Lotto Texas, the Lone Star Lottery
Lotto Texas is the name of the bi-weekly Wednesday and Saturday lottery draw run by the Texas State Lottery. Like legislatures in many states in the USA that restrict general gambling quite tightly, Texas authorities have seen the benefits that a state lottery can bring.
Texas uses the proceeds of Lotto Texas to help fund education, military veterans’ benefit programmes and a number of other social welfare initiatives in the state. Even after paying out more than 63 percent of its revenue in prizes, Lotto Texas and other games licensed by the Texas Lottery Commission are still able to donate more than a billion dollars a year to worthy causes.
How Lotto Texas Works
The Texas Lottery Commission was formed in 1993 after a change in legislation allowed lotteries in the state. The Commission runs some kind of lottery game every day of the week, including Pick 3, Powerball and scratch tickets. The Lotto Texas draw, however, originally took place only on a Saturday night, just after 10pm. It was the first in the state, and actually pre-dated the formation of the Texas Lottery Commission. A short while later, the regular Wednesday draw was added, and that format has survived for 23 years.
Lotto Texas uses 54 numbered balls mixed up in the draw barrel, and players choose six numbers when they buy their tickets. Tickets cost a dollar each. At 10.15 pm every Saturday and Wednesday, six random balls are drawn on live television, and the numbers they bear become the winning numbers for that draw.
Lotto Texas Prizes
Lotto Texas begins paying prizes for 3 out of 6 matching numbers, which pays a set $3. 4 out of 6 wins the player $54, and 5 out of 6 can win as much as $2,250.
Matching all six numbers wins the player the jackpot, or an equal share of the jackpot with any other players having 6 winning numbers. The minimum jackpot in Lotto Texas is a guaranteed $5-million, but it is seldom won in the first draw. Rollovers boost the jackpot on every draw, and by the time it is won, most jackpots are over $10-million, with some even growing above $20-million. In early June, 2016, the jackpot had rolled over again, to an estimated $11.5-million.
Extra! Buy-In Boosts Lotto Texas Wins
Since April 2013, players have also been able to add a dollar to their Lotto Texas bet and activate the Extra! feature. This adds another prize to the pay table: for two matching numbers, the player wins $2, effectively getting their stake back. But the Extra! feature also boost all other the prizes except the jackpot. 5 out of 6 matches, for example, pays $12,550 with Extra!, as opposed to $2,250.
Although the odds against players are huge, Lotto Texas has impressive prizes and a low-ticket price that make play worthwhile. In 2014, a jackpot of more than $36-million was won. Of course, jackpot wins are only paid in full as annual annuities; if the player chooses CVO or Cash Value Option; they receive a smaller lump sum to invest as they wish.
Players can access Lotto Texas online at the Texas Lottery site, along with all the other high-paying games run by the Texas Lottery Commission.