The Best and Worst States to Win the Lottery

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a title graphic for a study about the best U.S. states to win the lottery
BetMGM Jul 08, 2024, 6:51 PM

 

Table of Contents
Lucky Lotto Locations: The Best & Worst States to Win the Lottery
The Best States to Win the Lottery Across Categories
Full Data
Closing Thoughts
Methodology

Ever dreamt of that life-changing lottery win? We all have. But hold on before you run out and grab a Mega Millions ticket — where you live can actually make a big difference in how much you walk away with. That’s right, some states are far more friendly to lottery winners than others. So, if you’re planning on hitting the jackpot, you might want to consider a change of scenery!

We’ve analyzed the data and ranked the best and worst states to win the lottery. We took into account factors like lottery taxes (because who wants Uncle Sam taking a big bite out of your windfall?), lottery ticket sales (fewer ticket sales mean better odds for those playing), anonymity laws (do you want the whole world to know you’re a millionaire?), the number of past winners, and of course, the overall prize amounts.

So, drumroll please…here are the top states to win the lottery, along with their respective scores. 

Lucky Lotto Locations: The Best & Worst States to Win the Lottery

a U.S. map plotting the best and worst states to win the lottery

The five best states to win the lottery and their respective scores are:

  1. Missouri – 75.4
  2. Delaware – 70.6
  3. Kansas – 60.3
  4. Wyoming – 60.0
  5. New Jersey – 59.8

Missouri: With the most ideal conditions across ranking factors, the Show Me State tops the list! Missouri prioritizes anonymity for winners; unlike some states, you can claim your prize without your name being made public, allowing you to celebrate privately. Coupling that with Missouri’s low taxes (4%) and a strong track record of lucky players — it ranked second-highest in the nation for Powerball winners in 2023, with a whopping 31 individuals taking home prizes — Missouri presents a compelling package for those seeking lottery success with both privacy and the potential for a life-changing win.

Delaware: A tax-free haven for lucky lottery winners, Delaware also allows anonymity, so you can keep your newfound wealth private.

Kansas: While Kansas does have a state tax on lottery winnings (5%), it’s relatively low. Plus, there are no pesky sales taxes on lottery tickets themselves, and you can keep your winning ways a secret. In addition, Kansas has the 8th-lowest ticket sales (295,856), meaning less competition and better odds for those playing!

Wyoming: The Equality State lives up to its name when it comes to lottery winnings. There are no state taxes on lottery prizes, and you can remain anonymous. While jackpots might be slightly smaller there compared to other states, you get to keep more of what you win!

New Jersey: The Garden State might have a higher state tax on lottery winnings (8%), but it’s balanced out by the sheer volume of prize money, which means truly massive jackpots are up for grabs!

Stay tuned for the next section, where we’ll reveal the states you might want to avoid if Lady Luck decides to shine on you! 

The five worst states to win the lottery and their respective scores are:

  1. Oregon – 26.19
  2. Arkansas – 26.64
  3. Vermont – 27.72
  4. Maine – 29.57
  5. Idaho – 30.14

Okay, so you didn’t snag the winning ticket in Missouri (congrats to those lucky Show Me State folks!). But before you despair, there’s still a chance to win big! However, some states can put a serious damper on your lottery dreams. Let’s unveil the bottom five states to win the lottery, based on our scoring system.

Oregon:  Oregon might be beautiful, but it’s not so friendly to lottery winners. Oregon takes a hefty chunk of your winnings with state taxes (8%), and there are no anonymity laws, so say goodbye to any privacy. The prize availability is also relatively low (<$300k), meaning that there’s not as much to win before taxes take a bite out of it.

Arkansas: The Natural State might not be so natural when it comes to lottery taxes. Arkansas takes a bite out of your winnings (7%), and like Oregon, there are no anonymity laws. They also have a low number of historical winners (only one Powerball winner last year), so that doesn’t help either.

Vermont: The Green Mountain State might be known for its scenic beauty, but its lottery laws are a little less picturesque. While the state tax on winnings is lower than some on this list (6%), Vermont lacks anonymity laws, and they’re also 6th-lowest for prize availability.

Maine: Winning the lottery in Maine might leave you feeling a little like a lobster trapped in a pot. With high state taxes, low historical winners (zero Powerball winners in 2023), and no anonymity laws, a big chunk of your winnings could disappear faster than you can say “lobster roll.” 

Idaho: The Gem State might not be the place to find a financial windfall. Idaho boasts high state taxes on lottery winnings (6.93%) and, you guessed it, no anonymity laws.

The Best States to Win the Lottery Across Categories

an illustrated chart highlighting the best states to win the lottery by specific categories

Check out which states crush it in different lottery categories – a couple really stand out!

Florida: Florida’s a great state for variety and keeping your winnings. It boasts the nation’s highest total prize availability ($6,135,198!), meaning tons of games and tiers to potentially win from. Plus, like Delaware and Wyoming, there are no state taxes on winnings! What’s more, Florida ranks #8 for Powerball wins last year with 16 winners in 2023.

North Dakota: North Dakota might surprise you as a lottery contender. It boasts the lowest participation rate in the U.S., meaning fewer tickets are sold overall. This translates to better odds of winning for each individual ticket you buy — think fewer competitors for the same prize pool! Plus, North Dakota has a relatively low lottery tax compared to other states (2.90%), so you keep more of your winnings. 

And the cherry on top? North Dakota offers some of the best anonymity laws in the country. You can remain anonymous for any prize amount, keeping your windfall private and avoiding unwanted attention. Sure, North Dakota might not have the biggest jackpots, but for strategic players seeking a chance to fly under the radar and potentially keep their entire win private, it could be a hidden gem.

Full Data

Interested in diving deeper into the numbers for the best and worst states to win the lotto, or want to see how your state stacks up if it’s not listed within the above charts? We’ve compiled our full data study for all states analyzed into this interactive data table. Search for the state you call home or click on the heading of each column to sort by that category!

Closing Thoughts

So, what does this mean for you? While this information can give you a leg up on your lottery journey, remember, winning the lottery requires a whole lot of luck. But hey, a little knowledge never hurt anyone! 

The real thrill of winning, however, doesn’t have to be left to chance. At BetMGM, we offer daily opportunities to win across various sports betting options, online casino games, and more. So, why not step up to the plate and experience the excitement of betting with BetMGM? Who knows, maybe your big win is just a click away! Head over to BetMGM now and explore the endless possibilities!

Methodology

We considered five ranking factors to find the best states to win the lottery. We assigned each state a score of 0 to 5 for each factor, with a score of 5 representing the most ideal for lottery players. We determined each state’s total score from the total of its individual factor scores, which were weighted according to their impact on winning the lottery. Individual factor scores were then added to give each state a final score from 0 to 100. Higher scores indicated states with laws, tax structures, and overall setups favorable for lottery winners. 

Alabama, Alaska, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah were omitted from our research due to a lack of state lotteries and/or limited data.

The five ranking factors are listed below with their respective weights and source data:

Ranking FactorWeightSource
Tax on Lottery Winnings4Wisevoter
Prize Anonoymity4USA Today
Number of 2023 Powerball Winners4Wisevoter
Available Prize Money4U.S. Census Bureau
Lottery Ticket Sales4U.S. Census Bureau
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.