JOHNSTON, Iowa – The 13 U.S. lotteries that sell the Lotto America® game announced today an upcoming change to how the winning numbers will be drawn. Beginning Monday, April 17, 2023, Lotto America drawings will be conducted on a digital draw system (DDS), which will replace the numbered balls and mechanical drawing machines.
“The Lotto America Product Group is embracing digital draw technology as a way to modernize operations, while still delivering players the best possible entertainment experience,” said Adam Prock, Lotto America Product Group Chair and Minnesota Lottery Executive Director. “For players, the Lotto America game will continue to be played the same way, with the same draw nights, prize structure and $1 ticket price.”
Lotto America’s winning numbers will also be drawn earlier in the night. Currently, Lotto America drawings are held after Powerball® drawings every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Starting April 17, Lotto America drawings will occur before Powerball drawings, around 9:15 p.m. CT. With the earlier draw time, players can anticipate the Lotto America winning numbers and draw results to post up to 45 minutes sooner on draw nights.
Lotto America drawings will be conducted using an Origin Digital Draw System purchased from Smartplay International, Inc. The manufacturer is based in New Jersey and provides similar draw systems to lottery and gaming organizations around the world. The Origin DDS is a stand-alone machine that is not connected to any system or network, so it cannot be accessed remotely.
“Just like drawings that use numbered balls and mechanical machines, digital drawings have rigorous security procedures that are multi-layered to protect the integrity of the game,” Prock noted. “There are rules governing how the DDS are physically secured, who is authorized to access them, and how a DDS is selected for a specific draw.”
Lotto America drawings will be performed in Johnston, Iowa in a dedicated draw room that is under constant audio and video surveillance. Only four draw managers have the code to enter the draw room. As currently practiced, an auditor from an independent firm will oversee every aspect of the drawing to ensure its integrity and verify the results. Two DDS will be available for use in every Lotto America drawing. The machine will be randomly selected by a coin flip prior to a drawing.
Each DDS is physically secured in a double-locked cabinet and sealed with a unique numbered tag when not in use. It takes two people – a draw manager and auditor who each safeguard different combinations – to unlock the cabinet. In addition, the numbered tags are confirmed by the draw manager and auditor at the beginning and ending of each drawing. The Origin DDS have been tested and certified by an independent gaming testing laboratory. The certification process includes running security checks on the code, testing the software’s randomness, and ensuring that the machine cannot be accessed remotely. The machines will be subject to ongoing security assessments, at least once a year, to certify their randomness.
“We want players to know that digital and mechanical drawings produce equally random results and offer the same odds of winning,” Prock said. “By streamlining our processes, we can position the Lotto America game for long-term success, so that it can continue to deliver vital funding to lottery beneficiaries for many years to come.”
About Lotto America
Lotto America® is a $1 draw game that is available for purchase in 13 U.S. lottery jurisdictions: Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Drawings are held every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday night. Players select five numbers from 1 to 52 and one Star Ball number from 1 to 10. For an additional $1 per play, the All Star Bonus® can multiply non-jackpot prizes by 2, 3, 4 or 5 times. The Lotto America jackpot grows until it is won. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 25.9 million. The overall odds of winning a prize are 1 in 9.63.