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Before You Scratch Off or Pick Numbers

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So the lottery has come to Oklahoma and you want to get in on the games. Before you scratch off the ticket or pick those numbers, get a quick breakdown guide of the Oklahoma Lottery. Learn the types of games available, how to play them, the cost and odds of winning for each and the places to buy them.

Background

It was election day 2004, November 2nd to be exact, that Oklahomans overwhelmingly approved a state lottery. With proceeds earmarked for the state education system, the lottery is expected to greatly benefit the state.

In October of 2005, the initial scratch-off tickets went on sale, and shortly thereafter the Pick 3 followed. In January of 2006, Oklahoma began Powerball, a game with large jackpots that is played among a number of states. Another multi-state game, Mega Millions, was then added.

Types of Games

Scratch-Off: Use a coin to scratch the card. There are more than 20 options to choose from including Lucky 7's, Fantasy Blackjack, $40,000 Jackpot and more.

Pick 3 / Cash 5: Simple number picking games. Numbers are available nightly through a link on About OKC.

Powerball / Mega Millions / Hot Lotto: Powerball, Mega Millions and Hot Lotto are number picking games involving multiple states with large jackpots. Players select 5 numbers and a Powerball/Megaball/Hot ball number. Winning numbers are available Wed. and Sat. at 10pm through a link on About OKC for Powerball and Hot Lotto, Tues. and Friday for Mega Millions.

How to Play - Scratch-Off

Depending on the specific game, players are attempting to do one of a few different things:
  • Match the card's winning numbers
  • Achieve the classic Tic-Tac-Toe formation
  • Match identical prize amounts
  • Or uncover a specific winning symbol
* Read card instructions carefully as there are often multiple ways to win.

How to Play - Pick 3 and Cash 5

The Pick 3 and Cash 5 cards have 5 columns. For Cash 5 games, you select 5 numbers (1-36 only). For Pick 3, you can play one or all five, depending on how much you want to spend, and decide between four play types:

Straight: Numbers in exact order
Box: Numbers in any order
Front Pair: First 2 numbers in exact order
Back Pair: Last 2 numbers in exact order

How to Play - Powerball, Mega Millions & Hot Lotto

Powerball, Mega Millions and Hot Lotto are all similar, only with different terminology. Cards have 5 panels. You can play one or all five, depending on how much you want to spend. Pick 5 numbers and 1 special number. Players can pick numbers themselves or allow the computer to pick. A muliplier option costs extra but can multiply winnings by as much as 5 times.

Cost and Odds - Scratch-Off & Pick 3

Scratch-Off: Overall odds of winning are around 1 in 4.5 and slightly better for some games. Tickets range anywhere from $1 to $5 for $25,000 Jackpot, and payouts range from $1 to $50,000.

Pick 3: Each column costs $1, and each type within that column costs $1. Odds for "front pair" and "back pair" type are 1:100 and pay $50. Odds for "box" type range from 3-6:1000 and pay $80 or $160. Odds for "straight" type are 1:1000 and pay top $500 prize.

Cost and Odds - Powerball & Cash 5

Powerball: Each play is $2, and Powerplay option costs $1. 5 matches plus Powerball pays JACKPOT. Winners get from $4 (Just Powerball) up to $1,000,000 (5 numbers). Odds are 1:55 (Just Powerball) up to 1:175 million (Jackpot).

Cash 5: Each play is $1. 5 matches pays the $25,000 (tax free) jackpot. Winners can also get a free ticket. Odds are 1:8 up to 1:376 thousand for the jackpot.

Where to Buy

Convenience stores, gas stations and grocery stores across the state are currently selling scratch-off and other lottery tickets. Check out my Lottery Ticket Locator for more information on tracking down a retailer near you.

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