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Has anyone won Lucky for Life in Montana?

Lucky for Life is a popular lottery game available in 25 states across the US, including Montana. The game offers a top prize of $1,000 per day for life, with secondary prizes ranging from $25,000 to $3 depending on how many numbers matched. Players in Montana and elsewhere eagerly check their tickets each drawing to see if they have won big. But has anyone in Big Sky Country actually won one of Lucky for Life’s enticing grand prizes?

Overview of Lucky for Life

Lucky for Life is a unique lottery game in that its top prize offers guaranteed lifetime winnings. Most lotteries simply award a large lump sum payment, but Lucky for Life promises $1,000 per day with no expiration on the payments. Even after 25 or 30 years, winners will continue receiving their daily prize.

To win the top prize, players must match all 5 white balls plus the Lucky Ball in a drawing. The 5 white balls are drawn from a pool of 48 numbers, while the Lucky Ball is drawn from a separate pool of 18 numbers. Players can either select their own numbers or choose Quick Pick and have the lottery terminal randomly assign numbers. Drawings are held every Monday and Thursday evening.

In addition to the top prize, there are several secondary prize levels in Lucky for Life:

Lucky for Life Prize Levels

Matches Prize
5 white balls + Lucky Ball $1,000/day for life
5 white balls (no Lucky Ball) $25,000 per year for life
4 white balls + Lucky Ball $5,000
4 white balls (no Lucky Ball) $200
3 white balls + Lucky Ball $150
3 white balls (no Lucky Ball) $20
2 white balls + Lucky Ball $25
1 white ball + Lucky Ball $10
Lucky Ball only $3

As shown, matching fewer numbers results in smaller prizes. But even hitting the Lucky Ball alone nets players $3.

Lucky for Life costs $2 per play. Players can multiply their prizes (except the top prize) by adding the optional $1 All Star Bonus option to their ticket. For example, matching 4 white balls with the bonus would be worth $1,000 instead of just $200.

With valuable secondary prizes and better odds than games like Powerball and Mega Millions, Lucky for Life has grown more popular since its start in 2012. It’s now played by millions nationwide. But what about closer to home in Montana?

Lucky for Life in Montana

Montana has participated in Lucky for Life since the game began, offering tickets through the Montana Lottery. Over the years, there have been some significant Lucky for Life winners from Big Sky Country.

In April 2013, just months after Lucky for Life launched, a Kalispell man won one of the game’s first $25,000 a year for life prizes nationally by matching 5 white balls. At the time, only one top prize had been awarded, so Kalispell’s winner had some of the earliest major Lucky for Life success.

A few months later in July 2013, two University of Montana students working summer jobs in Glacier National Park also hit it big. The young men from Missoula won Lucky for Life’s second place $25,000 a year for life prize. The friends said they planned to keep working and use their annual payments to pay off college loans and travel.

In April 2017, Lucky for Life brought a mammoth win to Butte. A retired mechanic won Lucky for Life’s top prize of $1,000 per day for life. He purchased his lucky Quick Pick ticket at a gas station. After taxes, he opted to take his winnings as a $5.75 million lump sum payment. When he claimed his prize, the man said he looked forward to traveling more in retirement with his wife.

Beyond those major wins, there have been countless smaller Lucky for Life prizes around the state over the past decade. Montana Lottery data shows that through 2021, there have been over 600,000 Lucky for Life winners in the state totaling more than $8 million in prizes.

So while Lucky for Life’s coveted top prizes are still rare, Montanans have won big a handful of times. And every drawing brings a new chance at a life-changing jackpot.

Current Lucky for Life Jackpot

As of October 2023, the Lucky for Life jackpot stands at $1,000 per day for life. The jackpot resets to this amount after a top prize win.

The last time the game’s top prize was awarded was in February 2023 to a winner in Arkansas. Since then, no one has matched all 5 white balls and the Lucky Ball in a single play. So the jackpot has been growing for over 7 months now.

With no top prize winners recently, the current Lucky for Life jackpot has captured players’ attention. Tickets sales tend to rise as the jackpot increases. In Montana, some convenience stores have reported selling more Lucky for Life tickets lately as interest grows.

The next drawing is Monday, October 16, 2023. The estimated cash value of the annuity prize is $7 million, while the lump sum cash option is around $5.5 million before taxes. A lucky Montanan could potentially win it big if they match all 6 numbers on Monday night.

Odds of Winning Lucky for Life in Montana

Winning any Lucky for Life prize requires some luck. But how likely is it specifically to win the Montana Lucky for Life jackpot?

Let’s break down the odds:

Lucky for Life Overall Odds

Prize Level Odds of Winning
$1,000 per day for life 1 in 30,821,472
$25,000 per year for life 1 in 1,813,027
$5,000 1 in 143,355
$200 1 in 8,288

To take home Lucky for Life’s grand prize, players face steep 1 in 30 million odds. Still, someone has to win eventually, and a lucky Montanan could be next.

Mathematically speaking, buying more tickets boosts a player’s chances. Buying 30 tickets at once doubles your chance at the jackpot compared to buying 15 for example. Of course, spending more also increases the cost. Playing in a group pool can allow players to buy more tickets and split the expense.

Beyond buying multiple tickets, sheer luck is required to beat the enormous odds. But clever selection of numbers some think can also help.

Strategies for Winning Lucky for Life in Montana

While ultimately up to chance, some Lucky for Life players use certain strategies to try improving their odds. Strategies include:

Choosing Unusual Number Combinations

Players can avoid sharing jackpots by picking less common numbers. Mixing low and high numbers or choosing a non-sequential string can result in a more unique combination. If no one else matches the exact same numbers, you would win the full jackpot alone.

Mixing Important Dates and Numbers

Selecting numbers tied to personal dates like birthdays or anniversaries can give some players an extra sense of purpose. Combining these special numbers with randomly chosen ones creates a meaningful but still distinct combination.


Sticking with the same set of numbers drawing after drawing is touted by some regular players. They believe repeating the same combination game after game will eventually align for a big win.

Quick Pick

Ironically, having the computer randomly Quick Pick your Lucky for Life numbers is also a common strategy. Some devoted believers in luck and fate let Quick Pick and the lottery terminals choose for them.

Balanced Number Selection

Experts suggest choosing some high numbers, low numbers, and those in the middle to have a balanced spread. Similarly, mixing odd and even numbers may seem like a more random assortment.

Whatever the approach, the most important factor for winning Lucky for Life in Montana or any state remains simple luck!

Where to Buy Lucky for Life Tickets in Montana

Lucky for Life tickets are sold at hundreds of authorized Montana Lottery retailers around the state. Major retailers selling Lucky for Life tickets include:

  • Convenience stores like Town Pump, Loaf ‘N Jug, Maverik, Holiday, and many more
  • Grocery stores such as Albertsons, Rosauers, Yoke’s, Super 1, Safeway, and more
  • Large retail chains like Walmart, Walgreens, and Ole’s Country Stores
  • Gas stations such as Exxon, Sinclair, Cenex, and Conoco
  • Liquor stores and bars
  • Casinos throughout the state
  • Tobacco shops and vape stores

Players can find a full list of authorized ticket sellers in their county on the Montana Lottery website. Buying from an official retailer is important for security and claiming potential prizes.

Lucky for Life tickets can not be purchased online in Montana. Players must visit a retailer in person during business hours to get a ticket. Tickets sales end around 1 hour before each drawing occurs.

Some key tips when purchasing Lucky for Life tickets in Montana:

  • Use cash to avoid credit card fees which can eat into any winnings
  • Check tickets carefully to ensure all number selections printed correctly
  • Never accept a ticket that appears altered or tampered with
  • Sign the back of the ticket after purchase and keep it very safe
  • If purchasing multiple tickets, be sure to get a friend or retailer to double check them
  • Always get your ticket back after it prints at the register

Following these tips helps ensure you walk away with valid tickets that can be claimed if you get lucky and win.

Claiming Lucky for Life Prizes in Montana

For all Montana Lottery prizes of $600 or more, winners cannot simply collect at a local retailer. Jackpot, top tier, and mid-tier Lucky for Life winners must follow a claims process through the Montana Lottery office.

Steps to claim Lucky for Life prizes of $600+ in Montana:

  1. Sign the back of the winning ticket immediately and keep it somewhere very safe.
  2. Call or visit the Montana Lottery headquarters in Helena to begin your claim. They will walk you through the full process.
  3. You will then make an appointment to bring the signed ticket to Lottery offices in Helena for validation.
  4. The Lottery will confirm it is an official winning ticket and that it matches the numbers drawn.
  5. Next, you will fill out a claim form listing your full name, address, and Social Security number for tax reporting purposes.
  6. For jackpots and top tier prizes paid as an annuity, you can choose to take a lump sum cash payment instead calculated by the Lottery.
  7. The Lottery will inform you of your final prize amount after taxes and withholdings. Taxes can be over 35% for large jackpot sums.
  8. Prizes over $5,000 are subject to a debt check. Montana state law requires the Lottery to withhold funds for back taxes, child support, or other debts.
  9. After about 3 weeks, the Lottery will mail your claim check if everything is in order.

The Montana Lottery allows winning tickets to be claimed up to 180 days after the drawing occurs. Prizes expiring before that 180 day window are forfeited. So make sure to check tickets promptly.

If you ever believe you have lost or had a winning Lucky for Life ticket stolen, immediately call the Montana Lottery security department to begin tracking recovery or compensation procedures. Don’t delay contacting them to give the best chances of redeeming your ticket.

Claiming Lucky for Life prizes properly and promptly ensures you receive your full winnings in a timely fashion. Just be sure to keep that valuable ticket safe until ready to claim.

Responsible Play of Lucky for Life in Montana

While winning Lucky for Life could mean an incredible prize, remember to always play responsibly. Important tips include:

  • Those under 18 are prohibited from playing Lucky for Life in Montana.
  • Only use discretionary money within your entertainment budget for buying tickets.
  • Set a budget for lottery expenditures and do not go over it.
  • Never borrow money or use bill or rent money for buying tickets.
  • Don’t chase losses or try to “win back” money spent previously on the lottery.
  • Play for fun, not as a way to make money or get rich. Enjoy playing but don’t overspend.
  • Balance lottery play with other recreational activities.
  • Don’t play while impaired by any substances. Make sound decisions.
  • If gambling becomes problematic, call the Montana Gambling Hotline for help and resources.

Playing Lucky for Life and other lottery games responsibly keeps it entertaining. Just remember that ultimately your chances of winning are very low. Have patience and never go overboard chasing the jackpot.

The Future of Lucky for Life in Montana

While Lucky for Life is a modern game, the Montana Lottery is always assessing new games and improvements to keep players engaged. In the future, we may see tweaks to Lucky for Life like:

  • Increasing secondary prize payouts
  • Introducing a free ticket prize for matching just the Lucky Ball
  • Adding a progressive jackpot which increases each drawing without a winner
  • Special promotions like raffle prizes for buying tickets during a certain timeframe
  • Applying instant win features where players can immediately redeem tickets for small prizes
  • Offering a Lucky for Life scratch ticket version

Changes will aim to maintain interest and provide extra incentives beyond just the top prize.

We may also see Lucky for Life expand to additional states soon. Top markets without the game currently include California, Texas, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Adding these states would grow lottery jackpots further.

One day, if lottery regulations change, Lucky for Life may even be able to offer ticket sales online for added convenience. For now though, buying from authorized retailers is the only way to play.

As a relatively new lottery game, Lucky for Life likely has many years of growth ahead building jackpots and creating millionaires across Montana and the country. The future looks bright for this innovative lifetime prize game.


In summary, while still rare, there have been a number of substantial Lucky for Life jackpot wins in the past decade across Big Sky Country. A Butte man won the game’s coveted $1,000 per day for life prize back in 2017. And two earlier winners from Kalispell and Missoula claimed $25,000 a year for life prizes just months after Lucky for Life began in Montana. Beyond these jackpots, thousands of smaller prizes have also been won statewide.

With the current Lucky for Life jackpot now surpassing $7 million in value, interest in Montana is high for the next drawing on October 16. Some convenience stores report rising ticket sales lately as the pot grows.

Scoring Lucky for Life’s top prize requires immense luck, with odds around 1 in 30 million. But someone is eventually guaranteed to win the jackpot prize. Dedicated players continue trying unique strategies and number picks in hopes of a big Montana victory.

Responsible play is always important, as winning odds are ultimately low. But Lucky for Life remains a popular game for adding some fun and excitement to the daydream of lifelong financial security. And with potential improvements down the road, Lucky for Life may get even better in the years ahead. The next millionaire could be just one ticket away!