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What time is the cash for life drawing in New Jersey?

Quick Answer

The Cash for Life drawing in New Jersey takes place every night at 9:21 PM Eastern Time. The drawings are held by the New Jersey Lottery and offer a top prize of $1,000 per day for life.

When and Where the Cash for Life Drawings Take Place

The New Jersey Cash for Life drawings take place every day of the week, 365 days a year. This includes weekends and holidays.

The drawings are conducted at the New Jersey Lottery’s drawing studio located in Lawrenceville, NJ. This is where the lottery draws all of its various games, including well-known games like Powerball and Mega Millions.

Each Cash for Life drawing is held at 9:21 PM Eastern Time in the evening. This time was specifically chosen to allow players from across the country to enter their tickets into that day’s drawing.

Cash for Life is currently offered in New Jersey and 12 other states. All participating states hold their drawings simultaneously at 9:21 PM ET. This ensures fairness as all players are entering the same drawing regardless of their location.

How to Play Cash for Life

Playing Cash for Life requires choosing 5 numbers from 1 to 60, plus 1 “Cash Ball” number from 1 to 4.

Each play costs $2. Players can choose their own numbers or select the quick pick option to have the numbers randomly generated. Tickets can be purchased until 8:45 PM Eastern Time on the night of the drawing.

To win the top prize, a ticket must match all 5 main numbers plus the Cash Ball. The odds of doing so are around 1 in 21 million. Lower tier prizes are awarded for matching some but not all of the numbers.

The top prize in Cash for Life is $1,000 per day for the remainder of the winner’s natural life. A winner may choose a lump sum cash payout of $7 million instead of the lifetime payouts.

Smaller prizes range from $2 for matching just the Cash Ball up to $2,500 per week for life for matching 4 main numbers plus the Cash Ball.

Other New Jersey Lottery Drawings

In addition to Cash for Life, the New Jersey Lottery holds drawings for several other popular lottery games:

  • Powerball – Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 PM ET
  • Mega Millions – Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:00 PM ET
  • Pick-3 and Pick-4 – Twice daily at 12:57 PM and 7:57 PM ET
  • Jersey Cash 5 – Daily at 7:57 PM ET
  • Pick-6 – Mondays and Thursdays at 7:57 PM ET

Powerball and Mega Millions are multi-state games played across the country. The other games are exclusive to New Jersey.

All drawings take place at the New Jersey Lottery’s studios using certified drawing equipment. Drawings are streamed live online for transparency. Results can also be checked at or on the official NJ Lottery app.

The History of Cash for Life in New Jersey

Cash for Life was introduced in New Jersey on September 16, 2013. It became the third lifetime prize game offered by the New Jersey Lottery.

The game was created to fill a specific niche in the lottery market. Cash for Life offers better overall odds of winning a lifetime prize compared to games like Mega Millions and Powerball. The $1,000 a day payout also gives players more flexibility than the fixed annual payouts offered in other lifetime prize games.

Cash for Life was exclusively a New Jersey Lottery game for its first year. In June 2014, the game expanded to New York. Other states gradually began offering Cash for Life over the next several years. As of 2023, the game is available in 13 different states.

Since its inception, Cash for Life has awarded over 50 lifetime prizes to New Jersey players alone. In 2016, a $7 million top prize jackpot was hit and split between two tickets. The game continues to be popular for its compelling lifetime payouts and strong overall odds.

Biggest Jackpots in Cash for Life History

Here are the largest jackpots awarded in Cash for Life since the game debuted in 2013:

Amount Date Winning State
$7 million August 31, 2016 New Jersey
$7 million July 1, 2015 New York
$5.75 million July 19, 2022 New York
$4 million March 1, 2017 New York
$3.27 million September 16, 2020 Pennsylvania

As shown, two of the top prizes were $7 million jackpots hit in New Jersey and New York. Other big payouts have gone to winners in states like Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Indiana since Cash for Life expanded across the country.

The current annuitized jackpot for Cash for Life resets to $1,000 per day for life after a top prize win. However, the cash value of that lifetime payout always starts at a minimum of $7 million.

Odds of Winning Cash for Life

Cash for Life offers relatively good odds compared to games like Powerball or Mega Millions. Here are the odds for each prize:

Prize Odds
$1,000 per day for life 1 in 21,846,048
$1,000 per week for life 1 in 7,282,016
$2,500 per week for life 1 in 1,813,027
$1,000 per month for life 1 in 247,412
$250 per month for life 1 in 132,224
$4,000 1 in 20,111
$150 1 in 9,631
$50 1 in 673
$25 1 in 245
$10 1 in 82
$4 1 in 38
$2 1 in 23

As you can see, smaller prizes have odds in the 1 in 100 range. Even the $1,000 a month for life prize is an attainable 1 in 247,412. While the jackpot is unlikely, Cash for Life offers exciting prizes at multiple levels.

Biggest Non-Jackpot Prizes Won in New Jersey

For players thinking they’ll never hit the full jackpot, Cash for Life still provides the chance for significant secondary prizes. Here are some of the largest non-jackpot prizes awarded to New Jersey winners:

  • $2,500 a week for life – Won on July 19, 2021 (Somerset County)
  • $2,500 a week for life – Won on September 6, 2020 (Mercer County)
  • $2,500 a week for life – Won on January 15, 2020 (Ocean County)
  • $1,000 a week for life – Won on June 17, 2019 (Middlesex County)
  • $1,000 a week for life – Won on January 11, 2017 (Atlantic County)
  • $250 a month for life – Won on July 8, 2020 (Camden County)
  • $250 a month for life – Won on November 7, 2018 (Bergen County)
  • $250 a month for life – Won on December 23, 2016 (Union County)

These types of sizable secondary prizes give players the chance to win life-changing amounts of cash without having to beat near-impossible jackpot odds. With multiple ways to win, Cash for Life offers excitement for players of all levels.

Strategy and Tips for Winning Cash for Life

Cash for Life is entirely a game of chance, but there are some tips players can follow to maximize their odds:

  • Buy multiple tickets – More tickets equals more chances to win.
  • Join a pool or syndicate – Group tickets split costs while increasing odds.
  • Mix up your numbers – Don’t use birthdays or other common numbers.
  • Use a balanced mix – Combine high, low, and mid-range numbers.
  • Check your tickets – Make sure to verify you haven’t won a prize.
  • Play consistently – Regular play increases your long-term odds.
  • Take advantage of promotions – Special deals like extra plays can boost odds.
  • Claim prizes responsibly – Consult professionals to handle large windfalls.

The most important tip is simply to gamble responsibly and play for fun. Never spend more than you can afford to lose when playing the lottery.

How to Claim a Cash for Life Prize

For prizes under $599, you can cash winning tickets at any New Jersey Lottery retailer. Prizes $600 or over need to be claimed at one of the Lottery’s district offices, found in Trenton, Hackensack, East Orange, Hamilton, and Lawrenceville.

You will need to fill out and sign a claim form and supply valid ID and your Social Security number. Keep in mind there is a 1-year deadline to claim prizes.

Jackpot and lifetime prizes can only be claimed at lottery headquarters in Lawrenceville. You have a year to decide between the cash or annual payment options for lifetime payouts.

Make sure to sign your winning ticket immediately. Unsigned tickets are not valid if lost or stolen. You may want to consult tax, legal, and financial experts before proceeding with a sizable lottery prize claim.

Paying Taxes on Winnings in New Jersey

Like most states, lottery winnings in New Jersey are subject to state and federal taxes. Prizes over $10,000 will have 24% automatically withheld for federal taxes at the time of claiming.

You will owe state taxes on top of what is withheld. New Jersey has tiered state tax rates up to 10.75% depending on income level. You can expect to owe around 30% or more of a large lottery prize to taxes overall.

Consult a tax professional to determine your full tax liability. You may be able to reduce the amount owed by offsetting wins with gambling losses.

Lottery winnings also need to be reported as income on your taxes. You will receive a W2-G form showing the full amount won and taxes withheld.

Is the Cash for Life Drawing Rigged?

There is no evidence that the Cash for Life drawing is rigged. The New Jersey Lottery has strict security and testing standards in place to ensure fair drawings.

The drawing studio is under 24/7 video surveillance. All drawing equipment is routinely inspected and tested. Lottery officials, auditors, and a certified public accounting firm oversee every Cash for Life drawing.

The drawings use mechanical ball machines and tamper-evident drawing containers. Each ball weighs the same and has an equal chance of being selected.

Independent auditors witness the drawing machine calibration checks before each drawing. All drawing results must be certified fair and accurate before payouts are authorized.

Computer programs also monitor for statistical anomalies in drawing results. Various layers of security and oversight help guarantee an honest, random drawing outcome. Lottery games like Cash for Life rely on public trust and fairness.

Notable Winners of Cash for Life in New Jersey

Since Cash for Life started in 2013, there have been dozens of winners across the prize tiers in New Jersey. Here are some noteworthy winners:

  • James Walsh – $1,000 a day for life – January 2020
  • Bob Sphar – $1,000 a week for life – December 2017
  • Floyd Mayweather – $5,000 – September 2014
  • Elizabeth Sullivan – $250 a month for life – June 2016
  • Tim Poissant – $2,500 a week for life – August 2015
  • Anthony Carosielli – 4th $1,000 a day for life winner – June 2017
  • Glenda McGrath – 10th $1,000 a week for life winner – November 2021
  • Diane Malloy – 15th $2,500 a week for life winner – February 2022

These winners represent just a sample of the many New Jersey residents who have won Cash for Life prizes. For 10 years and counting, the game has created countless big winners across the Garden State.

Scams and Frauds Related to Cash for Life

As with any lottery, players should be aware of potential Cash for Life scams and frauds. Common types of scams include:

  • “You’ve already won” scams – These solicit an upfront fee to collect a fake prize.
  • Lottery club scams – Fraudulent “clubs” that take fees with no real benefits.
  • Subscription scams – Charging for fake tips, systems or insights.
  • Fake lottery emails or mail – Asking for personal info to claim bogus winnings.
  • Ticket resale scams – Reselling used, altered or photocopied tickets.

You can avoid most scams by remembering that real lotteries don’t require any upfront fees to collect winnings. If contacted about a prize, verify directly with the New Jersey Lottery before providing any personal details.

Be wary of any unsolicited communications regarding lottery prizes or offers. Legitimate lotteries won’t contact you to announce you’ve won a prize you didn’t enter.

Protect your personal information from being used in identity theft schemes. Never pay for lottery “services” promising better odds or guaranteed wins. These types of scams sell false hope for profit.

Resources for Gambling Addiction in New Jersey

For some, buying lottery tickets or gambling can become an unhealthy addiction. If you or someone you know shows signs of problem gambling, many resources exist to help:

  • 1-800-GAMBLER National Hotline – 24/7 confidential hotline.
  • New Jersey Council on Compulsive Gambling – Help and resources for recovery.
  • Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services – State-sponsored treatment program.
  • Gamblers Anonymous – 12-step program modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • Individual therapist or addiction counselor – Seek professional one-on-one support.
  • Rehab programs – Inpatient and outpatient programs for recovery.

Signs of problem gambling include financial issues, family conflicts over gambling, gambling for longer amounts of time, failed attempts to cut back on gambling, irritability when trying to stop, and loss of interest in other activities.

If you see these behaviors in yourself or a loved one, get help by utilizing the resources above. Treatment and support exist to overcome gambling addictions.


The New Jersey Lottery’s Cash for Life offers residents a unique lottery game with a compelling lifetime payout. Twice daily at 9:21 PM ET, one lucky player can win $1,000 per day for the rest of their life.

With strong overall odds and lots of ways to win, Cash for Life has delivered exciting wins to thousands of New Jersey players. By playing responsibly and being aware of scams, you too can enjoy the experience of participating in the Cash for Life drawings for a chance at a lifetime of winnings. Just don’t forget to buy your ticket before 8:45 PM!