FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I know if I have a winning ticket?

Online and instant tickets can be validated at Lottery retailers or at the Kansas Lottery office in Topeka. They can also be checked in a Check-A-Ticket at Lottery retailer locations in Kansas. Online tickets are valid for 365 days from the date of the drawing for which they were purchased. Prizes on instant scratch tickets must be claimed within 180 days following the announced end date of a game. Players are encouraged to check tickets and cash prizes as soon as possible. Prize expiration dates on instant and pull tab games can be found on the instant and pull tab games page. Prize expiration dates are also published in the Kansas Lottery's quarterly Lotto News newsletter, available free of charge at Lottery retailers.

What's the most important thing to do if you have a winning ticket?

Sign the back of the ticket right away! Remember, lottery tickets are bearer instruments, meaning the person who "bears" the ticket can claim it, regardless of who purchased the ticket. The Lottery advises players to sign the back of their tickets when they purchase them - even before the drawing or the ticket is played.

How do I get paid if I have a winning ticket?

Prizes up to $599 may be claimed at most Kansas Lottery retail locations, or they may also be claimed at the Lottery office in Topeka. Prizes of $600 and more must be claimed at the Kansas Lottery office, either in person or by mail, and you must complete a claim form. 

What if my winnings are more than $5,000?

Bring or mail your ticket and a completed claim form to the Lottery office in Topeka. A check will be mailed to you for the prize amount, less mandatory withholdings of 25 percent Federal tax and 5 percent State tax. You should receive your check within two weeks of claiming your ticket. You may also request an electronic deposit directly into your bank account. A voided check is required with the electronic deposit option. Taxes are withheld on all Kansas Lottery prizes of more than $5,000.

Where can I get a claim form?

Claim forms are available at all Kansas Lottery retailers, the Kansas Lottery office in Topeka, or you may download a claim form here: Download Claim Form.

If I win a jackpot and have to choose between the CASH and the ANNUITY option, what is the difference?

A fixed percentage of every Mega Millions and Powerball ticket sold goes into each CASH jackpot. The cash jackpot is all the money that the lottery has on hand from the sale of tickets in the game. If a player chooses the cash option, then the lottery will pay entire cash amount to the winner (less income tax withholding amounts required by Federal and State laws).

The lottery also offers an ANNUITY jackpot option that can help reduce taxes and offers the winner a 100% guaranteed income stream over time. The three games offer different types of annual income streams, giving the players more options. If a winner elects the annuity option, then the lottery will invest the entire cash amount before taxes are deducted. The difference between the CASH jackpot and the ANNUITY jackpot is the interest earnings that build over time. The Powerball annuity jackpot earns more interest for two reasons.

The Powerball Annuity Jackpot invests more money for a longer period of time. The Powerball annuity is paid out in graduated amounts (rising by 4% per year to keep up with inflation) over 29 years (30 payments). The annual payments grow larger to keep pace with the winner's expected cost of living. The Mega Millions annuity is paid out over 25 years (26 payments) with equal payments each year. In both cases, the first payment is an immediate cash payment.

The Powerball Annuity Jackpot is invested in a wider variety of securities than the Mega Millions Jackpot, allowing more interest to be earned. All of the securities used to support both games' jackpots offer significant levels of U.S. Government backing. It is important to understand that the lottery is invested in these securities; not the winner. The winner has a contract with the states to pay the annual prize payment, no matter what happens to the securities. Since the two games' jackpots are invested differently, if the CASH jackpots are the same, the Powerball jackpot will pay a larger ANNUITY over time than Mega Millions. If the ANNUITY value of the jackpots are the same, then Mega Millions' CASH jackpot will be larger than Powerball's CASH jackpot. The CASH jackpot amounts present the true present-day values of the jackpots. A winner who wishes to take the CASH jackpot should compare only the CASH jackpot amounts. The ANNUITY jackpot amounts will be important for those winners who plan to select a long-term, fully guaranteed income stream.

What happens if I choose the annuity option and die before payments are completed?

If the winner dies, the payments will be placed into the winner's estate.

How do I get my money if I win a Super Kansas Cash jackpot?

Super Kansas Cash jackpots are paid in one lump sum within two weeks of filling out a claim form. Federal and State taxes are withheld on all lottery prizes in excess of $5,000. Federal tax is withheld at the rate of 25 percent and 5 percent is withheld for State tax. When taxes are withheld from a Kansas Lottery ticket, the player/winner will receive a W-2G tax form from the Kansas Lottery in January.

Can I remain anonymous if I hit a really big prize or a jackpot?

Most states require the lottery to release the name and city of residence to anyone who asks. Kansas is one of a handful of states that does not have this requirement. If you win a prize in Kansas, you may request that your identity not be released publicly.

If a group that pools money to buy Lottery tickets wins a prize, does the Lottery split the prize among the members of the group?

Only one individual can claim a lottery ticket. Therefore, a group would have to designate one person to claim the prize. The Lottery can then provide a form to the claimant which lists the persons to whom winning payments were distributed. This form enables the Lottery to properly report winnings to the appropriate taxing authorities.

What is the State of Kansas Set-off Program and how could that affect my winnings?

The State of Kansas Set-off program is a debt collection program used by state agencies to collect debts owed to the State of Kansas. If a winner is listed in the Set-off program, all or part of the prize claim may be used to satisfy any monies owed.  For more information on the Set-off Program, you may visit this website http://www.da.ks.gov/ar/setoff/default.htm or call the Customer Call Center at (785) 296-4628 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

I am not a U.S. citizen. Can I win the jackpot?

Yes. You do not need to be a U.S. citizen to play or to claim a prize. Non-residents will be required to provide an address outside of the U.S., and at least 30 percent of the prize amount (25 percent Federal, 5 percent State) will be automatically deducted for mandatory income withholding taxes. In some cases, the Lottery would be required to withhold more.

Is there an age restriction for purchasing a lottery ticket?

Yes. A Kansas Lottery ticket may not be sold to any person under 18 years of age.

How and where are lottery drawings done?

Powerball, Hot Lotto and 2by2 are Multi-State Lottery Association games. Powerball drawings take place in Tallahassee, Florida, and are done using a draw machine, in which balls drop down into a tray. Hot Lotto and 2by2 drawings take place in Des Moines, Iowa. The Hot Lotto and 2by2 drawings are done using a random number generator. Mega Millions drawings are done in Atlanta, Georgia, using a draw machine similar to the one used for Powerball. The drawings for Super Kansas Cash, Pick 3, Keno and Kansas Hold 'Em are done at a secured location in Topeka, Kansas. A computerized random number generator is used for those drawings.

Why doesn't the Lottery televise Powerball drawings?

Any television station can televise the Powerball drawings live or tape them for later broadcast. Currently, the only Kansas-based television station choosing to air the drawings on a regular basis is KDGL, an independent station broadcasting on Channel 23 in Dodge City, Garden City, Liberal, Ulysses and Sublette. WDAF-TV Fox 4 in Kansas City, Missouri, televises the drawings in the KC Medtro area. You may watch a delayed broadcast of Powerball drawings by going to the Powerball YouTube channel.

Is there an easy way I can find out the winning numbers after each drawing?

Yes! If you are at least 18 years of age, we invite you to join our Kansas Lottery Players Club. Membership is free. We will e-mail you the winning numbers after each drawing, and you'll also be among the first to know about new promotions. You'll even be eligible to win coupons for free plays! You can join the club right now by visiting the Players Club area.

How can I find out which numbers are drawn the most?

The Kansas Lottery provides "Frequency Charts" right here on the Kansas Lottery website. You can see the "Frequency Charts" for Powerball, Mega Millions, Super Kansas Cash, Hot Lotto, 2by2, Pick 3 and Keno by going to the page for each game and clicking on "Frequency Chart" on the left side of the screen. You can also find "Frequency Charts" for most games in our Lotto News newsletter, which is published quarterly and available free of charge at all Lottery retailers. 

How can repeated Quick Pick numbers be random?

There is no built-in memory in a random system. Once the numbers are picked in the first board the process starts over again for the next board. The boards are completely unrelated and have no influence on the boards that follow. You have a memory of what happens. The Quick Pick has no memory of what happens. Therefore, a player could have the same set of Quick Pick numbers on the same ticket.

Can I cash a Powerball, Mega Millions, Hot Lotto or 2by2 ticket in another state?

No. All winning Powerball, Mega Millions, Hot Lotto or 2by2 tickets must be validated and cashed in the state where the ticket was purchased.

Why is Kansas joined with other states in Powerball, Mega Millions, Hot Lotto and 2by2?

Kansas joined with other states in the Multi-State Lottery Association, which oversees Powerball, Hot Lotto and 2by2, and with other lotteries in the Mega Millions consortium, so that we may offer larger prizes and faster-growing jackpots to our players and produce additional revenue.

Can I buy a ticket over the Internet?

No. Kansas state law prohibits the sale of Lottery tickets by any other means than in person from a licensed Kansas Lottery retailer.

Can I use a debit or credit card to purchase lottery tickets in Kansas?

The Kansas Lottery has no prohibition against using a credit card or debit card for lottery purchases. Whether to allow purchases of lottery products with a debit or credit card is left to the discretion of each store or corporation.

Is a Lottery retailer the only place where I can watch Keno?

No. Players can watch Keno drawings on the Kansas Lottery website, as well as at their favorite lottery retailer. This option doesn't change the way Keno is played, or how Keno tickets are purchased. It does give players the option of watching Keno drawings on the Internet whenever they choose, in addition to watching them on a Keno monitor at a Kansas Lottery retailer location. Keno and other lottery tickets must still be purchased from an authorized Kansas Lottery retailer; they cannot be purchased on the Internet. Once players have purchased their Keno tickets, they'll be able to access Keno drawings by going to the Kansas Lottery website and entering the game number or numbers they want to watch. There will be a slight (up to 15 minutes) delay from the time of a drawing to when it will be available on the Internet. Keno drawings can be accessed at this link: Watch Keno drawings.

Where does the Lottery money go?

Lottery proceeds are placed into the State Gaming Revenues Fund and then distributed to various other funds. The Kansas Legislature determines how Lottery revenues are distributed. In Fiscal Year 2014, the Lottery transferred $74.3 million to the State. Click here to see Where the Money Goes.

Does the Lottery use tax money?

NO TAX DOLLARS ARE USED TO FUND THE KANSAS LOTTERY. The Lottery is totally self-sufficient. The Lottery was started with a loan from the state for $2,843,321. The loan was repaid a full year before it was due, reflecting the success and popularity of the Lottery with the public.

What are the Kansas Lottery's Veterans Benefit games and how do they benefit veterans?

The Kansas Lottery's Veterans Benefit games are the same as any other instant tickets we sell in terms of prize payouts and play action. The difference is the net proceeds from these games go directly to help fund veterans programs in Kansas. The current distribution is: 40% to National Guard scholarships, 30% to the Veterans Enhanced Service Delivery Program, and 30% to the Veterans homes and cemetery system. Through Fiscal Year 2014, the Lottery had generated more than $12 million for veterans programs.

What happens to unclaimed prize money?

By law, unclaimed prize money remains in the prize fund. It shall then be added to the prizes in subsequent Lottery games. The money always remains in the prize fund and can only be used to pay prizes.

How can I find out if there are large unclaimed prizes in Powerball, Mega Millions, Hot Lotto, Super Kansas Cash and other online games?

You can see a list of unclaimed online prizes of $1,000 or more by clicking on "Games" then "Unclaimed Prizes" on the Kansas Lottery website. Prizes from drawings more than 365 days old are not listed, as those prizes can no longer be claimed. Here is a direct link to the Unclaimed Prizes page.

Can I find out how many big prizes are remaining in an instant or pull tab game?

Yes. The Kansas Lottery provides a list of all instant and pull tab games we are currently selling, along with the number of prizes remaining in the top three prize levels of each game. This list is updated daily and can be found by clicking on the Instant and Pull Tab Games on the Lottery website.

Can I enter all non-winning Lottery tickets into a second-chance drawing?

No. Only certain Kansas Lottery games that have a current promotion for a second-chance drawing may be entered into the drawing. Complete directions on how to enter a second-chance drawing are printed on the back of promotional tickets or on an entry form generated with a qualifying online purchase. Information on promotions and second-chance drawings is also available by clicking on "Drawings" in the Promotions section of the Lottery's web site. Here is a direct link to the "Drawings" page.

Who runs the Lottery?

The Kansas Lottery is a state agency with approximately 85 employees involved in financial, legal, operational, sales and marketing, security and other day-to-day functions. The Kansas Lottery is supervised by an Executive Director.  The Lottery is overseen by a five-person Lottery Commission that consults with and advises the Executive Director. The commissioners are appointed by the governor to serve alternating four-year terms.

Can Lottery employees play Kansas Lottery games?

No, employees and family members of Lottery employees are restricted from purchasing Kansas Lottery tickets or claiming a winning Lottery ticket in Kansas.

Who plays the Lottery?

A survey of registered Kansas voters commissioned by Christiansen Capital Advisors and conducted in 2004 by Behavior Research Center, shows one-third of those surveyed play one or more of the Kansas Lottery games at least once per month. Men and higher-income voters are the most likely Lottery players, with the largest percentage reporting income of $45,000-$70,000 a year. There is no significant difference in playing patterns based on age nor on region of the state.

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