The lottery is legal in Minnesota and is operated by the Minnesota State Lottery, a government agency headquartered in the city of Roseville. The state’s lottery system was officially formed on April 17, 1990. The Minnesota State Lottery is also part of the Multi-State Lottery Association, alongside 38 other state lotteries.
In this article, you can read everything about the lottery in Minnesota, including the status of online lottery, different types of games you can play, draw times, other gambling options in the state, and more.
You can’t buy lottery tickets through the official MN Lottery website. The only thing that the website allows you to do is to check your numbers from previous draws and find a retailer in a 50-mile radius. However, there is a way to purchase MN Lottery tickets online through various third-party services, such as Jackpocket.
Jackpocket is a New York-based federal-approved third-party lottery app that allows US residents to purchase their state’s lottery tickets on their mobile devices. Jackpocket is ideal for people who live in those states where buying tickets online is not offered by the state’s lottery website, which is the case with MN Lottery.
Getting around to buying a ticket through the Jackpocket lottery app is pretty straightforward. You just need to download the app, sign up, pick your game and numbers, and place the order. Players are allowed to choose their numbers or select a Quick Pick option where random numbers are picked for you. You can purchase tickets individually whenever you want to play or subscribe for every subsequent draw.
Once you’ve placed and confirmed your order, Jackpocket will purchase the ticket from the official retailer of your state’s lottery. The ticket is then scanned, and you can access it at any time on your mobile app. After the draw has been conducted, you will get a notification from the app telling you whether your ticket is a winning one.
All winnings up to $600 are released directly to your Jackpocket account. However, if your winnings exceed this amount, the ticket will be securely delivered to your address. Money that is on your Jackpocket account can be withdrawn via the electronic bank transfer, or you can use it to buy more tickets on the app.
Jackpocket will enforce some fees for providing you with a service of purchasing your state’s lottery tickets online. You will pay a small fee every time you deposit money into your account. Still, this is the only additional charge you’ll have to pay while using the Jackpocket app. All winnings are paid in full, regardless of the amount.
Even though you can buy tickets online, you can only do so while being in your state.
Minnesota Lottery offers a total of seven lottery games, three of which are Multi-State games. Apart from these, you can also buy around 40 different scratch cards (ranging from $1 to $50 per card), participate in a New Year’s raffle, and purchase several print-and-play games like crossword puzzles, slots, and bingo.
MN Lottery is one of the participant states of the Multi-State Lottery Association. As such, MN Lottery offers several Multi-State lottery games, including Mega Millions, Powerball, and Lotto America.
Mega Millions is the most popular nation-wide lottery game aside from Powerball. It is offered in 45 states, in addition to the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The tickets are just $2 each, and they must be purchased at least one hour before each draw.
To play Mega Millions, you simply need to choose five numbers from 1 to 75 and a Mega Ball number from 1 to 25. For an additional dollar, you will also get a Megaplier feature that multiplies all non-jackpot prizes 2, 3, 4, or 5 times. The numbers can be handpicked, or you can choose a quick pick option to get a random ticket.
There are nine ways to win by playing Mega Millions. To win the jackpot, you need to match all five numbers and get the Mega Ball number.
The biggest Mega Millions win ever recorded in Minnesota was $1 million.
Powerball is by far the most popular lottery game in Minnesota. It is very similar to Mega Millions, with one major difference — the tickets are a little bit more expensive, but that’s also the reason why the jackpots are higher, including the jackpot prize that often exceeds $100 million.
The goal of Powerball is to pick five numbers between 1 and 69 and a single Powerball number between 1 and 26. The cost of the ticket is $4, and for one extra dollar, you will get a Power Play feature that can multiply your non-jackpot winnings by 2, 3, 4, 5, or 10 times. The Power Play multipliers of 10x are only available when the advertised jackpot is below $150 million. Match 5 wins are always capped at $2 million regardless of the multiplier.
The game features nine ways to win, and the jackpot can only be won if you match all five numbers plus the Powerball number.
The odds for winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338. The biggest Powerball win in Minnesota was $229 million.
Lotto America is one of three Multi-State lottery games available in Minnesota. Since it’s not nearly as popular as Mega Millions and Powerball, Lotto America has smaller prizes and jackpots. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t become a millionaire by matching all five numbers and the Star Ball.
To play, you will need to select five numbers between 1 and 52, and one Star Ball between 1 and 10. The tickets are $2 each, with the optional All Star Bonus, costing $1 per play. The All Star Bonus is a feature that multiplies all prizes except the jackpot 2–5 times.
There are nine ways to win at Lotto America. The biggest ever Lotto America jackpot won in Minnesota was $21.6 million.
Apart from the Multi-State games, MN Lottery features four other exciting lottery draws that take place twice a week. The jackpots are not as big as with Multi-State games. However, they are pretty exciting and can still be very rewarding.
Here are the draw times for each lottery game available through Minnesota Lottery:
If you’re a fan of scratch cards, you’ll be happy to know that the Minnesota Lottery has 39 different scratch card games on offer. You’ll find all kinds of cards ranging from $1 cards like Ju$t a Buck and Find the 9s to $50 500x. Several games also feature a second chance. Top prizes range between $1,000 and $500,000 per card.
Apart from MN Lottery, there are several other legal types of gambling in Minnesota, including pari-mutuel horse race betting and tribal gaming. Minnesota’s tribes own and operate around 20 casinos across the state.
At the moment, commercial casinos with slots, table games, poker card rooms, and retail sportsbooks are not legal in Minnesota, just like online casinos and Minnesota online sports betting sites.
The first bills that propagated the legalization of lottery in Minnesota emerged in 1972, but they were rejected until the late ‘80s. However, since other forms of gambling such as racetracks, charitable gambling, and tribal casinos turned out to be highly popular and profitable, the introduction of a lottery system in the state was brought before the voters and approved in 1988.
The first lottery ticket sales in Minnesota were recorded on April 17, 1990. Soon after it was founded, the Minnesota Lottery took part in the Multi-State lottery games such as Lotto America and Mega Millions. In 1991, two new games were added — Gopher 5 and Daily 3. The Northstar Cash game was introduced in 2003.
The MN Lottery started offering online lottery games in 2012, but they were shut down only three years later. During the fiscal years of 2018, 2019, and 2020, the MN Lottery recorded three consecutive record earnings with the total revenue for 2020 hitting $668.6 million.