Updated Updated: June 24, 2020

Online Lotteries in the US

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The intertwining roles of globalisation and the internet have made it possible for people and businesses from all over the world to connect instantly. As a result of this ever-evolving system, lotteries have become an international business with millions of people from different countries taking part. Naturally, people who reside in the United Kingdom area not letting this opportunity slip past them and they are a featured part of the growing list of winners each year and their presence is helping international lottery businesses to grow their profits.

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The main reason that both local and international lottery players are attracted to different lotteries is the accumulation of big money prizes. This makes sense because US lotteries now offer the most popular lottery games for international players due to the massive amounts of money that could potentially be done.

Today, we will look at the US lottery and answer some key questions about playing the lottery internationally, as well as how players in the United Kingdom can participate.

A General Overview of US Lotteries

Traditionally, lottery games have always been extremely popular. But, the innovation that occurred with the introduction of the online lotto system has brought them right into the modern era. The fact that players can actively participate in games around the world is appealing, and the United States lottery games are particularly attractive because of the fact that they are spread across different states, creating prizes that are almost incomprehensible.

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At the moment, the United States is entering a golden age of lottery games due to the sheer opulence of their prizes. Among them, PowerBall and Mega Millions are the most popular and the most profitable. People from all over the world are participating to see whether or not they can win such a huge amount of money. Countries outside of the United States are already reporting on their winners, five of whom live in the United Kingdom.

The Most Popular Lotteries in the US

Lotto games operate with one of the most popular online gaming systems. In general, the total prize winnings are made up of all of the contributions that players make when they buy their tickets. As the prize grows, more and more local and international players are drawn in and the prize continues to grow.

In this sense, some of the juiciest prizes can be found among lotto games. Right now, PowerBall and Mega Millions are just two of the top lottery games played in the US. They both allow both local and international players to buy tickets.

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PowerBall is currently one of the most popular lottery games in the United States.


PowerBall originally started operating in 1992, and since then it has been attracting players from all over the world. In 2009, PowerBall became part of the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) in the United States. Since then, several states have started to sell PowerBall tickets and they are now legally sold as physical tickets in 44 American states, plus Colombia, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

We can see that PowerBall has successfully received worldwide acclaim, with a jackpot totalling more than $1,500,000 being distributed among three winners in 2016. This was the highest prize in lottery history.

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When PowerBall first started, tickets were only sold as physical copies through authorised agents. But now, thanks to the internet, it is possible to buy tickets and get informed results through a number of online PowerBall lottery sites.

You’re probably wondering how you can play PowerBall and how the PowerBall lottery works. Here are some facts that you should consider:

Are online lotteries legal?

Yes, online lotteries are perfectly legal. But, there are a lot of different restrictions that you need to take into consideration. A lot of them are related to your official residence status and where in the world you live.

Can I play the US lottery online?

If you are currently residing in the United Kingdom and you are wondering whether or not you can play the US lottery online, then we have good news for you. Usually, you can. PowerBall and Mega Millions are two of the most popular games that allow foreigners to play them.

How to Play PowerBall?

The most basic form of PowerBall is simple to play. You have to select five numbers from the numbers 1 – 69, each of which corresponds to a white colour. Then, you have to select one number from the numbers 1 – 26, which will correspond to a red colour.

When the winning balls are being selected, two different ball machines are used to draw them at random. One is for white numbers and the other is for red numbers. You start winning the moment you match three numbers and, as you match more numbers, your prize continues to grow.

In total, there are nine potential combinations to win. These may or may not include the red number. To win the jackpot, you have to match all five of your white numbers and your red number.

There are also ways that you can maximise the amount that you win when you play PowerBall. You simply have to play the “Multi-Power” option along with the purchase of the PowerBall. This feature increases non-jackpot prizes, sometimes leaving them at 10x their original amount. The multiplier number itself is selected from another ball machine. To be able to play this feature, you just have to add an additional number to every bet.

Can you legally buy PowerBall tickets online?

Yes, you can legally buy PowerBall tickets online, but the same cannot be said for every US lottery. To sell tickets, every authorised state has a website that you can use. Usually, each website will also sell tickets for several other lotteries, but only US residents can buy online tickets for most of them.

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Don’t ever try to buy tickets to a US lottery that isn’t available to international players. The industry is strictly regulated and you will be asked to provide personal information that you will not have when you purchase the ticket.

How can a UK citizen buy a PowerBall lottery ticket online?

First of all, please be aware of the fact that both citizens of the United Kingdom and citizens of other foreign countries are allowed to buy PowerBall lottery tickets online, even if they are only a tourist in a US state where the lottery is run. But, to buy online tickets the situation is slightly different. PowerBall doesn’t authorise the sale of online tickets to foreigners.

However, there is a method that can be used to solve this situation. You can choose to go through an agent who has resident status in the United States – someone who is registered and authorised to purchase online tickets. Your agent can also be physically present in the United States, to buy the ticket as a representative.

There are lotto agencies around the world, including some that work with the National Lottery in the United Kingdom. They take care of purchasing your tickets and sending scans of your tickets to you.

We would highly recommend that you choose carefully when you are picking the agent or agents that you want to work with. By going with a reputable agent, you know that the tickets are original and that you will be paid if you win.

Mega Millions

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Mega Millions is another popular lotto company in the United States.


Just like PowerBall, Mega Millions operates as a multi-state lottery. Mega Millions is available in 44 American states, as well as Columbia and the US Virgin Islands. Originally called “The Big Game”, Mega Millions was started back in 1996 and it was consequently renamed in 2002.

The largest jackpot to be won using Mega Millions was $1,500,000,000, awarded to just one winner in October 2018. Just like PowerBall, Mega Millions operates with a lotto system where the number of buyers determines the final prize, and Mega Millions is also one of the most popular lotteries in the world.

How to play Mega Millions

Playing Mega Millions is quite easy. You have to select five numbers from the numbers 1 – 70, each of which corresponds to a white ball. Then, you have to select one number from the numbers 1 – 25, each of which correspond to a golden ball.

How to play Mega Millions

To select the winning numbers, two different ball machines then release the balls at random. One is full of white balls, and the other is full of golden balls. Players start winning the minute they match three numbers, and the prize gets bigger as they match more. In total, there are nine possible winning combinations, some of which include the golden ball. To win the large jackpot prize, you have to match all five of your white balls and your golden ball.

You can also maximise your winnings by playing the “Megaplier” option when you purchase your Mega Millions ticket or tickets. This feature can increase your prize by up to five times, but it is not applicable to jackpot prizes. The multiplier number is then selected from another ball machine. This means that you have to add an extra number to your purchased line.

Can I buy Mega Millions lottery tickets online?

Mega Millions operates in a way that is similar to PowerBall. You can currently only buy tickets online if you are a resident of the United States or as a visitor if you are physically present in the country. As of this moment, only the following states have online tickets available: Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, North Dakota, Illinois, North Carolina, Virginia and in New York.

Unlike PowerBall, Mega Millions has serious restrictions that prohibit agents from buying tickets for third parties who are located outside of the United States. However, you may still be able to buy some Mega Millions tickets if your country’s law doesn’t prohibit that through lottery agents who are located overseas. Please note, you will be taking a risk by doing so.

Can a UK citizen buy Mega Millions lottery tickets online?

Due to the restrictions that are laid out by Mega Millions, the only way for you to buy an online ticket would be through an independent representative. In this case, they would have to buy the tickets and assume responsibility. These representatives are liable to you and have nothing to do with Mega Millions as a company.

The selection of a representative must be dealt with carefully when purchasing Mega Millions tickets because Mega Millions will never accept or recognise a representative purchasing tickets for someone outside of the United States. It does not matter if the ticket was endorsed, promised or scanned and then sent to you.

Collecting Prizes

The time limit that you have to collect your prize varies based on the state where the tickets were bought. The maximum time limit ranges from 180 days to a year.


Yes, there are free online lotteries for real money in the US and you can play them from the United Kingdom. However, the prizes are lower than those found with other types of lottery. A great example would be boxlotto.com, who have a maximum jackpot prize of $250,000.

No, American lotto is not tax-free. Before you receive your prize, the lottery discount 24% for federal US taxes. You should also check the terms and conditions to see whether or not the state charges additional taxes. There is a chance that you will also be taxed by your own country of residence.

PowerBall hold draws on a Wednesday and Saturday every week, while Mega Millions hold draws on a Tuesday and Friday every week

Each ticket costs $2, and you can add an additional $1 to buy the “Megaplier” or “Power Play” additions.

There are no official limits. But, every state has the power set limits regarding this matter, as does the agency that you are playing through.

Yes, you can combine your purchase with both offline and online tickets.

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