PA Lottery Fighting Multiple Battles To Protect Revenue

Facing pressure from both the Department of Justice and illegal skill games, the PA Lottery is growing concerned about its revenue.

The Pennsylvania Lottery can consider 2018 a success. However, the first few months of 2019 have already presented a number of obstacles.

According to an article on PennLive, state lottery officials said profits for 2018 were up about $50 million over the previous year. They were also ahead of projections for the early portion of this year.

But a ruling last month by the US Department of Justice, some budgetary concerns from the state’s senate, and some competition from rapidly spreading dubiously legal games of skill have stalled all that momentum. They’ve also raised concerns about the lottery’s long-term health.

New ruling leads the list of concerns

Last month, the US Department of Justice issued an opinion that extended the federal Wire Act to apply to any form of gambling that crosses state lines. This includes online gambling and online lottery, not just sports betting which had been the previous stance.

“It represents a huge threat to the lottery industry as well as the Pennsylvania Lottery as well as the gaming industry,” Drew Svitko, executive director of the Pennsylvania Lottery, told PennLive.

If that decision stands, it could force the Pennsylvania Lottery to move its backup data center in Georgia. The data center would then move in-state. This process would carry an exorbitant cost.

In response, both Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (the top lottery lobbying group) have authored letters challenging the new position of the Department of Justice and asking for further clarification.

Senate Appropriation Committee has lotto questions

At a meeting last week of the PA Senate Appropriations Committee, Republican senators raised concerns about the state lottery’s revenue projections, according to PennLive.

Senators worried that the lottery revenue projections were overly optimistic. The fear is revenue and could fall short by $50 million or more. That kind of deficit creates a huge budgetary problem. After all, the state lottery funds a wide variety of entitlement services and financial support for seniors.

“If you qualify, you get them,” Senate Appropriations Committee member Pat Browne told PennLive. “If we don’t have the money (to pay for them), the exposure is huge.”

Growth in games of skill also a concern

The Pennsylvania Lottery launched online games in May 2018 and has nearly tripled its game offerings in the ensuing months. The online lottery games have fared well, but the monitor-based games such as keno and Xpress Sports, which launched last year, haven’t been quite as successful. According to PennLive, those games produced just $9 million for the lottery fund in the first six months of the fiscal year.

Svitko blames the spread of illegal games of skill for some of the lottery’s struggles. Games of skill typically return greater revenues for their owners than the commission the lottery pays. This makes them popular options for some retailers.

The fact that the state police considers the games illegal hasn’t seemed to slow the spread of them either.

“We still feel that the (skill) machines are illegal,” Major Scott Miller, director of the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Enforcement, told PennLive.

Svitko told PennLive that almost 18 percent of lottery retailers have at least one skill game machine. A year ago, it was half that. But in the absence of a higher court decision that will eliminate the games of skill as a competitor, the state lottery is left to take up the challenge on its own.

The growing senior population needs the PA Lottery

The state lottery already has a number of hurdles in its path. Yet another one will appear in the near future. Last week’s PennLive article cited statistics from the state’s Independent Fiscal Office highlighting the growth projections for Pennsylvania’s senior population. The number of senior citizens in the Keystone State is expected to grow 23 percent by 2025. That increases the total number of seniors to nearly 2.8 million people.

And thus, the PA Lottery, which already funds essential services for existing seniors, will have to do even more to keep pace in the years ahead.

“The expectations are really high,” Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell told PennLive. “We have to be concerned about where things are going.”

Questions About Adelson’s Involvement In New DOJ Opinion Keep Surfacing

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has joined New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal in telling the US Department of Justice exactly what it can do with its latest opinion on the Wire Act.

In a letter dated Feb. 5, Shapiro and Grewal ask Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to withdraw the opinion completely. Or at the very least, tell DOJ prosecutors to refrain from bringing any action against the online gaming industry or players in either state based on it.

Is online gambling now a federal crime?

The DOJ’s latest interpretation appears to reverse its 2011 opinion the decades-old Wire Act only applied to sports betting. The 2011 opinion is what led several states to believe they could legalize online gambling.

Shapiro and Grewal’s letter expresses the pair’s “strong objections” to the DOJ’s reversal of that opinion. In particular, because it may make online gambling a federal crime, even in states where it is now legal.

The letter states:

“This about-face is wrong and raises significant concerns in our states. We ask that DOJ withdraw its opinion altogether or assure us that DOJ will not bring any enforcement actions against companies and individuals engaged in online gaming in our states — where it is appropriate under state law.”

It goes on to claim this DOJ opinion appears to run contrary to previous policies:

“We can see no good reason for DOJ’s sudden reversal. First, it runs contrary to plain language of the Wire Act. Second, DOJ has recognized that it should ’employ considerable caution in departing from … prior opinions,’ in light of the ‘strong interests in efficiency, institutional credibility, and the reasonable expectations of those who have relied on our prior advice.'”

Is it Adelson’s opinion or the DOJ’s?

Additionally, the pair has submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request looking to find out exactly where the new opinion comes from. The FOIA request is specifically seeking information related to outside groups’ lobbying efforts urging the DOJ to reconsider.

Anti-online gambling zealot Sheldon Adelson is CEO and founder Las Vegas Sands Corporation. He has been asking the DOJ to reverse its Wire Act opinion since it was released in 2011.

A January Wall Street Journal report indicates the new opinion comes directly from a lobbying group memo. The lobbying group is funded by Adelson. The Washington Post also published a similar article Feb.7. It outlines how the opinion appears to have been influenced by Adelson and the group.

Although, the DOJ claims any accusation that the opinion was shaped by any outside interest is baseless and offensive.

Shapiro and Grewal’s letter states:

“Press reports … indicate that this new advice followed substantial lobbying by outside groups that have long been unhappy with the 2011 opinion — but who were unable to convince Congress of the merits of their view. That is not a good enough reason to trample over the law and states’ rights, and to upend the settled expectations on which we have been relying for nearly a decade.”

Hundreds of millions at stake

Shapiro and Grewal’s letter also indicates the new opinion threatens the online gambling industry in PA and NJ, and all it has created so far, including:

  • $350 million in annual revenue and $60 million in gaming taxes in NJ
  • $23.8 million in online lottery revenue in PA
  • Jobs, economic health, and state funds for the public good in both states

The letter states:

“The opinion casts doubt not only on traditional online gaming, but also multi-state lottery drawings (such as Power Ball and Mega Millions) and online sales of in-state lottery tickets. While regulators and the industry are reviewing the full range of impacts this opinion may have, each potential implication is of concern.”

Shapiro and Grewal’s letter appears to be only a part of growing opposition to the DOJ opinion.

The North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries also sent a letter to the DOJ urging it to reconsider.

It states:

“The recent United States Department of Justice, reinterpretation of the Wire Act of 1961 creates a substantially detrimental impact on the lottery industry, including traditional retail-based draw and instant lottery games, as well as traditional lottery games offered over the Internet, and the billions of dollars for good causes lotteries provide.”

PA Lottery Has Already Made Six New Millionaires In 2019

Pennsylvania Lottery’s New Year’s Millionaire Raffle made four lucky Pennsylvanian’s millionaires. In fact, the Lottery made six millionaires in January.

Pennsylvania Lottery’s New Year’s Millionaire Raffle made four (4!) lucky Pennsylvanians millionaires.

Lottery players should check their numbers if they purchased tickets at one of the following locations:

  • Country Fair, 18163 Conneaut Lake Road, Meadville, Crawford County
  • Smokin Joe’s, 28044 Route 267, Friendsville, Susquehanna County
  • Fast Fill, 24 Blakeslee Blvd., Lehighton, Carbon County
  • Wegmans, 201 Williams St., Williamsport, Lycoming County

The lucky ticket numbers are:

  • 00120648
  • 00140917
  • 00275426
  • 00359528

How to play Millionaire Raffle

Millionaire Raffle is simple to play. Lottery players purchase a raffle ticket for $20 from a PA lottery retailer. The PA Lottery randomly selects numbers from all the raffle tickets sold.

The PA Lottery limits sales to only 500,000 raffle tickets per drawing. The drawing happens when the last ticket sells, or after the sales deadline.

Overall, the raffle awards $5,089,200 to 6,000 raffle ticket holders. The overall chance of winning a prize are 1 in 83.33.

Here is the prize break down and the chances of winning:

PrizeNumber AwardedChances of Winning
$1,000,000 41 in 125,000
$100,00041 in 125,000
$1,000 1001 in 5,000
1005,8921 in 84.86

Additionally, leading up to the main drawing, the raffle drew eight weekly prizes of $100,000. A weekly winner was still eligible to win the $1,000,000 grand prize.

The most recent drawing was the 28th installment of the Millionaire Raffle. The Pennsylvania Lottery first debuted the Millionaire Raffle in 2005. Since then, the raffle has created more than 100 new Pennsylvania millionaires.

PA Lottery is busy making millionaires

Speaking of millionaires, Millionaire Raffle isn’t the only lottery game in town making Pennsylvanians richer.

Just after the New Year, Weis Markets in Duryea sold a Match 6 ticket worth $1.95 million. The winning lottery ticket holder has not come forward and like all lottery winners, has one year to do so.

A few days prior, during the New Year’s Day Mega Millions drawing, a Pennsylvania Lottery player soon realized they were holding a winning ticket worth $4 million.

The winning ticket included the $1 Megaplier and the drawing revealed the multiplier of four. That combination turned a $1 million ticket into $4 million — not a bad way to start the year.

That makes six brand new Pennsylvania millionaires in the first few weeks of January and nine since December. It’s no surprise lottery fever shows no signs of letting up, especially with bigger Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots making the news.

In fact, during the 2017-18 fiscal year, the Lottery sold more than $4.2 billion worth of lottery products and paid out a record $2.7 billion in prizes. No doubt, the expansion of online lottery offerings helped generate those massive numbers.

Want to try your luck at winning? You know what they say, “You can’t win if you don’t play.

Without Launching Much Of Anything, PA Brought In $385M From Gambling Expansion

Pennsylvania brought in around $1 million a day from gambling expansion in the law’s first year of existence even though most verticals haven’t launched.

The pending launch of online sports betting and online casino games is generating attention in Pennsylvania. The exact date falls under the “coming soon to a casino near you” category.

The upfront licensing fees associated with Pennsylvania gambling expansion have injected more than $385 million into Pennsylvania coffers so far. The law went into effect in November of last year.

That figure exceeded state budget estimates, according to a press release from PlayPennsylvania.com. The figure is a combination of:

  • Upfront licensing fees for online casinos, sportsbooks and brick-and-mortar casinos
  • Mini-casino auction profits
  • Tax revenue from lottery expansion and daily fantasy sports 

Breaking down the combined numbers, Pennsylvania has netted more than $1 million a day since late 2017, according to analysis provided by PlayPennsylvania.com.

“The most notable aspect of the significant revenue that has been generated is that this is almost completely from fees, rather than tax revenue from gamblers,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “Clearly, there is enough interest in Pennsylvania’s enormous market so far to generate fees.”

The equation does not include revenue from online sports betting, slots and table games, which are expected to start launching during the first quarter of 2019.

Breaking down the gambling numbers

The revenue estimates tabulated by PlayPennsylvania.com consists of a combination of official statistics and estimates based on iLottery, Keno and virtual sports sales numbers

Using return-to-player rates of the lottery games, PlayPennsylvania estimates that through October, the state has generated more than $23 million in revenue and includes:

  • Online lotto games:, $19.6 million
  • Keno: $3.6 million
  • Virtual sports: $87,000

Here is a breakdown of other sources of revenue:

  • Mini-casino auction profits:, $128 million
  • Interactive gaming petitions:, $94 million
  • Casino licensing:, $78 million
  • Sports betting petitions:, $60 million
  • Fantasy sports tax revenue: $1.4 million 

For comparison purposes, Pennsylvania collected $799.8 million in statewide slot revenues during the fiscal year 2017-18. Pennsylvania estimated in February that it will generate more than $34 billion in general fund revenues for its 2018-19 fiscal year.

Online sports betting factor

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has approved sports betting licenses for:

All of the properties plan on offering online and retail sports betting. With the opening of Rivers and SugarHouse on Thursday, there are now three retail sportsbooks in the state. Revenue from November and Hollywood Casino should come out in the next few days.

“The addition of sports betting should help buoy a slowing Pennsylvania casino industry,” said Dustin Gouker, lead sports betting analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “If New Jersey is any indication, though, the more significant revenue generator will be online sports betting. A successful rollout there should generate millions of dollars in tax revenue for the state.”

PA Lottery’s Millionaire Raffle Back In Time For The Holiday Season

The popular PA Lottery game that gives you your best statistical shot at $1 million is back. Millionaire Raffle begins its eight-week run on Monday, Nov. 19.

The midterm elections came and went in a wild rush, but, if you can believe it, the long-term future of our country may not have even been the biggest news of the week in Pennsylvania.

And no, we’re not talking about the Mega Millions jackpot either.

No, a Pennsylvania favorite is coming back just in time for the holidays.

Meet Millionaire Raffle.

Millionaire Raffle is an eight-week long draw game. In addition to the seven-figure payday, the game also awards two $50,000 each week.

The seasonal game is not complicated. The PA Lottery likes to keep their games as straightforward as possible.

The rules behind Millionaire Raffle really boil down to one thing—matching ticket numbers to the numbers drawn.

Simple enough, right?

Tickets for Millionaire Raffle will run you $20.

Each ticket contains a “unique, eight-digit raffle number issued sequentially across Pennsylvania from the PA Lottery’s central computer.”

The PA Lottery will cap every drawing at 500,000 Millionaire Raffle tickets sold. There will be weekly drawings every Monday, starting on Nov. 19. Each drawing will have two $50,000 winners.

Winning numbers are drawn from the number combinations sold.

But don’t count your raffle winnings just yet—there’s plenty more to find out about the finer points of Millionaire Raffle.

Winning big’s never been so easy.

Millionaire Raffle players have a chance to win at four different prize levels.

Once an Automated Drawing Machine (ADM) randomly selects all 6,000 winning number combinations, they’re then verified by an on-site certified public accountant and made available on palottery.com.

And fortunately for players, all Millionaire Raffle prizes are paid out in cash.

That includes the $1 million jackpot.

Winning tickets at the $1,000 and $100 level can be paid at any Pennsylvania lottery retailer.

Players with winning tickets north of $99,999 must file a PA lottery claim form.

Don’t delay if you’ve got a winner (not that you ever would)—you’ve got up to a year from the drawing date to claim your prize.

The rest of the prize levels, payouts and percentage chance of winning are as follows:

PRIZE LEVELS# OF PRIZESPRIZECHANCES OF WINNING
TOP4$1,000,0001 in 125,000
SECOND4$100,0001 in 125,000
THIRD100$1,0001 in 5,000
FOURTH5,892$1001 in 84.86
TOTAL6,000$5,089,2001 in 83.33

PA lottery pickem’

If it feels like the PA lottery is hogging the headlines of late, it’s not just your imagination.

Following the record-breaking Mega Millions win, PA players have been raking in the dough on Powerball.

And while we’re unlikely to see anyone walk away with $1.6 billion again anytime soon, the addition of a game like Millionaire Raffle to the PA lottery’s already near-to-overflowing cache of games means PA players will have plenty of chances to win big, again and again.

South Carolina Sells Mega Millions Winner, Time To Focus On Powerball

The record $1.6 billion jackpot in Mega Millions will not go to a PA Lottery player, but the more than $600 million Powerball prize is still up for grabs.

This wasn’t your grandma’s Mega Millions.

Well, it might have been. But if Grandma was putting down cash at the local gas station or joining a Powerball pool through the Sunday church group, she certainly wasn’t alone.

And unless she purchased her Mega Millions ticket in South Carolina, she’s also not a winner.

That’s right. There was a Mega Millions winner on Wednesday, a single ticket in South Carolina set to walk away with the full prize amount.

With a staggering $1.6 billion up for grabs,  plus a measly $620 million via Powerball, the potential Mega Millions payout had people (grandma included) going wild.

The odds of actually winning, of course, were about as staggering as the payouts themselves.

But that doesn’t change the fact that it was fun as all get out thinking of all the ways $2 billion-plus could be spent.

Our favorite?

3,830 Lamborghinis. Because why not?

But with the winner now announced and the record-breaking payout – a one-time cash option of $913.7 million – all-but paid out, there’s nothing left to do but fantasize about what could have been.

And ways to finance almost 4,000 Lamborghinis, bought in a fit of unfounded certainty.

The winning Mega Millions numbers

The numbers drawn were 5, 28, 62, 65 and 70. The Mega Ball was 5.

Only one person matched all the numbers to win the jackpot, according to Mega Millions.

A total of 36 tickets across the nation matched five of the six numbers for second-prize tickets.

“This is truly a historic occasion. We’re so happy for the winner, and we know the South Carolina Education Lottery can’t wait to meet the lucky ticket holder,” said Gordon Medenica, lead director of the Mega Millions group.

Forty-four states play home to Mega Millions, as well as Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The unnamed winner beat 1 in 303 million odds to pull off their improbable victory.

But don’t fret if you’re not celebrating in South Carolina today. The Mega Millions jackpot resets for Friday’s drawing to $40 million.

Plus, the Powerball, that suddenly not-so-measly $620 million, might go to some lucky winner Wednesday night.

Why this really wasn’t Grandma’s Lottery

It was hard enough to win the lottery when grandma and the local church crew were buying tickets with pocket change.

Now, it’s as hard as it has ever been.

And not just because there is so much money and so many people buying in.

Nope. Turns out Mega Millions made changes earlier this year to feature bigger prizes (like $2 billion in payouts).

How did Mega Millions pull this off?

With the help of you, the ticket-buyer, of course. Who else would want a record-breaking jackpot or the ability to scan their ticket through the PA Lottery mobile app to find out if they’re a winner in real-time?

But they also did it by doubling ticket prices and offering longer odds.

“We have a demand for innovation to keep fresh, entertaining lottery games and to deliver the attention-grabbing jackpots,” Mega Millions President Debbie D. Alford said in a statement at the time announcing the move.

Prior to Tuesday, Mega Millions’ largest jackpot ever was $656 million.

Three tickets, sold in Illinois, Kansas, and Maryland, split the payout.

That was in March of 2012 and still stands as the fourth-largest lottery payout in U.S. history.

The other two belong to Powerball, one of which bears a striking resemblance to the current Mega Millions madness.

On Jan. 13, 2016, three tickets split a Powerball payout of … $1.6 billion.

Mega Millions and Powerball odds now worse than ever

But winning now isn’t as easy as it was then, despite the ease of the PA online lottery app.

The new design of Mega Millions decreases the number of white balls from 75 but increases the number of red balls by 10, so the odds of winning the jackpot increase from 1 in almost 259 million to 1 in about 303 million.

Overall, the chance of winning any prize went from 1 in 15 to 1 in 24 with the changes.

They also give players a better chance at the smaller payouts of $1 million for matching five white balls. And while no one’s turning their nose up at $1 million, it’s a far cry from what everyone (and your grandmother) really wanted: $1.6 billion.

How many billions are too many billions?

In terms of a potential payout? There’s no such thing.

Even the mega-minds behind Mega Millions were willing to let it ride.

Medenica was asked recently if the jackpot could reach $2 billion and answered with a resounding, “I’m not going to jinx it.”

Prior to the drawing on Tuesday, officials had been meeting daily to analyze ticket sales and see if an adjustment was necessary.

“If sales are running ahead, we may take the jackpot up another notch,” said Medenica.

But now, with the drawing complete and the prize paid out, it’s back to the drawing board and a boring, but respectable, $40 million jackpot (and a whole bunch of losers).

PA Casinos Sue PA Lottery Over Gambling Turf War

According to several Pennsylvania casinos, the Pennsylvania Lottery has gone too far. The group is suing the state over the Lotto’s online instant games/

Things are about to get real between seven Pennsylvania casinos and the Pennsylvania Lottery.

Earlier today, seven casinos announced they are suing the Pennsylvania Lottery for offering casino-like games on their website and app. The casino’s defense team released a statement detailing their grievances:

“The actions of the Pennsylvania Lottery are illegal. To make matters even worse, the agency is promoting casino-style gambling to teenagers. Pennsylvania casinos must follow very stringent regulations on underage gaming or face millions of dollars in fines. Meanwhile, the Lottery is openly violating the law and marketing these games to anyone as young as 18. Not to mention, any loss in casino revenue will hurt Pennsylvania’s tax collection for property tax relief and local improvement projects funded by gaming tax dollars.”

The seven casinos involved in the lawsuit are:

Dispute focuses on gambling expansion law

The beef isn’t merely jealousy. It is a legitimate argument based on the text of the state’s 2017 gambling expansion bill, Act 42.

The section in question is in Chapter 5 of the act, lines 22-27. There, legislators provide the definition of iLottery games:

“‘iLottery Game.’ Internet instant games and other lottery products offered through iLottery. The term does not include games that represent physical, internet-based or monitor-based interactive lottery games which simulate casino style lottery games, specifically including poker, roulette, slot machines or blackjack.”

And despite the outcry from the aforementioned statement,  which focuses on the fact that the casino-like offerings from the iLottery can be played by 18-year-olds, the base of the argument focuses on the likeness of iLottery games to online casino slots.

Here is an excerpt from the petitioners’ petition for review:

“iLottery offerings are casino-style games that mimic the look, sounds, and feel of slot machines. Several games offered by iLottery — including Volcano Eruption, Reveal, Robin Hood, Super Gems, Slingo, Big Foot and Monster Wins — are the same titles and or themes as games offered on Petitioners’ gaming floors.”

The petition goes on to say that “several of the iLottery games” use “bet” terminology consistent with slot machines. They also feature a “spin function” that resembles slot machines, as well as the capability to play game after game, much like one would play consecutive rounds of a slot machine.

Casinos want casino-style iLottery games shut down

The petitioners concluded their arguments with the following paragraph:

“Petitioners now bring this action for a declaration that the Department’s iLottery offerings violate the clear prohibition of Act 42 and the State Lottery Law … Petitioners request permanent injunctive relief to preclude the Department from offering iLottery games that simulate casino-style games and slot machines.”

Basically, the seven casinos are asking the Department of Revenue to shut down anything resembling casino-style games.

The apparent motives behind the lawsuit two-fold: to protect teenagers from casino-style games and to ward off the competition that the iLottery provides.

Ironically, no PA casinos have launched online gambling. This may be a move to cut away revenue leeches before they launch. After all, the state will tax PA online casinos at a staggering 54 percent. Meanwhile, the Lottery pays no taxes for revenue generated from its iLottery games.

PA Lottery’s Xpress Sports Can Whip Up Football Games In A Jiffy

Pennsylvania bars and restaurants can now offer non-stop football and stock car action thanks to PA Lottery’s Xpress Sports.

Doldrums no more.

Sports fans now have the chance to bet on virtual, fictional football games and car races every five minutes through a pair of new Pennsylvania Lottery games: Xpress Football and Xpress Car Racing by Scientific Games.

This past week, the Lottery launched the two games. Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko said in a press release that the dual launch is part of the organization’s effort to boost revenue and stay relevant.

“We expect that our Xpress Sports games will also be a big hit with our players,” Svitko said. “These games are part of our continuing mission to modernize our business and generate new funds to benefit older Pennsylvanians.”

Both games simulate real sporting events via monitors at participating location, with bettors given the option of choosing the outcome of the drive or race.

Xpress Football: The details

Per the PA Lottery, gamblers can make one of 16 bets for each round of Xpress Football. New rounds start every five minutes.

The round begins with a fictional team driving on the 20-yard-line. Bettors can choose one of 16 outcomes:

  • Touchdown pass on 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th play and beyond
  • Touchdown run on 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th play and beyond
  • Turnover 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th play and beyond
  • Field goal

Once the bet has been made at a PA Lottery location, bettors can watch on a big screen as the action unfolds. The pregame sequence includes stats about each team’s pass TD/run TD/turnover/field goal percentages, although a promo video notes that the stats have nothing to do with the outcome of the game.

After the pregame sequence, the action picks up “on or within” the 20-yard-line, where the team on offense runs plays until they score a touchdown.

Prizes range from $120 (turnover on 1st play) to $8 (field goal).

Xpress Car Racing: The details

In Xpress Car Racing, bettors get to choose from one of five different bets based on a 12-car, two-lap race around an oval track:

  • 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-place finishers in exact order
  • 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-place finishers in any order
  • 1st- and 2nd-place finishers in exact order
  • 1st- and 2nd-place finishers in any order
  • 1st-place finisher

Much like Xpress Football, there’s a pre-race screen that reveals race data: car number and racer name, as well as the results of the past seven races.

Those race results, the PA Lottery notes, are not predictors of future finishes.

Races begin every five minutes. The actual race is in the vein of video-game stock car racing. Racers jockey for position around the track and the race is over relatively quickly.

Payouts are according to the following tiers:

  • Trifecta: $250
  • Three finishers in any order: $40
  • First two finishers, correct order: $20
  • First two finishers, any order: $5
  • First-place finishers: $2

PA Lottery expansion continues

Since this past May, the PA Lottery’s future started to unfold but not as quickly as some had hoped. Pennsylvania’s 2017 gambling expansion law provided the legal framework for the lottery to expand its operations to include online lottery games as well as in-person games like keno and virtual sports.

While it was anticipated that virtual sports would be part of the May roll-out, it wasn’t. Keno stole the headlines and, for a short time, was the primary sign of augmented lottery life in a post-gambling-expansion area.

That soon changed when the PA Lottery announced the launch of its iLottery, through which gamblers could play instant win games.

With this past week’s announcement of what amounts to a pair of virtual sports games, the lottery continues its methodical roll-out of new forms of gaming.

A Trio Of $3 Million Winners Highlight July’s Scratch-Off Lottery Winners

PA lottery scratch-off winners claimed more than $172 million in prizes throughout July, marking the third month in a row with over $165 million won.

July 2018 marked the third month in a row the Pennsylvania Lottery has given away more than $165 million in scratch-off ticket prizes.

In fact, figures released by the Pennsylvania Lottery this week show scratch-off ticket winners claimed $172,733,641 in prizes throughout the month of July. This includes two massive $3 million prizes and three $1 million prizes.

Pennsylvania Lottery scratch-off players also claimed upwards of $181 million in prizes this past May, and more than $167 million in prizes in June.

Two $3 million scratch-off winners

The Port Royal Pit Stop/Uni-Mart on Market Street in Port Royal sold July’s first $3 million winning ticket. It was a $3 Million Mega Multiplier ticket.

The Morton Street Wawa in Folsom sold the second $3 million winning ticket. It is a $3,000,000 Pennsylvania Club ticket.

The Denver Road Turkey Hill in Denver sold a $1 million winning ticket for the aptly named Million Dollar Winner game. The Convenient Food Mart on Main Street in Pittston sold a $1 million winning $1,000,000 Power Payday ticket. And finally, the Centre Avenue Turkey Hill in Leesport sold a $1 million winning My First Million ticket.

Other rather large scratch-off ticket prizes claimed across PA throughout July included:

  • Five $300,000 prizes
  • One $250,000 prize
  • 15 $100,000 prizes

PA Lottery scratch-off prizes range from a free ticket to $3 million. It is rare to see two $3 million winners in a single month. In fact, even in May when the Pennsylvania Lottery reported more than $181 million in Scratch-Off ticket prizes won, only a single $3 million top prize was claimed.

Proceeds from all Pennsylvania Lottery scratch-off games and its other lottery product sales go to programs that directly benefit older PA residents. The lottery has contributed $29 billion to such programs since ticket sales began in 1972.

Record-breaking PA lottery sales

In fact, after posting a record of more than $4.2 billion in sales throughout the 2017-18 fiscal year ending June 30, the PA Lottery added another $1 billion-plus to its contributions to programs benefiting older Pennsylvanians. It was the seventh-consecutive year it exceeded $1 billion in contributions.

Sales of scratch-off game tickets also broke records, with more than $2.8 billion recorded throughout the fiscal year. A number that was up by $97.6 million over 2016-2017, and broke the previous record of $2.79 billion set in 2015-16. Scratch-off game ticket sales actually accounted for more than 67 percent of total PA lottery sales in 2017-2018.

Even the proceeds from the Pennsylvania Lottery’s new instant win online lottery games go to benefit older people in the state. The games, which are similar to electronic versions of scratch-off games, launched at the end of May.

Online instant win lottery game recorded $20.8 million in sales from the May 22 launch through June 30.

The games are available on the PAiLottery.com website and through the PA Lottery mobile app.

Scratch-off game rules and info

PA Lottery scratch-off winners have one year following a game’s end-sale date to claim any outstanding prizes. The Pennsylvania Lottery advises players to check all tickets and claim winnings as soon as possible.

The PA Lottery employs a random distribution system through its network of more than 9,300 lottery retailers. Thereby ensuring where a winning ticket will be sold is always unknown.

WaWa Wowie! Grocery Store Sells Biggest June Scratch-Off Winners In PA

In June, the Pennsylvania Lottery awarded $167 million in scratch-off prizes, including two $1 million winners who bought tickets at Wawa.

Let’s just say it was a good month to buy lottery tickets at WaWa.

The Pennsylvania Lottery sent out a press release this week announcing that scratchers surrendered $167,335,899 in winnings this past month, including two $1 million tickets sold at WaWas in Lower Macungie and Fairness Hills.

The release also noted that PA Lottery patrons also won four $300,000 prizes.

Power Payday leads the way

According to the PA Lottery’s official list of June $1,000+ winners, $1,000,000 Power Payday was the lucky man’s game.

The scratcher was responsible for a $1 million prize won by “Matthew S.”, a $100,000 prize for “Edwin G.” and a quartet of $10,000 winners.

Power Payday was also quite generous with $1,000 payouts. More than 200 people were listed as winners of $1,000, including three men named “Thomas K”.

Inside perspective on winning $1 million

The PA Lottery features some of their past winners, choosing to include short articles about some of the winners.

A good example of what it’s like to win a million dollars from a scratcher is Shari G., whose PA Lottery story notes she bought the winning ticket in Lebanon.

Shari told lottery representatives she was so excited she couldn’t sleep.

“I got all the way to the last number and when I saw there was a match, I shouted, ‘No way! I threw the ticket down and started pacing in circles. I picked up the ticket, checked it again and said, ‘I think I just won a million dollars!'”

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Eventful spring and summer for PA Lotto

This past June, the Lottery launched its iLottery games per the provisions state lawmakers provided in the historic 2017 gambling expansion bill known simply as “Act 42”.

Crossover between existing scratch-offs and online scratchers was prohibited and, therefore, the launch of the iLottery also was the launch of a variety of new games with dramatic names, including  Monster Wins, Volcano Eruption, and Super Cash Buster.

At the time of the launch, Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko had this to say in a press release about his organization’s online expansion:

“PA iLottery games are a fun, new way to play and win from home or while on the go. iLottery is a big part of our effort to meet our players where they already are while generating new funds to benefit older Pennsylvanians. We’re partnering with our more than 9,400 Pennsylvania Lottery retailers to encourage players to sign up for iLottery.”

Casinos beefing with lottery

The new iLottery provides new avenues for gambling and is an attractive option for those who don’t want to lace up and head down to the corner gas station to get a couple of scratchers.

Casinos don’t seem too happy with the new iLottery games, though. Because the online instant win games can be played in rapid succession, casinos are arguing that they mimic slot machines, which would be a violation of Act 42, which has a provision to protect brick-and-mortar casinos by banning competing legal games.

Thirteen casino ownership groups signed a letter laying out their concerns for Gov. Tom Wolf. The group threatened legal action if Wolf didn’t take action earlier this month.

The state responded by requiring the Lottery to change its marketing campaign, which previously included comparisons to slot machines.