Frequently Asked Questions
QUESTION: What games does the Maryland Lottery offer and how do you play them?
ANSWER: The Maryland Lottery offers a diverse range of games to suit all types of players. Click HERE for game descriptions and rules.
QUESTION: Where can you play the Lottery?
ANSWER: There are more than 4,500 Lottery retailers across the state in venues of all types and sizes, including convenience stores, gas stations, restaurants, bars, bowling alleys and grocery stores. To find a location in your area, click HERE for our Retailer Locator.
QUESTION: I have a winning ticket, how do I claim my prize?
ANSWER: All winning tickets up to $600 can be cashed at any Lottery retailer or the Maryland Lottery Claim Centers in Baltimore City and Lanham. Addresses, phone numbers and office hours for the Baltimore and Lanham locations are listed HERE.
All winning tickets up to $5,000 can be cashed at any Maryland Lottery Expanded Cashing Authority Program (XCAP) location or the Claim Centers in Baltimore or Lanham. A list of XCAP locations is available HERE.
All winning tickets of $5,000 or more can be claimed at the Baltimore or Lanham Claim Centers.
Prizes of any value can be claimed by mail. Instructions for claiming by mail can be found HERE.
When claiming a prize of more than $600, you must show proof of your Social Security number and a photo ID that proves you are at last 18 years old. A list of acceptable forms of identification is available HERE.
QUESTION: I received a phone call/email from someone claiming that I won a Maryland Lottery prize — how do I know it’s not a scam?
ANSWER: The Maryland Lottery will never contact you by phone or email to tell you that you’ve won a prize unless you have, on your own, entered a legitimate promotional or second-chance drawing, or unless you are a Mega Millions or Multi-Match subscriber who has won a jackpot or other large prize.
If you did not enter a Maryland Lottery second-chance contest, or if you are not a Mega Millions or Multi-Match subscriber, you will not receive calls or emails from the Maryland Lottery telling you that you’ve won.
The Maryland Lottery will never ask for your bank information, or require you to pay a fee or make special additional purchases in order to claim a prize.
If you receive suspicious contact from someone claiming to represent the Maryland Lottery, please call our Baltimore headquarters at 410-230-8800 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
QUESTION: Will there be taxes deducted from my prize?
ANSWER: For prizes of $500 to $5,000, you must file a Maryland Form 502D and pay taxes on those winnings within 60 days of receiving your prize. Click HERE for more information.
For prizes of $5,000 or more, the Lottery is required by law to deduct the following taxes from your winnings:
• 25 % Federal tax;
• 8.75 % State tax if you are a Maryland resident, or;
• 7.5 % State tax if you are not a Maryland resident.
In addition, Lottery winnings that you receive must be reported as income when you file your tax return. In many cases, this will have a significant impact on your tax situation. Tax laws are complex and constantly changing. We strongly recommend that you seek out tax and financial advice from experienced professionals.
QUESTION: Is there a deadline for cashing winning tickets?
ANSWER: Yes. Winning tickets for terminal games (Pick 3, Pick 4, Bonus Match 5, Multi-Match, 5 Card Cash, Powerball, Mega Millions, Keno, Cash4Life, and Racetrax), must be redeemed within 182 days from the drawing dates. The last dates to claim prizes on scratch-off tickets vary for each ticket and are available on the scratch-off page of mdlottery.com. If a scratch-off ticket does not have a last date to claim listed, it means none has been established yet and your ticket is still valid.
QUESTION: I had a problem cashing a ticket at a Lottery retailer. What should I do?
ANSWER: Ask the retailer to print a receipt showing what happened when your ticket was scanned. Keep that receipt and your ticket in your possession. Call Lottery headquarters at 410-230-8800 and ask to speak with our Security Division, which investigates problems with ticket cashing.
Every time a ticket is scanned by a Lottery terminal, a record is produced in our computer system. Retailers are able to print receipts that display this record and provide those receipts to customers. You should get a receipt from the Lottery terminal, save your original ticket and call the Security Division if you think your ticket is a winner, but the retailer says it isn’t, or if the terminal produces an error message when your ticket is scanned.
QUESTION: I scanned my ticket at a Lottery retailer and the terminal gave me an error message. Can I take it to a different retailer to cash it?
ANSWER: No. If you receive an error message from the Lottery terminal, you will need to contact the Lottery’s Security Division to resolve the issue. Call 410-230-8800.
QUESTION: How can I find the winning numbers?
ANSWER: Winning numbers are published on mdlottery.com. The winning numbers are published in newspapers and posted at all Lottery retailers.
They can also be found in the following ways:
• Call 410-230-8830 for our automated winning numbers line.
• Register for text messages sent to your phone. Click HERE for information.
• Download our free Maryland Lottery app for your smartphone from iTunes or the Google Play store. Click HERE for information.
QUESTION: When are winning numbers drawn?
ANSWER: There are Lottery drawings seven days a week. A schedule of Lottery drawings that are aired live on WBAL-TV Channel 11 is available HERE.
5 Card Cash drawings are conducted off-air, due to time constraints. Videos of Pick 3, Pick 4, Bonus Match 5 and Multi-Match drawings are available on our website. Click HERE.
Cash4Life drawings are not televised but can be viewed live at 9 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays. Click HERE.
QUESTION: Why don’t you televise all of the drawings on Saturdays and Sundays?
ANSWER: Federal Communications Commission regulations prohibit the broadcast of Lottery drawings during any children’s programming, which is shown on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until approximately 1 p.m. As a result, the Lottery conducts Saturday midday drawings off-air and scrolls the winning numbers after children’s programming has ended. Sunday drawings are televised unless WBAL-TV Channel 11 is carrying national network programming.
QUESTION: Are Lottery drawings random?
ANSWER: Winning numbers have always been – and will continue to be – purely the luck of the draw and a matter of random chance. Every time a number is drawn in any of the Lottery’s daily drawing games, it is an independent and unique event, completely unaffected by what number was drawn seconds, hours, days, or weeks earlier. In addition, each number has the same exact chance of being drawn as any other number, at any point in time.
Random drawings do occasionally produce unusual results. Because of this, there may appear to be patterns or sequences emerging from time to time. But these are simply the results of random chance. Our drawings are overseen by multiple witnesses, and we have significant safeguards and procedures in place to ensure that our games are conducted with honesty, integrity and transparency.
QUESTION: Why does it seem that many winners are from the same county or area?
ANSWER: The geographic locations of our winners are random. There is no way to predict where a winning ticket will be sold. However, research tells us that more winners come from more densely populated areas of the state in which more people are playing. Please click HERE to take a look at our winners’ stories. You’ll see that we have winners from all over the state.
In addition, high-population areas with large numbers of players, such as Baltimore, cover a wide geographical area. According to the U.S. Postal Service website, there are 62 different zip codes for Baltimore. Players come from localities throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area. For example, a winner from zip code 21286 may be listed in a press release as a resident of Baltimore, even though residents of this zip code may be from Baltimore, Loch Raven or Towson.
QUESTION: Are subscriptions available?
ANSWER: We offer tickets on a subscription basis for Mega Millions and Multi-Match, but subscriptions are not available for any other games. You must be a Maryland resident in order to purchase a subscription through the Maryland Lottery. Click HERE for information on the Maryland Lottery’s subscriptions. Mega Millions is a multi-state game and tickets are sold in 45 other states and jurisdictions. If you are not a Maryland resident, you may be able to purchase a Mega Millions subscription through the lottery agency in the state where you live.
QUESTION: If I win the Multi-Match, Mega Millions or Powerball jackpots and chose the annuity, what happens to my winnings if I die?
ANSWER: Winners are able to name a beneficiary when claiming an annuity prize. Before you claim your prize, please be aware that there may be tax and/or estate consequences related to how a Lottery prize is claimed and whose name(s) appear on the ticket and claim form. We recommend speaking with a licensed financial advisor before submitting your claim form.
QUESTION: Mega Millions and Powerball are played in what states?
ANSWER: Mega Millions and Powerball tickets are available in 44 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition, Powerball tickets are sold in Puerto Rico.
The following states do not sell Mega Millions or Powerball tickets: Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah.
QUESTION: What can I win playing Mega Millions and Powerball?
ANSWER: Mega Millions tickets are $1 per play. Jackpots start at $15 million, and second-tier prizes are $1 million. The jackpot increases after every drawing if no one wins. If you add the Megaplier feature for an additional $1, non-jackpot prizes could be multiplied up to four times. For the complete Mega Millions prize structure, click HERE.
Powerball tickets are $2 per play. Jackpots start at $40 million, and second-tier prizes are $1 million. Adding the Power Play option for an additional $1 increases your winnings on all prizes except the jackpot. A second-tier $1 million prize will be doubled to $2 million if you selected the Power Play option. Prizes of smaller amounts will be multiplied as much as 10 times, depending on which Power Play multiplier is drawn. For the complete Powerball prize structure, click HERE.
QUESTION: Is there help available for people who might have a gambling problem?
ANSWER: The Lottery is a game of chance and meant only as a form of entertainment and recreation. No one should depend on the Lottery to supplement their income or pay bills. If you feel that you may have a problem with gambling, click HERE to find resources available from the Maryland Alliance for Responsible Gambling (MARG). You can also call 1-800-GAMBLER and speak confidentially with someone who can help you access various services including financial help, support groups, and counseling.
QUESTION: What is My Lottery Rewards and how do I join?
ANSWER: My Lottery Rewards is a free player loyalty program that allows you to redeem Lottery tickets for points that you can use to acquire items in the Points for Prizes store. Register for free by clicking HERE. Once your account is created you can enter the validation codes from any eligible terminal game tickets (winning or non-winning) and from non-winning scratch-off tickets to start earning points. We also periodically run second-chance contests through My Lottery Rewards. Entering your tickets for these contests could win you cash or a variety of other prizes. For the latest news on second-chance contests, click HERE.
QUESTION: I’m having problems accessing My Lottery Rewards or entering my tickets. How can I get help?
ANSWER: Click HERE for a help form that will allow you to submit the details about the problems you’re experiencing directly to our My Lottery Rewards team. Fill out and submit the form, and someone will contact you to assist.
QUESTION: How do I contact the Lottery for general questions?
ANSWER: You may email the Lottery at email@example.com, or call Lottery headquarters in Baltimore at 410-230-8800. We are always happy to hear from our players and will do our best to help you in any way possible.