The Arizona State Lottery offers multiple lottery drawings, including the following games:
- Fantasy 5
- Mega Millions
- Pick 3
- The Pick
- Triple Twist
The state also offers countless varieties of scratch and win tickets.
The Arizona Lottery belongs to the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL).
The lottery generate $4+ million per week in revenue that the state uses to pay for various programs for the public’s benefit. The state uses the following categories to divide this revenue between:
- Arts and Education
- Community Enrichment
- Economic Development
- Environmental Conservation
- Health and Human Services
- Public Safety
On this page, you’ll find specific details regarding the various lottery games available in Arizona and how to play them. You’ll also find details about how to buy lottery tickets and claim prizes. This page wraps up with a history of the Arizona lottery and answers to frequently asked questions.
Return to Player Percentages for Arizona Lottery Games
The return to player (RTP) for a gambling game of any kind, including a lottery game, is the mathematically predicted return on your investment. If you spend $100 on lottery tickets and have a 100% return to player, you get your $100 back in the long run, and neither you nor the lottery makes a profit.
Of course, the lottery’s in business to make a profit, so the return to player is always lower than 100%. If a game has an RTP of 50%, for example, you’d expect to win 50 cents for every dollar you gambled. In the long run, the lottery wins the difference.
The return to player is a function of the prize amounts multiplied by the probabilities of getting those prizes.
Arizona Lottery Games, Schedules, and How to Play
Here are the details for each of the Arizona lottery games available, including how to play each of them and the return to player:
Fantasy 5 is a traditional lottery game with a drawing where your goal is to match the 5 numbers you’ve picked with the 5 numbers drawn during the lottery. The 5 numbers must be from between 1 and 41, inclusive. You can choose your own numbers or use a quick pick on the vending machine where you buy your ticket.
It costs $1 to play Fantasy 5, but you can add an extra $1 or $2 to play a bonus game called “EXTRA!”. This bonus game gives you a shot at a $250 or $500 instant win.
One fun feature about Fantasy 5 is the “doubler” feature. About 10% of the tickets in Fantasy 5 are randomly assigned “doubler” status, which means that you get to double your prize (as long as it’s not the big jackpot.)
Fantasy 5 drawings are held every day, Monday through Sunday.
Here’s the pay table for Fantasy 5:
- 5 numbers match – jackpot (at least $50,000) – 1 in 749,398
- 4 numbers match – $500 – 1 in 4163
- 3 numbers match – $5 – 1 in 119
- 2 numbers match – $1 – 1 in 11
The jackpot starts at $50,000 and rises until it’s won. The return to player for Fantasy 5 when the jackpot is $50,000 is 31.98%, but it rises along with that top jackpot.
Mega Millions and Powerball in Arizona
Mega Millions and Powerball are also traditional lottery games with drawings, but they’re multi-state games – players in 45 states compete for the prizes. Mega Millions and Powerball are THE big lottery drawings in the United States.
Both games cost $2 to play, but they also both offer a $1 upgrade option.
Mega Millions drawings are held on Tuesday and Friday, and Powerball drawings are held on Wednesday and Saturday.
The starting jackpot for Mega Millions is $40 million, but it increases each week until it’s won. The RTP for Mega Balls with the base jackpot is 18.94%.
The starting jackpot for Powerball is $20 million, and the payback percentage (or “return to player”) is 19.48%.
Pick 3 is another traditional lottery game with a drawing, but it only involves 3 numbers, each of which is between 0 and 9. Pick 3 drawings are held every day.
The interesting thing about the Pick 3 game is the multiple playing options. You choose any of the following 6 options for how you play your 3 numbers:
- Straight – To win this one, you choose any 3 numbers. They must match your 3 numbers in the exact order they’re drawn to win.
- Box 3-Way – To win, 2 of the 3 numbers you choose must be the same, and you win if you match the winning numbers in any order.
- Box 6-Way – To win, all 3 numbers must be different, and you win if you match the winning numbers in any order.
- Straight/Box – You can choose any 3 numbers, and you win if they match in order or in any order. You get a bigger prize if they match in order, though.
- Front Pair – You choose any 3 numbers, and if the first 2 match the winning numbers (in any order), you win.
- Back Pair – Again, you choose any 3 numbers, but the last 2 numbers win if they match any of the winning numbers in any order.
Here’s what the pay table for Pick 3 looks like:
- Straight – $250/$500 – 1 in 1000
- Box Any (3-Way) $80/$160 – 1 in 333
- Box Any (6-Way) $40/$80 – 1 in 167
- Straight/Box 3-Way (Straight) – $165/$330 – 1 in 1000
- Straight/Box 3-Way (Box) $40/$80 – 1 in 333
- Straight/Box 6-Way (Straight) – $145/$290 – 1 in 1000
- Straight/Box 6-Way (Box) $20/$40 – 1 in 167
- Front Pair – $25/$50 – 1 in 100
- Back Pair – $25/$50 – 1 in 100
The prize numbers are listed in this format: 2-play/1-play.
The return to player for Pick 3 is 50%.
Scratch and Win
It’s even easier to play scratch and win games (“scratchers”). For the scratch games, you just buy your ticket and follow the instructions on it. This invariably involves scratching off the UV ink and seeing what lies beneath – any prize you win is explained on the ticket itself.
By the way, it’s called “UV ink” because it’s an ink that they dry with ultraviolet light. It doesn’t mean you can see through the ink with an ultraviolet light, or anything like that. Also, most people just call it “the silver stuff.”
You’ll find scratch and win tickets with a variety of themes. In that respect, they’re similar to slot machines.
And, like slot machines, you don’t really have any meaningful decisions to make when buying a scratch and win ticket. You pay your money and take your chances.
At the time of this writing, some of the games available include:
- Holiday Cheer, which costs $1 to play and has a top prize of $500.
- The Cash Wheel, which costs $2 to play and has a top prize of $10,000.
- Triple Red 7s, which costs $10 to play and has a top prize of $100,000.
Be sure to cash in your scratchers as soon as you win. Each of the games has an end date, and you only get 180 days past the end of the game to claim your prize. Don’t wait. Cash in your winnings immediately.
The Pick is as basic a lottery draw game as you could ask for. It costs $1 to play, and you pick 6 numbers from between 1 and 44. Your goal is to match as many of those numbers as possible to the numbers that get picked during the drawing. Match all 6, and you win the jackpot.
Here’s what the pay table for The Pick looks like:
- Match 6 numbers – Jackpot ($1+ million) – 1 in 7,059,052
- Match 5 numbers – $2000 – 1 in 30,961
- Match 4 numbers – $50 – 1 in 669
- Match 3 numbers – $3 – 1 in 42
The starting jackpot is $1 million, but it goes up after each drawing if no one wins.
The return to player for The Pick is 35.24% when the jackpot is $1 million, but the RTP increases along with the jackpot.
The Arizona State Lottery holds the drawings for The Pick on Wednesday and Saturday evenings.
At first, it seems like Triple Twist is almost as basic a lottery game as The Pick.
But, as the name implies, it has a big twist that changes almost everything.
Here are the big differences:
- It costs $2 to play instead of $1.
- You choose 6 numbers, but they’re between 1 and 42 (instead of 44).
- You get 2 bonus rows of numbers chosen by the computer.
- Drawings for Triple Twist are held every night.
- If you win on any of your 3 rows of numbers, you get paid out.
- The starting jackpot is $200,000.
Here’s the pay table for the game:
- Match all 6 numbers – Jackpot $200,000+ – 1 in 5,245,786
- Match 5 numbers – $500 – 1 in 23, 286
- Match 4 numbers – $10 – 1 in 555.1
- Match 3 numbers – $2 – 1 in 36.7
That’s for the main game.
But you also have payouts for combined lines, as follows:
- 10 or more out of 18 – $2000 – 1 in 142,824.9
- 9 out of 18 – $500 – 1 in 12,407.9
- 8 out of 19 – $50 – 1 in 1473
- 7 out of 18 – $10 – 1 in 237.6
- 6 out of 18 – $5 – 1 in 52.1
- 5 out of 18 – $2 – 1 in 15.7
It would seem like the return to player on this game would be much higher than most, but since it costs $2 to play, the RTP is only 24.29%.
How to Buy Lottery Tickets and Claim Prizes in the Arizona Lottery
You can buy Arizona lottery tickets at over 3000 locations, but you can only buy from authorized retailers. You cannot buy Arizona lottery tickets on the internet, over the phone, or by snail mail. The minimum age for buying lottery tickets is 21.
Authorized lottery retailers are usually gas stations or convenience stores, but grocery stores also sell lottery tickets in the state. Some American Legion Halls and VFWs are also authorized to sell lottery tickets in Arizona. Pharmacies like CVS also often sell lottery tickets.
You can use the authorized lottery retailer locator on the lottery’s official website to find the nearest location to you to buy lottery tickets.
If you want to claim a prize of $100 or less, you can do so at ANY authorized lottery retailer.
If you want to claim a prize of $101 to $599, you can do so at SOME authorized lottery retailers – check with them first.
If you want to claim a prize of $600 or more, you must fill out a winner’s claim form and mail it to the lottery office. You can also bring it in person. In Arizona, you have offices in Phoenix and Tucson to choose from. The contact information for the lottery offices are listed below in the “Contact the Arizona Lottery” section.
You have 180 days to claim your prize – that’s calculated from the date the drawing was held.
History of the Lottery in Arizona
The lottery is available in 45 states, but Arizona was one of the earliest states to approve the lottery. The state legalized the lottery in November, 1980. The lottery has been approved to continue at least until 2035, but that will likely be extended.
Arizona became part of the Powerball on April 4, 1994.
You used to be able to buy lottery tickets at 18 years old, but the state raised the age to 21 in 2003.
Arizona began participating in Mega Millions on April 18, 2010.
The drawings for Arizona-specific lottery games take place in the Phoenix office, but Mega Millions and Powerball drawings are handled in Iowa by the MUSL.
Contact the Arizona Lottery
You can find multiple options for contacting the Arizona lottery here:
Here are the contact details for the Phoenix office:
- 4740 E University Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85034
- Monday – Friday, 7:30 am – 5pm
And here are the contact details for the Tucson office:
- 2900 E Broadway Blvd, Suite 190
- Tucson, AZ 85716
- Monday – Friday, 7:30 am – 5pm
The Arizona Lottery Players Club
If you’ve read many blog posts about gambling in casinos, you’ve probably seen the advice to join the slots club at the casino so you can get all the free stuff. In Arizona, the state lottery has a players’ club, which works essentially the same as a slots club in a casino.
The players club runs on a points system, and you earn 10 points every time you spend $1 buying a lottery ticket.
The players club doesn’t have a robust set of rewards, but avid lottery players will probably enjoy the rewards they do have. These almost exclusively take the form of bonus games with possible prizes.
The Arizona lottery is set to continue until 2035, so the lottery isn’t going anywhere soon. The games offered do change from time to time, so expect this page to be updated periodically with new details. For the absolute latest details about the Arizona lottery, visit the official site at: https://www.arizonalottery.com/