Looking for a way for the state to generate revenue without increasing taxes, the 1990 Louisiana Legislature approved Act 1045 amending the state's constitution to create a state lottery. Due to its unique operations, the legislature recognized a corporate structure would best suit the Lottery. Voters also liked the idea and passed a constitutional amendment creating the Lottery on Oct. 6, 1990 by a 69 percent to 31 percent margin statewide. The Lottery sold its first scratch-off ticket Sept. 6, 1991. For more information about the Lottery's history, click here.
Louisiana's citizens! The Lottery's mission is to generate maximum revenues for the state of Louisiana, which is the corporation's sole shareholder. Although many Louisiana businesses benefit indirectly from having a state lottery, only the state directly receives LLC profits which amount to 35 percent of its revenue. To date, the Lottery has transferred over $2.7 billion to the state treasury.
Public trust is paramount to the Lottery's success. To ensure the highest level of accountability, the following have varying degrees of oversight over the corporation, including review of its budget and administrative rules and drawings: the Governor of Louisiana, Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, Senate Judiciary B Committee, House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice and the Office of the Legislative Auditor.
In addition, the president of the Louisiana Lottery Corporation handles the daily activities involved with running the corporation under the supervision of the LLC's nine-member, governing board of directors. Board members are appointed to staggered terms from each of Louisiana's six congressional districts and threemembers are appointed at-large. Each member is appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Louisiana Senate before beginning a four-year term. The state treasurer serves as an ex-officio board member.
In addition to a succession of annual "unqualified" opinions from the Office of the Legislative Auditor, the LLC continues to receive recognition from the Government Finance Officers Association for excellence in financial reporting. To view current financial statements, click here.
No, the state's constitution dictates how Lottery proceeds are to be directed. Effective July 1, 2004, the state constitution provides that Lottery proceeds be dedicated to the Minimum Foundation Program, which funds public education in Louisiana. The dedication was a result of a 2003 constitutional amendment which was passed by voters, 64 percent to 36 percent.
The Lottery is totally self funded, retaining less than 10 percent of its revenue to fund statewide operations including its headquarters, five regional offices, distribution center, technology needs, staffing and ticket printing. According to an efficiency study conducted by TLF Publications, Louisiana ranked first among U.S. lotteries in percentage of revenue transferred to their government.
More than 50 cents of every dollar goes to tens of thousands of Lottery winners every week. Unclaimed prizes are returned to players in the form of increased scratch-offs payouts and promotions. At least 35 cents of every dollar goes to the state treasury, as defined by the Lottery's statute. Less than 10 cents of every dollar is used to operate the Lottery, which is completely self funded. About 5 cents of every dollar, in addition to incentives and bonuses, is paid as commission to Louisiana businesses who sell Lottery games.
The legislature's decision to pursue a state lottery was based on a 1989 study indicating expected sales between $129 million and $164 million, which the Louisiana Lottery has far exceeded every year. This is especially noteworthy considering the proliferation of additional, competing gaming venues in Louisiana, which have occurred since the Lottery was created.
The Lottery is the only state-owned form of gaming in Louisiana. According to a report from the Legislative Fiscal Office projecting data for 2012, Lottery transfers represents 19 percent of total gaming industry proceeds transferred to the state, but the Lottery's share of total state gaming spending is only 5.6 percent. The reason for this difference is the effective tax rate. The Lottery's effective tax rate, which is the share of net revenue after prize expense transferred to the state, is 76.2 percent compared to an effective tax rate of 30.2 percent for video poker, the next highest taxed form of gaming.
The Lottery employs roughly 125 people, including both full-time and part-time employees in its Baton Rouge headquarters and distribution center, as well as regional offices in New Orleans, Lafayette, Alexandria, Shreveport and Monroe.
According to state law, Lottery ticket purchasers must be at least 21 years of age. Individuals who sell tickets are required to obtain proof of age through a valid current drivers' license, a state issued ID card, a passport, or military or federal ID containing both a photo and date of birth.
Any person who knowingly sells to a minor can be fined between $100 and $500 for the first offense and $200 to $1,000 for each subsequent offense. Underage purchasers can also be fined up to $100.
The Lottery's retailer regulations hold retailers responsible for their employees' adherence to this law and retailer contracts can be suspended, revoked or terminated if retailers are found not to be compliant.
Individuals who are at least 21 years of age can give Lottery tickets to a person under the minimum age as a gift, although minors must be accompanied by a legal guardian or a family member who is at least 21 years of age in order to claim a Lottery prize. The Lottery statute does not contain a minimum age requirement to sell tickets; retailers are governed by employment law in that regard.
The 21 minimum age requirement to purchase Lottery tickets changed from 18 years of age in 1998 to coincide with the age requirement for other forms of gaming in the state. Louisiana is one of only a few states that require Lottery ticket purchasers to be at least 21 years of age. Most states with lotteries have a minimum age requirement of 18.
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.
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.
1. The Lottery Draw Show. Television stations across Louisiana broadcast winning numbers nightly beginning at 9:59 p.m. For a complete list of stations, click here. 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.
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.
4 Rebroadcasts on channel 57 between 24 and 26 minutes after the hour and between 45 and 50 minutes after the hour.
8 Mega Millions drawings air at the top of the first commercial break of the 10 p.m. newscast.
21/3 Rebroadcasts on KTBS during second commercial break of the 10 p.m. newscast.
Once you know what winning numbers were drawn or have finished scratching your scratch-off, there are several different ways to find out whether your ticket is a winner and if so, how much you have won.
The Lottery recommends that players familiarize themselves with all of the winning combinations of the particular game that they are playing. These can be found on all the game pages of this website. Also, "How to Play" brochures, located in the Lottery's play centers at Lottery retailers describe how each draw-style game is won.
Finally, your Lottery retailer can scan your ticket to determine whether it is a winner. Watch the Customer Display Unit when having your ticket checked. It will tell you whether or not your ticket is a winner and if so, the winning amount. For tickets that win more than $600 (the maximum amount a retailer can cash), the display will direct you to a Lottery office to claim your prize.
You can also ask your retailer to provide you with a Validation Receipt confirming the value of your ticket. Even if you are unsure if your ticket is a winner, it is a good idea to sign it.
Winning scratch-off tickets can be claimed up to 90 days following the closure of the game. Click here for a list of closed games and end-of-redemption dates. Winning draw-style game tickets can be claimed up to 180 days following the drawing.