Set your alarms a little earlier for big money.
Lotto America, a multistate lottery West Virginia participates in, has changed its three-days-a-week drawing time to 10:15 p.m. ET, starting with last Monday’s drawing. The drawing time was moved up and now occurs before Powerball drawings.
Lotto America has also altered its selecting format, shifting to a digital draw system using a random number generator to produce the numbers.
Cutoff time to buy tickets is still 9:59 p.m.
The West Virginia Lottery added Lotto America in 2017. It’s one of three multistate lotteries available to players in West Virginia. The other two are Powerball and Mega Millions. Sales of West Virginia Lottery tickets exceed $1 billion each year.
Live Lotto America drawings take place in Johnstown, IA. People can watch the drawings on the Lotto America website.
Players select five numbers between 1 and 52 for the red balls and 1 and 10 for the blue star ball. Tickets cost $1, but players can add the ALL-STAR multiplier for an additional dollar.
Lotto America drawings are every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. The cutoff time to purchase tickets remains the same, 9:59 p.m. on the day of the drawing. The jackpot is a minimum of $2 million and grows until it is won.
Players can win a prize in nine different ways. The jackpot is won by matching all five red balls in any order and the blue star ball.
Twelve other states (Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Tennessee) also participate in Lotto America.
New drawing system requires two people to operate
The old-school popcorn machine, where lottery numbers were sucked into a small vacuum tube to produce the winning numbers, has become antiquated.
Lotto America will now use a digital draw system for creating its winning numbers. The system uses a secure computer that is not connected to any additional or external sources, meaning it’s not connected to the internet.
It requires two people to operate and confirm the numbers, an independent auditor and a Lotto America official. The computer uses an algorithm to randomly produce the winning numbers.
Wednesday’s jackpot was $2.3 million. The winning numbers were 19, 40, 41, 48, and 49, with the All-Star ball a 5. There were no winners, so the jackpot will increase to an estimated $2.4 million for Saturday’s drawing.