match at least three out of six numbers. You must match all six to win the jackpot.

Which Texas Lottery is the easiest to win?

All lottery draws are random and based on luck, but the Texas Lottery with the best overall odds of winning a prize is Cash Five. Your chances of winning a prize are 1 in 7.2.

Has a Quick Pick ever won?

Your chances of winning are exactly the same whether you choose your own numbers or play a Quick Pick, so there are lots of Quick Pick winners every day in Texas. The biggest prize ever won on a single ticket in the state, a $225 million Mega Millions jackpot, went to a Quick Pick purchased at Lakeline Express Mart in Cedar Park.

Claiming Prizes

Can a retailer pay out my prize?

All Lottery retailers are authorized to pay out tickets worth $599 or below; however, they are not required to. They have the option to pay by cash, check or money order.

What are Cash Value Option and Annual Payments?

These are two payout options that apply to some prizes, such as the Lotto Texas, Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots. You must choose one option when you purchase your ticket. Currently there is no way to change your choice at a later time.

The Cash Value Option is a lump sum payment of the amount in the prize pool at the time of the win. The Annual Payments option is a larger amount that is paid in installments, usually over 29 years. Its value is based on investing the money in the prize pool.

Can Texas Lottery winners stay anonymous?

Winners can stay anonymous if their prize is worth $1 million or more. However, if you choose the annuity payment option, you lose your right to anonymity 30 days after claiming your prize.

How do I claim a prize?

How and where you claim depend on how much you’ve won. Many prizes can be claimed by mail or at a Texas Lottery office. Please see the How to Claim Prizes page for details.

What taxes are due on a Lottery win?

For prizes above $5,000 won by a US citizen or resident, the Lottery is required to withhold 24% in federal taxes. Texas does not have a state withholding tax on lottery wins. The amount that will ultimately be owed by each individual is different, and the winner should speak to a tax professional.

What is the deadline to redeem a winning ticket?

Make sure you claim your prize before it expires. Draw game tickets are valid for 180 days from the draw date. Scratch tickets are valid for 180 days from the end of game date.