The Californian Lottery is one of the larger state lotteries in the US and overall the organisation is growing sales nicely (10% up in 2015 over 2014 for example!). However, the Superlotto Plus game itself is a fairly small portion of these revenues (and declining by over 10% year on year). It is also slightly smaller than the Florida Lotto equivalent. Scratchcard sales by contrast are up a massive 50%...
It is available in California and there are also some international lottery companies that offer a concierge or betting service for this lottery too.
How it Works
Date and time of draws
The Superlotto Plus takes place twice each week on a Wednesday and a Saturday at 7.45pm. PT
No. of balls and how to hit the jackpot
There are two pools of balls - main and bonus. From the first, players choose 5 from numbers 1 to 47 and from the second they choose 1 from 27 balls. The jackpot is won by choosing the correct 5 main balls plus 1 bonus ball.
No extra games are offered on this lotto.
Price, Tickets & Sales
Each ticket of the California Superlotto Plus costs $1 and they don't offer a multiplier version of the game for more money.
Tickets Sold Per Draw
This lotto game is declining a bit faster than other state lotteries, down 13% last year, mainly giving way to the likes of scratchcards (71% of revenues) and other draws such as the Powerball and Megamillions.
Sales per draw
Whilst the lottery organisation does around $6bn in turnover, lottery games are responsible for just 20% or $1bn of this. And of these lottery games, we estimate the Superlotto Plus to be worth a quarter again at $250k turnover per year, or 5% of total revenues.
Odds of hitting the jackpot
As with several state lotteries, California do not do fixed prizes but instead parimutuel or pool prizes on the Superlotto Plus. In this sense, prizes will vary from one week to the next, depending on volumes of tickets sold and winners in each category. The prize table showing average or estimated amounts is shown below.
The Superlotto Plus jackpot with odds of 49m to 1 is more difficult to win than most state lotteries but 'easier' than the likes of Megamillions, Euromillions and Powerball.
Balls and Bonus Balls
5 and 1
5 and 0
4 and 1
4 and 0
3 and 1
3 and 0
2 and 1
1 and 1
0 and 1
*Average jackpot size when it is hit
Odds of winning any prize
The odds of hitting any prize at all on the California Superlotto Plus are around 23 to 1, which is slightly above average for the lotteries we looked at.
Mainly because of the $7m seeding of the Californian Superlotto Plus the jackpots for this lottery are some of the most generous of all lotteries. Not quite on the scale of the big multi-state lotteries in the US or Europe but otherwise, very respectable.
The average jackpot you will find if you play it week in week out should be around $15m and when it's hit should be around $23m on average - so if there's any state lottery you should play on subscription, this would be it.
Average jackpot when hit
This graphic shows the minimum,average and highest jackpots for the Superlotto Plus compared with the average for other lotteries.
Highest jackpot ever
The highest jackpot ever hit on the Superlotto Plus was a monstrous $193m in 2002, and up there with some of the largest lotteries in the world.
Jackpot winners per year
You should expect to see around 6 jackpots won each year which is similar to the number of jackpots actually hit in the last 12 months.
Contribution to the jackpot
Around $1m is added to the jackpot after each draw which, when added to the $7m seeding, means that jackpots soon reach a decent size.
Return to Player
Around 64% of total sales of the organisation are returned to players in the form of prizes though this will vary by the game that is played. 25% of sales are dedicated to educational projects in the state whilst around 7% of sales go to retailers for commissions. The balance is spent on administration.
RTP when first seeded
Superlotto Plus is one of the most generous state lotteries in terms of seeding. When a jackpot is hit, the very next draw, the lottery guarantees a minimum payout of $7m. This is less than, say megamillions, but much higher than many other state and national lotteries. For this reason, the return to player (RTP) even on a minimum jackpot is 0.35.
If you like playing the lotto each week, then your return on an average jackpot will be a healthy 0.55.
RTP when jackpot typically hit
When the typical jackpot is hit in California, your return is an impressive 74c on the dollar, higher than all lotteries except megamillions.
Because the highest jackpot on Superlotto Plus was such a big one ($193m) and much bigger than you'd expect ($23m) the RTP for players that week was one of the best and probably the best bet you'll ever encounter on a lottery.
Payouts and Taxes
Annuity vs Cash
Jackpots as advertised are for the annuity option of payments made over 30 years. For the cash equivalent, you are looking at around 70% of this figure..
You need to pay federal taxes for any winnings over $600 but there are no local California state taxes payable.
Superlotto Plus is probably the most generous of the big single state lotteries and offers a healthy 0.74 return on a dollar when the jackpot gets to the average size it should be when it is taken down (a very respectable $23m). This is helped by a generous contribution to the jackpot itself on each draw but also by a generous $7m minimum seeding. One to play on subscription if that's your thing. There's no multiplier variation on the game but then again it doesn't really need one. If you're a jackpot hunter, then set your dial to $35m where it gets financially interesting (though before tax, cash equivalents and the chances of sharing a jackpot) whilst if it reaches $50m again, pile on in!
Big jackpots, good RTP, generous seeding.
Fairly mean second tier prizes (40k or so), declining sales overall in favour of other games such as Powerball and scratchcards and the usual issues of a jackpot advertised as an 'annuity' not cash value.