Georgia Lottery

Since the early 1990s, the only legal form of gambling in Georgia has been the Georgia Lottery.

Since then, revenue sharing from its games has contributed billions of dollars to fund many causes and organizations in the state, benefitting millions of Georgians whether they ever buy a ticket or not.

The programs that benefit from lottery proceeds has expanded over time as well. On a given day, it’s a good bet that the average Georgian, in some way, interacts with some part of public life positively impacted by the lottery.

We’ll detail exactly what that entails, reveal a little about the history of the Georgia Lottery, and break down what it currently offers. We’ll also explain how to play its games, how to see if you’ve won a prize, and what to do in that event.

Lottery games are very accessible in Georgia and made to fit any budget. Of equal importance, the lottery encourages responsible play and has resources for people who struggle with compulsive gambling issues.

Multi-state draw games in Georgia

Draw-style games are exactly what the name suggests. A drawing takes place at a set day and time, usually involving numbers or other symbols. The object of the games is to match as many of those numbers on your ticket as possible.

The most popular titles in this category around the United States are those offered by the Multi-State Lottery Corporation.

The Georgia Lottery participates in that organization, offering its two draw games to its customers. These games garner a lot of attention in the Peach State and beyond because of their lucrative progressive jackpots, which have soared as high as 10 figures in the past. Of course, smaller prizes are far more common with these games, which also become attractive because of their low cost to play.

Powerball

Few other lottery games around the world boast equal brand power as Powerball. Tickets for this game cost $2, although you can add the Power Play for an extra dollar. Drawings take place every Wednesday and Saturday at 11 p.m. ET. Those drawings consist of five numbers and a Power Ball number.

Matching all six numbers nets you the jackpot, which increases between every drawing if no one claims the prize. Smaller prizes start at $4 if you match the Power Ball by itself and climb up to $1 million for matching all the numbers except the Power Ball.

Each drawing also consists of a Power Play multiplier, which ranges from 2X to 10X. That multiplier only applies to non-jackpot winnings, however.

Mega Millions

The other popular and lucrative game is Mega Millions. Drawings for this $2 game happen every Tuesday and Friday at 11 p.m. ET.

Mega Millions consists of five numbers plus the Mega Ball. If you match all six, you claim the jackpot. Smaller prizes start out at $2 if you hit the Mega Ball and escalate to as much as $1 million if your ticket matches all five regular numbers.

Should you desire, you can spend an additional dollar to add the Megaplier to your ticket. Doing so will increase the value of your non-jackpot winnings by as much as 5X. Each drawing determines the value of the Megaplier. If no one wins the jackpot in a drawing, the value of that prize increases until someone lands it.

State draw games in Georgia

The menu of draw-style games available in Georgia contains several titles exclusive to the state.

These games are available at a range of prices, with potential prizes escalating appropriately. The days and times of the drawings for these contests also happen disparately, so there’s always a drawing coming up. The titles include:

  • Cash 3: The number three is a common theme here. Drawings happen three times a day, at 12:29 p.m., 6:59 p.m., and 11:34 p.m. Also, the game asks you to pick three numbers. The top prize is $500, and you can play for either $1 or $0.50. If you can’t decide on your numbers, you can opt for the Quik Pik and the computer will select numbers for you in any Georgia Lottery draw-style game.
  • Cash 4: These drawings take place at the same times each day as Cash 3, but you need to pick four numbers in this game. Because the difficulty increases, so do the potential prizes. The top prize is $5,000. If you want to play your numbers on a future date, you can specify that when you play Georgia Lottery draw-style games.
  • Cash4Life: This daily game costs $2 to play and consists of five numbers plus a Cash Ball. If you like, you can activate your play for multiple drawings in any Georgia Lottery draw-style game. Those drawings happen nightly at 9 p.m. ET. The top prize is $1,000 a day for the rest of your life, but a nice consolation is the second prize of $1,000 a week for the rest of your life.
  • Cash Pop: This is one of the simplest games the lottery offers. Just pick a number between 1 and 15, then decide how much you want to wager between$1, $2, or $5. Cash Pop drawings happen five times daily: 8 a.m., 1 p.m., 5 p.m., 8 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. Prizes top out at $1,250 if you select the $5 wager.
  • Fantasy 5: This game is unique because it’s one of just two Georgia Lottery games with a progressive jackpot. The starting amount is $125,000. Drawings take place nightly at 11:34 p.m. After you put down your dollar (or $2 if you want to add the Ca$h Match), pick five numbers. Adding the Ca$h Match gives you a chance at a $500 instant win. If you match at least two numbers, you get a free play.
  • Georgia Five: Every day at 12:29 p.m. and 6:59 p.m. you have an opportunity to win up to $10,000 playing this $1 game. The game consists of five numbers, ranging from 0 to 9. As with most other draw-style games, your ticket must not only match the numbers but also the sequence in order to claim certain prizes. For example, matching the first or last number in this game gets your dollar back.
  • Jumbo Bucks Lotto: For just $1, you can get your play in for these Monday and Thursday 11 p.m. drawings. The Ca$h Match is available for this title as well. This is the other Georgia Lottery progressive jackpot game, with each initial prize starting at $1 million. Pick six numbers, ranging from 1 to 47, to try to win the big prize.
  • Keno!: If a volume of plays is what you’re after, this is the game for you. Drawings for this game take place every 3½ minutes daily. The top prize is $100,000, and there are several ways you can get to that. Also customizable are the number of spots you play and how much you wager, ranging from 1 to 10 spots and $1 for each. Adding a Bulls-Eye or multiplier to your play can maximize the value of your winnings.

Instant win games in Georgia

Don’t want to wait for the results of a drawing to see if you’ve won a prize? Enjoy scratch-off cards to do that instead? The Georgia Lottery has you covered.

The lottery has a diverse menu of scratchers for sale at all times. These come at a variety of price points, with prizes escalating along with the cost of the ticket. Here are a few highlights from the current stock:

  • Did I Win?: For just a dollar, you can scratch off this ticket to see if you’ve won up to $5,000.
  • Space Invaders Cash Invasion: Spend $2 and enjoy this retro video game-themed card which offers up to $50,000 in prizes.
  • Lady Jumbo Bucks: Regardless of your gender, you can win up to $200,000 with one of these $3 tickets.
  • Atlanta United FC: An homage to the only MLS club in Georgia, this $5 card can net you up to $350,000.
  • Super 10s: The cost is right in the name but the top prize is worth much more — 100,000 times more, to be exact.
  • Cash Explosion: You may not want to take cover if you win the $2 million top prize with one of these $20 cards.
  • Super Money: At $25, the sticker price may not exactly make you feel as the name suggests. Winning the top prize of $3 million will quickly correct that, though.
  • Ca$h Windfall: This is one of the most expensive games at $30 but offers an appropriate top prize of $44 million.

So you won the lottery. Now what?

There are several best practices for what to do and state requirements for claiming lottery prizes. The video below details all of them.

Georgia Lottery app and website

In addition to a robust website on which you can buy tickets and check drawing results, the Georgia Lottery offers a highly functional mobile app.

The app is available for both Android and iOS devices. Visit the App Store or Google Play Store, then search for Georgia Lottery. Once installed, the app offers a variety of amenities:

  • Buy tickets for select games
  • Check jackpot amounts and physical tickets to see if you have won
  • Find the nearest Georgia Lottery retailer
  • Play Diggi Games, the Georgia Lottery’s instant interactive category
  • Take part in second-chance drawings for non-winning tickets
  • Watch live and recorded drawings for Georgia Lottery games

What are Georgia Lottery Diggi Games?

If you prefer to play the lottery online, you might dig these games.

There are no retail components for this category, so your only options are either the Georgia Lottery app or website.

Essentially, these are virtual versions of scratcher cards. Games range in price from $0.50 to $10 to play, with prize values ranging from a simple return on your wager all the way up to $400,000.

The menu for these games is just as robust as the array of physical scratchers, so most players should be able to find something to their liking.

Where can I play Georgia Lottery games?

Although you can buy tickets for many Georgia Lottery games online, there are several types of businesses in the state which have licenses to sell them in-person. Those include:

  • Convenience stores
  • Gas stations
  • Grocers
  • Liquor stores
  • Tobacco shops
  • Truck stops

The lottery website has a handy tool that can show you the closest retailer to your location as well. There are thousands of these retailers in the state, so the odds are that you’re likely never that far from at least one.

You can also buy tickets for certain draw-style games online either through the lottery app or website. Those include:

  • Cash Pop
  • Fantasy 5
  • Keno!
  • Mega Millions
  • Powerball

What are coin operated amusement machines?

Coin operated amusement machines (COAM) is a broad category that includes any amusement machine where entering a coin is required to activate the machine.

The Georgia Lottery regulates the operation of COAMs. These machines can include arcade consoles, billiards tables, claw games, jukeboxes, kiddie rides, and pinball consoles.

In Georgia, businesses must have a license from the lottery to offer these amusements to the public.

Who does the Georgia Lottery benefit?

The largest and original benefactor of the Georgia Lottery is public education. This includes the HOPE Scholarship and Pre-K programs. Since its inception, the lottery has given over $11 billion in HOPE Scholarship funds. On the Pre-K side, the returns have surpassed $7 billion so far. The lottery also supports county governments.

For example, Fulton County has received over $124,000 in technology grants since 1994. That’s besides how lottery sales support local businesses throughout the state.

Retailers earn commissions on all sales and bonuses on prizes paid out on tickets sold at their locations. Statewide, retailer commissions totaled $289.1 million in the fiscal year 2020.

Perhaps the biggest economic benefit to Georgians, though, are the payouts. In FY2020, players won $3.05 billion in prizes. The state got a chunk of that money via income tax withholdings, amounting to $13.4 million. The lottery also employs contractors and vendors in the state to advertise its products, supply its games and help manage its operations.

History of Georgia Lottery

In November 1992, Georgia voters approved a referendum to create a state lottery. On June 29, 1993, the first tickets went on sale.

It didn’t take long for the lottery to surpass the mark of $1 billion in sales, as it exceeded that mark within the first calendar year. At that time, it was a record for a state lottery. It also started a run of 12 consecutive years of the lottery breaking its own annual sales record.

Over the past three decades, the lottery has achieved other milestones. That includes taking part in the launch of the Multi-State Lottery Corporation, integrating online sales, launching a mobile application, and approaching $5 billion in annual sales (FY2020).

As long as the lottery stays committed to innovating and keeping its content fresh, it will likely surpass that figure soon.