Fantasy 5 California Review
With the many lotteries available, it is sometimes hard to decide which to spend your hard-earned money on. Thankfully, every now and again, you come along a lottery that makes you quite willing to part with your money because of how good it is. In this Fantasy 5 California Lottery review, we will be looking at this popular lottery to see what it offers and whether or not it is deserving of your attention.
While the exact date that the Fantasy 5 California Lottery began is hard to decipher, it is believed that this lottery has been in existence since 1992. This may not be nearly as old as some other lotteries; however, this is an outstanding achievement considering that the game has not gone through a single format change—as so many other lotteries do as they age.
The lottery was started by the California State Lottery Commission to help raise funds that would be funnelled back into the community in the form of supplement funding for schools and colleges. Since 2010, 87% of all sales have gone toward either prizes or education—meaning you know that your money is being spent wisely.
How to Play
Playing in the California Fantasy 5 Lottery could not be any simpler. All that you need to do is select five unique numbers from a number pool that ranges from 1 to 39. Once you have chosen your numbers, all that is left to do is to purchase your ticket.
Tickets cost $1 per line. However, if you spend more than $5 on a single ticket (i.e. purchase five lines), you will be eligible for the Second Chance Draw. This means that your ticket will have a unique Second Chance code printed on it. You will need to log onto the California Lottery website and submit this code to enter the Second Chance draw—which is a way to win something if you are not lucky enough to win from the main draw.
Once you have purchased your ticket (and submitted your Second Chance where applicable), you can relax and wait to see if you are a winner. To win the jackpot, you will need to match all five numbers.
Odds of Winning
The odds of winning the jackpot prize are 1 in 575,757—which are very good compared to most other lotteries. Take US Powerball, which has odds of 1 in 292,201,338, or Canada Lotto 6/49, which has odds of 1 in 13,983,816, and you get the picture. Granted, the Fantasy 5 jackpot prize is much smaller, but at least you actually stand a pretty good chance at winning—better even than Polish Mini Lotto, which has odds of 1 in 850,668 and comparable prizes.
These odds get even better when you consider that the chance to win any prize is 1 in 9 (for Powerball it’s 1 in 25).
Prizes are spread out over four different prize tiers that each have their own prize amount and odds. These tiers are outlined below.
Fantasy 5 California Payout Chart
# of Matched Numbers
Odds of Winning
5 of 5
1 in 575,757
4 of 5
1 in 3,387
3 of 5
1 in 103
2 of 5
1 in 10
Prize amounts are determined based on the number of tickets sold and are, therefore, continually adjusting and evolving. The jackpot amount is set at a minimum of $50,000. The great news is that this jackpot rolls over each time that no winner is drawn. This can lead to a rather generous jackpot from time to time.
The lottery takes place each and every day—giving you a new chance to win each day. The draws are completed using a Random Number Generator and take place between 18:30 and 18:35 PST. Tickets sales for the evening draw close at 18:29 PST. Any tickets sold after this will only be eligible for the draw taking place the following day.
The largest jackpot ever paid out by the lottery happened to occur in the year that the lottery started back in 1992. The final amount paid to the lucky winner was $729,505. However, this large sum did not only occur when the lottery was founded. In 2016, yet another lucky winner broke the $700,000 mark by winning a fantastic $704,555—proving that the jackpot rolling over indeed does hold great perks.
Prizes are paid out in cash lump sums. This is not entirely surprising considering that the jackpot amounts of this lottery do not come close to those of the best lotteries in the world.
Claims under $600 can be claimed immediately in cash at any lottery retailer. Unfortunately, claims above this amount will need to be submitted to the Lottery District Office. Claims submitted here are subject to an eight-week waiting period in which the claim will be checked and determined as valid.
While you may be happy to hear that lottery winnings in California are not subject to state tax, they are not untouchable by Federal tax. The winnings of any US citizen will be charged a flat rate of 25% for federal tax—as long as they can provide a social security number (28% if they cannot). Non-US citizens will be charged 30% on their winnings. These tax amounts will be withheld by the lottery and deducted from the final payout received by the winner.
How to Play Fantasy 5 California Online
Even though we searched extensively while writing this review, we were unable to find a single online lottery website that sells tickets to the Fantasy 5 California Lottery. Unfortunately, what this means is that you will need to physically visit a California Lottery retailer to purchase a ticket.
We hope that this inconvenience changes soon and embraces the technological advancements that other lotteries are embracing.
Fantasy 5 California Lottery – Is It Worth Playing?
The short answer to this question is yes. Even though Fantasy 5 may not have the most massive jackpots available—it has some of the best odds we’ve ever seen and gives you a chance to win a decent amount of cash—every single day. The fact that the tickets are only priced at $1 per line also does nothing to hurt our opinion of this lottery.
So, if you are near a lottery retailer in the state of California, we recommend you select five numbers from the number pool and go and get yourself a ticket. The only additional advice that we may have to give is that we recommend waiting until the jackpot has built up before purchasing your ticket. That way, you may just be the next record breaker that we will be looking up.