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Can visitors play New York Lottery?

Visitors to New York who are 18 years or older can purchase and play New York Lottery games. The New York Lottery was established in 1967 through a voter referendum and is run by the New York State Gaming Commission. It offers a variety of draw games, scratch-off instant games, video lottery games, and multistate games like Mega Millions and Powerball. In fiscal year 2020-2021, the Lottery had over $10 billion in sales and contributed over $3 billion in funding for education in New York.

Quick Answers

– Visitors who are 18 or older can purchase lottery tickets in New York.
– Major New York Lottery games include: Mega Millions, Powerball, Take 5, Pick 10, Lotto, Cash4Life, Numbers, Quick Draw, scratch off tickets.

– Tickets can be purchased at over 15,000 retail locations statewide or through the New York Lottery app.
– Winnings up to $600 can be claimed at any retailer. Larger prizes must be claimed at a Lottery Customer Service Center.
– Lottery revenue goes to support education in New York State. In FY 2020-2021, the Lottery generated over $10 billion in sales and provided more than $3 billion in funding for education.

Can I play if I’m visiting from another state or country?

Yes, visitors from out of state and other countries can purchase and play New York Lottery games if they meet the age requirement. The New York Lottery does not have residency restrictions. As long as you are 18 years or older, you can walk into any licensed Lottery retailer in New York and purchase draw game tickets, scratch-off instant tickets, or Lottery video terminal games. Winnings will be subject to both federal and New York tax withholding if the prize is over $5,000.

Age Requirement

You must be at least 18 years old to play the New York Lottery. This is the legal age requirement in the state. Visitors should be prepared to show proof of age, such as a driver’s license, passport, or ID card issued by the visitor’s home state/country. Retailers are required to verify your age before selling Lottery tickets.

Out-of-State Ticket Purchase

There are no restrictions on out-of-state or international visitors buying New York Lottery tickets. You do not need to be a New York resident or U.S. citizen. The New York Lottery does not ask for your residency status when you make a Lottery purchase. As long as you meet the minimum age, you can walk into any Lottery retailer and buy tickets.

What games does the New York Lottery offer?

The New York Lottery offers a wide selection of lottery games:

Draw Games

– Mega Millions – Multi-state jackpot game drawn Tuesdays and Fridays. Jackpots start at $20 million and can grow to over $1 billion.

– Powerball – Popular multi-state draw game drawn Wednesdays and Saturdays. Minimum jackpot is $40 million.

– Take 5 – Daily draw game with top prize of $50,000. Match 5 numbers out of 39.

– Pick 10 – Daily draw game with top prize of $500,000. Match 10 numbers out of 80.

– Lotto – Drawn Wednesdays and Saturdays. Match 6 of 59 numbers to win jackpot starting at $1 million.

– Cash4Life – Drawn daily. Top prize of $1,000/day for life. Offered in New York and New Jersey.

– Numbers – Daily game. Pick 3 or 4 numbers. Top prizes range from $500 to $5,000.

– Quick Draw – Drawn every 4 minutes. Pick 7 numbers out of 80. Top prize $100,000. Offered at retail locations with Lottery video terminals.

Scratch-Off Games

The New York Lottery offers dozens of instant Scratch-Off games with varied themes and prize levels. Ticket prices start from $1 up to $30. Top prizes can range from $500 to $10 million. New scratch-off games are introduced regularly.

Video Lottery Games

New York has over 16,000 video lottery terminals (VLTs) at 9 licensed commercial casinos operated by the New York Lottery. These machines offer electronic versions of games like slots, poker, blackjack, and roulette. The minimum age to play is 18.

Multi-State Games

In addition to in-state draw games, the New York Lottery participates in two major national/multi-state lottery games – Powerball and Mega Millions. These games offer huge jackpots starting at tens of millions of dollars.

Where can I buy Lottery tickets in New York?

There are over 15,000 licensed retailers across New York that sell Lottery tickets. You can find Lottery games at convenience stores, supermarkets, liquor stores, gas stations, and other retail outlets throughout the state. Look for the blue and white Lottery logo and signage.

Here are some of the most common places to purchase Lottery tickets:

  • Convenience stores like 7-Eleven, Wawa, Stewart’s Shops
  • Gas stations – Sunoco, Shell, Exxon, Gulf
  • Grocery stores and supermarkets like Wegmans, Tops, Price Chopper
  • Liquor and wine stores
  • Smoke and tobacco shops
  • Bodegas and corner stores in New York City
  • Gift shops and newsstands

Many retailers have Lottery self-service kiosks where you can insert money and select your own Lottery tickets. Cashiers at retail locations are also available to help purchase draw game tickets and instant scratch-off tickets.

You can find a retailer near any location by searching the New York Lottery website or using the mobile app.

New York Lottery Mobile App

Visitors can also purchase Lottery tickets anytime and anywhere using the official New York Lottery app for iOS and Android mobile devices. You can play draw games like Mega Millions, scan and check scratch-off tickets, check results, store and manage digital tickets, and more.

How do I claim winnings from New York Lottery tickets?

If you are lucky enough to win on a New York Lottery ticket, here is how you can claim your prize:

Smaller Prizes

For instant scratch-off game prizes of $600 or less, you can cash in your winning ticket at any authorized New York Lottery retailer location. The retailer will verify your ticket and pay out the prize amount.

Larger Prizes

For any prize over $600 on draw games or instant tickets, you will need to visit one of the Lottery’s Customer Service Centers to claim your prize. Bring the winning ticket and valid photo ID. There are Customer Service Centers located throughout New York.

You can make an appointment at a Center by calling (518) 388-3300 or visiting Walk-ins are also welcome. Prizes over $5,000 will be subject to federal and state tax withholding.

Very Large Jackpots

For multimillion dollar Mega Millions or Powerball jackpot prizes, it is recommended you consult an attorney or financial advisor before claiming. You will need to claim in person at the Lottery’s Customer Service Center in Schenectady, NY within 60 days of the draw date.

What happens if I lose or have a damaged Lottery ticket?

Unfortunately, you will be out of luck if you lose or have a damaged Lottery ticket. Lottery tickets are bearer instruments – meaning the physical ticket is the only valid proof that you purchased and are entitled to any potential winnings.

The New York Lottery has no way to look up or verify lost or damaged tickets. Retailers also cannot make any ticket payments without a valid physical ticket. Make sure to sign the back of your ticket for security and keep tickets in a safe place until you cash them. Lost and damaged tickets cannot be replaced or reimbursed.

Important tips for playing the New York Lottery

If you plan to try your luck playing the New York Lottery during your visit, keep these important tips in mind:

  • Know the odds – Lottery games have long odds of winning jackpots. Understand your chance of matching all numbers is extremely low for any game.
  • Set a budget – Only spend what you can comfortably afford to potentially lose when playing lottery games.
  • Sign your tickets – Always sign the back of physical lottery tickets before cashing so they can be verified as yours.
  • Check carefully – Look over your lottery tickets carefully before leaving the retailer to make sure you received the correct games, numbers, and date.
  • Keep it safe – Store unsigned lottery tickets securely until cashing them. Carry tickets carefully to avoid damage.
  • Watch the time – Mega Millions and Powerball tickets must be purchased by 10:00pm ET on night of the draw to be eligible.
  • Check results – Make sure to check the Lottery website or app to see if your tickets have winning numbers.
  • Meet deadlines – Cash winning draw tickets within 180 days of the draw date printed on ticket.

What is unique about the New York Lottery?

Some key facts about the New York Lottery include:

  • Started in 1967, one of the oldest and continuously operating U.S. lotteries
  • Operates 9 licensed video lottery gaming facilities across New York
  • Has over 15,000 licensed retailers statewide
  • Generates more annual revenue than any other U.S. lottery – over $10 billion in FY 2020-2021
  • Contributes over $3 billion annually to help support education in New York
  • Offers daily draw games available only in New York like Take 5 and Pick 10
  • Holds the record for the highest Mega Millions jackpot – $1.5 billion in 2018
  • Uses colorful branded draw machines – Triple Red for Powerball, Double Gold for Mega Millions

The New York Lottery has a long history and unique portfolio of in-state games. It provides significant funding to New York schools through the games it operates. Playing the lottery can be fun for visitors, but should be done responsibly with a clear budget in mind.

Revenue contribution to New York State

The New York Lottery generates significant revenue contributions to help fund education programs in New York State. This table shows total revenue and education contributions over the last five fiscal years:

Fiscal Year Total Revenue Education Contribution
2020-2021 $10.19 billion $3.47 billion
2019-2020 $9.46 billion $3.19 billion
2018-2019 $8.99 billion $3.06 billion
2017-2018 $8.45 billion $2.97 billion
2016-2017 $7.9 billion $2.92 billion

As shown, the Lottery consistently generates over $8 billion per year in revenue. Out of total sales, about 30-35% is contributed as profit to support education spending. In fiscal 2020-2021, the New York Lottery provided its highest ever single-year contribution, over $3.47 billion for education aid.

Breakdown of Lottery game revenue

The New York Lottery offers major game categories including draw games, scratch-off games, video lottery, and multi-state games. The following table shows the revenue breakdown by game type in fiscal year 2020-2021:

Game Revenue Percent of Total
Scratch-off games $6.92 billion 68%
Video Lottery $1.61 billion 16%
Draw games $874 million 9%
Multi-state games $786 million 8%

Scratch-off instant games generated over $6.9 billion in revenue, accounting for a majority 68% of total sales. Video Lottery net win was 16%, while traditional draw games were 9% of revenue. Multi-state games Mega Millions and Powerball brought in $786 million in sales.

Top 5 largest Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots won in New York

As participants in the Mega Millions and Powerball national lottery games, New York has seen some incredibly large jackpot winners over the years. Here are the top 5 biggest prizes won in New York for both games:

Rank Game Amount Date Won
1 Mega Millions $1.5 billion October 2018
2 Mega Millions $96 million March 2007
3 Powerball $148 million August 2013
4 Powerball $136 million February 2015
5 Mega Millions $108 million December 2014

The world record $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot was sold in New York in October 2018. The second largest Mega Millions prize in the state was $96 million in 2007. New York has also sold Powerball jackpots as big as $148 million and $136 million.


In summary, visitors to New York who are 18 or older can freely purchase lottery tickets at over 15,000 retailers across the state. The Lottery offers draw, scratch-off, video, and multi-state games with prizes ranging from $1 up to hundreds of millions for massive jackpots. While playing the lottery can be fun, it’s important to play responsibly and within your budget. Winnings can be claimed at retailers for prizes under $600 or at Customer Service Centers for larger amounts. The New York Lottery ultimately provides billions in funding each year to support education programs in the state.