By Randy Ray

The Delaware Lottery launched in 1974, leading the way for a dozen US state lotteries that would launch in the next five years. Delaware is one of just a few US states that regulate things like sports betting, casino games, and video lottery terminals through their lottery programs, and this small state’s huge sales figures reflect the state’s generally-liberal position on games of chance.

Here’s the current list of games available through the Delaware Lottery:

  • Multi-Win Lotto
  • Play 3 / Play 4
  • Keno
  • Powerball
  • Mega Millions
  • Lucky for Life
  • Lotto America
  • Instant Games
  • Sports Lottery
  • Video Lottery
  • Table Games

Delaware is one of the seven smallest US states in terms of population, boasting just under a million proud residents. The $700 million or so that Delaware Lottery reports in sales each year is remarkable considering how few people have access to their games. Look at South Dakota as an example of what a state with fewer than a million residents can usually pull off using a lottery program. Delaware’s sales are more than double what South Dakota reports, thanks in large part to the alternative lottery games on offer.

Delaware’s slate of lottery offerings is as progressive as they get, including traditional draw and instant win games as well as games that look and act more like casino games than the lottery. Delaware’s three lottery-sponsored casinos – Dover Downs, Harrington Raceway & Casino, and Casino at Delaware Park – are regulated under the umbrella of the state’s lottery games. It’s not a unique setup, but it’s rare in the American lottery industry.

Those options (including the state’s long-standing and popular legal sports betting industry) are largely responsible for the large per capita spending totals in The First State. Delawareans spend around $500 on lottery games each year, more than double the national average. The Delaware Lottery reports sales of around $500 million a year from their table games and VLTs alone.

Delaware is a good example of what a progressive lottery program can do, financially. Instant games, normally the bedrock of a healthy state lottery program, represent only about 11% of revenue in Delaware, about 1/5th what the state earns from video lottery games. Without the oddball games in their library, Delaware’s sales figures would hover around $200 million, providing about 1/3 the benefit to state funds compared to current levels.

Delaware Online Lottery

The Delaware Lottery only sells tickets in-person at authorized retailers. Delaware law gives the lottery control over most forms of gambling, including online casino games and poker, but it does not offer online lottery tickets.

However, players can buy Delaware Lottery tickets online through Mido Lotto, a third-party courier service. In short, customers place lottery ticket orders through Mido Lotto, and the company sends representatives to buy official tickets from authorized retailers.

Mido Lotto scans images of the tickets it buys, uploads them to players’ accounts, and notifies them of winners. It pays smaller wins directly to players’ accounts and delivers the physical ticket to customers who win larger prizes.

The Delaware Lottery does not endorse Mido Lotto or online ticket sales in general, but the Mido Lotto business model works around state law by purchasing tickets on behalf of players. It’s sort of like Uber Eats but for the lottery.

Players can also download the Delaware Lottery’s official Collect ‘N Win app for iOS or Android to scan their losing tickets to enter second-chance drawings. The Collect ‘N Win program issues 80 cash prizes ranging from $50 to $1,000 every month.

Probability, Return to Player, and the Delaware Lottery

When reading about lottery games, or comparing one game to another, it’s important to understand a couple of important principles from the world of probability math. Lottery play is gambling, after all. Gambling math is the domain of probability, the science of likelihood.

This post, and other posts about lottery games, relies a lot on two specific forms of probability – return to player (often shortened to RTP) and overall odds of winning.

These two principles tell the same story in two different ways. RTP is a measure of how much of each dollar bet on a game is likely to be returned in the form of winnings. Missouri Lottery’s Multi-Win Lotto has an RTP of 17.54%, meaning that over time about 17.5 cents of every dollar bet will come back in the form of prizes. A game’s overall odds of winning tell you how likely each individual ticket is to pay out a prize. Multi-Win Lotto has overall odds of 1 in 5.7, meaning about 1 in every 5 or 6 tickets is a winner.

All of the numbers in this post (and the numbers posted on the back of lottery tickets) are theoretical representations of what might occur. They aren’t guarantees of real-world performance. If you buy 6 Multi-Win Lotto tickets and you don’t win, that’s down to the natural variance built into the game’s math. You could also win on the very first Multi-Win Lotto ticket you buy. Both outcomes are mathematically likely.

Remember that game odds and RTP figures are theoretical, and that a player’s real-world results are likely to be different from a game’s posted odds.

How to Play the Delaware Lottery (Drawing Schedules & Buying Tickets)

Delaware’s stuffed lottery game library includes eight traditional in-state and multi-state draw games, instant win games, as well as casino games, sports betting, and other modern lottery offerings.

Below is a short guide to each game currently available through the Delaware Lottery:

Multi-Win Lotto

Mutli-Win lotto is a unique draw game that allows players win multiple ways on each set of winning numbers.

Players pick six numbers between 1 and 35. Each ticket costs $2 and gives the player three lines of potential winning numbers. Wins occur by matching 3, 4, 5, or 6 numbers in a line straight across, or by matching six numbers from three different lines, or a combination of the two. Players also win for matching zero numbers.

Here’s the pay table for Delaware Lottery’s Multi-Win lotto:

  • Match 6 numbers in a line and win $50,000 – odds of 1 in 1.6 million
  • Match 5 numbers in a line and win $500 – odds of 1 in 9,328.5
  • Match 4 numbers in a line and win $20 – odds of 1 in 266.5
  • Match 3 numbers in a line and win $2 – odds of 1 in 22.2
  • Match 10 numbers in combination and win $1,000 – odds of 1 in 25,203.2
  • Match 9 numbers in combination and win $100 – odds of 1 in 2,765.6
  • Match 8 numbers in combination and win $20 – odds of 1 in 415.7
  • Match 7 numbers in combination and win $5 – odds of 1 in 85.1
  • Match 6 numbers in combination and win $23 odds of 1 in 23.8
  • Match 0 numbers and win $2 – odds of 1 in 39.9

Overall odds of winning any prize on Multi-Win Lotto are 1 in 5.7. That means about 17.5% of all Multi-Win Lotto tickets are winners.

Multi-Win Lotto numbers are drawn every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7:57 PM Central Time.

Play 3 / Play 4

Play 3 and Play 4 are Pick style games in which players pick three or four numbers and attempt to match them in winning combinations with the numbers drawn twice a day by Delaware Lottery.

Play 3 and Play 4 tickets cost either $0.50 or $1 per play depending on the player’s preference.

The list of available bets and odds is complicated due to the many betting options available. For details on ways to bet, game odds, and payouts, check out Delaware Lottery’s Play 3 or Play 4 page.

Play 3 and Play 4 are drawn twice a day – the midday drawing is at 1:58 PM Central Time and the evening drawing is at 7:57 PM Central Time.

Keno

Delaware Lottery’s Keno game is based on the rules of casino keno. It’s a bingo-style lottery draw game that’s drawn every few minutes around the clock, offering a number of ways to bet and price points for customers with different budgets.

The field of winning numbers is from 1 to 80. Players can bet up to 10 numbers per drawing, betting between $1 and $20 on each number.

Here’s the pay table for a 10-number $1 per number game:

  • Match 10 and win $100,000 – odds of 1 in 8.9 million
  • Match 9 and win $4,000 – odds of 1 in 163,381
  • Match 8 and win $400 – odds of 1 in 7,384
  • Match 7 and win $50 – odds of 1 in 620.68
  • Match 6 and win $10 – odds of 1 in 87.11
  • Match 5 and win $2 – odds of 1 in 19.44
  • Match 0 and win $4 – odds of 1 in 21.84

Overall odds of winning any prize on Delaware’s Keno game – 1 in 9.05. That means about 11% of Keno tickets are winners.

Keno numbers are drawn every four minutes between 6:04 and 1:04 AM.

Powerball & Mega Millions

The Delaware Lottery joined the Powerball mutli-state lottery system at its launch in 1992. Like many other US state lottery programs, Delaware added Mega Millions in 2010 at the time of that game’s massive expansion. Delaware is like most US lottery programs in that it offers both of these mega-popular multi-state draw games.

Powerball and Mega Millions are covered under the same heading because the games are incredibly similar. They’re the biggest games in American lottery, paying out the largest jackpots and reporting the largest sales figures of any US lotto game. Powerball and Mega Millions are similar enough that a player’s overall odds of winning on either game are about the same.

Both games cost $2 to play, allowing for an extra bet of $1 to activate a win multiplier. They also both ask bettors to pick six numbers from a very similar pool of potential winners. Mega Millions players pick between 1 and 70; Powerball players pick between 1 and 69. The smaller set of winning numbers on Powerball doesn’t make a huge difference odds-wise, and because of some differences between the two games’ pay tables, they give players about the same overall odds of winning.

You can see the difference when you compare the games’ pay tables.

Mega Millions Pay Table

  • Match all six balls & win the jackpot (min. $20 million) – odds of 1 in 302.5 million
  • Match all five balls & win $1 million – odds of 1 in 12.6 million
  • Match four balls and the Mega Ball & win $10,000 – odds of 1 in 931,000
  • Match four balls & win $500 – odds of 1 in 38,792
  • Match three balls and the Mega Ball & win $200 – odds of 1 in 14,547
  • Match three balls & win $10 – odds of 1 in 606
  • Match two balls and the Mega Ball & win $10 – odds of 1 in 693
  • Match one ball and the Mega Ball & win $4 – odds of 1 in 89
  • Match the Mega Ball & win $2 – odds of 1 in 24

Overall odds of winning any prize on a Mega Millions ticket – 1 in 24. That means about 4% of all Mega Millions tickets are winners. That’s a theoretical number and your real-world results will likely vary in either direction over the short-term.

Powerball Pay Table

  • Match all six balls & win the jackpot (min. $20 million) – odds of 1 in 292.2 million
  • Match five balls & win $1 million – odds of 1 in 11.68 million
  • Match four balls and the Powerball & win $50,000 – odds of 1 in 913,000
  • Match four balls & win $100 – odds of 1 in 36,525.17
  • Match three balls and the Powerball & win $100 – odds of 1 in 14,494.11
  • Match three balls & win $7 – odds of 1 in 579.76
  • Match two balls and the Powerball & win $7 – odds of 1 in 701.33
  • Match one ball and the Powerball & win $4 – odds of 1 in 91.98
  • Match the Powerball & win $4 – odds of 1 in 38.32

Overall odds of winning any prize on a Powerball ticket – 1 in 24.87. That means about 4% of all Powerball tickets are winners. Compare that to the Mega Millions odds and you’ll see how the slight differences in the games’ pay tables leads to nearly identical overall odds.

Take note that Powerball and Mega Millions’ odds vary a little depending on the size of the top jackpot. As the top prize grows, player odds improve. Since Powerball may be at a minimum jackpot while Mega Millions is in the hundreds of millions, there are sometimes significant differences in overall odds. It’s important to track jackpots and overall odds when deciding which game to play.

Powerball numbers are drawn every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday night at 9:59 PM Central Time. Mega Millions numbers are drawn every Tuesday and Friday night at 10:12 PM Central Time.

Lucky For Life

Delaware Lottery participates in Lucky for Life, a multi-state draw lottery game famous for its fixed annuitized top prizes worth $1,000 a day or week “for life.”

Lucky for Life tickets cost $2 each. Players pick 5 numbers – four between 1 and 48 and one (the “Lucky Ball”) between 1 and 18. Lucky for Life payouts are determined by the number of matches.

Here’s the game’s pay table:

  • Match all six balls & win $1,000 a day for life – odds of 1 in 30.8 million
  • Match 5 balls & win $25,000 a year for life – odds of 1 in 1.8 million
  • Match 4 balls with the Lucky Ball & win $5,000 – odds of 1 in 143,355
  • Match 4 balls & win $200 – odds of 1 in 8,432
  • Match 3 balls with the Lucky Ball & win $150 – odds of 1 in 3,413
  • Match 3 balls & win $20 – odds of 1 in 200
  • Match 2 balls with the Lucky Ball & win $25 – odds of 1 in 249
  • Match 2 balls & win $3 – odds of 1 in 14
  • Match 1 ball with the Lucky Ball & win $6 – odds of 1 in 49
  • Match only the Lucky Ball & win $4 – odds of 1 in 32

Overall odds of winning any prize on a Lucky for Life ticket – 1 in 8. That means about 12.5% of all Lucky for Life tickets are winners.

Lucky for Life drawings are held at 9:38 PM Central Time on Mondays and Thursdays. The cutoff time for each drawing is 8:30 PM Central Time on the night of the drawing. Tickets purchased after that time will be considered as part of the following drawing.

Lotto America

Lotto America is a small-scale multi-state draw lottery game that doesn’t boast the massive jackpots of Mega Millions or Powerball but has a huge membership and better overall odds than most multi-state games. At the time of this post, 13 state lottery programs participate in Lotto America.

Lotto America’s jackpot resets to $1 million. Tickets cost $1, with a $1 multiplier option as with other multi-state draw games. Players pick five numbers between 1 and 52 as well as one number between 1 and 10 for the Star Ball.

Here’s the current paytable and odds information for Lotto America:

  • Match all six balls & win the jackpot – odds of 1 in 25.9 million
  • Match five balls & win $20,000 – odds of 1 in 2.8 million
  • Match four balls and the Star Ball & win $1,000 – odds of 1 in 110,000
  • Match four balls & win $100 – odds of 1 in 12,288
  • Match three balls and the Star Ball & win $20 – odds of 1 in 2,404
  • Match three balls & win $5 – odds of 1 in 267
  • Match two balls and the Star Ball & win $5 – odds of 1 in 160
  • Match one ball and the Star Ball & win $2 – odds of 1 in 29
  • Match just the Star Ball & win $1 – odds of 1 in 16.9

Overall odds of winning any prize on a Lotto America ticket – 1 in 9.63. Just about 10% of all Lotto America tickets should pay out some level of prize.

Lotto America numbers are drawn on Wednesdays and Sundays at 10 PM Central Time. Ticket sales are cut off at 8:59 PM on the night of each drawing day.

Instant Games

Delaware Lottery currently has 35 scratch-off instant win tickets available. Below is a guide to this collection by denomination and average overall odds of winning:

  • 8 $1 games – average odds of 1 in 4.81
  • 8 $2 games  – average odds of 1 in 4.47
  • 3 $3 games – average odds of 1 in 4.08
  • 7 $5 games – average odds of 1 in 3.76
  • 5 $10 games – average odds of 1 in 3.57
  • 3 $20 games – average odds of 1 in 3.45
  • 1 $25 game – odds of 1 in 3.2

Here’s the pay table for a popular Delaware Lottery instant win game – the $5 ticket called 20X Bonus:

  • $20,000 – odds of 1 in 140,000
  • $1,000 – odds of 1 in 140,000
  • $500 – odds of 1 in 60,000
  • $100 – odds of 1 in 5,000
  • $20 – odds of 1 in 240
  • $15 – odds of 1 in 60
  • $10 – odds of 1 in 30
  • $5 – odds of 1 in 8.57

Overall odds of winning a prize on a 20X Bonus ticket – 1 in 3.73, which implies that about 27% of all 20X Bonus tickets are winners.

Sports Lottery

Two forms of sports betting are legal and regulated in Delaware – football parlay sales, available at select retailers, and full-scale Vegas-style sports betting, at the three lottery-sponsored casinos in the state. Unlike other lottery games, sports bettors must be 21 in Delaware, in part because of legislation, and in part because most sportsbook operations in the state also offer liquor for sale, which precludes the entry of anyone under the age of 21.

Check out Delaware Lottery’s Sports Lottery page for more details on the many ways Delaware citizens can place legal wagers on sports.

Video Lottery

The three casinos in Delaware are all regulated by and run by the state’s lottery system. They hose more than 6,200 Video Lottery machines, which look and act like slot machine and video poker machines.

All VLTs in Delaware are required to pay back between 87% and 95%, making them significantly better, odds-wise, than traditional casino slots in other jurisdictions, which generally have no such minimum payout requirement, and which rarely pay out greater than 94%.

Game types, styles, and themes are just as varied as what you’d see in a brick and mortar casino anywhere else in America.

Table Games

Alongside the state’s thousands of lottery-style game machines, Delaware Lottery operates classic casino table games, as allowed by state law. These games include craps, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, casino-style poker, head-to-head poker, and other games familiar from the gambling floors of Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

The rules and regulations governing the operation of these games is a massive document. If you’re interested in the nitty-gritty details of casino table game operations through the Delaware Lottery, check out the Table Games Rules & Regulations page from Delaware Lottery.

Where to Buy Delaware Lottery Tickets

Delaware Lottery advertises more than 600 retailers selling their products. That’s one every three square miles. These retailers are typically small stores, gas stations, restaurants, and bars.

Use Delaware Lottery’s Where to Buy tool to find a retailer by city name or zip code.

How to Claim Delaware Lottery Prizes

The Delaware Lottery advises all winners to immediately sign the back of any winning ticket in ink. This action identifies the bearer as the owner of the ticket – that means ownership can’t change or be transferred if the ticket is lost or stolen.

Prizes of $599 or less can be claimed at any of 600+ Delaware Lottery retailers statewide, provided they have sufficient cash on hand.

Prizes of up to $2,500 can be claimed immediately in person at Delaware Lottery offices in Kent, Sussex, and New Castle counties. You’ll need a completed claim form to claim your prize.

Prizes between $600 and $5,000 can be claimed immediately (during the hours of 8 AM to 4 PM) at any of the three redemption centers listed below. To claim prizes at these offices, you’ll need a state-issued photo ID, completed claim form, and proof of your social security number.

Delaware Lottery Office
1575 McKee Road, Suite 102
Dover, DE 19904
(302) 739-5291

Division of Revenue Office
Carvel State Office Building
820 N. French Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
(302) 577-8162

Division of Revenue Office
20653 DuPont Blvd. Suite 2
Georgetown, DE 19947
(302) 856-5358

You can also claim prizes by mail. To do this, print your name and address clearly on the back of your ticket. Fill out the claim form and make a copy of the ticket and form for your records. To receive your winnings by mail in a check, send the original ticket and claim form in an envelope addressed to:

Delaware Lottery
1575 McKee Road, Suite 102
Dover, DE 19904

Drawing game prizes must be claimed within one year from the date of the drawing. Instant Games prizes must be claimed within one year of the announced End of Sales.

Take note that if you mail your ticket to the Delaware Lottery Office, you should allow up to 15 business days for processing before waiting to receive a prize.

Contact the Delaware Lottery

The easiest way to contact the Delaware Lottery is to use the contact form on their website.

The Delaware Lottery headquarters mailing address is:

1575 McKee Road, Suite 102
Dover, DE 19904

You can contact the office during normal business hours at 302-739-5291.

The office maintains a fax number at 302-739-7586.

Conclusion

Delaware stands out among American lottery programs for their progressive game library and large sales figures relative to the state’s small population. Delaware has always been a maverick in the American gambling scene, offering sports betting for decades before other states became interested. America’s First State is continuing that tradition, creating lottery-run casino games and other modern options that have boosted sales and distributions to state budgets Look for Delaware to expand their non-traditional game holdings, with legislation already underway to allow for construction of more lottery-sponsored casinos and games.