Input Playing the Various 6-49 Games


Been a reader here for a long time ... like everyone else, trying for a life changing jackpot on something.

Just would like to hear from other people living in states that have a 6-49 game. In PA our 6-49 cost $2.00 but you get three lines or chances to win ... coming out to $0.66 a line cost.

I feel it's really the cheapest way to play the lottery in PA, with a shot at a decent jackpot. I'm talking after it builds up to around two million. It's starts at $500,000 and builds slowly with $50,000 being added and sometimes they add $100,000 to get the pot to one million and beyond ... after one million, it seems to be $100,000 and then sometimes larger amounts as the jackpot grows.

A ticket can win two ways for that $2.00 purchase ... one line straight across wins the jackpot with all six numbers and three numbers will win $2.00 but then if you get matching numbers all over the ticket you can also win money. If you get four numbers anywhere on the ticket, you also win $2.00. Of course, the more numbers you get, the more money.

Sounds easy, right? ... not really, like in another topic I was reading about people always being "one number off" ... it happens to me every draw. On many tickets I will get three numbers ... just can't get the fourth number to get my $2.00 back but I will maybe have five or six numbers just missing by one number ... very frustrating!

The real secret to our Match 6 game is having triples and doubles printed on the ticket and of course you have to be lucky to have those numbers pop out.

One time I had a ticket with maybe four doubles and a triple set of numbers ... if those numbers had come out, I would have had some nice money coming my way ... however, not one of those numbers hit that night ... but I have had some nice hits when the doubles and triples actually come out, just not often.

Of course there's another secret that the PA Lottery seems to have some control over. You can only pick one line of numbers ... if you want to play your own numbers ... so you pick Line One and lines two and three are quick picks. Having played this game a lot and many tickets at a time ... I can't say for sure but the Lottery computers don't seem to print a lot of doubles and triples. Oh yes, a person will get some here and there but I will have many tickets with every number different. There is no way to win a "lot of money" with numbers "all over" the ticket unless you have some doubles and triples. To get eight or nine numbers, you need some doubles to print out ... I always wonder if they have the computers programmed someway to not print too many doubles and triples. I have no idea, just my thoughts from buying tickets.

I have checked other state lotteries ... but not all states ... to see how some other 6-49 games play and pay. The one I really like and have been following is from Canada. You can only play it in the Ontario area, from what I read ... Lotto 6-49.

That seems like a nice game and of course I think all lottery winnings are tax free in Canada. It usually gets hit frequently ... but it is up to $30 million tonight ... it starts at $5 million and can be hit every draw and they also give away a million dollars every draw with a separate number printed on the ticket ... they also have bouncing balls for the main drawing, so that's nice in this day and age. I could be wrong on their game but I have been following it since early August. They have nice fast building jackpots in that game.

I have given up on Mega Millions and the PBall games and spend most of my money on the 6-49 game in PA ... much better odds but still very hard to make a "buck".

I might add, the jackpot used to get to 4 or 5 million but now it struggles to get to 2 million ... it was hit in Sep under 2 million and was building up and got hit again in October ... after building up again in Nov, it was 1 million on Monday (Dec 01) and tomorrow (Thur) will be 1.1 million ... I figure 1.4 or 1.5 million in PA will make a person a true millionaire. It seems to me like maybe more people might be playing this state game over the MM and PB higher odds ... maybe not.

Very interested in hearing from other members about their 6-49 games ... most of the states I checked all seem to have one in some way or another.

Tialuvslotto's avatar - Jailin

Match 4 to win $2?  PA is really stingy!

You don't say how much you play every draw, but one way to deal with the quick pick numbers would be to buy one ticket, have a look at the numbers and then buy a second ticket where you pick some numbers to fill in the gaps.  This way you can add doubles or triples or just fill in missing numbers.


I don't know about the four number payoff ... yes, I'd like more but when you think about it ... you have 18 numbers going for that part of the game, then you can also win if you get three of the four numbers on one line ... so the win can be $2 or $4 ... they do have a lot of payoffs on the small money hits. For instance, I committed myself to $90 on the Match 6 in Dec ... I played $50 on Sunday for the first five drawings starting last Mon Dec 1st ... five $2 tickets with my picks on the first line ... two tickets had three numbers (no money) and one ticket had six numbers with three numbers on one line ... my picks. I went with a lot of 8s and 10s and had doubles on two tickets ... it was 9 and 10 that came out so the 10s were good and I had a lot of 8s on the tickets but ended being "one off" on several numbers. The ticket with 6 numbers paid $12 ... $2 + $10 ... so I am off to a good start.

I can usually get some of my money back through the month to play the next month. In Nov I was experimenting with playing six tickets for two draws ... I had some good numbers in a mix from the Canadian 6-49 and the best numbers from the PA game ... for instance, 24 has been hot in the last 50 draws and I have been playing it on every ticket, hoping for doubles and triples. Well on a Mon draw in November, the 6 tickets won nothing then Thu ... 24 and several other numbers with doubles came out ... Mon was no money won and Thu was one ticket paying $29 ... I had 7 numbers for $25 and three numbers across on two lines for $4. I ran the three tickets through twice for Mon and Thu hoping for doubles and triples ... I did get some on the second set of tickets.

It wasn't a bad month but I lost playing the MM and PB ... after PB got hit I decided to move on and throw all my dollars into the 6-49 game. I lost a lot of money on MM and PB this year ... I don't spend all that much but over a whole year with no hits, it adds up. At least on the 6-49 I get something back every so often.

I discovered something very interesting between the Canadian Lotto 6-49 and the PA 6-49 that happened in 2013 and 2014. I am playing these numbers from Canada and PA for two tickets and then I reversed the numbers for the other two tickets ... my fifth ticket is one from Nov with number 24, the one that paid $29.

I guess time will tell on that plan ... as I said I played all the numbers for five draws and will probably test them out the whole month.

Side Note ... also play the Treasure Hunt off and on ... anybody notice a set of five numbers repeated last week ...

2 - 5 - 8 - 11 - 12 ... came out on Mon Nov 24th and also exactly on Sun Nov 30th ... when those numbers hit on Monday there was only one person with a winning ticket but on Sun there were five winning tickets, so the $10,000 was split five ways ... unless the winner on Monday played his numbers more through the week.

I will also add ... in 2008 I bought one Match 6 ticket and got five numbers across ... I only got $1000 for those five numbers ... I agree with you about the lottery being stingy in that respect ... it's very hard to get five numbers out of six, as everyone knows ... I feel a five number hit in that game should pay more than $1000.

The jackpot was $650,000 for that draw ... the number I missed on was 9 ... I had 19 ... the closest I ever came to some real money. I used to think that I was close ... only 10 numbers off but not really ... with all those balls bouncing around, a number in the 30s or 40s could have bounced out ... it made me feel better thinking I was really close to a jackpot but that 9 could have been 49.



I decided to bring this back to get a few questions answered ... I can only figure that there might not be much interest in a 6/49 game ... people would rather put their money on the MM and PB for the larger jackpots.

As I have lost interest in the larger harder to hit jackpot games, over the last year I have paid more attention to the 6/49 game in PA ... slowly moving more money over to play that game.

I said earlier that I had spent some time on the computer checking out other various state 6/49 games. I did not check all the states ... so I don't know if all the states have a 6/49 type game. I was amazed that a few state games were different from the standard 6/49 game. One state had a 6/53 game ... I think it might have been TX but I can't be sure ... I wish I had made some notes ... another state had a 6/43 game ... again I'm not sure what state ... maybe it was a 6/45 game but it was a lower number than the standard 6/49. Maybe it was NC but I didn't make any notes.

That 6/53 game would be worse and have no interest to me ... glad to have a 6/49 game in PA but the lower number game ... 6/43 or 6/45 would be more interesting ... the prize money seemed reasonable for a game with better odds ... but I may have missed something. I was putting all the different states with lotteries into Google to check out their games ... it was time consuming and I did not get to check every state ... it's an ongoing research project.

If you live in a state with a 6/43 game, I'd like to find out what state that is, maybe several states have that game. The odds at winning the jackpot on a 6/49 game are:  13,983,816 ... in PA the odds listed for the PA 6/49 game are 1 in 4,661,272 because you get three sets of numbers on a $2 ticket ... but I still think the odds are really 13,983,816 ... trying to get all six numbers across on one line ... numbers are numbers, odds are odds ... but the odds are still better than MM and PB.

Would like to hear from any serious 6/49 game players out there.


GiveFive's avatar - Lottery-026.jpg

New York had a 6/40 game but they retired it this past June due to lack of player interest.

Odds were 3,838,383 to 1.   It was named Sweet Million.  The jackpot was fixed at 1 million dollars, it did not grow.  It was not pari-mutuel for the first five winners of a million dollars, but they never had a case where 5 people won the jackpot in the same drawing.

I think what killed it was the lower tier prizes (500 bucks for 5 numbers) and the fact that the jackpot didn't roll if not hit.  Players did not like the game despite the lowest odds you could find anywhere to win a million dollars.

As for me, I liked it and played it regularly.  Was sorry to see it go.  G5

In response to GiveFive

I remember reading a little about that game awhile back ... I didn't know it had ended and didn't know it was a 6/40 game. How much did it cost ... maybe only a dollar? Sounds like it was interesting with those lower odds ... the 6/49 game in PA is getting hit more frequently or so it seems and it grows very slowly ... on Thursday it will be 1.3 million ... so the Sweet Millions game with the lower odds for a million dollar prize seems like a winner ... I would have played it.

Did you win a million cash right away or was it an annuity of some sort? ... PA prize money is all cash.

haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg

Crazy Wombat, cool name !

Jersey has a 6/49 game called pick 6, it draws 2 times a week,

far as I know there's no discount for multiple lines.

JP starts a @ 2 MILs. 

I play a QP every draw and the JP grows painfully slow, only hits about 4 times a year.

I think the MM and PB have hurt this game as well as other 6/... games, seems people are only interested in the really big $


I only play MM and PB when the JP has grown to near record size,

not being greedy, just don't think it will hit at the lower #s

used to play every draw B/C I'd be happy w/ the starting Jp but it rarely hits on base.

RJOh's avatar - chipmunk

Ohio has a 6/49 game called Classic Lotto which has had 1234 drawings since it replaced the Lot'O game and has three drawings a week . Its jackpots start at $1M and is now almost $10M with a cash value of 50%.  I matched 5/6 last year which I also had posted on the prediction board but haven't come closer than a match4 since. CL pays $2 for a match3, $70 for a match4 and $1500 for a match5.  The last time it was won it had rolled  to almost $70M having gone three years without a hit.

GiveFive's avatar - Lottery-026.jpg
In response to Crazy Wombat

It was a dollar a line and it was a cash prize.  After taxes the few people that did win a Jackpot netted about $664,000.

Another reason people didn't play it was because it seemed to them that "Nobody ever wins that game".  Which was true enough, but what people failed to realize was that the number of combo's "covered" out of the 3.8 million possible combo's was about 10%. (Meaning 383,000 of the 3.83 million possible combo's were played, leaving 90% of the possible combo's uncovered, or un-played.)  So of course there were very few JP winners. 

I could never understand people's reasoning with regard to the game.  Why in the world would anyone care about whether or not someone other than themselves won a jackpot and use that as their reason to play or not play?  I only care if I win the jackpot.  OK, so nobody won!  That doesn't mean nobody will ever win!  The reason there were so few jackpot winners was because there were so few tickets sold.  If people played it more, there'd have been more jackpot winners.

I checked many states lottery's websites, and I can tell you I didn't see one online draw game anywhere with as low or lower odds to win a million bucks.  It was a winner, but some pretty weird thinking by the lottery playing public killed it.

GiveFive's avatar - Lottery-026.jpg
In response to haymaker

The reason JP's aren't hit as frequently at the lower numbers as they are at the higher numbers is a function of what's know in the lottery business as "coverage".  I was alluding to it in my post above about NY's Sweet Million.  The NY Lottery freely admitted Sweet Milly "under-performed due to a coverage problem". 

The fewer tickets sold, the fewer combo's sold.  Which leaves more combo's uncovered (unsold) than covered.  As the JP grows, more tickets (combo's) are sold, fewer combo's go uncovered, and a JP is won. It isn't any more complicated than that.  But most people don't get it.  G5

In response to GiveFive

OK ... but with NY being a pretty good gambling state I guess like you said ... Sweet Millions wasn't that interesting to most of them. I always look at the odds of any game in relation to the prize amount ... odds probably don't mean much to many people, just the jackpot amount ... low odds, high odds the games are nearly impossible to hit but better odds give me some hope for something.

What RJ0h posted about Ohio and the 6/49 there climbing to around 70 million over three years ... I followed that earlier this year and read when it finally got hit ... yet in PA our 6/49 can ever hardly reach 5 million ... more like 2 to 3 million and someone hits it.

... but then there are a certain few lucky people ... when I say "few" it could mean a few, a few hundred or a few thousand in the total population of billions that are just plain lucky ... they are meant to win no matter what the odds of any game are ... and some of these people defy the odds and win again and again.

Those people need not worry or consider the odds ... just buy a ticket. I watched a guy at a casino in Atlantic City years back playing at roulette ... he was on a roll as I came into the area ... I bought some chips myself and played on the other side ... a large crowd had gathered on his side as he had been having a pretty good day ... he had stacks (many stacks) of chips and he was a very likable guy ... someone the people could cheer for ... well they were now paying him in green ($25) chips ... the dealer was running low on his color chips ... after playing more rounds and winning more chips ... this guy takes one $25 green chip and puts it on a number ... I forget the number ... he had been making smaller bets before but winning ... a direct hit pays 35 to 1 so the wheel is spinning and people are putting some of their chips on top of his one green chip ... every one is watching the little ball go around and it lands right on his number ... he couldn't believe it himself, threw his hands in the air and got paid 35 to 1.

I guess you could say he was one lucky guy having a great day at the casino ... odds, luck or whatever.  I don't know ... he was a nice guy so it was nice to see him having a fun time.

In response to Crazy Wombat

I hadn't noticed the recent Treasure Hunt number dup. Darn amazing, though not as difficult as it would seem based on the "birthday paradox". Treasure Hunt is also the game that had 1-2-3-4-5 come up several years back. Goes to show any combination, assuming a properly functioning randomizer, is equally possible.

Match 6 is a fun game to play, but is a deceptively difficult game to win much with. I occasionally buy a few for something different. Easy to match a few numbers, plus matching numbers across all three lines adds to the fun, but for a player aiming for the $500K-$2 million (sometimes goes higher, but rarely) jackpot, there are better choices...

Including Powerball with similar odds of winning $1 million (or $2 million with  powerplay; I always pony up the extra $1) at the same $2 price-point:

1 in 4,661,272 to match all 6 in Match 6
1 in 5,153,633 to match 5 for $1 million in Powerball

Matching 5 out of 6 is roughly 257 times (1 in 18,067) more likely than matching all 6 (1 in 4,661,272). $1,000 is still low though. $2,500 or so would have been nicer, but would further slow the jackpot increases, and likely not made any meaningful difference in player perception ... be it $1K or somewhat more, it's still very little relative to the jackpot.

In my view, best game to focus on in PA with decent payouts and somewhat realist odds of winning, especially when played over a long period of time, is Cash 5. 1 in 962,598 of matching all 5. PA Cash 5 often pays out around $225,000 - $500,000. Not necessarily enough to quit one's day job, but plenty to be more comfortable.

And for one seeking even better odds, though requires a larger play budget for a similar payout, is PA Quinto with 1 in 100,000 chance of winning $50,000 per dollar bet. A common strategy is playing the same number multiple times. Whenever I play Quinto, I always play at least $2 or more (up to $20 sometimes) on the same number. From looking at past larger Quinto wins, 2-4 X paying $100K-$200K seems most typical for those who play it that way.

A positive aspect about Match-6 is it's an inexpensive fun game to play when factoring in hitting the lower tier prizes. One can play a whole year for low as $208, and likely win a good chunk of their bankroll back. Good luck :)

maringoman's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcTbRxpKQmOfcCoUqF2FyqIOAwDo7rg9G-lfJLAALPGWJWwiz19eRw

In MA we have a 6/49 game called Megabucks Doubler.Top prize jp starts at $0.5M and it crawls slowly to $2M at which point I start playing. The match 5 of 6 pays $2,500, match 4 of 6 pays $100 and match 3 of 6 pays $2. I usually try to wheel numbers on this game but so far nothing good has come up for me.  The jackpot gets hit about 3 times every year which means it's a popular local game

GiveFive's avatar - Lottery-026.jpg

What RJ0h posted about Ohio and the 6/49 there climbing to around 70 million over three years ... I followed that earlier this year and read when it finally got hit ... yet in PA our 6/49 can ever hardly reach 5 million ... more like 2 to 3 million and someone hits it.

My initial thoughts were that PA has a much larger population than Ohio, and therefore that's the reason PA's 6/49 is hit more frequently.  I checked on that, and found that PA does have a larger population than Ohio, but PA and Ohio are #6 and #7 respectively in terms of population.  PA has just 2 million more residents than Ohio with 12.7 million people. So that doesn't convince me that PA's 6/49 sees a JP winner more often.  Haven't a clue what might be causing it to happen.  G5 

GiveFive's avatar - Lottery-026.jpg
In response to Crazy Wombat

To me personally, the odds are where it's at.

IMHO, playing the lottery is a sucker bet.  It's incredibly hard to win a life changing amount of money.  That's why when I play PB or MM, I'm really playing for second place.  Because of that, whenever I play, I always buy the Megaplier or Power Play.  I also used to play two identical lines on my Sweet Million tickets because the first 5 winners of a JP were NOT pari-mutuel.  So if I had all six numbers on both of  those lines, I'd have won two million.  I kind of invented my own Sweet Milly Power Play. The best thing was that the odds for Sweet Milly were 3.8 million to 1 whereas PB's 2nd place prize was 5 million to 1 to win 2 million dollars.  My PB ticket cost me 3 bucks, but my Sweet Milly ticket was only two bucks. (Better odds and less cost to win the same amount of money - 2 million)

I like raffles too because of the odds involved.  Because of where I'm located, an hours drive to both Connecticut and Pennsylvania, I have some tickets to both Ct's SuperDraw raffle, and PA's Millionaire raffle. (Both are set to go off New Years week.)  G5

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