The Massachusetts General Court legalized gambling activities on Sept. 27, 1971, making Massachusetts one of the first mainland US states with a legal lottery. Over the years, the lottery has paid out over $92 billion in prizes, amassed over $131 billion in revenue and aided local communities with more than $28 billion.
Today, lottery lovers in Massachusetts can choose from among eight draw games, over 100 instant games, and various pull tabs and charitable games.
This page will dive into the specifics and the most prominent features of the Massachusetts Lottery. We’ll discuss different games, including how to play and where to buy tickets. We’ll also talk about other gambling options in Massachusetts and the lottery’s history.
Can I purchase lottery tickets online in Massachusetts?
No. Unfortunately, the Massachusetts Lottery’s official website doesn’t allow the purchase of single lottery tickets online. However, you do have the option of buying season tickets for draw games online. You can also place orders via phone at 781-519-7244. You can purchase season tickets in three-month, six-month and one-year increments.
There are even Android and iOS apps that offer some distinct benefits. For instance, you can scan your tickets to check whether you have a winning combination, check the current jackpots, view past and present draw results, find the nearest retailers and even watch some draw games on your mobile device.
The Massachusetts Lottery also offers its players a chance to join a VIP club, where they can use their non-winning tickets for various second-chance promotions.
What lottery games can I play in Massachusetts?
The Massachusetts Lottery currently offers three multi-state and three state-exclusive draw games, several pull tabs and some charitable games, including bingo, raffle and casino nights. The Massachusetts lottery games roster also includes over 100 instant games ranging from $1 to $30 a ticket.
Massachusetts Lottery multi-state draw games
The Bay State lottery features three major multi-state draw games — Powerball, Mega Millions and Lucky for Life.
Launched in 1992, Powerball has been available in many US states for close to three decades. Over the years, it has become one of the most popular lottery games in the US, with some of the highest jackpots. The Massachusetts State Lottery added Powerball in 2010.
The cost of a Powerball ticket is $2 per play, and you can buy tickets from licensed lottery retailers one hour before the draw at the latest.
When purchasing the ticket, you need to choose five numbers from 1 to 69 and one number from 1 to 26, known as the Powerball number. If you can’t think of a number combination you’d like to play, you can select the quick pick option, and the numbers will be selected for you at the terminal. For an additional dollar, you can choose the Power Play feature, which multiplies all your winnings except for the jackpot. You can enter the same number combination into multiple drawings.
Powerball offers nine ways to win, and the overall winning probability is one in 24.9, which is pretty good. Naturally, the likelihood of winning the jackpot is much, much lower, but if you are incredibly lucky, you can scoop some of the highest jackpots in the US. To achieve this, all five numbers that you choose, plus the Powerball number, need to match the numbers drawn.
Speaking of Powerball jackpots, the largest Powerball jackpot ever won in Massachusetts was $758.7 million on a Chicopee ticket.
Massachusetts Powerball key points
- Ticket cost: $2, plus $1 for the Power Play multiplier (optional).
- Nine ways to win a prize.
- Largest Massachusetts Powerball jackpot: $758.7 million.
Massachusetts Mega Millions
Mega Millions is another immensely popular multi-state lottery game. It began in 1996 in six states, including Massachusetts. Today, it is present in 45 states, the US Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia. Mega Millions drawings are held in Atlanta.
The cost of a Mega Millions ticket is the same as a Powerball ticket — $2 per play. You can purchase tickets from licensed lottery sales agents no later than 15 minutes before the drawing starts.
When purchasing the ticket, select five numbers from 1 to 70 and one Mega Ball number between 1 and 25. Alternatively, tick the quick pick box to have the lottery computer choose random numbers for you. An additional $1 per play brings you the Megaplier feature, which multiplies your non-jackpot prizes.
Finally, choose the number of drawings you’d like to enter the ticket into, and you’re good to go.
With Mega Millions, there are nine ways to win a prize. However, to win the jackpot, the numbers drawn must match all of your numbers, including the Mega Ball number.
The biggest ever Mega Millions jackpot won on a ticket bought in Massachusetts was $294 million, paid out in 2004. At the time of the lucky draw, this was also the largest jackpot on any Massachusetts Lottery game.
Nevertheless, this is not the biggest Mega Millions jackpot. The biggest single-ticket jackpot took place in South Carolina in 2018, and it was worth $1.537 billion.
Massachusetts Mega Millions key points
- Ticket cost: $2 plus $1 for the Megaplier multiplier (optional).
- Nine ways to win a prize.
- The largest Mega Millions jackpot ever won in Massachusetts: $294 million.
Massachusetts Lucky for Life
The Massachusetts Lucky for Life is a newer multi-state lottery game than Powerball and Mega Millions. It first appeared in Connecticut in 2009, and the Massachusetts Lottery added it in 2012. Lucky for Life is currently present in 25 jurisdictions and the District of Columbia, and still holds its drawings in Connecticut.
To play Lucky for Life, you must purchase a $2 ticket and mark five numbers from 1 to 48 and one number from 1 to 18, known as the Lucky Ball number. If you can’t decide on the number combination, choose the quick pick option.
As is the case with other multi-state draw games, you can also choose to enter your number combination in multiple subsequent drawings. Tickets are sold until one hour before the draw.
Lucky for Life offers 10 ways to win. The most fortunate players — those who match all six numbers, including the Lucky Ball number — will win the main prize, which is $1,000 a day for the rest of the winner’s life. The second-best prize of $25,000 a year for life goes to players who match only five numbers, without the Lucky Ball.
Only one Lucky for Life grand prize has ever been won in Massachusetts. However, the Bay State holds a record of the highest number of $25,000-per-year-for-life prizes won in the United States.
Massachusetts Lucky for Life key points
- Ticket cost: $2.
- Ten ways to win a prize.
- Massachusetts Lucky for Life records: 45 times $25,000 a year for life, one time $1,000 a day for life.
Massachusetts multi-state draw times
- Powerball — Draws take place every Wednesday and Saturday at 10:59 p.m. You can buy tickets up to one hour before the drawing starts.
- Mega Millions — Drawings take place on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11 p.m. Ticket sales close at 10:45 p.m.
- Lucky For Life — Drawings take place on Mondays and Thursdays at 10:38 p.m. You can buy tickets until 9:30 p.m.
Massachusetts state draw games
In addition to the three multi-state draw games, the Massachusetts Lottery also offers draw games that you can’t find in other states. You can expect to see the following games:
- The Numbers Game — Select up to four numbers between 0 and 9 or choose the quick pick option to do this for you. The tickets start at $0.25 per play, and players can select one or more bet types. You can enter the same ticket into multiple subsequent drawings. The game offers 10 ways to win, and the winners share a prize pool, the size of which is calculated using a pari-mutuel formula. Drawings are held twice daily, every day of the week. The midday drawing is at 12:55 p.m., while the evening one starts at 7:57 p.m. Players can buy tickets until 12:45 p.m. for the midday draw and until 7:45 p.m. for the evening draw.
- Mass Cash — Pick five numbers from 1 to 35 or have the lottery computer pick for you. Mass Cash tickets cost $1 per play. You can enter the same number combination into multiple drawings. There are three ways to win, with prizes starting at $10 and the grand prize reaching $100,000. Drawings take place daily at 10 p.m., and you must purchase tickets at 9:45 p.m. at the latest.
- Megabucks Doubler — Players choose six numbers between 1 and 49 for $1 per play. There are four ways to win, and you need to match at least three numbers to win the starting prize. If your ticket has “this is a doubler ticket” written on it, then all your non-jackpot prizes will be doubled. The jackpot starts at $500,000. At the time of writing, the estimated Megabucks Doubler jackpot was a whopping $9.9 million. Megabucks Doubler drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday at around 11 p.m. You can purchase tickets up to 10:45 p.m.
- Keno — Choose between one and 12 spots to play, then choose the same amount of numbers between 1 and 80 and select your bet size from $1 to $20. Also, you can choose to enter your numbers in up to 30 subsequent drawings. For double the price of your bet, you can opt for keno bonus, a feature that multiplies your prizes up to 10 times. It is available for all tickets, except the 10-, 11- and 12-spot tickets. Depending on the number of spots you choose, there can be up to eight ways to win. The largest prize you can scoop if you opt for 12 spots is $1 million. Drawings take place every four minutes from 5:04 a.m. to 1 a.m. You can watch your keno drawings on the go using the MA lottery app.
- All or Nothing — Pick 12 numbers between 1 and 24 and choose the amount you want to wager between $1 and $10. As is the case with keno, you can enter the same number combination in up to 30 consecutive drawings. Opt for the All or Nothing Bonus feature to multiply your prizes up to 10 times. However, note that it will double the price of your ticket. All or Nothing offers 11 ways to win, and the highest prize you can hope for is $100,000 if you match all 12 numbers or none. Drawings take place every four minutes starting at 5:04 a.m. and concluding at 1 a.m. You can also watch these drawings using the Massachusetts Lottery app.
Massachusetts scratch tickets
In addition to draw games, the Massachusetts Lottery currently offers more than 100 scratch cards, or instant games as they are called in the Bay State. They come in multiple price points: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20 and even $30. Prizes range from $500 to $15 million.
Notable scratch tickets include 200X, Supreme Millions, Easy $500, Decade of Dollars, Luck of the Irish Tripler, $500 a Week for Life and Mega Fortune, to name a few.
Other gambling options in Massachusetts
Aside from the lottery, some other gambling options are entirely legal in Massachusetts. The Bay State has legalized casino gambling, wagering on dog races and pari-mutuel horse racing. Online sports betting in Massachusetts, however, is not currently legal.
Some of the most prominent casinos in the state include Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, and MGM Springfield in Springfield. In addition to slot games and electronic table games, casinos in Massachusetts are also allowed to host table games.
When it comes to horse racing in Massachusetts, there is currently only one active racetrack in the state — Plainridge Racecourse, where you can place pari-mutuel wagers. However, simulcast betting on horse and dog races is available at two other locations — Raynham Park and Suffolk Downs.
Massachusetts Lottery history
Massachusetts was one of the first mainland US states to legalize the lottery, right after New Hampshire, New York and New Jersey. The Massachusetts General Court passed a bill legalizing this game of chance in September 1971, and the first tickets were sold in March 1972.
One year later, the lottery was appointed supervision of bingo, and this division was later turned into Charitable Gaming, with games hosted by nonprofit organizations to raise money for the community.
In 1974, Massachusetts was the first state to start offering instant tickets. In 1988, the quick pick feature was introduced, allowing players to opt for computer-selected random lottery numbers.
In 1996, Massachusetts was one of six states to participate in creating the multi-state draw game called the Big Game, which would later become Mega Millions, one of the most popular draw games in the US today.
Another immensely popular multi-state draw game, Powerball, was added to the Bay State lottery in 2010.
Over the years, the Massachusetts Lottery has generated revenues surpassing $131 billion and aided the state with over $28 billion. On top of that, its network of licensed retailers has received over $7.5 billion from bonuses and commissions, and the lottery has paid out more than $92 billion in prizes.