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 Kansas Lottery offices in Topeka and Great Bend. 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 Winners newsletter, available free of
charge at Lottery retailers.
What's the most important thing to do if you have a winning
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
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 offices in
Topeka or Great Bend. Prizes of $600 and more must be claimed at a
Kansas Lottery office, and you must complete a claim form. Bring or
mail your signed ticket and completed claim form to the Topeka or
Great Bend office.
Note: You can claim your
prize of up to $5,000 and receive a check the same day ONLY
at the Topeka office. When you claim at the Great Bend office,
your check will be mailed to you.
What if my winnings are more than $5,000?
Bring or mail your ticket and a completed claim form to the
Lottery office in either Topeka or Great Bend. 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 most Kansas Lottery retailers and
Kansas Lottery offices.
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
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
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
How do I get my money if I win a Super Kansas Cash
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
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
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
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
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
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
Why doesn't the Lottery televise Powerball drawings?
Any television station can televise the Powerball drawings live
or tape them for later broadcast. No Kansas-based television
station has chosen to air the drawings on a regular basis at this
time. WDAF-TV Fox 4 in Kansas City is the only station serving
Kansas viewers that does televise the drawings. 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
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
How can I find out which Powerball numbers are drawn the
The Kansas Lottery provides "Frequency Charts" in our Kansas
Winners newsletter, which is published quarterly and available
free of charge at all Lottery retailers. Updated frequency charts
are published not only for Powerball, but also for Mega Millions,
Super Kansas Cash, Hot Lotto, 2by2 and Pick 3.
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
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
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
Is a Lottery retailer the only place where I can watch
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?
In Fiscal Year 2012 (July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012), the
Kansas Lottery paid out 57 percent in prizes. The State of Kansas
received 29.1 percent of ticket sales (85 percent earmarked for
economic development, 10 percent to prison construction and 5
percent to juvenile detention facilities), 4 percent remained at
the Lottery for administrative costs, 3.9 percent went toward the
cost of sales, and 5.9 percent went toward retailer earnings.
Lottery proceeds (the State's share) are placed into the State
Gaming Revenues Fund. The Kansas Legislature determines how Lottery
revenues are distributed. In Fiscal Year 2012, the Lottery
transferred $72 million to the state.
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 2012, the Lottery
had generated more than $8.6 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
How can I find out if there are large unclaimed prizes in
Powerball, Mega Millions, Hot Lotto, Super Kansas Cash and other
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
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.
Does the Kansas Lottery continue to sell an instant game after
all top prizes in the game are claimed?
No. As soon as the last top prize in a game is claimed, the
Kansas Lottery informs its retailers that the game has ended and to
discontinue sales of the game. This is the policy of the Kansas
Can I enter all non-winning Lottery tickets into a
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.