SCAM ALERT: The Wisconsin Lottery does not know who winners are until they come forward. If you receive a call, email or letter saying you are a winner, this could be a scam. Do not give out your personal, confidential information to someone claiming to be from a government agency. More consumer protection information can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I buy Wisconsin Lottery Tickets?

  • Please click here for a listing of Wisconsin Lottery Retailers.

Can I buy Wisconsin Lottery Tickets using a credit card?

  • No. You cannot use your credit card to purchase lottery tickets.
  • By law, lottery tickets may only be purchased with cash.

What is the legal age to purchase WI Lottery Tickets?

  • You may purchase tickets if you are 18 years or older. 

Can I buy tickets through a subscription, by mail, or through the internet?

What happens to tickets that are lost, stolen, or printed in error?

  • Only an original ticket (not a copy) can be validated and paid.
  • We recommend signing your tickets as soon as you purchase them. Wisconsin Lottery tickets are bearer instruments; whoever signs the back of the ticket is considered the rightful owner.
  • A Wisconsin Lottery ticket cannot be voided; once printed there is no way to cancel it.

Are most lotto tickets quick picks or personally selected?

  • 70-80% of people purchase Powerball, Mega Millions, Megabucks, Badger 5 and SuperCash! as quick picks and likewise, the same percent are winning tickets.
  • 70-80% of people purchase Pick 3 and Pick 4 by selecting their own numbers and likewise, the same percent are winning tickets.

 

What is 10 Buck Luck?

A fast and easy way to play all of Wisconsin’s Lotto games for
one price! 

10 Buck Luck

For $10, a player will receive a quick pick ticket for eight Lotto games for their next drawing.

Tickets (wagers) include:

  • $2 Powerball
  • $2 Mega Millions
  • $2 All or Nothing
  • $1 Megabucks
  • $1 SuperCash!
  • $1 Badger 5
  • $.50 Pick 4 (Box play)
  • $.50 Pick 3 (Box play)

How are winning tickets distributed?

Wisconsin Lottery winning tickets are distributed randomly. We have no control over who wins or where the winner is from. Areas in Wisconsin with higher populations tend to have more retailers. These areas may also have more sales and more winners. Since winners are chosen randomly, a city or area may have many winners in a short time frame. Other times, a city or area may go a long period of time without big winners.

What should I do if I have a winning ticket?

Where are the Lottery offices located?

  • Madison Lottery Office is located at:
    • Department of Revenue
      2135 Rimrock Rd
      Madison, WI 53713
  • Milwaukee Lottery Office is located at:
    • State Office Building
      819 N 6th St 4th Floor
      Milwaukee, WI 53203

 

How long do I have to claim a winning ticket?

  • Lotto tickets are valid for 180 days after the draw date.
  • For a list of valid ticket please click here Instant Games.

Do I have to pay taxes on my winnings?

  • Yes, all lottery winnings are taxable.
  • We automatically deduct
    • Federal tax for a ticket $5,001+ is 24%.
    • State tax for a ticket $2,000+ is 7.65%.

Can a winner remain anonymous?

  • No. Wisconsin has an “open records law.”
  • Most information that state government produces or controls is available to any organization or person requesting it. Only information “in the public’s interest” may be released by a government agency.
  • The lottery, upon request, must release the name and city of the winner. Any other information about the winner will be released only with the winner’s consent. Likewise, it is the winner's choice if they would like to speak to the media. It is not required, nor can it be prevented.

What happens to unclaimed prizes?

  • The value of unclaimed prizes is credited to the Wisconsin Lottery property tax relief fund.

What happens to the remaining annuity payments if a winner dies before the payments are completed?

  • Upon the death of a prize winner, any prize money that has not been paid shall be paid to the prize winner's estate. (Wis. Stats. 565.30 (1).)

Where do you find Wisconsin Lottery winning numbers?

What is the difference between Cash Option and Annuity?

  • Cash option:
    For every dollar spent on a jackpot lotto game, a certain percentage is placed immediately into a cash pool. When you win the jackpot and choose the cash option, you will get the entire amount in the cash pool, minus taxes. 
  • Annuity:
    When you win the jackpot and choose the annuity option, the cash pool is used to buy government bonds that pay out over a 25-year period for Megabucks or over a 30-year period for Powerball and Mega Millions. You will receive a payment every year until the full annuity amount is paid out. Taxes are withheld from each payment. It is similar to how a savings bond works. A $100 savings bond costs the purchaser only $50 today. If the holder of the bond waits until maturity, the bond is then worth the entire $100.

Note: After presenting the winning ticket you have 60 days to decide on cash option or annuity. After 60 days have passed, if you have not made a decision, the payment automatically becomes an annuity.

What is the Major Jackpot Level?

  • The current Major Jackpot Level is $150,000,000.
  • The Major Jackpot Level is the level above which Powerball drawings will no longer include a Power Play of 10X.

What is Super 2nd Chance?

  • A weekly drawing where 10 people are selected to win $1,000 on non-winning ticket(s). 
  • For more information see the Super 2nd Chance page.

If the overall odds on a ticket are 1:10, why didn't I win when I bought ten tickets?

  • The odds are calculated by taking the total number of tickets printed divided by the total number of prizes available.
  • The prizes' location in the game are random. 
  • A string of ten tickets may not produce a winner, but another string of ten tickets may produce several winners.

How does the Megabucks jackpot work?

  • For every Megabucks ticket sold, a percentage of that $1 is placed into a jackpot prize pool.
  • The more tickets sold, the higher the cash option.
  • ​​​​​​​With Megabucks, the lottery automatically funds a starting cash option of $400,000 and an annuity of $1 million.

In some cases, the Megabucks annuity jackpot may stay the same or decrease. The annuity jackpot, funded by the cash pool available to purchase government bonds, can vary if there are changes in the overall financial markets or the U.S. government's bond rating. These changes can make it much more expensive to buy these long-term securities. So, even as the cash jackpot continues to grow, the estimated annuity jackpot may remain the same or decrease from one drawing to the next.

Where can I find the game number on an instant scratch ticket?

  • On the back of any instant scratch ticket, the game number is the first three or four numbers in the string of numbers located immediately above the long barcode (usually found at the bottom of the ticket back).

Where does the money go?

  • Click here to see the About the Wisconsin Lottery page.

Are the drawings broadcast live?

No. However, Powerball and Mega Millions are broadcast over satellite, so many Wisconsin stations can broadcast the drawings. Wisconsin stations are not contractually obligated to show them, therefore, which stations air them and when and how they choose to do so is at the station's discretion.

All other Wisconsin Lottery games are drawn using a Random Number Generator (RNG). An RNG is a machine with the sole purpose of picking random numbers. It is not connected to any outside line or to the Lottery gaming system. These drawings are not televised. However, videotapes of the drawings are available for public review for 180 days following the drawing. Results from these drawings are also available on our website, through many local newspapers, at retailers, and by calling our 24-hour player hotline at (608) 266-7777.

How do I collect a ticket worth $600 or more?

  • Winning tickets up to $500,999 may be claimed at the Madison or Milwaukee Lottery Office or by mail to the Madison Lottery Office.
  • Winning tickets of $501,000 or larger must be claimed in person at the Madison Lottery Office.
  • Please visit How to Claim a Prize for more info.

Why can't the Retailer pay prizes under $599?

  • It is up to the retailer's discretion how much they'd like to pay out a winning ticket.
  • Many retailers do not keep enough cash on hand to pay out large winners. This maybe due to security reasons.
  • To claim your prize click here for other options.

What identification is required for claiming a prize?

  • Driver's license (current), State identification card or Passport.
  • Social Security Number (physical card is not required).

How can I check a ticket myself?

  • You can check your ticket at any Wisconsin Lottery Retailer at the self-checker.
  • The self-checker will show if it is a winning or non-winning ticket.

Is it safe to mail in a winning Lottery ticket?

  • It is at your discretion to mail a winning Lottery ticket in to be redeemed.
  • If mailing, make a copy of the ticket(s) and claim form for your records.  
  • Many certify their mail in order to track its arrival to WI Lottery Validations Office.

How long does it take to receive payment on a mailed in ticket?

  • We are not responsible for the United State Postal Service; however we process tickets as soon as they are received.
  • It may take up to three weeks for the complete process.

My ticket looks like a winner to me, but when it is scanned it comes up as non-winning.

Give us a call at 608-261-4916 and we can play the game with you, or arrange to have you send in a photo, so we can help you figure it out.

How do I check to see if I owe state debt?

  • You can call the state debt collection number at (608) 266-7879.

Who should sign my Office Pool ticket?

  • The ticket should be signed and submitted to the Madison Wisconsin Lottery Office.
  • A court order must be issued.
  • Please click here for Multiple Winners packet.

How does more than one person claim a ticket?

  • A court order must be issued.
  • Please click here for Multiple Winners packet.

When my ticket is scanned it says "Inactive Pack Status". What does this mean?

  • This means the retailer did not activate the pack.
  • Give us a call at 608-267-4804.

What phone number do I call for winning numbers?

  • Call our player hotline at (608) 266-7777.

Where can I find the payouts for each game?

  • For each game, click on the Features and Procedures or brochure.

Why does it seem like all the winners are coming from a specific area of the state?

  • The population in certain areas is higher, so more people are buying lottery tickets in that area.
  • If more people are buying tickets in the area, that area is more likely to have winners.

Can I mail in all my entries in one big envelope?

  • No, the envelope can be no larger than 4.5 inches by 9.5 inches shall constitute a single entry regardless how many tickets or envelopes are enclosed. 
  • The envelope is what is drawn, therefore each envelope is one entry. 

Can I drop off my entries at the office?

  • No.
  • Entries must be mailed to:
    Super 2nd Chance
    PO Box 77006
    Madison, WI 53707-1006

Can I send in expired tickets?

  • No.
  • Tickets eligible for Super 2nd Chance are non-winning instant or lotto ticket(s), in which the prize claim period has not expired.
  • Lotto tickets are valid for 180 days after the draw date.
  • For a list of valid ticket please click here Instant Games.

Can I use a mailing label on the tickets?

  • Yes. 
  • Mailing labels are acceptable.  

Do I have to fill out the back of all the tickets in the envelope?

  • At least one of the non-winning tickets should be completed with the player's name, address and phone number.

Do I have to sign each of the tickets in the envelope?

We recommend you sign your tickets as soon as you purchase them. But, no, you do not need to sign every ticket for Super 2nd Chance.

Can a ticket over $5 be split for multiple entries?

  • No, tickets can not be split.
  • They are void if stolen, unissued, mutilated, altered, unreadable, counterfeit, defective, multiply printed or fail validation tests.

Can I win the Wisconsin Lottery if I am from out of State?

  • Yes.
  • If you purchased a Wisconsin lottery ticket you can still claim your prize.
  • Mail your ticket in to the address below to be redeemed.
    Prizes
    PO Box 777
    Madison, WI 53774

How do I play the Wisconsin Lottery from another state?

How can I protect myself against Lottery scams?

  • The Wisconsin Lottery does not know who winners are until they claim prizes.
  • If you receive a call, email or letter saying you are a winner, this could be a scam.
  • Do not give out your personal or confidential information to someone claiming to be from a government agency.
  • More consumer protection information can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection website.

I received a phone call I believe is a scam. What should I do?

  • If you suspect your phone call is a scam, call Consumer Protection at (800) 422-7128.
  • Or to file a complaint click on FTC Complaint Assistant.

Where can I find past winning numbers?

How do I know if my ticket is expired?

  • Lotto tickets are valid for 180 days after the draw date.

  • For a list of valid ticket please click here Instant Games.

If my ticket is expired, can I still collect on its winnings?

  • No, once is a ticket is expired it can no longer be paid out.

When my ticket is scanned it says "Inactive Pack Status". What does this mean?

  • This means the retailer did not activate the pack.
  • Give us a call at 608-267-4804.

How many advanced draws can I play on each game?

  • Powerball, Mega Millions and Megabucks can be played 8 consecutive draws in advance.
  • All daily games can be played 7 consecutive draws in advance. These include: Badger5, SuperCash!, All or Nothing, Pick 3 and Pick 4.

Where are the drawings held?

  • Powerball drawings are held at Universal Studios in Florida.
  • Mega Millions drawing are held in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Powerball and Mega Millions drawings are broadcast over satellite.  Wisconsin stations are not contractually obligated to show the drawing however, they typically show the drawing when the jackpot is high.
  • All other drawing can be viewed on YouTube.

How are the Wisconsin Lottery drawings conducted?

  • All Wisconsin Lottery games are drawn using a Random Number Generator (RNG).
  • A RNG is a machine with the sole purpose of picking random numbers. It is not connected to any outside line or to the Lottery gaming system.

Why does it seem like all the winners are coming from a specific area of the state?

  • The population in certain areas is higher, so more people are buying lottery tickets in that area.
  • If more people are buying tickets in the area, that area is more likely to have winners.

How do I enter Super 2nd Chance?

Collect at least $5 worth of eligible non-winning instant and/or lotto tickets for which the prize claim period has not expired. Lotto tickets are valid for 180 days from the draw date.

Why are the number of top prizes for instant games different between the Features and Procedures and what is posted on the page?

The Features and Procedures include the number of top prizes, however this is just an estimate, as it is created before the actual tickets are printed. Frequently, the number of top prizes printed is more than what was estimated, and that is why we list the total number of top prizes and the top prizes remaining on our website. The top prizes remaining are updated on the website weekly, and represent the actual number of top prizes that are in the game.

Please note that the odds of the game are always equal to or better than what is printed on the ticket back.

How many entries do you receive for Super 2nd Chance?

  • We receive approximated 50,000 entries each week.
  • Odds of winning a Super 2nd Chance prize are dependent on the number of entries received.
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