When it comes to lottery games, Pennsylvanians have more options than residents of most other states.
The PA Lottery got its start in 1972 with regular drawing games and scratch-off cards. Fast-forward to today, and you’ll find online games, instant sport-themed games, multi-state draws and multiple smaller draws every day.
This review covers the online version of the Pennsylvania Lottery, PAiLottery.com.
First, you’ll read an overview of the full range of draws and instant-play games available through the PA Lottery.
We visit the various game options by category.
Also, you’ll read about the history of the PA Lottery. The lottery was started to fund good causes with a focus on seniors, with more than $30 billion raised over the years.
You can either download the PA lottery app or access the games in instant-play mode through your browser window. Both will work for smartphones; however, for computers, the instant-play version is the only option.
The mobile lottery app for your iPhone or iPad is available at the Apple App Store. You can download the Androidapp from the PA Lottery website (Google does not allow gambling apps in its store).
The website version will work in Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer and most other browsers.
Getting around the PA Lottery website, app
There are a lot of draws, instant and online games on the PA Lottery website. You will also find sections on good causes and responsible gambling.
The PAiLottery.com website provides three handy tabs to help you sort the games.
All Games: A complete list of all instant win games available on site
New Games: A list of the newly released games
Hot Games: Lists the most popular games in Pennsylvania
You will also notice the Pennsylvania state lottery logo in the top left corner of the site. Clicking on this will redirect you to the main PA lottery website where you will find the following information.
Here are the main sections, and what you will find in each:
Play Online: This section gives you access to all the online games. The default list is “all games” with extra tabs for new and hot games.
Draw Games: You will get a list of draws, including PA-only and multi-state. Clicking on the icon for each brings up the latest numbers and information on how to play each game.
Instant Wins: You will see a list of all the instant win games available at retail outlets. You get information on how each game works and the prizes by clicking on each.
Fast Play: Information on the instant games you can play at retail outlets with prices, instructions and remaining prizes for each game.
Keno: Another game you can play via retail outlets. You’ll find how to play and get the numbers from the latest drawing here.
Xpress Sports: The latest instant games from kiosks cover football and motorsports. This part of the PA Lottery site shows videos
More: This drop-down menu contains links to the VIP Players Club, “Winners,” “Benefits,” “About Us” and “News,” “Where to Buy,” “Contact” and a section for retailers.
You’ll find terms, responsible gaming and social media links in the footer. At the top-right corner, you’ll find the log-in and register buttons.
Pennsylvania iLottery: Games
There are 40+ games, and the PA iLottery adds new titles to the online listing regularly. Scientific Games, is the studio behind the instant win games.
Examples of regular instant win type games include Deal or No Deal and Wizard of Oz. Both titles have a 3×3 grid of tiles to “scratch.”
On the left is a paytable, showing you the prizes for matching three or four symbols. This includes bonus symbols, which win you free games instead of cash.
On the right, you set your bet amount for 10 cents or more. You then hit play. You can then scratch by clicking or tapping each square, or hit “reveal all,” which quickly shows one column at a time.
There are also themed 7×7 games. These include Spooky Winnings. These online lottery games work by scratching to reveal symbols on the right. You choose seven from 10, for example. Each symbol that matches one on the grid turns that symbol “live.” You will see the prizes for each completed line both horizontally and vertically.
Novelty games include keno and bingo. Keno lets you choose how many numbers to match. There is an electric shock-theme when the numbers are drawn.
Crossword Cash works differently. This game shows a completed crossword with words between three and eight letters. You pick spots on the left, which reveal letters, and completing the words as you go. You can get prizes for the number of words you complete.
You’ll be able to find the newest games and the most popular titles in separate tabs.
Pennsylvania Lottery: Overview of all retail games
Compared to lotteries in other states, there are a lot of gaming options. You can find the rules, results and winners lists (where applicable) for the draws on the main lottery website.
At the time of writing, you can’t buy tickets for these games online.
Here are the main categories:
PA-Only Drawing Games: Pick 2, 3, 4 and 5 (multiple daily draws), Cash 5 and Match 6 (jackpot games), Wild Ball (add on to the picks games) and Treasure Hunt.
Multi-State Drawing Games: These include Mega Millions, Powerball and Cash 4 Life.
PA Lottery Terminal Games: Keno, fast play games and Xpress Sports are instant-play type games available at retail outlet terminals.
Scratch-Offs: These are available at retail outlets and combine new themes with classics.
Funding your online lottery account
There are a lot of ways to deposit and withdraw at the PA online lottery website.
A popular method is WebCash, which uses retail outlets. You can buy this from the counter or use a self-service vending machine. You receive a unique number and QR code, which you then type in (or scan) into the cashier at the iLottery, which instantly credits the money you deposited. The vouchers you buy will never expire. Deposits range from $10 to $10,000. Even better, you can use WebCash to redeem your winnings in-person, too.
There are also online payment methods available.
These include using your regular credit or debit cards (Visa or Mastercard), or prepaid cards (Play+). You can also deposit with your PayPal account or use PayNearMe to deposit cash via convenience stores.
Bank transfers are also possible using the ACH or e-check system. Pre-verification via VIP Preferred is recommended, as this makes ACH transfers instant.
History of the Pennsylvania Lottery: Laws and winners
Lottery games were legalized in August 1971. Things were put into place quickly, with the first draws taking place on March 15, 1972. The law required that 40% of proceeds are paid in prizes.
This figure has been consistently higher, with more than 60% repaid as prizes, almost 30% going to good causes and the rest paid to retailers and for administration.
In 2017, the PA Lottery was included in the Gambling Expansion Act, which authorized sports betting and casino gambling in PA, including allowing online betting. This act led to the iLottery games, and instant games, like Fast Cash, at kiosks.
The casinos were unhappy about the Lottery expanded and launched a legal challenge. As of 2019, it was ruled that lottery games and online slots/casino games are different, allowing the Lottery to go ahead with its new games.
Seniors Benefit From Pennsylvania Lottery
Many states choose education or community projects as the primary beneficiaries of their lotteries. Pennsylvania has instead designated the profits from lottery sales to go toward helping older Pennsylvanians.
There has been more than $30 billion in grants made since the first drawings in 1972. Fifty-two area agencies distribute these grants, which spread the benefits over 67 counties.
Here are the types of services:
Local services, senior centers and meals.
Low-cost prescription assistance.
Free and reduced-fare transportation.
Property tax and rent rebates.
You can find out more about these good causes and the agencies that administer the grants via the “Benefits” page on the main lottery website.
PA Lottery: Protecting players with gambling problems
There is a page on the PA Lottery website dedicated to helping people with gambling problems.
You can find a link to this in the footer under “About Us.” There is a separate popup as part of the iLottery pages, which includes more information on self-exclusion. This is separate from the scheme that stops you from entering PA casinos. You can ask for either one year or five years of exclusion.
The main responsible gaming page includes a recommendation to call 1-800-GAMBLER if you have any worries about your play or someone else. It also provides information on how to spot problem gambling and how to approach it.
Wrapping up: PA online lottery games
Pennsylvania residents have a lot of different options for lottery gaming than people in most states. With a focus on supporting elderly residents, the PA Lottery raised a staggering $30 billion since its inception almost 50 years ago.
Initially, there were simple drawing games and scratch-off cards available. Later, these were joined by large multi-state draws, keno and (later) Xpress Cash games.
Online lottery gaming would follow after Pennsylvania expanded gambling to allow apps and websites to offer games.