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How do you play Pick 4 on PA Lottery?

The Pennsylvania Lottery’s Pick 4 game is a daily drawing game where players try to pick the four-digit number that is drawn. Pick 4 offers a few different ways to play and win prizes. Here is an overview of how to play Pick 4 on the PA Lottery.

The Basics of Pick 4

Pick 4 drawings are held twice daily, once in the afternoon (around 1:30 pm) and once in the evening (around 7:00 pm). To play, you simply choose four numbers between 0 and 9. There are a few different ways you can play:

  • Straight – Pick the exact order of the four digits
  • Box – Pick the four digits in any order
  • Straight/Box – Play both straight and box options on the same ticket
  • Front Pair – Pick the first two digits in exact order
  • Back Pair – Pick the last two digits in exact order

The minimum play amount is $.50 per play. You can play multiple tickets for multiple drawings in advance if you wish. Tickets can be purchased at authorized PA Lottery retailers across the state or via the Lottery’s website or mobile app.

Prizes and Odds

The prizes you can win depend on how you play Pick 4:


  • Match all four digits in exact order: $5,000
  • Odds of winning: 1 in 10,000


  • Match all four digits in any order: $1,200
  • Odds of winning: 1 in 417


  • Match in exact order: $5,000
  • Match in any order: $1,200
  • Odds of winning straight: 1 in 10,000
  • Odds of winning box: 1 in 417

Front Pair

  • Match first two digits in exact order: $500
  • Odds of winning: 1 in 100

Back Pair

  • Match last two digits in exact order: $500
  • Odds of winning: 1 in 100

As you can see, playing box offers much better odds than playing straight, but the payout is lower. Front and back pairs offer good odds but lower payouts than straight or box. You can weigh the pros and cons of each option based on your preferences and budget.

Where to Buy Tickets

There are a few ways to purchase PA Pick 4 tickets:

  • At a lottery retailer – Over 9,500 licensed lottery retailers across PA sell tickets. Look for the official PA Lottery sign.
  • Online – Create an account at or via the PA Lottery Official App to buy tickets online.
  • By phone – Call 1-800-692-7481 to purchase tickets via phone.
  • Subscription – Set up recurring plays so you never miss a drawing.

You must be 18 or older to buy lottery tickets in Pennsylvania. Tickets sales close at 7:30 pm for the evening drawing and 12:50 pm for the afternoon drawing. Double check your tickets before leaving the retailer to ensure accuracy.

Claiming Prizes

For prizes under $2,500, you can redeem at any PA Lottery retailer. Just bring your winning ticket to the retailer. You’ll fill out a claim form and receive your prize amount.

For prizes $2,500 and over, you’ll need to claim at a Lottery office or by mail. Prizes of $2,500 to $24,999 can be claimed at Lottery district offices. Prizes $25,000 and over must be claimed at the Lottery headquarters in Harrisburg.

For mail claims, send your signed winning ticket, claim form, and copies of your tax info and ID to:

PA Lottery Headquarters
1200 Fulling Mill Road, Suite One

Middletown, PA 17057

Claims must be made within one year of the draw date. Prizes expire after one year if not claimed. Lottery winnings are taxable income, so be sure to report when filing your taxes.

Tips for Playing

Here are some tips to consider when playing PA Pick 4:

  • Consider playing straight and box on the same ticket to increase your odds.
  • Look for number patterns and trends from past drawings to guide your picks.
  • Use key dates like birthdays, anniversaries, ages as number ideas.
  • Mix up your number combinations – play repeats like 1122 or sequences like 1234.
  • Try a Quick Pick and let the computer randomly pick your numbers.
  • Join a lottery pool or lottery club to share play costs.
  • Set a budget and stick to it – only gamble what you can afford to lose.

Lottery Drawings

PA Pick 4 drawings are held every day at around 1:30 pm and 7:00 pm eastern time. Here is how the drawings work:

  • Drawings are held using ball drawing machines with four sets of balls numbered 0 to 9.
  • Four balls are selected from one set at a time to create the winning Pick 4 number.
  • The drawings are observed by security and lottery officials.
  • The results are posted online and at retailers shortly after the drawing.
  • Drawings are live streamed online for transparency.

If a drawing is unable to be held at the designated time, a backup drawing time will be announced. Check for any drawing updates.

Claiming a Winning Ticket

Here are the steps for claiming PA Pick 4 prizes:

  1. Sign the back of your ticket to secure it.
  2. Keep your ticket in a safe place until ready to claim.
  3. For small prizes under $2,500 take your ticket to any lottery retailer.
  4. For prizes of $2,500 or more, claim at a lottery district office or by mail.
  5. Complete the claim form and provide tax ID and other info.
  6. If claiming by mail, make copies of the ticket and claim form.
  7. Prizes can be claimed up to one year from the draw date.
  8. The PA Lottery will confirm and validate the winning ticket.
  9. Prizes will be paid out after the claim is processed.

Be sure to double check your ticket to avoid errors. Lottery retailers and offices can assist if you have any questions about claiming prizes.

Remaining Anonymous

For larger Pick 4 jackpots, you may wish to remain anonymous when claiming:

  • Prizes over $250,000 allow you to request anonymity.
  • The Lottery will not disclose your identity to media or public.
  • Your name and hometown cannot be released without consent.
  • To claim anonymously, indicate on the claim form.
  • You still must provide tax ID and other info to the Lottery.
  • Talk to a lawyer before claiming to understand your rights.

This allows you to avoid publicity if desired. Make sure you consider this option before revealing a big win.

Odds of Winning

The chances of winning a Pick 4 prize depend on the type of play:

Play Type Odds
Straight 1 in 10,000
Box 1 in 417
Front Pair 1 in 100
Back Pair 1 in 100

As you can see, playing box gives you the best odds, while straight is more of a longshot. Overall, Pick 4 odds are much better than games like Powerball or Mega Millions.

Payout of Prizes

Pick 4 prizes are paid out in lump sum upon verification of your claim:

Play Type Payout
Straight $5,000
Box $1,200
Front Pair $500
Back Pair $500

For large jackpots, you can choose to receive an annuity paid out over time. State and federal taxes will be withheld before you receive your prize.

Unclaimed Prizes

Prizes that go unclaimed are kept by the Pennsylvania Lottery:

  • Prizes expire one year after the draw date if unclaimed.
  • The money goes back to the lottery fund for future games and programs.
  • Hundreds of thousands of dollars can go unclaimed annually.
  • Be sure to check your tickets carefully to avoid missing a prize.
  • Claiming mistakes are common, so verify you have a non-winner.
  • Signing the ticket and keeping it secure prevents losing out.

So always check your Pick 4 tickets promptly to ensure you do not miss out on any potential prizes or jackpots.

Taxes on Winnings

Lottery winnings are considered taxable income, so taxes will be due on any Pick 4 prizes:

  • Federal taxes – 24% flat tax rate is withheld.
  • State taxes – 3.07% is withheld for PA state taxes.
  • Prizes are reported to the IRS on a W2-G form.
  • Taxes vary if you take annual payments vs. lump sum.
  • Consult a tax professional to understand tax liability.
  • You are required to provide tax ID information when claiming.

So be sure to factor taxes into your winnings. And how you choose to take your prize will impact how much tax is due.

Important Notes

Here are some other important notes about playing Pick 4 in Pennsylvania:

  • Must be 18 or older to play or claim prizes.
  • Credit cards cannot be used to buy tickets in PA.
  • Lottery winnings are not subject to PA state or local taxes.
  • Tickets are bearer instruments – signed tickets belong to the owner.
  • Provide valid ID and social security number when claiming prizes.
  • Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER for help.

Check for the official rules and additional lottery information. And remember to always play responsibly.

Strategies for Winning

While Pick 4 outcomes are random, here are some strategies that may help increase your odds:

  • Analyze number frequency – Look for digits that are hot or due to hit based on past draws.
  • Box the 5-way – Select four digits and play all combinations to get five box wagers.
  • Play repeating numbers – Try pairs like 11, 22, etc which have a higher probability.
  • Mix it up – Don’t play just one type of combination, vary your picks.
  • Search for patterns – Some players track digits for recurring patterns or trends.

While Pick 4 is primarily a game of chance, using some creative strategies can help maximize your fun and potential winnings.

Cambio de Papel o El Pincito

Uno de los consiglios mas recomendados por los loteristas al cuando jugar la loteria Pick 4 en Pensylvania, es la tecnica conocida como “el cambio de papel” o en ingles “the Pinbit”.

Esta tecnica consiste en coger 2 o mas combitos y poner cada uno en un papel o boleto separado. En vez de poner los 2 o mas combitos en un solo boleto como usualmente se hace.

De esta manera, si uno de tus numeros sale en la loteria, te ganas el premio completo en vez de tener que dividirlo con los otros combitos como pasaria si estuvieran en un solo boleto.

Claro, esta tecnica cuesta un poco mas dinero por que terminas comprando mas boletos. Pero muchos loteristas profesionales creen que vale la pena para maximizar las ganancias.

Ejemplo del Cambio de Papel

Digamos que quieres jugar los siguientes 2 combitos en Pick 4:

  • 1234
  • 5678

En vez de poner los dos combitos en un solo boleto, los separas asi:

  • Boleto #1: 1234
  • Boleto #2: 5678

De esta manera, si sale por ejemplo 1234, te ganas los $5,000 completos, en vez de tener que dividir el premio si los dos combitos estuvieran juntos en un boleto.


The Pennsylvania Lottery’s Pick 4 game offers a fun and easy way to win up to $5,000 with a $0.50 play. To recap, you simply select four numbers, choose a play type like straight, box, or pairs, purchase a ticket, then see if your numbers match those drawn twice daily. With good prize odds and payouts, strategic play selection, and multiple ways to win, Pick 4 is a lottery game that is popular for many PA players. Remember to always gamble responsibly and have fun!