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Buying Tickets FAQs

What are the sales cutoff times for Iowa's lotto games?

All sales cutoff times listed are for the day of the drawing. For Powerball and, Mega Millions, and Lotto America the cutoff time is 8:59 p.m. For Lucky for Life, the cutoff time is 8:30 p.m. For Pick 3 and Pick 4 midday drawings, the cutoff time is noon and for the evening drawings it is 9:40 p.m. See our Lotto Drawings page for more information.

Why is there a sales cutoff time?

All lottery games involve a high level of security controls that take time to administer. Officials must ensure that proper procedures are followed. The Iowa Lottery wants its games to be completely fair and honest. A number of measures ensure every ticket issued in a lottery game has the same chance of winning.

What's the difference between a player choosing the easy-pick option versus picking his/her own numbers? Which option has more winners?

When a player asks for an easy pick, the lotto terminal runs a software program that randomly picks the required numbers for that particular game. The terminal then issues the play. The software does not check with any central system before issuing a play, so there's no guarantee another player won't have the same numbers. About 75 percent of all plays are easy picks and because winners follow sales, about 75 percent of winners come from easy picks.

How old does a person have to be to purchase an Iowa Lottery ticket?

A player must be 21 years of age or older to purchase lottery tickets in Iowa. It is legal for those under 21 to play lottery games and claim prizes, however a parent or guardian must also sign the ticket and/or claim form for any claimant who is a minor.

Can debit or credit card be used to purchase lottery tickets in a retail store?

Credit cards may not be used to purchase lottery tickets. Lottery tickets can be purchased from lottery retailers with cash, debit cards and checks in accordance with payment policies at the particular location involved.

Can debit or credit card be used to purchase lottery tickets on the Internet?

Tickets cannot be purchased on the Internet.

Does a person have to be a legal citizen to win?

There are no restrictions on winners. By its very definition, a lottery is a game that can be won by anyone from anywhere, provided that they have a ticket. If someone is not a U.S. citizen, they pay a higher withholding rate on their winnings. Here in Iowa, tickets in our lottery games can only be purchased at a licensed lottery retailer by those who are 21 and older.

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