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More state lotteries adding "win for life" games

Insider BuzzInsider Buzz: More state lotteries adding "win for life" games
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More than half of US lotteries now offer a "for life" lotto draw game

By Todd Northrop

In the past year a new multi-state lottery game concept where the top prize pays out over the lifetime of the winner has swept across the United States.

Just like there are two big-jackpot multi-state lottery games — Powerball and Mega Millions — there are also two multi-state "for life" games:  Cash4Life and Lucky for Life.

The games offer a top prize and a second prize that pay off over the lifetime of the winner.  Both games offer the same $7,000-per-week top prize, but Cash4Life offer a bit more to second prize winners: $52,000 per year for life vs. $25,000 per year for life with the Lucky for Life game.

Of course, each game has minor pros and cons when compared to the other, but they are essentially the same. Players can win by matching five numbers plus a bonus number drawn from a separate number pool, just like Powerball and Mega Millions.

Tickets for both games are $2 each, and drawings are held Mondays and Thursdays.

Lucky for Life drawings are held in Connecticut, while Cash4Life drawings are conducted in New Jersey. Both games are drawn using a real lottery ball machine.

From a lottery industry perspective, what makes the games so compelling is the speed with which they are adding more jurisdictions.  In just one year, "for life" games have spread from a handful of New England states to more than half of the US lottery jurisdictions.

The Connecticut Lottery originated the game concept in 2009, with the introduction of Lucky-4-Life.

In March, 2012, the game was opened up as a multi-state game, adding the New England states of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The name was changed to "Lucky for Life", and it adopted the slogan "New England's Game".

In June of 2014, the New Jersey and New York lotteries jointly started a similar game called Cash4Life. The game was only offered in those two states.

By late 2014 state lotteries across the country were seeking new revenue opportunities as the Mega Millions and Powerball games were underperforming, and the "for life" games were becoming popular among lottery players in the states they were being offered. So in early 2015 the floodgates opened, and the "for life" games added several new states to the mix.

Lucky for Life added eight new states in January 2015, and Cash4Life added two more in April and May of 2015.  Other states joined later in the year.

Now four more states are joining the "for life" game phenomena: Iowa starts ticket sales for Lucky for Life this Sunday, Maryland begins ticket sales for Cash4Life on Jan. 26, tickets for Lucky for Life go on sale in North Dakota on Jan. 31, and North Carolina is joining the Lucky for Life game on Feb. 7.

"Iowa, along with the rest of the country, just had fun with last week's world-record Powerball jackpot drawing," Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich said. "We've been looking for some time at game ideas that would complement Powerball and our other lotto games and bring a different look and feel to the category. We think Lucky for Life will be a great fit in our line-up of games."

After the new states are added within the new few weeks, Lucky for Life will be offered in 19 states plus the District of Columbia, and Cash4Life will be available in six states. That leaves a minority of states — 19 — without a "for life" game.

Where to play

Lucky for Life, the game that started it all, has the lion's share of lottery jurisdictions:

  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Iowa (starting Jan. 20)
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina (starting Feb. 7)
  • North Dakota (starting Jan. 31)
  • Ohio
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Vermont
  • Washington, D.C.

Cash4Life has states with arguably the biggest player base in the Northeast:

  • Maryland (starting Jan. 26)
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia

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48 comments. Last comment 9 months ago by TheMeatman2005.
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United States
Member #142686
May 17, 2013
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Posted: January 22, 2016, 7:00 am - IP Logged

I just started to play Lucky for Life yesterday. I bought a quick pick for a few drawings to see how it goes.

 

I hadn't even noticed it until last week. It's really new here apparently

    dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
    Oklahoma
    United States
    Member #82391
    November 12, 2009
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    Posted: January 22, 2016, 9:21 am - IP Logged

    Once again Oklahoma is not on the list Bang Head

    I Love Pink & Green 1908

      OneTrickpony's avatar - thought

      United States
      Member #167657
      July 25, 2015
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      Posted: January 22, 2016, 9:31 am - IP Logged

      According to the North Carolina Education Lottery website, "Lucky for Life" will begin in our State on February 7th.  I like these odds much better than Powerball or Mega Millions.  Hopefully, the States won't get greedy in the near future.  They double the price and worsen the odds in order to make the game "more exciting".  And then they wonder why PB and MM are under performing.  Duh!


        United States
        Member #108380
        March 25, 2011
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        Posted: January 22, 2016, 9:35 am - IP Logged

        not a good game for people over 40. 2.00 price tag and bad odds. sounds good but people on here only want 200 million jackpots or won't play anything. so not for them. good game if you don't want to garner attention and be hounded by people. but tax bite knocks off about 40% of take. problem is most lottery players are over 50. there is a cash option, but better to chase your state lotto when it hits 1m or more.

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          Miami
          United States
          Member #62793
          July 9, 2008
          673 Posts
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          Posted: January 22, 2016, 9:50 am - IP Logged

          Been waiting for this since '09, but Florida is usually late in joining the party. 

          I don't care how old I am when I hit it, I'm taking the annuity. Something about $1,000 going in the bank every time I open my eyes in the morning...

          "...a chance to push everything aside, the circumstances that've controlled our lives, and do it our way now. Good, bad or otherwise. You'll maybe get lost in it, tied up in it a little bit, but if you work your way through that the real you shows up, I think. Maybe what's at your core deep down, maybe that comes out. Maybe that's what it's about." Mike Pace 

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            Alpharetta, GA
            United States
            Member #169547
            October 23, 2015
            123 Posts
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            Posted: January 22, 2016, 10:04 am - IP Logged

            Been waiting for this since '09, but Florida is usually late in joining the party. 

            I don't care how old I am when I hit it, I'm taking the annuity. Something about $1,000 going in the bank every time I open my eyes in the morning...

            Ga had decades of dollars which was phased out last year.   Hopefully they will join the lucky for life format again soon.


              United States
              Member #108380
              March 25, 2011
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              Posted: January 22, 2016, 10:20 am - IP Logged

              Been waiting for this since '09, but Florida is usually late in joining the party. 

              I don't care how old I am when I hit it, I'm taking the annuity. Something about $1,000 going in the bank every time I open my eyes in the morning...

              actually would only be about 650.00. you wouldn't be buying the playboy mansion with it but acceptable. a little over 200k a year clear which for the majority on here sneeze at since they won't even buy a ticket for the big ones unless there at 200 million or more. the 2.00 price tag negates a lot of the value. lottery's are promoting this since they get to hold the money forever on you. stay away.   probably ok for younger people who can't control spending, but older people and others not so much. only 2 winners of this in my state in last 4 years. bad matrix odds.

                Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                Chief Bottle Washer
                New Jersey
                United States
                Member #1
                May 31, 2000
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                Posted: January 22, 2016, 10:29 am - IP Logged

                According to the North Carolina Education Lottery website, "Lucky for Life" will begin in our State on February 7th.  I like these odds much better than Powerball or Mega Millions.  Hopefully, the States won't get greedy in the near future.  They double the price and worsen the odds in order to make the game "more exciting".  And then they wonder why PB and MM are under performing.  Duh!

                You know, when I was writing this article yesterday I checked out every lottery website to be sure I got them all.  Figures NC would add this info today.  I'll update the story with the new info, thanks.

                 

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                  New Member
                  South Carolina
                  United States
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                  March 25, 2013
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                  Posted: January 22, 2016, 10:59 am - IP Logged

                  South Carolina was the first and only state to win the for life jackpot in 2015 thus far; there have been lots of 2nd place prizes throughout the other states though..


                    United States
                    Member #108380
                    March 25, 2011
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                    Posted: January 22, 2016, 11:18 am - IP Logged

                    South Carolina was the first and only state to win the for life jackpot in 2015 thus far; there have been lots of 2nd place prizes throughout the other states though..

                    lack of winners disturbing. not really a lot of tickets being sold for this. don't understand the hoopla and enthusiasm. people give up on this after a few drawings. should be 1.00 and sales would improve dramatically.

                      Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                      Chief Bottle Washer
                      New Jersey
                      United States
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                      Posted: January 22, 2016, 11:29 am - IP Logged

                      lack of winners disturbing. not really a lot of tickets being sold for this. don't understand the hoopla and enthusiasm. people give up on this after a few drawings. should be 1.00 and sales would improve dramatically.

                      So all these states are joining a game in which "not really a lot of tickets are being sold"?  I'd love to hear where your information comes from.  All these lotteries must be really stupid to join a game that will lose money.

                      People give up after a few drawings?   Again, your source of information would be greatly appreciated.  You must have a very knowledgeable inside source to be feeding you this information.

                      As far as price is concerned, people said the same thing about Powerball.  I guess they didn't know what they were talking about, given the size of the jackpot last week.

                       

                      Check the State Lottery Report Card
                      What grade did your lottery earn?

                       

                      Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                      Help eliminate computerized drawings!

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                        PA
                        United States
                        Member #22983
                        October 6, 2005
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                        Posted: January 22, 2016, 12:00 pm - IP Logged

                        What does over 40 have to do with getting money every year for life? NOTHING. These are my favorite games and I don't give a crap if I am over 40 I will take $365,000 a year any day or $273,000 after taxes or whatever is left I don't give a crap. Would be A LOT more than I would have otherwise at any age. Don't like the games don't play them. The odds are WAY better than PB or MM and I have already seen about 6-8 winners or more in 4 states. I matched 3 number so far, and also almost won Lucky For Life way back when I matched 4 out of 6 three times. I spend more on these than PB that is for sure. I will take $273,000 a year for life at any age.

                        Hell I would take way less even. Being over 40 does not mean crap, I would still never spend that much a year and would add up fast. Money is money regardless of your age and that amount is more than most will make working. Not to mention you got 25 plus years before you can retire so that logic is just plain stupid. Most ain't gonna make that working or retiring and most live well past 70. So they should stay poor because they are over 40? Get the F outta here. LOL The odds are WAY better than those other jackpot games. Also most older people who take cash with the big jackpots still never spend it all and most would never spend the annuity either. So that does not matter anyway unless they really want to blow money which most don't. But if you want to stay poor after 40 that is your choice.

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                          Wyomissing, PA
                          United States
                          Member #161050
                          November 15, 2014
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                          Posted: January 22, 2016, 12:03 pm - IP Logged

                          When it comes to Win for Life games, lotteries are smart for sure. Taking advantage of players naively believing more is better. However, Cash4Life and Lucky for Life are different than traditional jackpot games. The prizes do not grow. The more states added, worse the potential payout to individual players becomes, since top prize is split among such winners, and 2nd tier, and even lower prizes too, can split in some instances.

                          Based on current level of play, Cash4Life still seems relatively safe to play in regards to top prize rarely ever splitting, but as more states are added, lower the value of the game to players. Personally, I play Cash4Life occasionally, and like it. However, as more states are added, the less I'll play.


                            United States
                            Member #108380
                            March 25, 2011
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                            Posted: January 22, 2016, 12:11 pm - IP Logged

                            So all these states are joining a game in which "not really a lot of tickets are being sold"?  I'd love to hear where your information comes from.  All these lotteries must be really stupid to join a game that will lose money.

                            People give up after a few drawings?   Again, your source of information would be greatly appreciated.  You must have a very knowledgeable inside source to be feeding you this information.

                            As far as price is concerned, people said the same thing about Powerball.  I guess they didn't know what they were talking about, given the size of the jackpot last week.

                            come on todd. you know that this is not a good play. the states are joining because they are not paying out much on this game as they are taking in or are holding onto by paying slower rather than all at once. can't even compare this to powerball frenzy last week. my source of information is that i've checked for winners of this and they are far and few between. 5 out 48 and 1 out of 18 matrix quite the obstacle to cashing this. in all the lottery stores i go into the bet slips for this are largely undisturbed in the rack. you could probably check the volume of sales better than i can. your theory about the price increase to 2.00 is flawed in that many people do not play unless it hits upwards of 250 million now. when it does they forget about the 2.00 price tag. this game gives you diddly for your 2.00. if you're under 40 maybe.