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What is fast Play in the Illinois Lottery?

Fast Play is a type of instant win game offered by the Illinois Lottery where players can instantly win prizes that range from the price of the ticket up to top prizes worth millions of dollars. Fast Play tickets are printed on demand at lottery retail locations and offer a variety of play styles and price points to choose from.

How Fast Play Works

Fast Play games are simple and straightforward to play. When you purchase a Fast Play ticket, the prize you can win is already predetermined and printed on the ticket. So as soon as you buy a Fast Play ticket, you’ll instantly know if you won a prize or not. There are no drawings or waiting periods to find out if you won.

Fast Play games range in price from $1 to $30 per ticket. The more you pay for a Fast Play ticket, the larger the prizes you could potentially win. For example, the $1 games have top prizes from $100 to $5,000. The $2 games have top prizes from $500 to $25,000. The $5 games have top prizes from $1,000 to $100,000. And the $10, $20 and $30 games have top prizes worth millions of dollars.

Each Fast Play ticket will show the prize amounts available to win and how many of those prizes remain for that particular game. Unclaimed top prizes for a Fast Play game can grow over time, so a game that has been on sale for awhile may have larger prizes available than a newer game.

Types of Fast Play Games

There are a few main types of Fast Play games offered by the Illinois Lottery:

Match 3 or More

These Fast Play games work similarly to bingo or Tic Tac Toe. Your ticket will display a grid of numbers, symbols, or images. If you match 3 or more in a row, column, or diagonal you win a prize. The more you match, the higher your prize.

Reveal Prize Amounts

For these Fast Play games your ticket is covered with scratch-off spots. When you scratch them off, you’ll reveal dollar amounts, symbols, or text that display the prize you’ve won.

Add Up

Some Fast Play tickets instruct you to add up a series of numbers or prize amounts revealed on your ticket. The total of the numbers matched to a prize table will determine what you’ve won.

Match Numbers, Symbols, Etc.

On these Fast Play tickets, you need to match numbers, symbols, playing card suits, or other items to win prizes. They are similar to bingo or match 3 type games but often have additional ways to win prizes.

How To Purchase Fast Play Tickets

Purchasing a Fast Play ticket is quick and easy. Just visit any Illinois Lottery retailer, select which Fast Play game you want to play, and ask the cashier for a ticket. You can pay with cash or use your credit/debit card at most locations. The ticket prints immediately with your numbers, symbols, or prize amounts shown.

If playing one of the revealing or matching style Fast Play games, you can scratch off the ticket right at the counter to reveal if you won a prize. For the add up style games, you’ll need to total your amounts or numbers displayed to determine what you’ve won. Prize amounts are clearly laid out in the prize tables printed on each Fast Play ticket.

It’s important to note that Fast Play tickets cannot be canceled. Once a ticket prints, it cannot be voided or refunded even if you made a mistake and didn’t mean to purchase that game.

Claiming Fast Play Prizes

For Fast Play prizes up to $600, you can cash out right at the lottery retailer where you purchased your ticket. Just hand your winning ticket to the cashier to verify and receive your prize amount.

If you win over $600 on a Fast Play ticket, you’ll need to claim your prize at one of the Illinois Lottery customer service centers. Bring your signed winning ticket and a photo ID. You’ll fill out a claim form and the lottery will verify your winnings and provide a check if valid.

There is no time limit to claim Fast Play prizes as long as the game is still active and has not ended. Once a Fast Play game ends, you’ll have one year from the official end of game date to claim any prizes.

Advantages of Fast Play

There are several advantages that Fast Play games have over traditional lottery draw games:

  • Instant gratification – You don’t have to wait for a drawing to find out if you won.
  • Better odds – Your overall chances of winning any prize are typically higher on Fast Play games than on draw games.
  • Quick play – Buy your ticket and know right away if you won rather than fill out play slips.
  • Variety – New Fast Play games are launched frequently so there are always new themes and ways to play.
  • Lower prices – Fast Play games start as low as $1 compared to Powerball and Mega Millions tickets costing $2 or $3.

Top Fast Play Games in Illinois

While the Illinois Lottery is continually releasing new Fast Play games, these are some of the more popular titles that have been on sale for awhile now:

$2 Lucky 7s

This is a match 3 style game where you need to match 3 identical symbols in a row to win. Some of the top prizes over $20,000 have already been claimed but there are still thousands of smaller prizes available.

$5 Money Vault

Scratch the vault symbols on your ticket to reveal prizes up to $100,000. Find a “win” symbol and win double the prize shown for that symbol. There are over $2 million in prizes still unclaimed.

$5 Extreme Cash

Match identical symbols to win up to $150,000 on this Fast Play game. Matching 3 like amounts wins that prize amount. Matching 3 “Wild” symbols wins double the corresponding prize.

$20 Lucky Loot

With 4 top prizes of $5 million, this is one of the highest paying Fast Play games. Match treasure map symbols to win up to the top prize. Over $50 million in total prizes remain unclaimed currently.

$30 Ultimate Million

The newest $30 Fast Play game with 6 top prizes of $15 million! Match winning numbers or find a “money bag” symbol to win the prize shown. Still tons of smaller prizes from $30 up to $1 million available too.

Finding Winning Fast Play Tickets

Since all Fast Play prizes are predetermined, where and when you buy your ticket doesn’t matter. Players have equal odds of winning on any given Fast Play game no matter where or when you purchase.

The Illinois Lottery does not release information on where winning Fast Play tickets have been sold. So there really is no way to know which stores have sold the most winning tickets recently.

Your best bet is to buy Fast Play tickets from places that have high overall lottery ticket sales volume. Retailers that sell more tickets are more likely to sell more winning tickets simply because more tickets are being purchased there in general.

Unclaimed Fast Play Prizes

For various reasons, some Fast Play prizes go unclaimed. Maybe a winning ticket was lost or damaged beyond recognition. In some cases, players don’t realize they actually won a major prize on a Fast Play ticket.

Any Fast Play prizes that remain unclaimed after the game ends will be returned to the State of Illinois per lottery rules. For draw games like Powerball and Mega Millions, unclaimed prizes get returned to the pool for future prizes after a year. But for Fast Play games, any unclaimed prizes go back to the state once the game officially ends.

So be sure to carefully check any Fast Play tickets you have lying around once a game ends. And pay attention to the lottery’s announcements about which games are expiring so you don’t miss out on any potential prizes you may have won.

Odds of Winning Fast Play Games

The odds of winning a Fast Play prize depend on the price point and style of each particular game. The $1 and $2 games will typically have better odds than the higher priced $5, $10, $20, and $30 Fast Play options.

Overall though, your odds of winning any prize on a Fast Play game are better than trying to win a jackpot prize on a traditional draw game like Powerball or Mega Millions. The trade-off is that the maximum prizes are much lower on Fast Play than on those massive draw games.

It’s important when playing Fast Play games to not just focus on the huge top prizes. At odds of 1 in 1.2 million to 1 in 2 million, your chances of hitting those jackpots are astronomical. But the smaller prizes ranging from the price of your ticket up to hundreds or thousands of dollars have much more reasonable odds of 1 in 20, 1 in 50, or 1 in 100.

New Fast Play Games

The Illinois Lottery constantly debuts new Fast Play games offering different themes, ways to play, and prize amounts. This keeps the product line fresh and exciting for players.

Some upcoming Fast Play games expected to launch soon in Illinois include:

  • Ruby Riches – A $30 game with 6 top prizes of $15 million and overall odds to win any prize of 1 in 2.60.
  • 777 Fortunes – A $20 game with 4 top prizes of $5 million and overall odds to win any prize of 1 in 3.95.
  • Wild Numbers – A $10 game with odds to win any prize of 1 in 4.68 and a top prize of $300,000.

Be sure to check your Illinois Lottery retailer often to see when fun new Fast Play games like these hit the shelves. There are always fresh options becoming available to add variety to your lottery play.

Most Common Fast Play Winners

The smaller tier prizes you can win on Fast Play games in the $30 to $100 range are the most commonly won. With odds typically from around 1 in 20 to 1 in 100 of hitting these lower prizes, they get claimed by players every day.

Match 3 like symbols or amounts in a row on a ticket tend to produce the most winners. Or tickets where you have to find 3 identical prizes in any of the scratch-off spots.

Of course we all dream of hitting those multi-million dollar top Fast Play prizes. But realistically, the smaller prizes are what you’ll most likely encounter if you play Fast Play games frequently.

Biggest Fast Play Prizes

While massive jackpots well over $1 billion can be won playing huge draw games Powerball and Mega Millions, Fast Play prizes don’t reach quite that astronomical level. But players have won some very substantial prizes in the multi-million dollar range on Fast Play:

  • A $15 million top prize was awarded on the $30 Ultimate Millions game in 2021.
  • A lucky player won one of the $10 million top prizes on the $20 Gold Rush game in 2020.
  • Earlier in 2020, a $5 million top prize was claimed on the $20 Cash Wheel game.
  • A $4 million prize was hit on the $20 Cash Wheel game when it first launched back in 2018.

Those are some pretty great payouts from just simple instant Fast Play tickets! And with new games constantly being added offering million dollar plus prizes, more huge wins are likely just around the corner.

Increasing Your Fast Play Winning Chances

All Fast Play prizes are predetermined, so there really isn’t much you can do to improve your odds of winning versus anyone else buying tickets for a particular game.

But there are some general tips that may give you a slight advantage when playing Fast Play games:

  • Play games that have been out awhile rather than brand new ones. Older Fast Play games will have more unclaimed top and larger prizes left.
  • Buy multiple tickets in a row from the same pack rather than random tickets form different packs. Prize patterns tend to run in blocks so tickets close together could have similar results.
  • Try higher priced Fast Play games. They generally have better overall odds and more high-end prizes.
  • Scan your tickets carefully for easy to miss symbols or small matching numbers. It’s easy to overlook winning patterns if you aren’t diligent.

But again, your overall chances of winning Fast Play prizes are the same as for anyone else. Short of being able to predict winning patterns and when new packs with lots of top prizes will be shipped to retailers, there isn’t much you can do to increase your odds.


Fast Play instant win lottery games provide easy, fun way to play with a chance to win prizes instantly. With games frequently added and new prizes available, Fast Play tickets are always fresh and exciting.

While the huge multi-million dollar top prizes get all the attention, your best chances are at winning the smaller tier prizes. Matching just 3 symbols or prize amounts can net you a nice payout.

Fast Play is simple and straightforward. Just pick a price point and game theme you like, buy a ticket, and instantly scratch or reveal to see if you’ve won. It’s an entertaining break from traditional lottery draw games that makes for a nice change of pace.