July 18, 2013 – The most recognizable jackpots are those enormous, life-changing, daydream-inducing numbers produced by Mega Millions and Powerball, both of which are offered in 43 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
But there are plenty of other ways to compete for jackpots with players from other parts of the country. The Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) alone offers three other jackpot games, as well as a multi-state video terminal game.
MUSL’s other, less widely played games are Hot Lotto, Wild Card and 2×2, and it’s multi-state video game is called MegaHits – it replaced a game called Ca$hola in 2011.
Hot Lotto is played in 16 states, mostly in the mid- and northwest parts of the country where it was launched in 2002. Much like Mega Millions, players pay $1 for a ticket and choose five white numbers from one to 47 and a “Hot Ball” from 1 to 19.
Jackpots start at $1 million, and grow by at least $50,000 after each rollover. And just like big brothers Powerball and Mega Millions, an extra dollar will let you multiply any prize amount you win, other than the jackpot.
Check out the states that offer Hot Lotto here.
Wild Card is only offered in four states – Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota – and works just like Hot Lotto, only with different odds.
Players choose their first five numbers from one to 33, and their sixth number is chosen from a pool of 16 different “Wild Cards” which mimic the face cards found in a traditional deck.
Jackpots for Wild Card start at $200,000, while second-tier prizes start at just $6,000.
The 2 by 2 game is the least widespread of MUSL’s offerings. 2 by 2 is only played in North Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas.
The game gets its name from its own instructions, as players choose two “red” numbers and two “white” numbers, both pools from one to 26, and matching all four wins the top prize.
Unlike the other multi-state games, 2 by 2 is not a progressive jackpot game. The grand prize for matching all four of your numbers is $22,000.
However, if players choose numbers and purchase tickets for seven or more consecutive drawings, their numbers are entered into the 2by2 Tuesday feature draw, in which all prizes won double in value.
The last of MUSL’s mutli-state games is the video-terminal based Mega Hits, which is offered only at select casinos and racetrack casinos (racinos) in Delaware, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.
By placing a bet on a virtual “spin”, players who match a full line of Mega Hits symbols win the jackpot prize, which is tallied by a central computer specifically for the Mega Hits game.
While they certainly have the widest selection of games, and are the only real national presence for multi-state lottery play, MUSL isn’t the only collection of states that plays together.
The “Tri-State Lottery” is a “compact” or group made up of the Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont lotteries. While all three play Powerball, Mega Millions, and Hot Lotto, they also play five of their own games.
Those five games are called Megabucks Plus, Pick 3, Pick 4, Gimme 5, and Fast Play. Fast Play is an instant game which uses printed numbers. There has been talk of multi-state scratch-off games being offered by the Tri-State compact.
If you don’t live in a state that plays Powerball and Mega Millions, then you’re probably already used to driving across state lines to play the lottery.
But if you’re simply looking for a new way, perhaps with better odds, to compete for a jackpot against the next state over, look into expanding your game with multi-state play.
And if you think you’re out of luck because your state doesn’t offer one of the games detailed here, don’t forget you can always take a road trip and try your luck a little further from home.