The Connecticut Lottery (aka CT Lottery) has been running successfully since the early 1970s. It is part of the Multi-State Lottery Association and offers five in-state lottery games and three multi-state ones.
This page covers how CT Lottery games work and your options for buying tickets, as well as the rules for each of its games, the history of the lottery in the state and other gambling options in Connecticut.
Connecticut online lottery
You can’t buy lottery tickets online through the official CT Lottery website. The closest thing it has done to digitize lottery purchases are the lottery ticket vending machines that you can find in dozens of retail stores across the state.
The CT Lottery also offers an app for iOS and Android. While you won’t be able to buy tickets via the Connecticut lottery app, it does provide several features.
For example, the app allows you to check the winning numbers of the previous draw. You can also scan your tickets to see whether you’ve won. The retail locator will check your current location and tell you the closest retailer where you can purchase a ticket.
What lottery games can I play in Connecticut?
Connecticut is one of the charter members of the Multi-State Lottery Association. As such, it offers two of the most popular multi-state games — Mega Millions and Powerball. Additionally, the CT Lottery is one of 25 state lotteries that offer the Lucky for Life lottery game.
As far as local games go, you can find four — Lotto!, Cash 5, Play3 and Play4. The CT Lottery also offers keno, scratch games and fast-play games.
Connecticut Lottery multi-state draw games
The CT Lottery has been a member of the Multi-State Lottery Association since 1995, when it started selling Powerball tickets. At this time, there was a rule that association members could offer only one of the two multi-state games.
However, in 2009, an agreement allowed association members to add the second game. In Connecticut’s case, this was Mega Millions, which became available in the state in 2010. Connecticut also added Lucky for Life in 2009.
The rules for Powerball are as follows: You select five numbers from 1 to 69 each and a single Powerball number from 1 to 26. Tickets cost $2 per play, but for an additional dollar, you can also select the Power Play feature that lets you multiply your prize two, three, four, five or 10 times. The 10x multiplier is only available when the advertised jackpot is below the $150 million mark. Also, jackpot prizes aren’t eligible for the multiplier.
There are nine ways to win. Matching only the Powerball number or one regular number plus the Powerball number will win you $4. If you match all five numbers and get the Powerball number, you will win the jackpot. If someone else matches the same numbers as you, you will share the jackpot prize.
Players can pick the numbers manually or select the quick pick option to receive random numbers. With the advance action option, you can play up to 26 consecutive draws and get them for the price of 25.
The record for a Powerball win in Connecticut is $254.2 million. The draw took place on November 2, 2011, and the lucky numbers were 12, 14, 34, 39 and 46, with a Powerball number of 36.
Connecticut Powerball key points
- Powerball costs $2 per play.
- There are nine ways to win.
- Connecticut’s record for a Powerball jackpot is $254.2 million.
Connecticut Mega Millions
The rules for Mega Millions are similar to those for Powerball. Players select five numbers from 1 to 70 and one Mega Ball number from 1 to 25. You can choose your numbers yourself or have the quick pick feature give you random ones.
The cost of one play is $2, and you can have up to five plays per ticket. The advance action feature allows you to play 26 draws in advance while paying the price of only 25 draws.
For $1 more, you can select the Megaplier option, which determines how many times a prize will multiply. It can be 2x, 3x, 4x or 5x. This counts for all prizes except the main jackpot.
Speaking of jackpots, you will have to match all five numbers and the Mega Ball number to win one. Nobody from Connecticut has won the Mega Millions jackpot. The largest prize that anyone from the state has won is $5 million.
Connecticut Mega Millions key points
- Mega Millions costs $2 per play.
- There are nine ways to win.
- The biggest prize that anyone in the state has won is $5 million.
Connecticut Lucky for Life
Lucky for Life was introduced to the Connecticut Lottery in 2009, and Connecticut is one of 25 states where this game is available.
Instead of rewarding lump sums, the game pays winners in increments for the rest of their lives (hence the name). The top two prizes are $1,000 a day for life and $25,000 a year for life.
One play costs $2. You’ll select five numbers from 1 to 48 and one Lucky Ball number from 1 to 18. Like other games, Lucky for Life allows you to either choose the numbers on your own or choose the quick pick option.
Just like the other two multi-state games, Lucky for Life has the advance action feature that allows for 26 consecutive players for the price of 25. Apart from the top two prizes, you can win in eight other ways, ranging from Lucky Ball only ($4) to four numbers plus the Lucky Ball ($500).
You can also choose to receive lump sums for the top two prizes: $5.75 million for the first prize and $390,000 for the second prize.
Connecticut Lucky for Life key points
- Tickets cost $2 per play.
- There are 10 ways to win.
- The jackpot is $1,000 a day for life or a $5.75 million cash option.
Connecticut multi-state lottery draw times
- Powerball — Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 p.m. (tickets close at 10 p.m.)
- Mega Millions — Tuesdays and Fridays at 11 p.m. (tickets close at 10:45 p.m.)
- Lucky for Life — Mondays and Thursdays at 10:39 p.m. (tickets close at 9:30 p.m.)
Connecticut state draw games
While the multi-state lottery games are unmatched in popularity, people from Connecticut can also play state-based games. Here are the details on the four options:
- Lotto! — Lotto! is one of the CT Lottery’s oldest in-house games, dating back to 1983. You need to match six numbers from the pool of 1 to 44 to win the jackpot. Matching three, four or five numbers also results in a prize. The jackpot is usually over $1 million, and to win it, you will have to overcome odds of 1 in 7,059,052. The ticket costs $1 per play.
- Cash 5 — Cash 5 is a pari-mutuel lottery game that comes with a fixed jackpot of $100,000 with odds of 1 in 324,632. To win, you need to match five numbers from 1 to 35. The tickets cost $1 per play, but for an additional 50 cents, you can add the kicker option and choose one more number that is different from the other five. The kicker adds four more winning opportunities, bringing the total to seven ways to win.
- Play3 — Attempt to create winning combinations from three numbers. A ticket can cost anywhere from 50 cents to $5, in 50 cent increments. You can also add the Wild Ball option to double your wager. The wagers include straight (three numbers in exact order); three-way box (three numbers with two being the same in any order); six-way box (three different numbers in any order); front, back or split pair (paired numbers in exact order); straight/three-way box; and straight/six-way box. The Wild Ball serves to replace one of the numbers drawn. The prizes range from $25 to $25,000.
- Play4 — Play4 is similar to Play3, except with four numbers instead of three. Straight and pair wagers are the same, but since there are more combinations, there are more box wagers, including the four-way box, six-way box, 12-way box and 24-way box. Straight/box bets are also available, and you can use the Mega Ball option, as well. Play4 costs between 50 cents and $5 depending on your wagers, and the top prize is $25,000.
Connecticut state lottery draw times
- Lotto! — Tuesdays and Fridays at 10:28 p.m.
- Cash 5 — Every day at 10:29 p.m.
- Play3 — Twice a day at 1:57 p.m. and 10:29 p.m.
- Play4 — Twice a day at 1:57 p.m. and 10:29 p.m.
Connecticut scratch tickets
The Connecticut Lottery features 82 scratch games, although games are added and replaced all the time, so that number can shift. Players can scratch their way to a lucky win with just $1, although some of the bigger prizes are only available on tickets that cost $20 or $30.
The most valuable game is the $5,000,000 Ultimate and several scratchers that offer a $1 million annuity, such as Premiere Play, Millionaire, Mega Multiplier!, Connecticut Millionaires Club and Chrome.
A new category of lottery scratch games called Fast Play became available in 2020. These are instant scratch games that are available on-demand through a self-service CT Lottery vending machine or terminal.
Other gambling options in Connecticut
Apart from the lottery, there are several other gambling options in Connecticut available. Horse racing and greyhound racing are available at 16 off-track betting venues across the state, together with jai alai. Charitable gambling is legal as well, and those looking for some classic casino action can visit the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard and Mohegan Sun in Uncasville. These are the only two tribal casinos in the state. Commercial casinos are not allowed. The minimum gambling age in Connecticut is 21.
Connecticut Lottery history
The Connecticut Lottery was formed in 1971 and sold its first tickets in February 1972. The first game was simply dubbed The Lottery, and was later replaced by what is now known as Lotto! (also called Connecticut Lotto and Classic Lotto). Lotto! was later joined by Cash 5 and the two Play games.
In 1995, the CT Lottery became a part of the Multi-State Lottery Association and started offering Powerball. It added two other multi-state games, Lucky for Life and Mega Millions, in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
During its five-decade-long existence, the CT Lottery has contributed over $10 billion to various programs and causes in the state, including education, public safety, public health and libraries.