Why Do Some States Have More Lottery Wins?

While there is no concrete science behind why some states have more lottery winners than others, there are definitely some factors that may increase their chances. Let’s look at a few states that produce a large number of winners and some possible explanations as to why.


The states with the highest number of Powerball and Mega Millions winners include states like Kentucky, Florida, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, California, New Jersey, Missouri and Indiana to name a few. There are a couple factors to take into consideration when examining why certain states produce so many winners. To explain, an article written by Juliana LaBianca for states, “Of course, an important factor in how many wins a state has is how long it’s been in the Powerball lottery. Currently, 44 states participate. But when the game launched in April 1992, just 14 states (Indiana, Wisconsin, Montana, Idaho, South Dakota, Minnesota, Kentucky, Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, Oregon, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Missouri) and Washington, D.C. played along.” This is also true for the Mega Millions lottery game. It makes sense that a state who has been part of each lottery since the beginning would have more winners. There were fewer participants in the beginning for both Powerball and Mega Millions so each state had much better odds than they do today.


The population of each state is another factor to consider. Larger states like Florida, New York, Pennsylvania and California have an increased chance of producing winners simply because they sell a higher volume of tickets. The more ticket sales, the higher the probability of a winner. It’s simple statistics.

Surrounding States

The states that surrounded yours used to be a big contributing factor when it came to winning. An article written for explains, “For roughly the first 20 years of the big multi-state lotteries, America actually had two separate lotteries – one, the Powerball, the other, Mega Millions, and the two were run by totally separate organizations and weren’t allowed to sell tickets in the same states. And then there were some states that weren’t part of either organization,” Matheson explained. In 2010, Mega Millions was only played in 12 states – but that changed when Mega Millions and Powerball agreed to let states sell tickets for both games and 23 more states started playing Mega Millions.” Adding both lotteries to more states has expanded the states who have produced winners. However, it wasn’t always this way. For example, back in the day, if your neighboring states weren’t participating, it could result in higher ticket sales for your states. People would travel across state lines in order to purchase tickets. That contributed to a significant number of wins for certain states.

One of the most exciting things about the lottery is the fact that anyone can win. However, there’s no denying that certain states seem to hold a little extra luck.






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