The 12 Best States to Play the Lottery in 2021

Lottery Tickets on Right and a US Map on Left

Every week wishful players line up to buy their lottery tickets. All of them share the dream of becoming instant millionaires.

Lotteries create tremendous revenue by selling an idea. That’s the idea of never worrying about money again. It’s fun to imagine, but the odds of winning are astronomical.

Some gamblers are satisfied by the excitement of scratch-offs. These tickets offer many smaller prizes. Yet, some are still over one million dollars.

Casino gamblers sometimes need a way to change their state of mind. Try your luck at making millions in one of the 12 best states to play the lottery in 2021.

1 – Idaho: 79%

Lottery fans in Idaho enjoy one of the most significant winning percentages. The Idaho state lotteries pay back an impressive 79% of all the money paid into games.

The amount of money paid out is a huge factor when determining the best states for playing the lottery. Idaho beats every other state severely.

That is partly attributed to the low overhead associated with the Idaho lottery. Spending less on marketing campaigns and material means more money for prizes.

The smaller the player pools will also lead to an increase in the percentage paid out. That’s especially true when players hit large prizes.

2 – North Dakota: 75%

North Dakota has a total of 5 different lottery games for players. There are no scratch-offs in North Dakota.

That leaves only the traditional lottery games where numbers get drawn. In 2021, there have been multiple millionaires made in North Dakota.

All of these winners were the result of a lucky Powerball ticket. However, there was one Lucky for Life winner.

That win is good for $25,000 a year for life. That could be worth $1,000,000 if the winner makes it 40 years.

Pile of Lottery Scratch-Offs

North Dakota pays players 75% of all money spent on tickets. That makes the state one of the highest in the country.

Like many other states, North Dakota charges state income tax on lottery winnings. That can significantly impact your total wins and losses.

3 – Massachusetts: 74%

Massachusetts is flush with lottery games. The residents can enjoy their pick of 8 traditional lottery games.

Massachusetts is one of the few states that even offers keno as a part of its lottery. That’s great news for all you keno fanatics.

Here are the lottery games offered in Massachusetts:

  • Powerball
  • Mega Millions
  • Mass Cash
  • Keno
  • All or Nothing
  • The Numbers Game
  • Lucky for Life
  • Megabucks Doubler

Additionally, the Massachusetts lottery has over 120 scratch-off and instant win games. The Massachusetts lottery has a ton of games and plenty of winners.

The state pays over 74% of the money spent on tickets back to players. Now that we’re below 3/4 of the money going to players, I want to explain something.

Suppose a lottery pays out 74%, which leaves 26% of the money in the system. In a casino, a game that pays back 88% has a house edge of 12%.

It may help some of you to view the percentage not getting paid as the house edge. That figure is only going to get worse going down the list.

4 – Arkansas: 73%

In many ways, everyone wins with the Arkansas lottery. The state gives players 73% of the money spent on tickets back in the form of winnings.

The other 27% of the cash goes to providing college scholarships for residents. Based on that, the Arkansas lottery has probably changed more lives than any other.

Arkansas has six of the classic lottery-style games available. These include the top-rated games Powerball and Mega Millions.

The lottery also has over 40 instant win scratch games. These games range from $1 up to $20, with prizes reaching $1,000,000.

Players also have a regularly changing Fast Play. This selection of games has tickets like a standard lottery ticket but are instant wins.

You could walk in and buy a $1 ticket that’s worth hundreds immediately. Arkansas has excellent games going to a great cause.

5 – Arizona: 71%

Arizona gives gamblers over four dozen different lottery games to play. The biggest prizes come from the draw games, which isn’t a surprise.

What might surprise you is the number of scratch-off tickets worth $1M or more. According to the lottery, there are currently over 20 prizes that remain unclaimed.

Question Marks in Lightbulbs Wallpaper, Variety of Lottery Tickets

Arizona pays out 71% of the money spent on games. The 29% goes back to various social causes within the state.

It is essential to point out that state lotteries give revenue to social causes. So, even when you lose, you’re helping fund vital state projects.

6 – South Carolina: 71%

South Carolina is another state that’s prime for lottery fans. The state lottery returns 71% of all tickets sold into the vast prize pool.

Education is the big winner in South Carolina. Since the lottery began, over $7 billion has been given to various education programs.

South Carolina has six draw-style games. Lucky for Life helps round out the top-performing games.

In the scratch-off arena, the state has 54 games. The games start at $1 and go up to $10.

That makes South Carolina tickets some of the cheapest in the nation. Sadly, the lower prices dictate lower prices.

Still, $1M is a decent return on a $10 investment.

7 – Vermont: 70%

If you love games that incorporate pop culture, you’ll be a fan of Vermont’s lottery. This lottery has a total of 87 scratch games.

These games start at $1 and go all the way up to $25. The top prizes of $100k in Vermont come on the $20 tickets.

The $25 tickets max out at $25,000. However, there are a much higher number of prizes available in these games.

Vermont is also home to 7 different draw lottery games and the instant win Fast Play game.

This lottery gives most of the proceeds to education. The remainder is reserved for programs designed for problem gamblers.

8 – Pennsylvania: 70%

Pennsylvania has one of the most exciting lotteries in the United States. You get the selection of classic lottery games and some Fast Play options.

Players also have their choice of over 50 instant-win scratch-off games. The prizes for these games go all the way to $3M.

Pennsylvania has an exciting game known as Xpress Sports. These games act like actual horse races and car races.

Players pick the finishing order and their bet amount. Then RNGs are used to calculate the virtual race.

Predict the correct order, and you could get a piece of the 70% payback from the lottery. Keep in mind the house advantage would equate to 30%.

9 – Maine: 70%

Maine also gives back 70% to players. The remaining 30% of revenue goes towards the state’s general fund.

There are eight draw games in Maine, with one exciting standout. World Poker Tour immediately caught my attention.

This unique game gives players two chances to win for a $2 ticket. Jacks or better will yield you an instant win up to $5k.

Hand Holding Scratch Off Lottery Game, Money Bills Flying

Check the drawing that evening, and matching all 5-cards will net you $100k. World Poker Tour is one of the most innovative lottery games I’ve come across.

If poker isn’t your game, there are over 30 scratch-offs to choose from in retailers across the state.

Many of the top lotteries are in smaller states. As we move forward, the states and the stakes will only get bigger.

10 – Tennessee: 70%

The Tennessee lottery has a massive selection of games for gambling fans. You can even get your real money keno fix daily in Tennessee.

Tennessee has 90 instant win games to scratch the gambling itch. For these games, the top prizes are $4M.

That’s for a $30 ticket, and their website doesn’t have any information on the odds of winning.

The state keeps 30% of the revenue from tickets sold, which means the odds aren’t great. Still, that money is making winners out of the children.

To date, Tennessee has put over $6 billion from the lottery back into educational programs. It’s hard to be mad when the money is going to a great cause.

11 – Florida: 69%

Florida is a big state concerning the populous. It’s also a big state when it comes to the lottery.

Florida has over 110 lottery games to play, and 13 of those are draw games. With that many games, the trick will be figuring out when there’s not a drawing. (My long-standing excuse for not playing the lottery is not knowing when the drawings are.)

Of those 110 games, 26 could make you an instant millionaire. The top prize on the scratch-offs is an incredible $15M.

Florida pays 69% of the ticket sales back to players. The rest goes to the Florida education system.

12 – Texas: 69%

They say that everything is bigger in Texas. That’s equally true for the lottery.

Texas has over 90 games, and the highest scratch-off games are $50 per ticket. The prizes for the instant win games top out at $5M.

Having that much cash on the line almost feels like the 69% payback is a good number. I suppose that’s plenty if you’re the lucky recipient of a $1M plus ticket.

The Lone Star State has more seven-figure lottery prizes than any other state. That lands it on our list as a state lottery prime for making dreams come true.

Our Thoughts on These State Lottery Games

The 12 best states to play lottery games in 2021 could make you a millionaire. What better way to change your state of mind?

The lottery can seem stacked against you; that’s the nature of gambling. Somebody’s going to win; it may as well be you.