Let’s take a swerve in to memory lane and talk about a fantastic lottery which is no more. Hot Lotto was a fun game offered by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), the same body that is in charge of Powerball lotteries. Unlike Powerball, which is widely available across the United States, Hot Lotto was only available in 14 states. Hot Lotto was introduced on April 10th, 2002 to celebrate Powerball's 10th anniversary. The first states to offer the game were Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, South Dakota and West Virginia. More states joined the game as the years went on, with Tennessee being the latest state to offer Hot Lotto. Hot Lotto was highly famous tax free earnings; this meant that more money stayed in the hands of winners, who never typically received less than the estimated jackpot amount because the tax was already paid by the lotto before cash is claimed, what you see advertised as Hot lotto jackpot is what you get when you win.
Important Facts of Hot Lotto
- It was played in 14 states
- Winners don’t receive less than the jackpot amount
- Jackpot starts at $1 million
- The draw is held twice a week
Hot Lotto Explained: How to play and Win
Hot Lotto was easy to play- All you had to do is pick five numbers from 1 to 47 and a Hot Ball number from 1 to 19. Players also had the option to pay an extra $1 for the Sizzler option, where any non-jackpot prize you won could be tripled!
Below are simple step by step outline of how Hot Lotto was played:
- Pick up a Mega Millions play slip at your favorite Lottery Retailer near you at $2 per play. Purchase your tickets by the cut-off time in your state or online. This ranges from 6:45 pm PST in Washington to 10 pm EST in New York and Florida.
- Choose your numbers on a play slip or let the lottery terminal randomly pick your numbers.
- Choose five main numbers between 1 and 47
- Choose a Hot Ball number between 1 and 19
- Choose whether to play the sizzler option for an additional $1. Offering the chance to multiply non-jackpot prizes times three.
- Hand your marked play slip to the store clerk and you will receive a ticket with your Mega Millions numbers on it.
- Watch the Hot Lotto drawing on your local television station or check lottery sites the following day to see if got the lucky winning Hot Lotto number.
Hot Lotto Drawing Days/Time
Hot Lotto draws consisted of two draws per week which are conducted on Wednesday and Saturday bearing a similarity to Powerball. Drawings are conducted by the Multi-State Lottery Association.
Hot Lotto Participating States
The following 14 states partook in Hot Lotto;
Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia
Winning Options for Hot Lotto
The jackpot starts at $1 million and grows until it's won, with the prize fund increasing after each draw without a top prize winner. This is increased by $50,000 every time the jackpot wasn't won. Here's a breakdown of the Hot Lotto prizes and the odds of winning based on a $1 play, as well as what you could have won with the Sizzler option:
Below is a breakdown of the Hot Lotto cash options available to players.
|Correct Numbers Matched||Prize Amount in $||Sizzler Prize Amount in $ (X3)|
|5 + Hot ball||Jackpot||Not Available|
|4 + Hot ball||$3,000||$9,000|
|3 + Hot ball||$50||$150|
|2 + Hot ball||$6||$18|
|1 + Hot ball||$3||$9|
Hot Lotto Winning Odds
For each Hot Lotto prize, there were varying odds of matching the winning draw. The Hot Lotto odds are outlined in the table below. Obviously, the odd of winning the ultimate Jackpot which is matching correctly the five jackpot numbers with the Hot ball will be the highest.
|Correct Numbers Matched||Winning Odds|
|5 + Hot ball||1 in 29,144,841|
|5||1 in 1,619,157|
|4 + Hot ball||1 in 138,784|
|4||1 in 7,710|
|3 + Hot ball||1 in 3,385|
|3||1 in 188|
|2 + Hot ball||1 in 253|
|1 + Hot ball||1 in 52|
|Hot ball||1 in 34|
Hot Lotto Payout
Claim period varies from state to state from 90 to 365 days. Jackpot winners can receive their prize as either lump cash or annuity payment. To claim lump cash, the winner has to claim their prize within 60 days of results otherwise they will have to take their prize as an annuity. A player has 60 days from the date they claim their prize to choose the "cash" option or the "annuity" option. If the player selects the "cash" option, the prize will be a single cash payment equal to the amount available to the lottery for the jackpot prize pool. The "cash" prize is estimated to be approximately one-half of the estimated jackpots, depending on current interest rates. Although the Hot Lotto has ended, the usual rules for respective state apply for claiming prizes. However, the longest claim period on offer is 365 days.
The steps needed to claim Hot Lotto cash prize are outlined below
- Sign the ticket straightaway and complete the information on the back of the ticket.
- Simply present your winning ticket to your favorite lottery retailer or mail the signed/completed ticket to the lottery office of the State.
- A player may also download and print a Prize Claim Form from State Lottery website or pick up a form from a lottery retailer, complete and sign the form, and send it along with the signed winning ticket to the Lottery Office of their respective State
- Include a copy of your ID along with the Prize Claim Form and winning ticket.
Tax on Hot Lotto Payout
Hot Lotto was tax free. Hot Lotto final jackpot was highly famous for tax free earnings; this meant that more money stayed in the hands of winners, who never typically received less than the estimated jackpot amount because the tax was already paid by the lotto before cash is claimed
Hot Lotto Ticket Cost
The cost of a Hot Lotto ticket is $1 per line with additional $1 for the Sizzler option. The price is the same in all 14 states.
Hot Lotto Prize Winners Stories
Success stories of Hot Lotto Jackpot Winners abound as there have been lucky winners that won the jackpot. Below is a story
DES MOINES, Iowa — Waterloo, Iowa, retiree Wally Markham said he wasn't able to keep it secret for long in Smitty's bar on Sunday that he was the jackpot winner in Saturday's Hot Lotto drawing.
Markham, 65, who retired in 2001 after 36 years working at the Deere plant in Waterloo, said he confided to the bartender that he was in line to claim the $7.54 million grand prize. "From then on in, it cost me a fortune."
On Wednesday, Markham collected a fortune at Iowa Lottery headquarters in Des Moines, taking lump-sum winnings of $3.947 million after federal and state tax withholdings for the jackpot ticket he bought at the Kwik Stop at 4335 Texas St. in Waterloo.
Markham, his girlfriend, Vicky Lindquist, also of Waterloo, her daughter and granddaughter were on hand to collect the oversized lottery check and process the electronic transfer that made him Iowa's newest millionaire.
The Hot Lotto winner said he likely will invest some of his new-found fortune but otherwise has no immediate plans for the money that he won via the computer-selected numbers of 5-12-16-23-24 and the "Hot Ball" 8 that matched all six numbers drawn Saturday to win the grand prize.
Available Hot Lotto Operator/States
Hot Lotto was available in 14 states. Tickets for Hot Lotto were sold in Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
Hot Lotto FAQs
When did the Hot Lotto game end?
The final drawing for Hot Lotto was held on Oct. 28, 2017.
Will players still be able to claim prizes on Hot Lotto tickets since the game has ended?
Yes. Each lottery has its own rules about how long players have to claim prizes, e.g. 365 days from the date of a drawing. Players will be able to claim Hot Lotto prizes within each lottery’s allowed time period. Please check with your lottery for the deadline on claiming Hot Lotto prizes. Prizes must be claimed in the jurisdiction where the ticket was purchased.
What Should I Do If I Had a Winning Ticket?
Sign the back of the ticket immediately! Remember, lottery tickets are bearer instruments, meaning the person who "bears" the ticket can claim it, regardless of who purchased the ticket. The Lottery advises players to sign the back of their tickets when they purchase them - even before the drawing or the ticket is played.
Where was Hot Lotto tickets sold?
Hot Lotto tickets were sold in Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Is the Lottery Only for U.S. Citizen?
You do not need to be a U.S. citizen to play or to claim a prize. Non-residents will be required to provide an address outside of the U.S. But tax on winnings still apply irrespective of nationalization.
At what Age Am I Eligible to Play?
You must be 18 years of age and above, persons under the age of 18 are prohibited from claiming a lottery prize in the US. In some state, players must be 21 years old to partake in Hot Lotto.
What happened to the Hot Lotto jackpot money?
Prize money remaining from the Hot Lotto game were either rolled forward to the new $1 draw game Lotto America [Lotto America] to be awarded as prizes or returned to participating lotteries to be awarded as prizes.
Conclusion: Hot Lotto and the Glory Days
In this article, we have gone through Hot Lotto in details, how tickets were purchased and what prizes was available including the jackpot prize. The draws were done twice weekly. And how The Hot Lotto game ended on Oct. 28, 2017.