The Connecticut Lottery (or CT Lottery), which began in 1972, is run by the government of Connecticut. It is a member of the Iowa-based Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL). The Connecticut Lottery headquarters is in Rocky Hill. All in-house Connecticut Lottery drawings (as Mega Millions normally is drawn in Georgia, and Powerball in Florida) have moved to the Channel 61/WTIC-TV studios in Hartford from Lottery headquarters.)
The Connecticut Lottery portfolio includes Powerball, Mega Millions, Classic Lotto, and numerous scratch games. For all of Connecticut's draw games, players may choose their numbers, select "quick pick" (allowing a lottery terminal to choose the numbers), or a combination of both. (Mega Millions sales began in Connecticut on January 31, 2010; its first drawing including Connecticut was on February 2, 2010.)
All Connecticut Lottery players must be at least 18 years old. Minors cannot buy tickets, but can receive or cash winning tickets.
Winning CTLottery drawing game tickets must be claimed within 180 days of drawing(s); tickets purchased before August 2, 2009 expire after one year. (For scratch tickets, games numbered 1001 or higher must be claimed within 180 days of announced end of game(s); other scratch tickets expire after one year.)
The Connecticut Lottery withholds 5 percent of winnings of at least $600 towards Connecticut taxes, or 30 percent of winnings over $5,000, including 25 percent towards Federal taxes, depending on the amount of the winning ticket. (Most U.S. lotteries withhold only for winnings over $5,000.)
The CTLottery was created in 1971 by Gov. Thomas Meskill, who signed Public Act No. 865. The first tickets were sold on February 15, 1972.
The Cash 5 game, minimum $1 per play, began in 1992 as Cash Lotto. Cash 5 has a 5/35 matrix; matching all five numbers (on a regular play) wins a lump sum payout of $100,000 (in rare cases, prize levels are reduced.) The current game name's use began in 1996, perhaps to avoid further confusion with Connecticut Lotto (now Classic Lotto). At that time, a "kicker" add-on option began; for an additional 50 cents, four prize levels are added. To play Kicker, a bettor chooses a sixth number, in a second number field; it is otherwise played as in Mega Millions and Powerball (although it does not affect the top prize, as the game always draws five balls.)
Like most U.S. lotteries, Connecticut offers pick-3 and pick-4 games that are identical in play style. Both games are drawn twice daily, including Sundays, and feature fixed payouts (e.g. a Pick-3 straight bet pays 500:1.)
The overall odds of winning a prize in Classic Lotto on a $1 play are approximately 1 in 39. The odds of winning the Classic Lotto jackpot on a $1 play are approximately 1 in 7 million. The payout percentage in the CTLottery.org Classic Lotto is approximately 53 percent.
The odds of winning a CTLottery Powerball prize on a $1 ticket are approximately 1 in 35. The odds of winning the jackpot on a $1 ticket are approximately 1 in 195 million.
In March 2009, it was reported that MUSL and the Mega Millions group were pursuing an agreement where each US lottery could offer both games. After talks initially fizzled, on October 13, 2009, an agreement was reached where MUSL members would be allowed to sell Mega Millions tickets (in addition to Powerball) while those already with Mega Millions could offer MUSL games, including Powerball, without losing Mega Millions. (In 1996, the Georgia Lottery, which joined MUSL the previous year, was part of the fledgling The Big Game; in fact, as part of Georgia adding The Big Game, the new venture's drawings were conducted in Atlanta, where they continue to be held. Although Georgia planned to continue selling Powerball tickets for a few months, within days Georgia was forcibly removed from MUSL. The Big Game became Mega Millions in May 2002.) Connecticut added Mega Millions on January 31, 2010, when 33 of the 45 lotteries then with either Mega Millions or Powerball began offering both simultaneously. No major immediate changes to either game (other than Mega Millions' Megaplier, added to all MUSL members joining Mega Millions on or after January 31, 2010) are planned even though both games significantly increased their player bases. There are now 44 Powerball jurisdictions, and 42 with Mega Millions; 41 lotteries offer both games.
In the first drawing of Mega Millions that included Connecticut, two of the three prizes of $250,000 were sold in jurisdictions new to the game; one each in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. (Neither ticket had the Megaplier activated, which would have paid either winner $1 million, since the Megaplier was 4x.)
Mega Millions so far has not nearly rivaled Powerball sales within Connecticut. The two games are very similar, as both games within Connectiut have multipliers. There also is the possibility that Connecticut bettors like to play the CTLottery Classic Lotto, as its jackpot odds are much different than that of Mega Millions or Powerball.
According to the CTLottery.org website, there was to be discussion at a March 23, 2010 meeting regarding a possible future drawing game, to be called Connecticut Super Draw. No details are known about CSD other than that the game's initials can be found on per-game sales printouts from lottery terminals (not available to lottery players.)