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Can non Texas residents play the Texas Lottery?

The Texas Lottery is one of the most popular lotteries in the United States, with millions of players hoping to win big prizes every year. But can you play the Texas Lottery if you don’t live in the state? Here is a quick answer:

Yes, non-Texas residents can play and win the Texas Lottery.

While you do need to purchase tickets within Texas, the Texas Lottery does allow non-residents to participate. There are some additional rules and restrictions to be aware of, but overall the lottery is open to players across the country.

In this detailed article, we will explore everything you need to know as a non-Texas resident looking to try your luck with the Texas Lottery. We will cover:

  • The rules for non-Texas residents playing the lottery
  • Where you can and cannot purchase Texas Lottery tickets
  • The types of Texas Lottery games open to non-residents
  • Claiming prizes as an out-of-state player
  • The odds of winning as a non-resident
  • Tips and strategies for non-Texas players

Let’s start by looking at the official rules around out-of-state players and the Texas Lottery.

Rules for Non-Texas Residents

The Texas Government Code is clear that residents from any state or country can participate in the Texas Lottery. Here are the key rules:

  • You must be 18 years or older to play
  • Tickets must be purchased from authorized Texas Lottery retailers located in Texas
  • Prizes must be claimed at one of the Texas Lottery claim centers located in Texas

So while the lottery itself does not impose restrictions based on residency, there are logistical considerations around buying tickets and claiming prizes.

The lottery also states that if there are any conflicting rules or laws in your home state, the laws of your home state take precedence. For example, some states do not allow their residents to play other states’ lotteries.

But overall, the Texas Lottery makes no distinction between players based on residency. As long as you buy tickets in Texas, you can play.

Purchasing Tickets In Texas

To participate as a non-Texas resident, you will need to purchase tickets at authorized Texas Lottery retailers located within Texas. Here are some of the key rules around buying tickets:

  • You must purchase tickets in person at Texas retailers – online sales are only permitted to Texas residents who register
  • Tickets cannot be purchased by mail or over the phone from out of state
  • Tickets are bearer instruments – whoever signs and possesses the ticket is considered the owner

There are over 21,000 Texas Lottery retailers located throughout the state. Major retail chains that sell lottery tickets include:

  • 7-Eleven
  • HEB
  • Kroger
  • Walmart
  • Stripes
  • Fas Mart
  • Valero
  • Exxon
  • Shell

You can find authorized retailers convenient to any trips or travel you have planned in Texas. Once at a retailer, the process of buying tickets is the same as for residents.

One tip is that larger retailers near major highways tend to be accustomed to servicing out-of-state buyers. The most convenient option is often at Texas border regions, enabling non-residents to quickly and easily purchase lottery tickets during brief visits.

Claiming Prizes

If you are lucky enough to win a Texas Lottery prize as an out-of-state player, you will need to claim it at any of the official Lottery claim centers within Texas:

  • Austin
  • Corpus Christi
  • Grand Prairie
  • Houston
  • Lubbock
  • McAllen
  • San Antonio
  • Tyler

You will need to provide photo ID and a Social Security number. There is no residency requirement, but you must claim in person as prizes cannot be mailed across state lines.

For substantial prizes, the lottery may need to withhold federal taxes prior to awarding the full prize amount. This avoids non-Texas residents having additional tax liability in their home state.

Here is an overview of the prize claiming process:

Prize Claiming Process

  1. Bring your winning ticket to a claim center within 180 days of the draw
  2. Complete a prize claim form
  3. Provide photo ID and Social Security number
  4. Substantial prizes will have federal taxes withheld
  5. You will receive your prize amount at the claim center or via direct deposit

Overall the claims process is straightforward for out-of-state players. Just make sure you can make it back to Texas within the 180 day deadline.

Types of Texas Lottery Games

Now that we have covered the key rules, let’s look at the types of Texas Lottery games that non-residents can play:

In-State Jackpot Games

All the major in-state jackpot games are open to non-Texas residents, with the purchase requirements discussed earlier. These popular games offer the biggest prizes:

  • Lotto Texas – Starting jackpot of $5 million
  • Mega Millions – Starting jackpot of $20 million
  • Powerball – Starting jackpot of $20 million

For games like Mega Millions and Powerball, the Texas Lottery participates alongside other states, so the game and ticket are the same whether you buy in Texas or elsewhere.

In-State Scratch Off Games

The Texas Lottery has a wide range of scratch off games available only within the state. These instant win style tickets range in price from $1 up to $50 per ticket with a variety of prize levels.

As a non-resident you have access to the full range of 30+ scratch off games on sale at any given time. Some of the current games include:

  • $1 – 7 Times Lucky
  • $2 – $200 Frenzy
  • $5 – Money Bags
  • $10 – $1,000,000 Ultimate
  • $20 – Extreme Cash
  • $50 – $5,000,000 Fortune

Scratch offs offer better odds than the jackpot games, albeit with smaller maximum prizes. They can still award prizes up to $1 million.

In-State Draw Games

The Texas Lottery has daily in-state draw games that are exclusive to Texas, including:

  • Pick 3
  • Daily 4
  • Cash Five
  • Texas Two Step
  • All or Nothing

For these games, players can choose numbers or use quick picks. They offer fixed, modest prizes for matching your numbers to those drawn. These games have much better odds but smaller prizes than the jackpots.

As a non-resident, any of these regional draw games are available when buying tickets in Texas.

Multi-State Games

Along with massive jackpot games Powerball and Mega Millions, the Texas Lottery participates in a few additional regional games:

  • Lotto America – Drawn Wednesdays and Saturdays, starting jackpot $2 million.
  • SuperLotto Plus – Drawn Wednesdays and Saturdays, starting jackpot $1 million.

These pan-regional games are open to non-Texas players when purchasing tickets in the state.

So in summary, non-residents can play the full range of Texas Lottery offerings, apart from any online/subscriptions services limited to Texans.

Claiming Anonymity

One special consideration for out-of-state players is the ability to claim substantial prizes anonymously.

Here are the key details:

  • Prizes over $1 million must be claimed in person at Texas Lottery headquarters in Austin.
  • You can elect to remain anonymous – your name and city will not be released publicly.
  • To claim anonymously, non-Texas residents must have counsel appointed for them at the claim center to assist with legal documents.
  • The lottery will promote the prize as being won by “an out-of-state player”.

This anonymity option enables non-Texas residents to keep a jackpot win private if desired.

Odds of Winning as a Non-Resident

Do non-Texas residents have the same odds of winning lottery prizes?

The short answer is yes – your place of residence does not impact the probability of any particular ticket winning. Some key points:

  • Published odds for each game are the same for all players.
  • Tickets have no memory – they don’t know where they were sold!
  • Out-of-state players have the same overall chance.
  • The lottery draws and winner selection process is impartial.

In practice, residents may end up participating at a higher rate and purchasing more tickets. But each ticket has equal odds for residents and non-residents alike.

Your personal odds of winning will simply depend on:

  • How many tickets you buy
  • What games you play
  • Whether you select numbers or use quick pick

Where you live doesn’t influence your probability – just how much you participate.

Tips for Playing as a Non-Resident

Here are some tips to maximize your chances if playing the Texas Lottery from out of state:

Take Advantage of Border Shopping

Make your ticket purchases part of border town visits or other Texas trips. Retailers in border regions understand servicing non-Texas players.

Buy Early for Jackpot Games

Sales surge near the draw as jackpots rise. Avoid lines andticket sell outs by purchasing entries a few days before.

Use Luck-Based Strategies

Pick special numbers, use fortune cookies, go with your gut instinct or quirky rituals. Luck-based methods are fun and as effective as any other approach.

Team Up for Group Tickets

Join office pools, share tickets with friends and family. This lets you participate in more tickets and number combinations.

Take Advantage of Second Chance Drawings

Keep non-winning scratch off tickets and enter any second chance promotions. Drawings are open to non-residents.

Understand Your True Odds

Know that huge jackpot odds are overwhelmingly against you. Have realistic expectations and see smaller prizes or breaking even as a success.

Sample New Games

Try new scratch off ticket series when visiting to add variety. Lower tier prizes have better odds of keeping your trip profitable.

Review Drawing Results

Scan historical drawing data to see if any numbers seem warm or cold. See which are most common or overdue to guide your picks.

Can You Establish Texas Residency?

What if you want to play the Texas Lottery more regularly? Some frequent players consider establishing Texas residency. Here is an overview of what’s involved:

  • You must reside in Texas for at least six consecutive months
  • You will need to obtain a Texas driver’s license or ID card
  • To prove residency, show utility bills, bank statements, or other documentation with a Texas address spanning six months
  • You must file income tax returns from Texas and declare all income
  • You should register your vehicle(s) in Texas
  • Update your will, trusts, insurance policies and other documents with your new residency

This process enables you to purchase tickets online, enter subscriptions, and take advantage of residency-based promotions.

But consult professionals to understand all impacts – changing residency also involves tax, insurance, estate planning, and other financial implications. Weigh the benefits versus obligations before undertaking a residency change solely for lottery purposes.

Key Considerations for Non-Residents

Here are some final key points to remember as a non-Texas resident looking to participate in the Texas Lottery:

  • You must be 18 years or older
  • Tickets can only be purchased at Texas retailers located within the state
  • Winning tickets must be redeemed at Texas claim centers
  • Know your home state’s rules – you must comply with local regulations
  • Review game odds – remember your chances of winning are extremely small
  • Play responsibly – only spend discretionary income on lottery tickets

As long as you play within these rules and manage expectations, non-residents are welcome to try their luck playing the Texas Lottery!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about non-Texas residents and the Texas Lottery:

Can I buy Texas Lottery tickets online?

No, online sales are limited solely to Texas residents who register. As an out-of-state player, you must purchase tickets in person when visiting Texas.

What identification do I need to provide to buy and claim prizes?

You must show valid photo ID, which can include documents like a driver’s license, passport, or permanent resident card.

Are lottery winnings taxed for non-residents?

Yes, the Texas Lottery will withhold federal taxes for substantial prizes before awarding your final payment. You may owe additional state taxes when filing returns in your home state.

Can I participate using a P.O. Box address?

No, you must provide a verifiable residential address within Texas or your home state to buy tickets and claim substantial prizes.

Do I have to be a U.S. citizen?

No, there is no citizenship requirement. Lawful permanent residents and visitors with proper identification can participate.

Can I still play if my home state prohibits participating in other lotteries?

No, your home state laws take precedence. You could be subject to prosecution for violating local lottery laws.

What are my odds of winning versus Texas residents?

Your odds are exactly equal for a given ticket. Where you reside does not impact the probability or drawing results.

How old do I need to be to buy Texas Lottery tickets?

You must be at least 18 years old to buy tickets. For most games, you must be 18 or older to claim prizes, though some allow claims by those 16 and up.


The Texas Lottery makes playing from out of state straightforward by placing only minimal restrictions based on residency. As long as you purchase tickets while within Texas and claim any prizes at state claim centers, non-residents have equal opportunity to participate and win. Just be sure to play responsibly and be aware of all rules, restrictions, and tax implications in your home state. With the proper preparation, non-Texans can enjoy taking part in the games and excitement of the Texas Lottery right alongside state residents.