How are drawings conducted?

Drawings for Louisiana-based games are conducted at Lottery headquarters in downtown Baton Rouge. The drawing room is secured by alarms and motion detectors, and activity inside is videotaped.

Each drawing is conducted using one of two secure automated drawing machines. The machines are completely separate from the system that generates tickets, so the number of winners or where the winning tickets were sold is not known until after the drawing has occurred.

To maximize security, access to the Lottery’s drawing room, the drawing machine itself and the drawing log-on screen are each reliant upon a dual key or password system from both a Lottery drawing official and a legislative auditor.

Encased in locked cabinets, each automated drawing machine is essentially a tamper-proof, stand-alone computer equipped only to perform random number generation. The devices pass independently verified and internationally benchmarked batteries of tests for producing random results. Prior to each drawing, the machine to be utilized is randomly selected.

The drawing system also utilizes several encryption algorithms to ensure randomness and security of the data, which is tested continuously. Finally, the system selects the winning numbers based on the game matrix parameters from the tested and secure raw data, displays them on the animated display console and writes them to a log file. The official results are also printed and signed off on by both the Lottery drawing official and the legislative auditor overseeing the drawing.

After all drawings are conducted, the official winning numbers generated by the system are transmitted to Louisiana Public Broadcasting, WLPB, for satellite relay to all Official Lottery Draw Show TV Stations and are sent to state news media. The Lottery also posts the winning numbers on its website following the drawings each night after winning data is verified.

The public is welcome to attend any drawing, but must reserve a seat by contacting the Lottery during regular business hours.

Louisiana-based drawings are held every day beginning at approximately 9:30 p.m., Central Standard Time, with the exception of Christmas Day and Easter Sunday, after all ticket sales for the drawing have been verified.

Powerball, a multistate game, is conducted live at 9:59 p.m., Central Standard Time, on Wednesdays and Saturdays by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) in Tallahassee, Fla. Mega Millions, a multistate game, is conducted live at 10 p.m., Central Standard Time, on Tuesdays and Fridays in Atlanta, Ga.

I've been playing Pick 3 since it started and my numbers have never come up. It seems like other numbers have come more than once. How can that be?

All of the Lottery's games are games of chance. Drawing games are conducted using random number generation. This means that every number combination has an EQUAL chance of being selected for every drawing, REGARDLESS of whether or not it was drawn in the past. If number combinations that had been drawn in the past were removed from play, the game would be unfair. Even assuming that number combinations could be eliminated, it would take 1,000 drawings, or 2.8 years, for every possible Pick 3 combination to be drawn. For Pick 4, it would take 10,000 drawings or 28 years.

What television stations carry the drawing results?

The winning numbers or results of Powerball, Lotto, Pick 3 and Pick 4 drawings are broadcast beginning at 9:59 p.m on the following television stations. Mega Millions drawings are broadcast at 10:00 p.m. on the following TV stations, except for WVUE-FOX8 where it airs at the top of the first commercial break of the hour.

StationChannelCity
KALB5Alexandria
Cox Cable4 Rebroadcasts on channel 57 between 24 and 26 minutes after the hour and between 45 and 50 minutes after the hour.Baton Rouge
Cox Cable4Lafayette
KVHP29Lake Charles
KARD/FOX 1414Monroe
WVUE/FOX 88 Mega Millions drawings air at the top of the first commercial break of the 10 p.m. newscast.New Orleans
KPXJ/KTBS21/3 Rebroadcasts on KTBS during second commercial break of the 10 p.m. newscast.Shreveport

When are the drawings results aired?

Lotto: Wednesday and Saturday nights at 9:59 p.m., except Christmas Day.

Easy 5: Wednesday and Saturday nights at 9:59 p.m., except Christmas Day.

Powerball: Wednesdays and Saturdays at 9:59 p.m.

Mega Millions: Tuesdays and Fridays at 10 p.m.

Pick 3 & Pick 4: Daily at 9:59 p.m., except Easter Sunday and Christmas Day. There are no Louisiana-based drawings on Christmas Day or Easter. Drawings for the multistate games, Powerball and Mega Millions, will be conducted should Christmas fall on a draw day. Tickets must be purchased by 9:00 p.m. on the draw date for Powerball and Mega Millions, and by 9:30 p.m. on the draw date for Pick 3, Pick 4, Lotto and Easy 5 to be eligible for that drawing.

Where can you find the drawing results and winning numbers?

1. The Lottery Draw Show. Television stations across Louisiana broadcast winning numbers nightly beginning at 9:59 p.m.
2. Your Lottery Retailer. A winning numbers report for the most immediate and recent drawings can be obtained from your Lottery retailer.
3. The Lottery's Website. You can check winning numbers often as soon as 30 minutes following the drawing, but sometimes as late as midnight, depending on the number of drawings that occur that evening. Winning information goes through an extensive verification process before being posted to the website. Winning information for all drawings that have taken place in the past is also available here.
4. Winning Numbers Hotline: 1-800-735-5825.

Why do you no longer conduct live drawings?

The Louisiana Lottery discontinued live drawings for its draw-style games in 1998, ahead of a current industry trend toward automated drawings. There were several factors that contributed to the decision to convert to the automated drawing process now being used. Producing live drawings is extremely cost-prohibitive. The Lottery's need to soundly manage its operating costs outweighs the entertainment value that live drawings provide. Secondly, the Lottery does not pay television stations to carry the Lottery's winning numbers broadcast. With up to five different drawings being conducted nightly, airing live drawings would require a significant increase in air time from participating television stations who could otherwise sell the time to advertisers. Finally, automated drawings have proven more secure and less prone to human error than live drawings.