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The Texas Lottery Commission created an unusual contest for the Lottery logo – designs from a contracted ad agency were pitted against designs from the general public. One logo from each source was placed in head to head competition, and the winning logo – a cowboy hat thrown high in celebration (still in current use) – was the public design (the winner was Susan Holten, from Carrollton).
The Lottery's first game was the scratch-off ticket Lone Star Millions, with the first ticket sold to then Gov. Ann Richards at Polk's Feed Store in Oak Hill. First-day sales of 23.2 million tickets set a then-world record, with first-week sales (ending June 5, 1992) also setting a world record.
Lotto Texas began sales on November 7, 1992, with the first drawing on November 14, 1992 and the first jackpot (from Schulenburg) won on November 28, 1992. By November 1993, Texas Lottery sales would exceed $1 billion, breaking the Florida Lottery's record set in 1989.
The Texas Lottery Commission was formed via legislation in 1993 to take over management of the Lottery from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts; the legislation also gives the Commission oversight of charitable bingo games (moving that duty from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission).
Texas joined the Mega Millions consortium in 2003, with sales beginning December 3 and the first drawing to include Texas was two days later. Though no Texas ticket won the jackpot, one Texas-bought ticket matched the first five numbers for $175,000. The first Texas jackpot winner of Mega Millions was not until the drawing of October 4, 2004; a Carrollton player took home the $101 million (annuity value) prize.
As part of the cross-selling arrangement between the operators of Mega Millions and Powerball, the Texas Lottery Commission agreed to begin selling Powerball tickets on January 31, 2010; the first drawing including Texas was three days later.
On April 23, 2013, the House voted not to recommission the Texas Lottery Commission, which would potentially bring an end to the lottery in Texas.
Later in the day, the House reversed course with a new vote on the bill. http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Texas-House-reconsiders-vote-to-abolish-lottery-4457037.php
As with most US lotteries, players must be at least 18 years of age.
Winning tickets must be claimed within 180 days or the prize is forfeited. For scratch-off tickets, the time limit begins when a game is closed by the Commission; for drawings the time limit begins the date of the drawing.
Within Texas, players much choose when playing (instead of after winning) the cash value option (CVO) or annual pay (AP) when purchasing Powerball, Mega Millions, and/or Lotto Texas tickets (see below.)
According to the Texas Lottery Commission, the allocation of lottery sales is as follows:
The Texas Lottery began operations on May 29, 1992 with sales of Lone Star Millions. By the game's end on February 1, 2004, it set a world record for first-day sales (23.2 million tickets) and first-week sales (102.4 million tickets), There were 6 prizes of $1 million (annuity-only) and 479 of $10,000 each.
Instant tickets, most changing frequently, cost $1 to $50 each. The Texas Lottery is the only US lottery to offer $50 scratch-off tickets.
Prizes have included not only cash (from $1 to the millions), and free tickets (which can be used to purchase any Texas drawing game), but also trucks, tickets to sports events, and tours of Cowboys Stadium.
Lotto Texas was the first Texas in-house drawing game offered, with sales beginning on November 7, 1992; its first drawing on November 14, 1992, and the first jackpot won on November 28, 1992. By its first anniversary, the Texas Lottery sold over $1 billion in tickets.
Initially sold as an annuity-only game (no cash option), the purchaser having to pick numbers, and the drawings held only on Saturdays, Lotto Texas later added the "Quick Pick" option (random selection of numbers, added on May 29, 1993, the Lottery's first anniversary), the "Cash Value" option (CVO), and changed the drawings to twice weekly, adding Wednesdays.
The current format utilizes 54 balls drawn from a machine; players choose 6 numbers. The jackpot is paid either in 25 annual payments, or in lump sum (discussed further below). Non-jackpot payments are in lump sum. Each game costs $1, the minimum jackpot is $4 million, and drawings are held at 10:12 PM Central time on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
|Matches||Prize||Current probability of winning|
|3 of 6 numbers||$ 3 (guaranteed)||1:75|
|4 of 6 numbers||$ 50 (estimated)||1:1,526|
|5 of 6 numbers||$ 2,000 (estimated)||1:89,678|
|All 6 numbers||Jackpot||1:25,827,165|
Overall odds of winning are 1:71.
Texas Two Step is the other twice-weekly in-house game in Texas. Sales for Texas Two Step began on May 13, 2001.
The current format utilizes a 4+1 matrix using two sets of numbers 1 through 35). Players choose five numbers; four from the first set of 35 white balls, and the fifth, Bonus Ball, from a set of 35 red balls. All payments, including the jackpot, are in lump sum. Each game is $1, the minimum jackpot is $200,000, and drawings are held at 10:12 PM on Mondays and Thursdays.
|Matches||Prize||Current probability of winning|
|Zero numbers, plus Bonus Ball||$ 5 (guaranteed)||1:58|
|1 number, plus Bonus Ball||$ 7 (guaranteed)||1:102|
|2 numbers, plus Bonus Ball||$ 20 (estimated)||1:657|
|3 numbers, no Bonus Ball||$ 20 (estimated)||1:435|
|3 numbers, plus Bonus Ball||$ 50||1:14,779|
|4 numbers, no Bonus Ball||$ 1,501||1:53,900|
|All 4 numbers, plus Bonus Ball||Jackpot||1:1,832,600|
Overall odds of winning are 1:32.
Texas Two-Step's jackpot always is paid in lump sum; as such, it is the only Texas Lottery jackpot game not to require players to choose cash or annuity when playing (see below.)
The Texas Lottery's newest draw game, All or Nothing, is drawn 24 times weekly; 10:00 am, 12:27 pm, 6:00 pm, and 10:12 pm Central Time Mondays through Saturdays. Players choose (or let the lottery terminal select) 12 numbers from a field of 24. A player wins $250,000 cash if all 12 numbers match those drawn, or, if none match the numbers drawn. (The odds of either way of winning the top prize are the same; the first ball drawn determines whether a player must match all the numbers, or none, to win the top prize.) Other prizes are: $500, $50, $10, and $2; players win either by matching at least eight numbers, or, no more than four. Games are $2 each.
The All or Nothing betslip has boxes for special wagers: odd numbers, even numbers, 1 through 12, and 13 through 24, as well as for "quick pick".
Cash Five is a daily-draw game. Sales for this game (which replaced a similarly named game, Cash 5) began on July 29, 2002.
The current format utilizes one set of 37 balls; players choose five numbers. All payments are in lump sum. Each game costs $1; and drawings are held at 10:12 PM Central time Mondays through Saturdays.
|Matches||Prize||Current probability of winning|
|2 of 5 numbers||$ 2 (guaranteed)||1:9|
|3 of 5 numbers||$ 11 (estimated)||1:88|
|4 of 5 numbers||$ 123 (estimated if no Top Prize) / $395 (estimated if Top Prize)||1:2,724|
|All 5 numbers||Top Prize||1:435,897|
Overall odds of winning are 1:8.
Pick 3 is a twice-daily draw game. It began on October 25, 1993.
The current format utilizes three sets of digits 0 through 9. Players choose: exact order (all three digits), any order (two or three digits), exact and any order (two or three digits), combo (two or three digits; combo two is the same as two exact order plays while combo three is the same as three or six exact order plays) and Sum It Up (the arithmetic sum of the numbers played is the same as the arithmetic sum of the numbers drawn; the numbers drawn do not have to be the same as the numbers played).
All payments are in lump sum. Exact or any order bets cost $0.50 or $1; exact and any order for $1, combo (two digits cost $1.50 or $3; three digits cost $3 or $6), and Sum It Up for an additional $0.50. The prizes are guaranteed amounts, and drawings are held twice a day, at 12:27 PM and 10:12 PM Central time Mondays through Saturdays.
For exact odds of winning see this link: How to Play Pick 3
Daily 4 also is drawn 12 times weekly. Sales began on September 30, 2007.
Daily 4 is played as in Pick 3, except there are 4 digits. Players can select: Straight (all four digits in exact order), Box (all four digits in any order), Straight/Box (all four digits), Pairs [two of the four digits in exact order, which can be: front pair (first two digits), middle pair (middle digits), or back pair (last two digits)], Combo [which can be: 4-way (three of the four digits drawn are identical, such as 1112), 6-way (the digits drawn are two pairs, such as 1122), 12-way (two of the four digits drawn are identical, such as 1123), or 24-way (all four digits are different, such as 1234)] and "Sum It Up" (see Pick 3.)
All payments are in lump sum. Players can select Straight or Box for either $0.50 or $1; Straight/Box for $1; Pairs for $0.50 or $1; Combo (4-way for $2 or $4; 6-way for $3 or $6; 12-way for $6 or $12; or 24-way for $12 or $24), and Sum It Up for an additional $0.50. The prizes are guaranteed amounts, and drawings are held at 12:27 PM and 10:12 PM Central time Mondays through Saturdays.
For exact odds of winning see: How to Play Daily 4
In 2003, the Texas Lottery joined the Mega Millions consortium.
The current format utilizes one set of 56 white balls, and a second set, of 46 yellow balls (the "Mega Ball"). Players choose six numbers; five white ball numbers, and the "Mega Ball" from the second set. Jackpots are paid in either 26 annual payments or in cash; see below on jackpot choices. Non-jackpot payments are in lump sum. Each game costs $1, the minimum jackpot is $12 million, and drawings are held at 10:12 PM Central time on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Texas, as in all Mega Millions jurisdictions except for California, offers an option, called Megaplier feature (similar to the original version of Powerball's Power Play) which multiplies non-jackpot prizes by either 2, 3, or 4.
On October 13, 2009, the Mega Millions consortium and MUSL (the operator of Powerball, the other major US lottery game) reached an agreement in principle for lotteries, at their option, to cross-sell Mega Millions and Powerball; the earliest date agreed on was January 31, 2010.
The Texas Lottery Commission elected to participate in the agreement; on November 17, 2009 voted to publish Powerball rules for public comment. On December 14, 2009 the Commission held a public hearing, receiving comments on the proposal to join Powerball.
On January 6, 2010, the Commission voted 3-0 to join Powerball. Texas sales for the game began on January 31, 2010, with the first drawing including Texas was conducted three days later.
Unusually, Texas Lottery regulations require players to choose either cash value option (CVO) or annual pay (AP) when playing Lotto Texas, Mega Millions, and/or Powerball (other lotteries generally allow players to make the cash/annuity choice after winning, including winners of annuitized scratch-game prizes.) The choice when playing in Texas is binding. All three games mentioned above (including Mega Millions and Powerball within Texas) have "AP" as the default option; that is, if the choice is not marked on the playslip, or if the player selects "Quick Pick" and the retailer does not press the CVO button, the ticket(s) is/are marked "ANNUAL PAY". The Texas Lottery is the only one offering Powerball that does not allow CVO to be chosen after winning Powerball.
Players of Texas Two Step do not face this choice; it is the only Texas Lottery jackpot game that is all-cash. All other Texas Lottery draw games have all-cash prizes.
Texas' scratch games that are annuitized do not allow winners to choose lump sum in lieu of the annuity.