by Randy Ray

Wisconsin’s lottery program is made up of 8 draw games, instant scratch games, pull-tab games, and raffles. Here’s the full list of Wisconsin Lottery games at the time of this post:

  • Wisconsin’s Megabucks
  • Badger 5
  • Supercash!
  • All or Nothing
  • Pick 3
  • Pick 4
  • 10 Buck Luck
  • Powerball
  • Mega Millions
  • Instant Scratch Games
  • Pull-Tab Games
  • Raffles

Wisconsin is a member of the Multi-state Lottery Association (MUSL).

One of the big reasons for strong public support for lottery games in Wisconsin is that some portion of lottery revenue is used to reduce the property tax burden for people who live in the state. Since the inception of the lottery, some $4.8 billion has been redirected from lottery revenues to reduce property taxes. As a result, Wisconsin is regularly among the top-10 states in terms of low property taxes.

Wisconsin is proud of the way they manage their lottery funds, and they should be.

Wisconsin Lottery has paid back 93% of its revenue all-time to winners, retailers, and local causes. 57% of all revenue has been paid back to winners, significantly higher than the 50% required by law. Retailers are compensated to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Wisconsin Lottery has one of the lowest operating budgets in all of the US lottery industry, with just 6.7% of revenue used for operations.

On this page, you’ll find all the details about the Wisconsin Lottery that you want, all on a single page.

This page includes details on how to buy and play all of the lotto games in Wisconsin. It also provides details on game odds and prizes. You’ll find additional coverage of the lottery tax situation in Wisconsin, and there are also lots of details on claiming prizes.

You’ll also find the Wisconsin Lottery story detailed Wisconsin Lottery contact information.

Payback Percentages for Wisconsin Lottery Games

It’s tough to talk about a game of chance in terms of its value.

There are lots of reasons for this – we don’t know the exact statistics for some common games, and game manufacturers don’t always give us enough information to estimate a number on our own.

People who write about gambling are always fielding questions about the odds and likelihood of winning for various games. The truth is, we can’t tell you exactly how likely you are to win sometimes.

Instead, we use abstract numbers. For example, we often talk about the “payback percentage” of a game so that we can compare them to one another and make an educated guess about a game’s relative luck.

Payback percentage is a theoretical number, an estimate of the percentage of each of your bets that you’ll win back over time. If you find a slot machine with a payback percentage of 100%, you should theoretically break even. If you’re playing a game with a 95% payback percentage, you should theoretically lose 5% of the bets you place into it.

Payback percentage is an imperfect way of comparing games or even thinking about the odds of a game. Part of the reason it’s not as useful as you might think is that gambling outcomes in the short term are volatile. That means they are streaky – you may see far more wins or losses in a row over a short period of play than you would over the long-term.

Wisconsin Lottery doesn’t release payback percentage information for its games. This page has done the math for you, though. Here’s a sample of payback percentages:

  • Wisconsin’s Megabucks – 30% (at the minimum jackpot), 61% (with a $5,000,000 jackpot)
  • Badger 5 – 27.5% (at the minimum jackpot), 51.1% (with a $50,000 jackpot)
  • Supercash! – 48.5%

Wisconsin isn’t required by law to post payback percentages. Instead, they release a table of game prizes and odds. You can work out your own payback percentages. You need a calculator and a couple of minutes of free time.

Multiply every prize for a given lottery game by its odds. You’ll be left with a list of digits. Add up those digits, and that’s payback percentage. Remember that it’s expressed as a percent score, out of 100.

How to Play Wisconsin Lottery Games & Draw Schedules

Below is a short guide to each of Wisconsin’s many draw and instant win games.

Wisconsin’s Megabucks

Megabucks is Wisconsin’s flagship game, such a big part of the industry that they’re now calling it “Wisconsin’s Megabucks.”

A Megabucks ticket in Wisconsin costs $1.

To play Wisconsin’s Megabucks, pick six numbers between 1 and 49.

Here’s an interesting wrinkle with this flagship lotto game – you get two plays per ticket.

You can pick your own two sets of numbers or do a Quick Pick for both.

You can also choose to play up to 8 draws in advance, which is one month of play.

EZ Match is an instant-win option you can play every time you buy a Megabucks ticket. It costs $1 and once again you get two chances to win. All EZ Match play is done via Quick Pick. If any of the five EZ Numbers matches one of the Megabucks numbers you played, you win a corresponding prize.

Here’s a quick guide to the odds of winning each of the 7 possible EZ Match prizes:

  • $250 – odds of 1 in 2,000
  • $50 – odds of 1 in 686
  • $25 – odds of 1 in 400
  • $10 – odds of 1 in 200
  • $5 – odds of 1 in 120
  • $2 – odds of 1 in 30
  • $1 – odds of 1 in 5

The payback percentage for the EZ Match side game is 41.85%.

Below is a list of the prizes and odds for the Megabucks main game:

  • Match 6 of 6 – jackpot (minimum $1 million) – 1 in 6.99 million odds
  • Match 5 of 6 – $500 – 1 in 27,101 odds
  • Match 4 of 6 – $30 – 1 in 517 odds
  • Match 3 of 6 – $2 – 1 in 29 odds

Wisconsin Lottery Megabucks has about a 30% payback percentage. This puts it on par with other statewide draw lotto games in nearby states. It’s not a better or worse bet than other flagship state draw games.

Megabucks’ payback percentage varies depending on the size of the top jackpot. That doesn’t mean you’re more likely to win as the jackpot gets bigger, it just means that the impact of that one big win on the game is growing. You’ll still face odds of around 1 in 6.99 million playing for the jackpot, but as the jackpot win gets bigger, it changes the theoretical math behind the game.

The way Wisconsin Lottery advertises both the estimated annuity payment value of each jackpot as well as the lump sum value is great. No other state regularly does this – Mega Millions and Powerball states sometimes break down those huge jackpots this way, as a way to get more big numbers up on the board and draw in more customers.

For example, at the time of this post, the estimated annuity jackpot is $4.6 million, while the lump-sum value is $3.6 million. Those figures are pre-tax, but it’s nice to see a realistic lump-sum jackpot on a lottery’s website.

Megabucks is drawn twice a week, just after 9 PM Central on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Ticket purchases for each drawing end at 9 PM on the day of that drawing.

Here’s a great Wisconsin Megabucks story. In 2015, a teacher won the largest jackpot yet on Wisconsin’s Megabucks game. The $22.5 million payout was converted to a lump sum of $11.6 million. For the record, that’s about 150 years of a typical Wisconsin teacher’s salary. This teacher went on to organize and lead a group that fought for better wages, benefits, and working conditions for teachers.

Sometimes, the lottery isn’t a curse at all.

Badger 5

Badger 5 is a smaller game than Megabucks, with a smaller prize pool and a smaller pool of numbers.

Badger 5 is a daily draw game. The drawings are held every day just after 9 PM Central time. Ticket purchases for each day’s drawing are cut off at exactly 9 PM.

Badger 5 tickets cost $1. Players choose 5 numbers between 1 and 31.

Badger 5 allows you to pick your own numbers or use Quick Pick.

You can play up to 7 draws (one week) in advance.

Here’s details on the prizes and odds for Badger 5:

  • Match 5 of 5 – Jackpot (minimum $10,000) – 1 in 169,911 odds
  • Match 4 of 5 – $50 – 1 in 1,308 odds
  • Match 3 of 5 – $2 – 1 in 53 odds
  • Match 2 of 5 – $1 – 1 in 7 odds

The payback percentage for this game varies depending on the size of the jackpot. At its minimum size of $10,000, the payback percentage is 27.5%, but if that jackpot grew to $50,000, the payback percentage jumps up above 50%. That doesn’t make you more likely to win, it just means that the top prize represents a larger return on your $1 investment.

The average jackpot has been $39,067, with the largest ever a massive $411,000.

Supercash!

Supercash! is like Megabucks but with a smaller fixed jackpot.

As with Megabucks, players choose 6 numbers, and as with Megabucks, you get 2 plays per $1 ticket.

Here are a few differences:

Supercash! asks you to pick 6 numbers between 1 and 39, which is a smaller draw pool than Megabucks.

Also, Megabucks offers an instant win side game that you won’t find on the Supercash! Wisconsin Lottery game.

Also, Megabucks is drawn twice a week, while Supercash! is a daily draw game. Supercash! is drawn just after 9 PM Central time every day of the week, with ticket sales cut off at exactly 9 PM every day.

Here’s a look at the prizes and odds for Wisconsin Lottery’s Supercash! game:

  • Match 6 of 6 – $350,000 – 1 in 1.63 million odds
  • Match 5 of 6 – $500 – 1 in 8,239 odds
  • Match 4 of 6 – $30 – 1 in 206 odds
  • Match 3 of 6 – $1 – 1 in 15 odds

The payback percentage for Supercash! is 48.5%. The game offers way better odds than Megabucks, in exchange for chasing a much smaller jackpot and fewer payouts in general.

All or Nothing

All or Nothing is like “keno light.”

Players pick 11 numbers between 1 and 22. You can pick your own numbers or use Quick Pick.

The game draws twice a day, a midday drawing at 1:30 PM Central time, and an evening drawing at 9 PM Central time.

A unique feature of All or Nothing that makes it even more similar to Keno – the prize for matching 0 of the 11 numbers you’ve chosen is identical to the prize for choosing all 11 numbers correctly.

Here’s a look at the prizes and odds for Wisconsin Lottery All or Nothing:

  • Match 11 of 11 – $100,000 – 1 in 705,432 odds
  • Match 10 of 11 – $500 – 1 in 5,831 odds
  • Match 9 of 11 – $40 – 1 in 234 odds
  • Match 8 of 11 – $4 – 1 in 26 odds
  • Match 3 of 11 – $4 – 1 in 26 odds
  • Match 2 of 11 – $40 – 1 in 234 odds
  • Match 1 of 11 – $500 – 1 in 5,831 odds
  • Match 11 of 11 – $100,000 – 1 in 705,432 odds

The payback percentage for all or nothing is around 48%, putting it on par with other Wisconsin Lottery offerings.

Pick 3

Pick 3 is one of two Wisconsin Lottery Pick games, this one using three numbers.

Pick 3 tickets cost either $0.50 or $1, except the straight/box bet explained below.

Players choose 3 numbers from 0 to 9. Quick Pick is also allowed.

There are three ways to play Pick 3 – straight, box, and straight/box.

Straight means matching all 3 numbers in exact order. A straight bet is the hardest to win and offers the biggest payout.

A box bet means matching the 3 numbers drawn in any order. This is the bet that wins the most often but pays the least.

A straight/box bet means making one $0.50 straight play and one $0.50 box play. All straight/box bets cost $1.

Pick 3 is drawn twice a day every day of the week – a midday drawing at 1:30 PM Eastern time and an evening drawing at 9 PM Eastern time.

Below is a guide to prizes and payouts on a $1 Wisconsin Lottery Pick 3 ticket:

  • Straight – $500 – 1 in 1,000 odds
  • 3-way Box – $160 – 1 in 334 odds
  • 6-way box – $80 – 1 in 167 odds
  • 3-way straight/box – $330 – 1 in 1,000 odds
  • 6-way straight/box – $290 – 1 in 167 odds

The payback percentage on this $1 bet is 44%.

Pick 4

Pick 4 is almost identical to Pick 3 except that 4 numbers are drawn instead of 3.

Pick 4 tickets cost either $0.50 or $1.

Players choose 4 numbers from 0 to 9. Quick Pick is also allowed.

Two bet types are allowed – straight or box.

A straight bet is an attempt to match all 4 numbers in exact order.

A box bet is an attempt to match all 4 numbers in any order.

Pick 4 is drawn twice a day every day of the week – a midday drawing at 1:30 PM Eastern time and an evening drawing at 9 PM Eastern time.

Here’s a look at the payouts and odds for a $1 bet on Wisconsin Lottery’s Pick 4 game:

  • Straight – $5,000 – 1 in 10,000 odds
  • 4-way box – $1,200 – 1 in 2,500 odds
  • 6-way box – $800 – 1 in 1,667 odds
  • 12-way box – $400 – 1 in 1,834 odds
  • 24-way box – $200 – 1 in 1,417 odds

The payback percentage on this $1 bet is just under 40%.

10 Buck Luck

This isn’t a game – it’s a way to buy Wisconsin Lottery tickets in bulk.

For $10, you’ll get eight Wisconsin Lottery games, eligible for the very next drawing.

At the time of this post, the 10 Buck Luck pack includes one each of:

  • $2 Powerball
  • $2 Mega Millions
  • $2 All or Nothing
  • $1 Megabucks
  • $1 SuperCash!
  • $1 Badger 5
  • $.50 Pick 4 (Box play)
  • $.50 Pick 3 (Box play)

You don’t save money by buying the tickets this way, but you do save time.

It would take a while to pick that many numbers, or even buy that many Quick Pick tickets at once.

This is a convenient way to jump in on Wisconsin Lottery games and would make working out a lottery bankroll easy.

For example, if you don’t mind losing $1,000 a year on Wisconsin Lottery games, you can buy up to 10 10 Buck Luck packs each year, or about one every 5 or 6 weeks.

Wisconsin Lottery Instant Scratch Games

At the time of this post, Wisconsin Lottery has 118 instant scratch games.

Here’s a breakdown of how many games of each denomination are available in Wisconsin:

  • $1 – 11 games, average odds 1 in 4.2
  • $2 – 21 games, average odds 1 in 4
  • $3 – 17 games, average odds 1 in 3.8
  • $5 – 24 games, average odds 1 in 3.6
  • $10 – 22 games, average odds 1 in 3.71
  • $20 – 14 games, average odds 1 in 3.6
  • $30 – 9 games, average odds 1 in 3.4

Obviously, instant scratch games change with the seasons. New games will be added, old games will be retired.

Here’s a deeper look into a popular Wisconsin Lottery instant scratch game to give you an idea of what the marketplace is like.

One of their more popular tickets right now is 10 Times the Money, a $2 match game. People like it because of the multiplier bonus window – after you win, you scratch the multiplier to see how much the multiplier is worth, between 2 and 10x.

Here’s a guide to each of the game’s prizes, with the approximate number of prizes on printed tickets and each player’s odds of winning for each $2 ticket:

  • $2 – 124,000 prizes available – 1 in 10 odds
  • $3 – 94,000 prizes available – 1 in 13 odds
  • $4 – 32,000 prizes available – 1 in 38 odds
  • $6 – 26,000 prizes available – 1 in 47 odds
  • $10 – 12,000 prizes available – 1 in 101 odds
  • $20 – 10,000 prizes available – 1 in 121 odds
  • $50 – 6,240 prizes available – 1 in 193 odds
  • $100 – 150 prizes available – 1 in 8,000 odds
  • $500 – 8 prizes available – 1 in 150,000 odds
  • $1,000 – 3 prizes available – 1 in 400,000 odds
  • $10,000 – 2 prizes available – 1 in 600,000 odds.

You can do some simple math to figure out how many tickets were printed. If they’re offering 2 $10,000 prizes and they advertise 1 in 600,000 odds, obviously they printed 1.2 million 10 Times the Money tickets.

Wisconsin Lottery Pull-Tab Games

Pull-tab games are a form of instant-win game in which, rather than scratch the surface of the ticket, you just pull a paper tab out of the way to see if you’ve won.

The tickets are easier to check, and players tend to buy them in large groups.

Pull-tab games are only available at some retailers, and are more of a “taverns, bars, and restaurants” item.

At the time of this post, Wisconsin Lottery hosts 10 pull-tab games, and they cost either $0.50 or $1 each. Pull-tab games top prizes range from $60 on the Cool 7’s game up to $200 on the Packers game.

Your goal is to find three identical symbols. Each has an associated prize. Check the ticket for the specific payouts and symbol combinations necessary for winnings, as they vary from one game to another.

Here’s a look at a typical pay table for a pull-tab game, using the popular $1 Packers ticket. Understand that the odds presented are for each roll of tickets. There are 1,020 tickets in each roll, so that’s how you figure the odds and payback percentages.

  • Match 3 Packers logos, win $200 – 1 in 1,020 odds
  • Match 3 referee symbols, win $100 – 1 in 1,020 odds
  • Match 3 football symbols, win $50 – 1 in 510 odds
  • Match 3 goalpost symbols, win $10 – 1 in 340 odds
  • Match 3 Packers helmet symbols, win $2 – 1 in 41 odds
  • Match 3 foam finger symbols, win $1 – 1 in 7 odds

The payback percentage for each roll of tickets is 47.04%.

The most common result in pull-tab games is the $1 prize, which is the price of an additional ticket. Without that prize, the payback percentage would be in the low-30s, and the game wouldn’t be offered because nobody would play it. It would just be too volatile, even for a small amount like a $1 buy-in.

Wisconsin Lottery Super 2nd Chance

Wisconsin hosts a regular series of second chance raffles allowing Wisconsin lottery fans a chance to turn a losing ticket into a winner.

These Super 2nd Chance drawings take place every Thursday. Ten winners are drawn from people who turned in losing instant win or lotto tickets.

The rules and conditions are lengthy, so let’s go over the basics:

  • You enter by sending in at least $5 worth of losing tickets.
  • All losing tickets are eligible for 180 days from the game’s ending date.
  • Each winner gets $1,000.
  • You may enter as many times as you want.

For more details on the Super 2nd Chance game, as well as details on how to enter, where to send your entry, etc., check out Wisconsin Lottery’s Super 2nd Chance page.

Wisconsin Lottery Raffle

Wisconsin Lottery holds an annual raffle at the Wisconsin State Fair in the month of August. Tickets are only available at the fair. You can get one raffle ticket for $1, a book of 6 tickets for $5, or a book of 15 tickets for $10.

Tickets are sold in numerical order, so when you buy groups of tickets, you’re buying a set of numbers in order.

Wisconsin Lottery instructs people to sign the back of their raffle ticket as soon as they buy it.

A strict limit of 25,000 tickets is enforced.

The top prize is 50% of all tickets sold – a maximum of $25,000.

There’s only one prize, so each ticket has odds of 1 in 25,000 of winning.

Powerball & Mega Millions in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is one of 46 US states that host both Powerball and Mega Millions.

These are the two biggest multi-state draw lottery games in America, and among the biggest lottery games in the world. Wisconsin joined Mega Millions in 2010, though its been a member of Powerball since the beginning of that game in the early 1990s.

The biggest lottery prize in Wisconsin history came as part of the Powerball game. A West Allis man won $768.4 million playing Powerball in 2019. After the 31.75% tax hit ($243 million and change), and settling with the state for a lump sum, his take-home was about $367 million.

Powerball and Mega Millions cost $2 per play.

You can spend an extra buck on both games to enhance any non-jackpot winnings.

Mega Millions drawings are every Tuesday and Friday at 11 PM Eastern.

Powerball drawings are every Wednesday and Saturday at 11 PM Eastern.

Mega Millions minimum jackpot is $40 million, and the game has a 19% overall payback percentage at its average jackpot amount.

Powerball resets to $20 million after each jackpot win, and the game’s payback percentage is just about 21% at its average jackpot size.

If you want more information on Mega Millions, check out their website.

If you want to learn more about Powerball, here’s their website.

On both sites, you’ll find details on prizes, odds, and instructions on how to play.

How to Buy Tickets and Claim Wisconsin Lottery Prizes

You can buy Wisconsin Lottery tickets at thousands of retailers all over the state.

Wisconsin Lottery’s Where to Buy Tickets page lets you search by Zip Code or city.

You can’t buy any Wisconsin Lottery games online yet, though legislation has been floated more than once that would allow limited online sales of certain games. Online Wisconsin lottery sales may be in our near future.

When it comes time to redeem a prize, you have several options, and they change depending on the size of your win.

Wisconsin Lottery recommends that all prizes of up to $599 be redeemed at a Wisconsin Lottery retailer. Retailers have the right to refuse, depending on the amount of the prize.

Prizes between $600 and $49,999 can be collected by mail or in person at either the Madison or the Milwaukee branch (addresses listed below). If you show up in person, you don’t need an appointment, but you’ll be asked to arrive by 3:30 to allow time for processing.

Prizes between $50,000 and $199,000 must be claimed by mail or in person at either branch listed below. If you show up in person, you don’t need an appointment, but you must show up before 2 PM to provide time for payment processing.

The two physical addresses of Wisconsin Lottery are:

2135 Rimrock Road
Madison, WI 53713

819 N. 6th St.
4th Floor
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Office hours are 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Monday through Friday.

To claim prizes of $200,000 or more from Wisconsin Lottery, you need to know a couple of things.

First, you’ll need to call Wisconsin Lottery at 608-261-4916 to set up an appointment at the Madison office listed above. You cannot claim prizes of this size at the Milwaukee office.

Second, bring your state-issued ID or passport to the appointment, and make sure you know your Social Security Number. You’ll need to sign some forms, take some promotional photos, and meet with some officials from the state.

Wisconsin Lottery Taxes

Wisconsin’s tax structure isn’t great for lottery winners.

Prizes below $2,000 don’t incur any additional taxes or withholdings, though Wisconsin Lottery says you still have to report it as income to both the Wisconsin Department of Revenue as well as the IRS.

If you win between $2,000 and $5,000, you’ll get a check for 92.25% of your winnings. The 7.75% deduction goes straight to the Department of Revenue and will count against any state taxes you’ve already paid for the year.

Prizes greater than $5,000 incur the automatic 7.75% state tax mentioned above as well as an automatic 24% withholding for the federal government. Wisconsin Lottery points out that large prizes will most likely push a person into a higher tax bracket, meaning that the 24% federal tax figure may not be the end of taxation for the state’s biggest payouts.

How does Wisconsin stack up against other state lottery programs in terms of taxes?

Some states – Texas and California the largest among them – don’t withhold any lottery winnings for the purposes of state tax.

However, Wisconsin’s 7.75% state tax isn’t the worst in the lottery industry. That dubious honor goes to New York. If you win a big prize in New York, you’ll owe the state almost 9%, on top of the 24% the federal government will come for.

The History of the Wisconsin Lottery

One of the few states to add a lottery without putting it up to vote, Wisconsin added lottery games as an act of the state legislature in 1988, right at the fever pitch of lottery gaming sweeping the nation.

Wisconsin’s first legal lottery games were an instant-win scratch game and a pull-tab instant win game. They launched in September of 1988, and for nearly a year were the only games Wisconsinites could legally purchase.

Wisconsin’s first draw lotto game launched in August of 1989 – it was Lotto * America, an early incarnation of the game we now call Megabucks. Between 1989 and 1992, four other draw lotto games appear, some of which are still in use today.

Wisconsin has been slow to adapt online ticket sales and other forms of games that other states are embracing. Wisconsin is not a big gambling state, outside of a few riverboat casinos and OTB facilities. It doesn’t seem likely that Wisconsin will make any big world-changing moves soon.

How to Contact Wisconsin Lottery

The easiest way to contact Wisconsin Lottery is using the online contact form on their website.

Their mailing address is below:

Wisconsin Lottery
PO Box 8941
Madison, WI 53708-8941

You can reach someone at Wisconsin Lottery on the phone at 1-608-266-7777 between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM every Monday through Friday.

Wisconsin Lottery maintains the best and most thorough FAQ section of all US lottery programs. Anything you didn’t learn in this page can be found somewhere on that massive list of frequently asked questions.

Conclusion

Wisconsin Lottery is a growing program that hasn’t yet embraced the latest state lottery options like online ticket sales, sports betting, or Video Lottery Terminals. Still, the program adds billions of dollars to state coffers every year and distributes hundreds of millions to lottery retailers in the form of bonuses and commissions.

With thousands of retailers and dozens of ways to play, check out Wisconsin Lottery the next time you’re up north.