While many people dream about winning the lottery, the odds of having a winning ticket are low.
In fact, the odds of winning a Powerball is roughly 1 in 292.2 million and your odds of winning Mega Millions are roughly 1 in 302.5 million.
Despite these low odds of winning, millions of people still play the lottery every year. During 2022, U.S. lottery sales totaled over $107.9 billion. As I said though, the odds of winning are low, meaning that people are left with non-winning lottery tickets.
Can you do anything with these tickets?
Or should you just throw them out?
There is actually a way to make money with non-winning lottery tickets, and that’s with something called the second chance lottery.
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What will I learn?
What are Second Chance Lotteries?
As its name suggests, the second chance lottery provides you with a second chance to win cash and prizes.
Although the rules vary by state, the general concept is that if you purchase lottery tickets, either drawing-style or scratch-offs, for certain games, your non-winning tickets can win you prizes in random drawings.
Tickets are only eligible during certain dates and some drawings happen more frequently than others.
Cash rewards can range from $500 to more than $1 million and prizes can be anything from NFL tickets to new cars.
In some states, there are also additional ways to win.
For example, Tennessee Lottery VIP Rewards allows players to enter any non-winning, drawing-style ticket, including the Powerball, online, and they’ll earn points.
Players can then use these points to purchase items like espresso machines and watches.
Ohio has a similar program called MyLotto Rewards.
What states have a second chance lottery?
There are only six states, currently, which don’t have a lottery at all.
States that don’t have a lottery include:
Second chance lotteries are available in 43 of the 44 states that do hold lotteries.
You can learn more about your state’s second chance lottery by visiting its lottery website.
Why states offer another chance to win
When the big prize for a drawing has a winner, that lottery closes and the winner takes the prize. This means that the state cannot sell any more tickets for that lottery.
However, if the state chooses to keep a prize for its second chance giveaways, then it can still keep collecting money on the tickets you purchase. So, the states can get even more money in ticket sales.
Having a second chance prize extends the typical drawing period and encourages people to purchase more tickets to keep winning prizes.
So, secondary lottery games provide states with a way to offer incentives that keep you playing the lotto by giving you ways to cash in on non-winning tickets.
And, winners also have to pay taxes on each claimed prize, which brings states even more money.
A lot of people don’t know about second chance lotteries, but they are a good way to make money with a non-winning lottery ticket.
How the Second Chance Lottery Works
Each state has its own rules for second chance lotteries, so they all work slightly differently. Most states have several types of second chance lotteries that you can enter.
Generally speaking, the most common type of second chance lottery is where you can enter your non-winning numbers to receive an entry into a different drawing.
How you enter a second chance lottery depends on the state you live in. For many states, you’ll need to create an online account for your state’s lotto website and then enter your non-winning ticket numbers into the form.
You’ll need to make sure you check the dates for the game because each type of game or promotion will have a start date and an end date, and you won’t be able to enter past that point.
Not all states have an online entry system for their second chance lottery though.
For example, Wisconsin’s Super 2nd Chance Drawing requires players to mail in their tickets. So, do be sure to check the rules with your particular state.
As I mentioned earlier, second chance lottery games can either reward you with a cash prize or with prizes like a car, gift card, or paid vacation.
Your state’s lottery website should provide you with the details you need for each promotion, like the date a winner will be selected, the number of people that can win the prize, and how you can enter.
It’s important to note that while some states will allow you to enter second chance games with both your regular tickets and scratch-offs, others will only allow regular tickets for secondary winnings.
Here are a few examples of how second chance lotteries work in a few states:
California has a few different types of second chance lotteries. At the time of writing, the state’s official site says that you can submit the 2nd Chance code on your eligible SuperLotto Plus, non-winning Scratchers, or $5 or more Fantasy 5 ticket.
Your SuperLotto Plus ticket gives you another opportunity to win $15,000 in a weekly draw. Every $1 you spend on a ticket gives you 1 entry into 2nd Chance drawings. For example, your $5 play gives you a 2nd Chance code for 5 entries.
With scratchers, your non-winning ticket gives you another opportunity to win up to $25,000 in a weekly draw. Every $1 you spend gives you 1 entry into 2nd Chance drawings. For example, your non-winning $10 ticket gives you a 2nd Chance code for 10 entries.
With a $5 or more Fantasy 5 ticket, you can get another opportunity to win up to $10,000 in a weekly draw. For every $5 you play, you get a 2nd Chance code for 1 entry into 2nd Chance drawings.
As soon as you submit your 2nd Chance codes, you’re entered into all applicable weekly draws. Along with weekly drawings, there are additional Lottery promotional draws you could also be automatically entered into.
You can submit up to 500 2nd Chance codes a month, which means that you have lots of opportunities to win.
New Jersey has a few different second chance programs.
For example, there’s the Million Dollar Replay that offers a yearly second chance at $1,000,000 with your non-winning Scratch-Offs.
And, there’s also the Jersey Collect ‘N Win program that offers a monthly second chance to win up to $5,000 and other prizes with your draw game tickets.
Ohio has MyLotto Rewards Second Chance promotions that give you another chance to make money with non-winning lottery tickets. On the state’s official lottery website, you can enter your applicable non-winning ticket or code to play Second Chance games by clicking on one of the games there.
You will need to make sure you’re signed into your MyLotto Rewards account, or if you don’t have one, you can create an account for free.
There are lots of different second chance rewards available.
For example, at the time of writing, you could enter to win a trip to Las Vegas for the chance to win up to $50 million in the Come on Down Challenge.
There was another second chance promotion where 50 winners could get a $500 Visa gift card and four grand prize winners could win $6,500, and their choice of one of three prize packages that include home fitness, family fun, and health and home improvement. There was also a promotion where you could win up to $150,000.
What to Do if You Win
Many lotto sites require you to create an account, and you can usually sign into this account to check your information. So, you can make sure that you have entered all tickets correctly.
Some states will send you an email confirmation after you have submitted codes or numbers to confirm that they received everything.
You don’t need to keep checking back though. When you enter a second chance lottery, check your state’s guidelines for how it will contact you if you do win.
Most states will inform you that you’ve won by phone or mail, so simply wait to hear if you’ve won.
If you do receive a notification that you’ve won, then be sure to pay close attention to the instructions that the state sends you on how to claim your prize.
Since, in many cases, if you don’t claim your prize accordingly, you won’t be eligible to receive it. The details on how to claim your prize should be explained in the fine print for the promotion. So, be sure you read it all before you enter and make note of everything.
You can make money with non-winning lottery tickets with second chance lottery games.
These games give you another chance to win money or get prizes. So, if you have a non-winning lottery ticket, consider entering a second chance lottery.
Many states have them and you may as well get another chance to win!
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