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Ohio Lottery


The Ohio Lottery, started in 1974, encompasses a variety of instant games, daily Pick 3 and Pick 4 drawings, and the twice-weekly Mega Millions drawing. The Ohio Lottery also oversees charitable bingo within the state and produces the weekly "Cash Explosion" television show. The Ohio Lottery ranks 10th among state lotteries in gross sales.


The Ohio Lottery began in 1974, following a voter referendum in 1973. The original lottery was a weekly drawing. Gradually, the system grew to include instant games, charitable bingo, and daily and weekly drawings. Lottery tickets are sold at over 8900 retail outlets throughout the state. The Ohio Lottery donates 100 percent of its profits, about 30 percent of gross sale, to Ohio public schools. In 2007, this amounted to more than $672 million.

Instant Games:

Ohio Lottery outlets sell between 48 and 52 instant games at all times. The scratch-off games vary and include seasonal and topical themes. Each game lasts approximately 20 weeks and between 5 and 13 million tickets are printed for each game.

Pick 3/Pick 4:

Pick 3 and Pick 4 are daily drawings, held Monday - Saturday at 1229pm and 729pm. This game offers a straight or boxed bet option and wagers can range from 50 cents to $6. Drawings are broadcast statewide.

Mega Millions:

Mega Millions is a multi-state lottery with a large payout. Drawings are held each Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday at 11pm. Players choose five numbers from 1 - 56 and one MegaBall number from 1 - 46. Each wager is $1. Players have the option of choosing their numbers or having the lottery system choose them via "auto-lotto." The Mega Millions payout starts at $12 million and "rolls" until it is hit. Players can choose cash or yearly payout.

The Kicker:

The Kicker is a piggyback game on the Mega Millions game, unique to Ohio. For an extra $1 you can opt to "take the kicker," a six-digit number printed on the Mega Millions ticket. This number is drawn in Ohio each Tuesday and Friday and the Mega Millions numbers are drawn at Lottery Central in Atlanta. If you match all six numbers, you'll win $100,000. Matching 2 - 5 numbers, wins from $10 to $5000.


Ten-OH is one of the newest Ohio lotto game. Twenty numbers are drawn from a pool of 80. Drawings are held twice daily. If you match 10 or 20 numbers for a jackpot of $500,000. Win $3 for matching no numbers. Wagers are $1 per ticket.

Cash Explosion:

Cash Explosion is taped in front of a studio audience in Columbus and broadcast each Saturday night at 730pm. Eight contestants compete each week for up to $200,000 in cash. Contestants are chosen from a drawing of instant lottery tickets with 3 "entry" markings that sent in to the station.

Ohio Lottery Trivia:

Some fun Ohio Lottery facts:
  • The biggest jackpot in Lottery history was $267 million on 2/28/06. The winning ticket was sold in Lyons, Ohio.
  • Ohioians spent an average of $196 per person on lottery products in 2006.
  • 65 percent of Mega Millions players use the auto-lotto option.
  • 76 percent of Mega Millions players choose the cash payout option.


Keno is the newest of the Ohio Lottery games, set to launch on August 4. Drawings will be held every 4 minutes and players select their numbers with a bet slip or request the autopick option. The Lottery will select 20 numbers from a pool of 80 (01 to 80) and players have the option to play up to 10 spots. The top prize for a $1 wager that matches 10 of 20 numbers is $100,000.

(last updated 7-25-08)

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