The New Jersey Lottery, which commenced ticket sales in 1970 as the third state lottery preceded only by those of New Hampshire and New York, accounted for $3.29 billion in revenue in the 2016 fiscal year. The Lottery provided $987 million for education and institutions serving mental health, the disabled, veterans, and those with other special needs. Some $2 billion was paid out in prizes to Lottery players who validated 113 million winning tickets during the fiscal year. Sales are conducted by 7,600 retail licensees, who received $186 million in commissions and bonuses during the 12-month period. The largest prize won on a ticket sold in New Jersey was $429 million for the May 7, 2016 Powerball drawing on a ticket sold in Trenton to Pearlie Mae Smith, along with her seven adult children.
The Lottery is administered by the New Jersey Lottery Commission of seven non-salaried members, including the State Treasurer and the director of the Division of Investment, and five others appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the State Senate.
The ways to win, in the order of payouts from highest to lowest, are:
Straight - Matching all four digits exactly. Minimum play is 50 cents.
Box - Matching all four digits in any order. Minimum play is 50 cents.
The most common Pick-4 wager is Straight and Box combined for $1.00 (some players will make separate "straight" and "box" wagers for the same Pick-4 number, so that the "box" wager, if won, can be collected without filling out a tax form.) Typically, the straight payout is over $2,000. Multiple wagers of the same number increase winnings.
* Pick-3 A three-digit draw game drawn twice daily. The ways to win, in the order of payouts from highest to lowest, are:
Straight - Matching all three digits exactly as they are drawn. Minimum play is 50 cents.
Wheel - Match all three digits in any order and win the straight payout. Minimum play is $1.50 (if two digits are the same, such as 211) or $3.00 for three different digits (such as 123.)
Box - Matching all three digits in any order. Minimum play is 50 cents.
Pair - A two-digit wager; either the first and second digits, or the second and third (last.)
Split - Also a two-digit wager, but with the first and last digits. Minimum play is 50 cents.
Typically, the straight payout is over $250, and the box payout (where the three digits are different) averages $38. Unlike most lotteries, New Jersey pays winners of Pick-3 and Pick-4 on a parimutuel basis. Multiple wagers of the same number increase winnings. The most common Pick-3 wager is Straight and Box combined for $1.00 (sometimes
* Jersey Cash 5 XTRA A daily game that draws five balls numbered from 1 through 43. Drawings are held nightly, and the cost is $1 per game. The top prize (matching all 5 numbers drawn) is a progressive jackpot. that starts at $75,000 (estimated). The jackpot increases each day until a wager matches all 5 numbers drawn. The jackpot amount is shared between each winning ticket if there are multiple winners. On October 3, 2016, the "Xtra" feature was added to Jersey Cash 5. This feature gives players the opportunity to multiply their non-jackpot winnings up to 5 times by matching 3 or 4 out of 5 numbers. If a player matches 2 out of 5 numbers with the "Xtra" feature, they win $2.
A multi-lottery game which began in 1992 that New Jersey started offering in 2010. The game is played through a draw of five white balls out of a drum with 69 balls and one red ball out of a drum with 26 red balls. The jackpot is won by matching all five white balls in any order and the red Powerball The second prize is won by matching five white balls in any order. Other prizes are awarded for matching at least three white ball numbers or the the red Powerball. Power Play® is a special add-on feature that allows a winner to increase the original prize amounts (except the jackpot). The Power Play option costs $1 and must be selected when the Powerball ticket is purchased. Powerball players with the Power Play option winning any prize other than the jackpot will win a larger cash prize The overall odds of winning
Powerball is drawn live, usually from Florida; its home base.
* Mega Millions Mega Millions currently is played in 44 states, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands. In 1999, New Jersey was the seventh state to offer the game. Mega Millions is drawn live, usually from Atlanta.
Mega Millions' starting jackpot is $15 million; a cash option is available.