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Second Chance Lottery Draws: Your Bonus Chance To Win

What are Second Chance Draws?

Though it may feel like it, losing in the lottery is not the end of the world.

But, if you’re in the right place and the right time, you can end up being a winner after having a losing ticket in some lotteries. How? Read on to find out more information!

Second chance draws allow players to enter their losing lottery tickets into a new draw for another shot at winning.

Typically, prizes range from as little as $500 to as much as $1,000,000 or even more, depending on the lottery.

Not all games have second chance draws, and those that do can offer monetary prizes as well as brand-new cars, football tickets, gift cards, and vacation packages for you to win. All losing players are welcome to try their luck one more time, so check the entry deadline, play responsibly and with caution, and who knows, maybe your numbers will turn to be winning numbers after all.


Mega Millions

Who Can Play in Second Chance Draws?

Every loser is eligible to play! Each second chance draw differs among various games, but one thing is the same across the board: it’s for losers only!

Okay, that sounds a tad harsh. But seriously, how many losing tickets and scratchers are littering your car or purse?

We can’t all be like Jane Park, a young lottery winner who won a huge jackpot on her very first try at the age of 17 (especially that, for some lotteries, you must be 18 years old to enter). So, check out the lottery site where you bought your ticket to see if they offer the second chance draw and check your trash for that ticket you threw out! Maybe the prize is still waiting and you still have a chance of winning.

What Are the Odds of Winning?

The odds of winning in a second chance drawing can vary, depending on the program.

This is mainly due to the fluctuating number of players. For example, the main game in an Oregon lottery scratcher offered a 1 in 120,000 chances of winning the $100,000 prize, but in the second chance game, the odds of winning the same amount were only 1 in 18,000—simply because only 18,000 people entered the draw.

How to Play Second Chance Draws

The specifics of second chance programs differ per lottery. They range from entering your losing ticket online, mailing it in, or physically dropping it off at the lottery office. There also are games, such as California State Lottery and the Massachusetts 2nd Chance, that offer mobile apps that allow players to scan the ticket, instead of entering them manually!

But if you don’t live in these states, you are at a distinct disadvantage.

If that’s the case, it is when playing on the online lottery website is a big plus!

Some lotteries offer automatic second chance draws, like LottoLand, for example. The caveat is that some lottery sites only allow you to bet on the outcome of games, so if you prefer playing in official games, you have to do your homework.

Check out your lottery’s official website to find more information, see the entry deadline and check if you must be 18 years old to play, what are the prizes, and how many tickets you can enter.

Which Lotteries Offer Second Chances?

U.S. Lotteries

Of the 44 states that hold lotteries, 43 states offer second chance draws. Second chance promotions vary, and some state lotteries even offer multiple second chance draws.

For example, California’s 2nd chance offerings include SuperLottoPlus, non-winning Scratchers, and Fantasy 5.

So visit the official website of your lottery to find all the necessary information.

But here’s a quick list:

State Lotteries Offering Second Chance Draws

European Lotteries

Second chance lottery draws aren’t as common in Europe as they are in the U.S. They exist but some have different sets of rules from their U.S. counterparts.

For example, only those who have matched 2 main numbers get free entry to the Lucky Dip, the second chance draw of UK’s Lotto game. Here are three popular games that offer second chances:

European Lotteries Offering Second Chance Draws

Australian Lotteries

Australia’s biggest lottery operator, the Lott, offers the Scratch eClub, a second chance draw for players who own non-winning Scratch-It cards. Regular draws are held every month, while select players are automatically enrolled into separate special birthday draws. So far, this seems to be the only second chance drawing being offered in the country.

Of course! Second chance draws offer losing tickets another shot at winning big prizes. You already paid for the ticket, so why not take that extra chance of winning a prize? Play responsibly, check the entry deadline and who knows, maybe your losing number will become winning numbers.

Did you know that even if you didn’t win in a lottery drawing, you can still win in a second chance draw? It’s true! Here’s all you need to know.

Second Chance Lottery Scratchers & Lotto Drawings: Odds of Winning, & Why These Give You Much Better Chances of Winning

By Steve Beauregard

Never mind the hills, there’s gold in them thar trash cans.

It’s in the form of second chance lotto tickets and losing scratch tickets, or “scratchers.”

Unbeknownst to many lottery players, those losing scratch tickets (and in some cases, losing Lotto, Powerball or MegaMillions tickets), can be entered into drawings that offer both great prizes and better-than-average odds of winning a big prize.

Whether it’s laziness, or just a lack of understanding of the odds, most lottery players fail to take advantage of the much better chances one has when entering the second chance lottery drawings. Your odds of winning a second chance drawing are typically much higher than the original game

We’ve all been there: you buy a ticket, hoping for a nice score, only to find you did not get the three in a row, or match the scratched off numbers, or make the bingo, or achieve whatever the successful result was needed in that particular game. What do you do? You toss it in the trash. Sure, you may vaguely be aware of a second chance drawing, but you don’t want to go through the hassle. Plus your odds are slim in that too right?

Right. But your odds of winning a top prize are far greater than you’ll find just in the original, main game. Let me explain.

In a recent Oregon lottery scratch off game for example, a player had a 1 in 120,000 chance of winning the top prize, $100,000.

However this game allowed you to enter your losing ticket into a second chance drawing, in which the top prize was also $100,000. Yet only about 18,000 players entered that drawing, meaning your odds of winning the Oregon Lottery’s second chance drawing of $100,000 were 1 in 18,000, versus the lottery’s main game odds of 1 in 120,000.

Some savvy players are taking advantage of these increased odds.

In Vermont, the Burlington Free Press profiled a man whose hobby is collecting losing tickets, (including picking them out of the trash) and entering them into the Vermont Lottery 2nd Chance drawing. He’s won over $10,000 doing so.

The man, Robert Leamy, explained how he is able to turn trash into treasure: “A lot of people who play the scratch games want that instant winner feeling,” he said. “They don’t have the patience to wait three months to see if the ticket can win on a second chance. And you have to put the work into it.”

How to play lottery scratch off second chance drawing games

Each state has different rules, prizes and games for second chance lottery drawings, so it’s wise to check your individual state’s rules, which are always found on the lottery’s official website.

Unfortunately, state lotteries across the country are making it much easier for players to enter those losing tickets into second chance drawings.

I say “unfortunately,” because the harder it is to enter a drawing, the fewer the entries, and thus, the better your odds.

Most state lotteries give you two ways to enter those losing scratchers into second chance drawings:

1) By mail or in person
2) Online

By Mail or In Person

Some states require you to physically mail in the ticket, or drop it off at either a lottery office, or in a drawing bin at a special event. If this happens to be the protocol in your state, you’re at an advantage, as not that many lottery players (as a percentage) will take the time to actually keep their losing tickets, and mail them in, or make time to drive to some lottery office headquarters to enter them into a bin.

Kansas, for example, has a second chance drawing held during their state fair, where you can only drop off your losing tickets to the Fair.

And some states allow you to enter the second chance lottery drawing either by mail, by physical drop-off, OR by entering the losing ticket online.


More and more state lotteries are either allowing, or requiring, lottery players to enter their losing tickets online. In every case, you have to register an account, giving them your name, address, etc, then enter the numbers for each non-winning ticket online.

Many states have phone apps in which you can simply use your phone to scan the bar code on the losing ticket. This allows you to first off, see if the ticket is a winner, and if not, easily enter into the second-chance drawing.

Second Chance Drawings for Losing Lotto, Powerball and Mega Millions Tickets

While typically not part of most state lottery second chance drawings, many states, such as the aforementioned Kansas Lottery, run promotional second chance drawings for losing Lotto, Powerball, or Mega Millions tickets. These are entirely separate from the scratch ticket drawings.

While the prizes here aren’t typically as large as the big scratch ticket second chance drawings, second chance lotto type drawings can range from cars, to cash, to vacation packages.

Usually these are a once a year drawing, where each ticket counts as a separate entry.

Oddly, this makes is worthwhile to purchase your lotto, Mega Millions, or Powerball tickets individually, rather than together. In other words, if you usually purchase, say, $5 worth of $1 lotto tickets each week, it’s more beneficial to purchase five different $1 tickets, than having all five of your set of numbers printed out on one ticket.

The convenience store workers love this, by the way, he says sarcastically. Once, when the Powerball jackpot crossed over the $200 million mark, (and back when Powerball tickets cost $1 each), I organized a lottery pool at the office where I worked. The pool contained 285 tickets. I purchased these one at a time, much to the chagrin of the “Gas and Guzzle” clerk.

If you want to do this, I recommend you going late at night, when the clerk may be bored, or the store is less busy. Either way, I certainly recommend you do this. In my state, 20 different entries are printed on one ticket, so by having them printed out all separately, I received 285 entries into the second chance lottery drawing, rather than the only 15 I would have been able to enter had the $285 worth been printed out together on 15 different tickets.

Second Chance Scratchers Drawings’ Odds

Each state will tell you the odds of winning depend on how many entries are received, which is very helpful and not obvious at all.

What I do know is that only a small percentage of lottery players enter their losing tickets into second chance drawings. Rough figures I’ve obtained from the state of Colorado show that in Colorado Lottery second chance drawings, only around 10% of tickets are entered.

In Oregon, the stats are more official, as the state lottery says that only 6.7% of tickets are entered into second chance drawings.

Also keep in mind, in most cases, the higher the game, the fewer tickets sold, therefore, fewer entries into second chance drawings. Lower priced tickets are more common, and are more commonly entered into drawings.

In the California Second Chance lottery, for example, over 2.4 million people entered a second chance drawing for a $5 game. Unfortunately, the top prize was only $500.

Second Chance Lottery Prizes

Second chance lottery drawing prizes can vary greatly from state to state, ranging from an exciting $1 million in cash, to a yawn-inducing cheesy swag bag of t-shirts and coffee mugs.

Kansas had a game where you could instantly win a Corvette. The second chance drawing was for a Corvette as well. Other prizes in the drawing included a vacation package to the Kansas Speedway, or even a $20,000 shopping spree to Cabela’s sporting goods store.

Prizes for the Texas Lottery second chance drawings include items like season tickets to the Dallas Cowboys or Houston Texans, and a brand new $500,000 home.

Even more impressively, Massachusetts had a $30 “World Class Millions” game, in which the second chance drawing consisted of five different first place prizes of $1 million. The lessor prizes weren’t that shabby either. There were 50 different $10,000 prizes, and 500 different $1,000 winners.

These were held in five different second chance lottery drawings over the course of a year. However given the high sales price, ($30 for a ticket), and the fact that Massachusetts isn’t that populous of a state, this second chance drawing seemed to give one some of the better odds we’ve seen. (Not to mention the $15 million one could win instantly on the scratch ticket).

In summary, second chance lottery tickets are still a well-kept secret in terms of dramatically increasing your odds of a winning a big pay day. Nobody is advocating this as a means of getting rich, we just want to show you that entering those losing tickets, or even picking some out of the trash, is certainly worth your time.

(Photo courtesy of Terry Ross via Flickr).

Entering your losing scratcher into a second chance lottery drawing gives you much better odds of winning a top prize. Here is some information on the odds and how to play.