Learn about the Hoosier Lottery and other Indiana lottery games.
As with many states, the history of lottery games in Indiana goes back centuries. In the early 1800s, lotteries were used to raise funds for public services, including libraries. It was not until 1988 that the laws governing the current lotteries were passed.
The Hoosier Lottery began in 1989, and it is the only lottery to use its state nickname.
This page covers lottery gambling in Indiana in detail. You’ll find information on the state lottery’s history, along with the laws that made the current setup possible.
After that, we cover the games spread in the current lottery, its website and second-chance promotions.
At the end of the page, we cover other ways to win life-changing money from legal gambling in Indiana.
History of lotteries in Indiana
There were lotteries in Indiana before the creation of the state’s constitution. In 1807, the government presided over Indiana Territory. Those early lotteries were used to raise funds for public libraries. Unfortunately, they failed, with several more attempts also failing right until 1818.
That period saw “lottery mania” in many states and the territories. Scandals and corruption were a big problem. The moralistic, puritanical years of the mid-1800s saw many states create their constitutions – statutes that included a ban on lotteries and most other forms of gambling.
There were attempts to revive lotteries before 1900, which were not successful.
Many states liberalized lotteries in the years after World War II, and it would take until 1988 for Indiana to follow suit. The following year saw the 1851 constitutional ban on lotteries lifted.
The Hoosier Lottery became the first (and only to date) game to use the state nickname. Over the years, this has been joined by pooled lotteries, including the infamous Powerball, which will have three drawings a week starting August 2021.
You have to go back more than 12 years for the biggest ever Hoosier Lottery win. A prize of more than $54 million was scooped by Peter Gilbert, a retired steelworker and resident of East Chicago.
The Hoosier State has a claim to fame for the Powerball lottery. It has sold more winning tickets than any other of the 44 participating states.
Charity: Who benefits from the Hoosier Lottery program?
A big reason that lotteries are popular is the charity component.
For Indiana, this is a lot of money toward good causes; in fact, $13 billion has been donated to the Build Indiana fund since the lottery began.
Other funds include pension funds for police, firefighters and teachers, plus a smaller donation to the Help America Vote Act.
The Build Indiana fund includes grants for education and public works such as libraries and clean water projects.
You can find a list of the community projects the lottery helps fund on its government webpage.
How to play the Indiana state lottery
With scratch-off cards, daily draws, the weekly state draws, shared lotteries like Mega Millions and Powerball, and an online second-chance game, there are a lot of options for lotto fans in Indiana.
We have broken these options down into categories. You can buy tickets from thousands of retail outlets around the state:
Main draws: The Hoosier Lottery main draws occur twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays, which is a six-number draw that costs $1 per ticket.
The jackpots start at $1 million, though quickly grows when not won. Jackpots often hit the $30 million+ mark. There is a multiplier for non-jackpot hits (three-plus numbers), and you get a free ticket for matching just two numbers.
Daily draws: The Daily 3, Daily 4 and Cash 5 draws occur daily, while the Daily 3 and Daily 4 draws occur twice. There are “Superball” options available, with additional balls replacing a number in the three and four number variations to create added winning combinations.
The Quick Draw also has two daily drawings. With a $300,000 top prize, this game also has a “bulls-eye” second chance.
Multistate draws: These have the biggest jackpots and send the public into a frenzy of ticket buying when the pools get huge. The biggest is the Powerball, which spans 44 states and has a jackpot that is seeded at $40 million.
Other draws are the Millionaire Maker and the innovative Cash4Life draw, which gives you a shot at winning $1,000 every day for the rest of your life.
Instant lottery games: There are always new themes and prizes for scratch-off tickets available at lottery outlets. There is an instant drawing option, which is called Fast Play. You buy a ticket and can see if your numbers are drawn right there at the lottery terminal.
Other games include drawings and innovative, themed gameplay. These games have a range of prizes, often with better odds of hitting a small prize.
For example, games include Black Pearl, Lucky Sevens and the add-on game for bigger draws called EZmatch.
What to do if you win the lottery?
Indiana Lottery apps and second-chance promotions
You can download the Hoosier Lottery mobile apps for Android or Apple phones.
These will give you information on the draw results and will let you check numbers for past draws. You will also be able to find information on the odds of each game, which good causes the money is going to, and different promotions and events.
Both the apps and website also help you to find a retailer to buy tickets.
You can sign up for an account called MyLottery online. This will provide jackpot alerts (you configure these), second-chance promotions and draws for tickets that lost in the main games.
Also, there are exclusive coupons and promotions.
You can find the promos via a separate menu on the main Hoosier Lottery website. These include a million dollar blow-out offer and retailer promos. You get a second chance to win smaller amounts from losing tickets via the website and apps, too.
If you do have a problem with lottery gambling, you’ll find a responsible gambling page via the “About Us” menu.
This page includes links to helpful resources, as well as some warning signs. There are also videos here to help players understand the odds of lottery games and some basic financial education.
Other ways to win it big in Indiana
While the biggest jackpots of all are available via the lottery (especially the multistate ones), there are many ways to win it big in Indiana.
You can win big jackpots via the riverboat casinos, racetracks and the tribal casino.
Indiana slot machines often have progressive jackpots, with some of the biggest linked between multiple machines. In fact, the biggest of these is more than $1 million.
Make sure you understand the rules of each slot before you spin. Many games require max bet or max lines to enable the biggest prize. For table games, side bets often pay jackpot-like prizes for certain hands.
You can bet at racetracks and off-track betting (OTB) venues by entering the pari-mutuel pools for Indiana horse racing. While it is hard to win jackpots for single bets, there are some bigger paying options.
These include multirace pick-five pools or the superfecta, where you pick first through fourth place in a race.
With sports betting due launch in Indiana soon, there will be many more opportunities to hit those big parlays for jackpot-like wins.
Wrapping up: Lottery in Indiana
After a relatively slow start, lottery games are now well established in Indiana.
The main state draw happens twice a week. If you don’t land the Hoosier Lottery, there are plenty more games to try. They include three multistate drawings, daily games, novelty games and scratch-off cards.
If you don’t win the big one, then you can at least console yourself that the money spent is going to good causes. The Build Indiana fund helps supports numerous community and infrastructure projects, as well as contributes to the pension funds of public servants.