How to Play New York Lotto – 5 Steps for Beginners

New York Lotto is one of the many lottery games available throughout the United States but it’s specific to this vibrant city. It has rolling jackpots starting at $2 million, making it a very attractive lottery for keen millionaire-wannabes! It’s an easy lotto to play and a good game for beginners to start with.

If you’re venturing into the world of lotteries and you’re wondering how to play New York Lotto, this beginner’s guide will give you the steps to get started. But, what’s more, you’ll discover the history of this exciting game PLUS everything you need to know about the New York Lotto before you buy a ticket.

The New York Lottery may be North America’s largest lottery but this shouldn’t stop you from playing its Lotto game as a beginner! Read on and be ready to buy your New York Lotto ticket with some great tips shared by other pro lottery players too. You may just be a winner from the start!

What You Should Know About the New York Lotto

New York Lotto Lottery

How Did the New York Lotto Start?

The New York Lottery began in 1967 after New Yorkers voted for a government-run lottery on November 8, 1966. It was agreed that all profits from the lottery would be used to support education. The New York Lottery’s original slogan was “Your Chance of a Lifetime to Help Education” and has raised over $34 billion since its inception.

New York Lotto came about in 1978 and by the late-1990s, the starting jackpot stood at $3 million to $4 million. It was reduced to $2,000,000 in April 2013 and in September the minimum rollover amount was limited to $100,000 mainly because of poor sales. Games such as Mega Millions and Powerball as well as other lotteries played in the state are responsible for the drop in sales.

However, this hasn’t stopped the NY Lotto from being a popular game for keen players who want to try their luck at becoming a millionaire!

Age to Play the New York Lotto

You have to be 18 years or older to play any of New York’s lottery games including the Lotto. If you want to use the Quick Pick playing method, you have to be 21 years or older if you purchase your ticket from a vendor selling alcoholic beverages.

Where to Play the New York Lotto

New York Lotto can be played at one of the 15,000 authorized retailers in the state. New Yorkers can purchase their lottery tickets using the official New York Lottery mobile app which can be downloaded on Android and iPhone devices.

Novice players worldwide can explore this fun and easy lotto game by registering an account with an online lottery site such as LottoAgent. With features like user-friendly interfaces and  24/7 customer support help those who are new to online lottery sites.


Source: LottoAgent

With lottery agents and sites like WinTrillions, you can register to play NY Lotto and then you have benefits like over 15 payment methods to pick from. However, reading the terms and conditions is important, so you know when and how to claim your winnings.

Source: WinTrillions

When Draws Take Place

The NY Lotto draws occur twice a week on Wednesday and Saturday evenings, giving lottery players more opportunities to win the jackpot prize. The draws take place at 8.15 pm, local time. Cut off time for ticket sales is at 8.00 pm. Lottery players can watch televised live drawings in Spanish on New York’s Unimas Channel 68.

Price of Tickets

The price of NY Lotto tickets is $1.00 for two plays. You can play up to 10 games per playslip for $5.00. If you’re playing through an online lottery site, a small handling fee is normally charged above the official ticket price.

Odds of Winning

The odds of winning the NY Lotto jackpot is 1 in 45,057,474 for a single panel. The overall odds of winning a single panel in this lottery game stand at 1 in 92.05. Jackpot prizes are paid out as a 25-year annuity or as a one-time lump sum. The NY Lotto offers players five prize tiers with the jackpot rolling over every time there isn’t a winner.

For each lotto draw, 40% of the overall sales are allocated to the prizes:

  • Jackpot winners get 30% of the sales with the winnings equally shared if there is more than one winner.
  • The second prize is 2.9% of the sales amount.
  • NY Lotto’s third prize is 2.2% of the sales.
  • The fourth prize amount is 2.5% of the sales.
  • The fifth prize amount is 2.4% of the sales.
Prize Tier Winning Combination Odds of Winning
1 – Jackpot 6 matching numbers 1: 45,057,474
2 5 matching numbers with bonus 1: 7.509,579
3 5 matching numbers 1: 144,414
4 4 matching numbers 1: 2,719
5 3 matching numbers 1: 96.17

Highest Jackpot Ever Won from the New York Lotto

The most recent jackpot won for the NY Lotto was a whopping $18.4 million bought in Manhattan at a store on First Avenue. The winning draw took place on Wednesday, 1st February 2023. However, Patrica Wahl won $18.9 million on July 20, 2022, when she purchased a ticket at Vibrant Star in Yonkers. She opted to take a lump sum payout of $7,771,907. 

5 Steps to Play the New York Lotto

1. Choose How to Play (Online or In-Store)

The first step to playing NY Lotto is deciding how you’re going to play. If you’re a New Yorker, you can visit one of the many licensed retailers throughout the state to buy a physical ticket. Or, you can download the official app to play on your mobile.

The other option is to register an online account on a third-party lottery site that plays the NY Lotto game. This is the best way to play this Lotto if you’re playing outside of the state or from another country.

2. Select which draw days you want to play

You have the option of asking the retailer to play your same numbers for another drawing or select multi-draws on your playslip. Mark the box next to the number of draws you want to play in the multi-draw section of the ticket.

Online lottery sites give their players the option of picking more than one draw and following the instructions will guide you through the process.

3. Pick Your Numbers and How Many Lines to Play

In order to play NY Lotto, you need to pick six numbers from 1 to 59. If you’re playing in-store or with the official mobile app, you can play up to 10 lines per playslip. Online lottery sites allow the same number of games per entry.

If you prefer the Quick Pick playing method, simply give your playslip to the retailer who will run your ticket through the computer. Random numbers will be selected for you. Online lottery sites do offer their clients random number generators for players who want to use the quick pick option instead of manually picking their numbers.

Pick Your Numbers and How Many Lines to Play

Source: WinTrillions

4. Pay for Your Ticket

While the New York Lottery subscription center will accept credit cards for entries, retailers take cash for your ticket bought in-store. Once you’ve selected your numbers, give your playslip to the retailer to make a payment or run it through the Lottery vending machine to get your ticket.

Online lottery sites offer a number of payment methods and many platforms allow you to use funds in your online wallet to pay for your ticket.

5. Wait for the Draw

The last step is to wait for the draw to see if you’ve won! You can watch a live drawing if you’re based in New York state or wait for results to be published on the official website. If you’re an online player, the lottery site will notify you if you’ve won a prize and also share the NY lotto results soon after the draw.

Smaller prizes are normally paid directly into your eWallet while large prize amounts or the jackpot will follow a different process. In some cases, the winner will need to claim the prize in person.

Tips on How to Win the New York Lotto

Avid lottery players use several different lotto strategies to win the NY Lotto and as a beginner, exploring these tips could see you becoming a millionaire overnight!

Tip 1: Take Tips From Lottery Winners

If you enjoy doing research, you could discover lotto secrets shared by the biggest lottery winners. Their useful tips include picking unpopular lotteries for better odds of winning, avoiding the quick pick playing method, and sticking to your numbers.

Playing number combinations, buying multiple bundles, and joining a lottery syndicate are other ways you can increase your chances of winning a million-dollar jackpot.

Tip 2: Analyze Hot and Cold Numbers

A popular strategy used by many lotto players is analyzing hot and cold lottery numbers for the NY Lotto. Hot numbers are those that have been played frequently and are most likely to crop up in the next draw. Cold numbers are those that haven’t been drawn often but could be played in the next draw because of their infrequency.

Currently, the top three hot numbers for NY Lotto are 2, 24, and 37. The current top cold numbers are 44, 46, and 54. Analyzing the hot and cold numbers gives you the option of including them with your favorite numerals for some more luck.

Tip 3: Find Your Horoscope Lucky Lottery Numbers

Finding your lucky lottery numbers and using them to play the NY Lotto is fun and exciting. The best way to do this is to use your horoscope lucky lottery winning numbers. While your birth sign’s lucky numbers aren’t a foolproof method for winning the jackpot, it’s a strategy used by many lottery players.

According to numerologists, every birth sign has its own set of lucky numbers which have a higher vibration for attracting good fortune. Playing with your horoscope lucky numbers also saves you the angst of picking different numerals every time you play the NY Lotto!

Tip 4: Use the Lottery Wheeling System

Playing different number combinations is a good strategy for increasing your chances of winning the NY Lotto jackpot. A lottery wheeling system is a tool that can be used by beginners and pros that uses a mathematical-based strategy for picking number combinations.

By choosing a large range of numbers and putting them into the system, you can rely on the wheeling to pick scientifically determined combinations. These combinations have a higher probability of winning the lottery. What’s stopping you from using the best lottery wheeling system to improve your chances of winning the next NY Lotto draw?

Tip 5: Budget to Play Consistently

If you don’t play the lotto, you’re not going to win! Playing every NY Lotto draw consistently increases the odds of winning exponentially. Make sure you buy a ticket for every Wednesday and Saturday draw and do it regularly.

But, play responsibly and budget for your lotto tickets so you don’t overextend your spending! If you plan to play consistently, put aside a budget specifically for your lottery games.

Tip 6: Consult a Psychic

Every lottery player could do with some extra help to increase their chances of winning the lottery. If you’re nervous to go it alone, especially as a novice to the NY Lotto, consider consulting a psychic to help you win the lottery.

If you believe in clairvoyance abilities, asking a psychic to pick your lucky numbers could win you the next NY Lotto draw! However, don’t expect psychics to get it right particularly as they themselves will tell you that lottery numbers are random and difficult to predict.

How Do You Claim if You’ve Won a Prize from the New York Lottery?

There are several ways to claim your New York Lottery prize and it’s dependent on how and where you played the game. It also depends on the prize amount. If you played in-store, you need to have the original winning ticket and sign it on the back.

The following processes may be used to claim your prize with a physical ticket:

  • $600 and below – Claim at an authorized lottery retailer in New York, schedule an appointment with a Lottery’s Customer Service Center or mail the ticket to the main Lottery offices.
  • $601 and above – Schedule an appointment with a Lottery’s Customer Service Center, redeem at a Prize Claim Center, or mail your winning ticket to the Lottery office.

If you won using an online lottery site, smaller prizes are paid into your online account. Different payout rules may apply for larger prizes and familiarizing yourself with the site’s rules and regulations is important for claiming prizes. Prizes must be claimed within a year of the drawing date or else your winning ticket becomes null and void.

Final Thoughts

New York Lotto may not be as popular as some of the other games offered by this state’s Lottery. However, it’s worth playing if you dream of winning a million or two! For beginners, it’s an easy, fun, and thrilling game – all you need to do is pick six numbers, enter your ticket for a draw, and wait for the results. Use our steps and tips and start playing now!


Who can play the New York Lotto?

The New York Lotto is open to all New Yorkers and non-residents. There are no resident restrictions placed on US lotteries which means foreigners can play the NY Lotto. A tourist can win the NY Lotto and claim the winnings from another country by downloading and sending a claim form to the Lottery office in New York. Players must be 18 years or older.

Are there people who won the New York Lotto?

Yes, there are winners who’ve won the New York Lotto since it was first launched in 1978. Winners are announced and can be found on the official New York Lottery site where their stories are shared. Because the New York Lottery is a government agency, they’re obliged to disclose all winners and their names.

Is the ticket prices for the New York Lotto worth it?

At $1 for two plays, the ticket price for New York Lotto is worth it and makes it an affordable game for beginners and pros alike. While online lottery sites charge a handling fee on top of the official ticket price, the cost is negligible compared to the millions that can be won.

How many numbers do you need on the New York Lotto to win?

To win the New York Lotto jackpot, you need to match 6 main numbers drawn. There are 4 other prize tiers with different winning combinations and the bonus or seventh ball is drawn for the second winnings.

What do you get for two numbers on the New York Lotto?

There’s no prize for getting two numbers on the New York Lotto. The fifth and last prize tier requires you to match 3 main numbers drawn.

What do you get for three numbers on the New York Lotto?

Lottery winners who get three numbers on the New York Lotto draw will win 2.4% of the sales for that particular drawing. The prize amount differs at every draw and the odds of winning three numbers is 1 in 96.17.