Last Updated on 21/09/2022
Fact checked by: Josh Schwartz
You might have come here thinking that there are literally countless Nevada lotto tickets available in the state known for the world’s busiest casinos. However, it’s perhaps not quite as straightforward as you might’ve been thinking.
Nevertheless, there are some avenues that Nevadan’s can explore to play lotto games and buy tickets - even if the Las Vegas Lotteries aren’t as big as the casinos. Nevada is just one of six states in the unique position of not having its own state lottery, and we’ll tell you why.
Unlike the Rhode Island lotteries and the Pennsylvania lotto online, the Nevada Lottery belongs to a very exclusive club. Nevada is one of just five other states, including Alabama, Utah and Hawaii, that doesn’t have a state-run lottery in place. Additionally, there is no Nevada lotto online service or a way to purchase lotto tickets from other states and elsewhere in the world legally online.
This may surprise a lot of you, given that Nevada is home to Las Vegas, the biggest and most liberal gambling haven in the world. However, it is 100% true that while you can enter poker tournaments, play on slots and splash out on roulette to your heart's content in the State of Nevada, you can’t buy a simple lottery ticket - crazy huh. There is some logic to this madness, but we’ll get to the “why” a little later on. We’re betting that most of you have come here because you’re in Nevada and looking to buy a lotto ticket, so we’ll address that issue for you first.
Okay, so we’ve established that there are no Nevada lotteries to speak of here, what avenues to you then have if you want to play the lottery as a Nevada resident, or while visiting Nevada. Actually, it’s not that difficult. Las Vegas, Nevada’s biggest city both in terms of tourists and residents, is right next to the borders of Arizona and California - both of which have legal lotteries. Additionally, Reno and Carson City, Nevada’s other most populous cities are practically in California.
Both the Arizona and California state lotteries allow non-state residents and even foreigners to buy their lottery tickets and legally claim winnings. Therefore the easiest way to purchase lottery tickets when in Nevada is just to take a short drive out of state. So technically, you can’t buy Nevada lotto tickets, however, you can easily buy lotto tickets from out of state and claim winnings by mail once you’re back in Nevada - that’s all above board. Of Nevada’s total five neighboring states, four of them have legal lotteries that are open to Nevadans - with Utah being a part of Nevada’s no lotto club.
So buying tickets for Nevadans isn’t actually that much harder than it is for New Hampshire lotto tickets in the east, which can be bought in the state. However, things get a little bit more complex when it comes to the Nevada lotto online - so let’s take a look at that below.
Understandably, many of you won’t want to go through the effort of crossing state lines just for the sake of purchasing a lotto ticket, or a pull off game or a scratcher. However, even the majority of the US states and territories that do have a legal state lottery actually don’t allow the sales of tickets online - one of the few exceptions being West Virginia lotto tickets. It’s therefore not surprising that, legally at least, there is no Nevada lotto online or a way to purchase neighboring state tickets over the internet - the same goes for mail ordering tickets, for those of you who were thinking.
So we’ve established that you can buy lotto tickets from neighboring states to Nevada, including Arizona and California, both of which are easily accessible from Las Vegas. However, you do need to be slightly careful here when it comes to which tickets you choose to buy. As well as there being no Nevada lotteries or Nevada lotto online service, you’re also not permitted to play other state in-house lotteries while in Nevada.
To avoid putting yourself in any form of legal grey area, we strongly recommend only purchasing lotto tickets for multi-state lotteries should you choose to hop over state lines to purchase tickets. The two most popular multi-state draws in the US are the Mega Millions and the Powerball, both of which are drawn weekly and are available in the majority of states and territories that have a state-run lottery. Additionally, there are some daily draws available in multiple states.
The Mega Millions is one of the most popular multi-state lotteries and offers the biggest jackpots that have been won to date in the US - usually reaching eight or nine figures, however, the biggest prize ever paid out was an estimated $1.5 billion. You can buy tickets for this game in 44 states, including those neighboring Nevada. You pick your first five numbers from a possible seventy, plus the golden MegaBall, which is selected from a further 25.
Another high jackpot multi-state lottery is the Powerball, which is available in 45 US states plus three countries. Tickets cost just $2 and the minimum jackpot is set at a cool $40 million. The Powerball is drawn twice weekly, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and to win you need to pick five correct numbers from a pool of 69, plus the Powerball from a possible 26 different numbers. The biggest jackpot to date was over $1.5 billion in 2016.
When most forms of gambling were officially legalized in Nevada back in 1931, a lottery was not included, as it was thought that there was no appetite for a lottery in the state at the time. Therefore, they decided instead to put all of their resources into the casino infrastructure to attract more tourists, rather than risking investment in Nevada lotteries that might not see much uptake. This view has largely been upheld by most to this day in 2022
With lotteries being the widely regarded as the softest forms of gambling, many people who move to Nevada or find themselves there for tourism are extremely surprised to find that they cannot buy a lottery ticket in the state. The gambling companies themselves generally aren’t in favor of legalized Nevada lotto tickets as they feel it would take potential money away from the casinos. As time moves on though, this attitude is perhaps softening.
Until recently in 2022, there hadn’t really been much appetite for creating a state lottery, either online or offline, at state government level in Nevada. Various bills and proposals have popped up in the last 90+ years, but none of them have ever gained much traction. This is primarily because of two things - the casino owners aren’t enthused by the idea and the state doesn’t really need the money. Both of these things, however, are potentially changing in 2022 - we take a look at why below.
One of the main reasons that bills concerning the creation of Nevada lotteries online have never gained much traction, is that the state never really needed the income. Lotteries were originally organized in the US in the 1800s by state governments as a way of racing the funds to public buildings and fund certain services. The majority of modern state lotteries continue to this day to use some or all of the net income brought in by lotteries to benefit the community in some way.
However, Nevada has never desperately needed this income avenue due to the amount of income the state gets by taxing the massive casino and tourism industry. There has been no major shifting of this attitude, although some government officials have been open to the idea of creating the Nevada lotto online to provide another avenue of state income after the loss of money felt from the pandemic shutdowns in 2020.
Casino owners in Las Vegas, Reno and Lake Tahoe resorts have generally been against the introduction of Nevada lotto tickets as they have viewed it as competition, believing it could take from their potential earnings. The tide is changing among some people in the Nevada casino business, who believe that a Nevada Lottery could be a part of the Las Vegas gambling business, rather than opposition to it.
The fact that you’re on this page, whether your tourist, temporary resident or a born and bred Nevadan, probably already tells you a little something about the appetite for a lottery among ordinary citizens in the Silver State. Of course, we can’t speak for everyone, back take a drive to any lottery retailers across the California State border when the holidays bring a massive jackpot in the Mega Millions or Powerball draws and you’ll see queues out the door and around the corner. Ask most of the people where they’ve come from, we’d bet our last dollar the majority of people in line aren’t local Californians - they’re all Nevadans who have made the drive.
We’ve no data on this, but it can probably be assumed quite safely that the majority of tourists in Las Vegas casinos are behind if they can’t buy a lottery ticket in a town of endless legal gambling possibilities and general debauchery. However, local Nevadans would most likely welcome the idea of not having to drive between 20 minutes to an hour just to buy a ticket.
Nevada Lotto Online - Our Conclusion
So what does the future hold for the prospect of a state lottery in Nevada? While the mood does appear to be changing in the post-2020, the possibility definitely looks more likely than it’s ever been before. Still, we wouldn’t hold your breath and wait around for its introduction. For now, if you wanna buy a Mega Millions ticket, you gotta take a drive across state lines.
Nevada is home to Las Vegas, the best-known gambling city in the world - the possibilities are literally endless in that great city. Despite that, however, some people still wanna get their hands on a humble lottery ticket, which surprisingly might not be as easy as you’d think it would be in the state with the most liberal gambling laws in the US. Find out how here about Las Vegas lotto options at CaptainGambling.
For your guide to buying a lottery ticket for the Powerball or Mega Millions, check out this step-by-step guide right here at CaptainGambling. It might not be as easy as you think and can’t be done online but where there’s a will there’s a way and this one is definitely 100% legal and above board. Follow this link to find out more.
This is something of a complicated area due to the lack of an in-house state lottery in Nevada. The neighboring states to Nevada, California and Arizona have legal lotteries, but what like is the access for Nevadas, we decided to find out right here at CaptainGambling with a thorough investigation of online lottery options for y’all.
Looking for online lottery options? You can play the Powerball in Nevada and as a Nevadan, but you can’t quite purchase your ticket in Nevada. Confused? It’s understandable if you are, which is where we’ve explained all here at CaptainGambling, as well as providing you with a guide on how to play the Powerball if you’re in Nevada or a Silver State resident.