California has been proud to host its very own state lottery since 1985. The last three and a half decades have seen the lottery grow from strength to strength. Californians can choose from multi-jurisdictional games, local draws, lottery pools and scratchers. Revenue goes towards education in the Golden State. California Lottery is even embracing modern gambling technology, with its own number checking app. As of yet, there is no online lottery in California, but the future seems bright for the forward-thinking state. Read on to discover what’s on offer how to make the best of the California Lottery.
- We look to California’s most trusted local news sources like the Los Angles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle to get the most up to date lottery and gambling news.
- We have experts in all areas of the gambling industry as well as the lottery, from understanding blackjack to where to play video poker.
- We keep a close eye on the legal side of things by following regulatory bodies such as the California Gambling Control Commission and the Bureau of Gambling Control
- Los Angeles Times
- San Francisco
- California Gambling Control Commission
- Bureau of Gambling Control
Legal Online Lotteries Available in California
Unfortunately, California does not have an online lottery presently. We speculate that the state might introduce one in the not too distant future though. The lottery is enjoyed by many of it’s residents and provides valuable revenue for education services. At the time of writing, there is no news on the matter, although we will update our readers if any progressive legislation comes to light.
Legal Lotteries Available in the USA
Lotteries are played all over the Sunshine State in a diverse array of formats. Californians can choose from daily draws, local games, multi-state games, lottery pools and scratchers. In the past there have even been two lottery TV game shows! California definitely has a knack for keeping players excited and the lottery interesting. Let’s go through some of most popular games on offer today.
SuperLotto Plus – May the Best Dream Win
SuperLotto Plus is California’s very own big jackpot lottery. There are 5 balls and 1 Mega ball to match, and numbers are drawn on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Tickets start at $1, but more money can be paid onto the ticket for increased chances. If a jackpot isn’t won, it’ll roll over the next draw and get even bigger. If you find your ticket hasn’t won, you do have the option to scan it for a 2nd Chance at winning. Recently, brothers John and Steven Boers hit the SuperLotto Plus jackpot, securing them $7 million!
Fantasy 5 – Daily Draws for Frequent Wins
Fantasy 5 is one of many daily draw lottery games exclusive to California. The game is simple: for $1 players must match 5 numbers between 1 and 39. Up to 5 plays can be put on one playslip, each costing $1. Players who do put $5 on a ticket have the option of playing a 2nd Chance code if their numbers don’t win. The numbers are drawn daily at 6:30 p.m. Other daily games in California include Daily 3, Daily 4, Daily Derby and Hot Spot.
Mega Millions – A US Favorite With A California Twist
Californians have enjoyed playing the Mega Millions multi-state lottery since June 22nd 2005. Thanks to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, California was the third state to offer Mega Millions. Interestingly, the Californian Mega Millions differs from that in other states, as all 9 prize levels are pari-mutuel. Mega Millions is responsible for one of the largest jackpots won in California – Steve Tran’s lucky $324 million win. For the price of a $2 ticket, jackpot winners can receive upwards of $40 million.
Powerball – Californians Win The Biggest Prize
The Powerball is another multi-state lottery, although this one arrived in California more recently – on April 8th 2013. Powerball is hugely popular with Californians and across the US thanks to its regular multi-million jackpots. The Powerball is most famous for creating the biggest jackpot in history – $1.586 billion. The Acosta family of California was fortunate enough to claim a share. Similar to the Mega Millions lottery, players are in with a chance of winning $40 million or more with just a $2 ticket.
Lottery Regulator in California
The California State Lottery Commission is responsible for regulating the California lottery. Their job is to make sure that revenue goes towards public services and prizes, while ensuring that lottery is free of crime. Much of the revenue goes contributes towards education, benefitting students, teachers and the state as a whole. There are actually two more agencies that regulate gambling as a whole in the state of California. The California Bureau of Gambling Control is part of the California Department of Justice.
Other Lotto Games You Could Pick
As well as local and US-wide lotteries, California also offers its residents Scratchers. These are simply scratch-cards, where the player scratches off a layer to reveal a hidden set of numbers. Winning numbers often offer cash, prizes and experiences. Scratchers show the player if they have won or lost instantly, making them a quick and cheap game. There is a huge array of Scratchers on sale, and new ones come out frequently. Some of the most popular Scratchers in California are Mystery Crossword, California Millions and Instant Prize Crossword.
History of California Lottery
Since the Lottery Act was passed in 1984 and the California Lottery opened for public play in 1985, it has been met with mass enthusiasm. Scratch cards were followed by lottery draws and many more spin offs followed. There have even been televised game shows based around lottery games. These days California hosts 6 local lottery draws as well as two multi-state draws – the Powerball and Mega Millions – as well as many Scratchers.
|November 6th 1984||Proposition 37 is approved by 58% of voters. This passes the California State Lottery Act, allowing for a lottery to be set up. The intention is for extra revenue to be generated for education.|
|October 3rd 1985||The lottery is open for business. The very first ticket is sold – a Scratchers ticket called California Jackpot. Scratchers are the first lottery game available in California, before others are introduced.|
|October 14th 1986||A year passes before lottery draw games officially begin. The first ticket sale is for Lotto 6/49.|
|March 1990||Daily draw games are brought in. These are still highly popular and today there are 5 different daily draw games available in California.|
|June 22nd 2005||California becomes the 12th US state to offer Mega Millions, a multi-state lottery. Californians can enjoy it’s massive jackpots and help make them even bigger.|
|April 8th 2010||April 8th 2010 Gov Schwarzenegger signed off on Assembly Bill 142, making an amendment to the Lottery Act.|
|April 8th 2013||California offers the Powerball lottery to residents for the first time.|
Famous Winners – The Acostas Win the Biggest Jackpot in History
On December 17th 2013, lucky San Jose resident Steve Tran hit the jackpot. In a joint win with Ira Curry of Georgia, he shared one of the biggest jackpots in history – $648 million! Tran had bought a few Mega Millions tickets while driving his delivery route. Tran didn’t realise he had won until the following January, when he found out the lucky ticket had been bought in San Jose. With $324 million to his name, Tran quit his job and went on a long holiday.
This is not the only massive jackpot to be won in California. The biggest jackpot in history was won on January 13th 2016. The staggering $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot was snagged by three lucky winners from Florida, Tennessee and California. Marvin and Mae Acosta of California won one third, but remain extremely private.
Online Lotto Legal Age in California
Lottery participants must legally be 18 years of age or older to play in California. Horse and dog tracks are also open to 18 year olds. Other forms of gambling in California hold a higher age limit of 21. Most casinos will only grant admission to those 21 or older, as is also the case with many card rooms. Underage gambling is an offence that carries fines and jail time. It goes without saying that you can’t keep your winnings either!
Lottery AgeThe legal age limit for playing the lottery in California is 18 years old.
Alcohol AgeThe legal age for alcohol purchase and consumption is 21 in California.
Weed AgeMarijuana is fully legal in California, but smokers must be 21 years of age.
Taxes on Lotto Winnings in California
We don’t want to send you crashing back down to earth with a bump, but all lottery winnings are taxed. In California 24% Federal tax will be subtracted from your win before you receive it. It’s also vital that you declare your lottery win to the IRS. This is because it also counts as taxable income. How much you need to pay depends on what tax bracket you are in. In California the brackets range from 1% to 13.3%. For more up to the minute info on how tax affects your win, have a look at advice from California Tax Service Center
Is Online Lotto Legal When You Are Out of the State?
There isn’t a legal online lotto yet in California, but that’s not the case for the rest of the US. Since an amendment to the Wire Act was passed in 2011, states have been allowed to legislate for online lotteries for themselves. For example, the online version of the Illinois lottery is entirely available and is enjoying all the attention it deserves. US Lotteries are extremely widespread, therefore most states focus on physical tickets rather than digital. Online lotteries are played all over the world, from Canada to China to Australia. Euromillions and Eurojackpot are played in – you guessed it – Europe. Australians have Oz lotto, while South Africans have their own National Lottery. The jury is still out on whether California will follow suit, but it does seem to be a positive trend.
The Best Lottery Mobile App
Residents of the Golden State can enjoy playing on the go with the CA Lottery Official App. It boasts several features that make playing the lottery fun and easy. You can scan your ticket to see if you’ve won. If it hasn’t, you can enter a 2nd Chance drawing. Choose from a wide variety of games, find the latest promotions and discover the biggest jackpots. As the lottery is not fully online yet, tickets can only be bought from licensed retailers. The app shows you were to buy tickets and claim prizes.
Online Lottery Promotions to Take Advantage Of
As there is no legal online lottery in California, there aren’t many promotions out there on the web. Thanks to the CA Lottery Official App, there are some good promotions conveniently gathered in one place. 2nd Chance promotions allow players another opportunity to win by scanning a ticket that’s has lost. Players entering the Jackpot Captain program can start a lottery pool and receive exclusive promotions. Prizes are shared in the pool and range from cash, vouchers and exciting experiences. Players can keep up to date with the latest promotions on the app.
Upcoming Regulation Changes for Online Lottery
We’ll have to wait and see to find out if California is going to bring in it’s own online lottery. Based on the success of its existing lottery, it would be a good idea. There is no news to indicate that California will though, considering it hasn’t introduced any other forms of online gambling yet either. It is important that state lotteries like California’s continue to keep players engaged and continue to attract new players. Without engagement, lottery play dwindles, resulting in lower jackpots. California Lottery is doing just fine without online sales right now. The point is that online lotteries are here to stay. This technology isn’t going anywhere, and California values the lottery’s revenue too much to lose it. We’ll keep you posted with any regulation news or developments. In case you’d like to know more on the entire gambling scene in the state, check out our full gambling in California review.