Second Chance Lottery Games: Why You Should Play Them

Winning the lottery is a feeling that can only be described as euphoric. Knowing that you have beaten ridiculous odds to come out on top and win a life-changing sum of money makes the few dollars that you spend on a ticket seem entirely worthwhile. However, if you are not the lucky winner of a lottery draw, you will have a very different feeling.

The problem lies in the unfortunate reality that it is much more common to lose than to win. Generally, once you know that your ticket is not a winner, you will simply throw it in the trash—and if you are disappointed enough, you may even shred it before binning it. Either way, it can be frustrating knowing that you invested in a ticket for nothing. But is it always for nothing? In this article, we will look at questions surrounding second chance lottery games and how they can help you turn a loss into a win.

Second Chance Lottery DrawsWhat Is a Second Chance Lottery?

Simply put, a second chance lottery is a lotto draw that gives you another chance at winning a prize. This means that rather than just throwing your ticket away, you can actually put it to use and try and win something from a secondary draw. Sound too good to be true? Most people think that it is. However, second lottery draws have been around for many years, and you may be surprised to know which lotteries support second chance draws—such as the international favourite EuroMillions (though only when played in Switzerland).

Who Is a Second Chance Draw For?

As you can imagine, second chance draws are only for players who have not won any prize with their ticket or scratcher. It would be somewhat unfair for a jackpot winner also to enter a second chance draw—where they stand a good chance of winning even more. Therefore, these types of draws are restricted to only those players who are—unfortunately—losers.

What Can I Win in a Second Chance Draw?

The prizes offered by these draws vary greatly depending on the lottery offering the second chance. Most lotteries provide cash prizes, which are usually significantly smaller than those offered by the main draw. However, other lotteries provide rewards such as cars, vacations, gift cards to popular retailers or franchises, and even tickets to major sporting events.

Are Second Chance Draws Worth Playing?

The answer to this question is a resounding yes—and for an excellent reason. Unlike the main lotto draw, which has low odds of winning (e.g. US Powerball odds are 1 in 292,201,338), second chance draws have massively better chances of being a winner. The reason for this is that there are fewer people that enter second chance draws. This means that entering into the draw could give you a distinct advantage because you will be competing against a massively reduced number of players and will, therefore, have a much better chance of winning one of the prizes on offer.

The reason for this is that most second chance draws do not have set odds of winning. Instead, the odds of winning are determined by the number of tickets that are entered into any specific draw. Therefore, if only 9,999 tickets are entered into a draw alongside yours, you should stand a chance of 1 in 10,000 to win. This is vastly different to the way lotteries usually operate and results in the great odds of winning we mentioned above.

How Do I Enter a Second Chance Draw?

The first thing that you will have to do before entering a second chance draw is to check whether or not the lottery operator has one. Currently, there are 44 states in the US that host second chance draws. However, the way to enter into these draws (and which lotteries are supported in those states) is entirely dependent on the lottery operator.

Regardless, three methods are mainly used to allow entry into a draw. The first of these is to mail your ticket into the lottery operator—something that we doubt many people do. The alternative to this is to take a picture of or scan your losing ticket and submit it online via the lottery operator’s website (if this is supported). Some lottery organizations (such as the New York Lottery) allow you to enter your losing tickets via their mobile lottery apps. The final way is to physically take your ticket to a lottery retailer and hand it in.

Can I Enter a Second Chance Lottery Draw Any Other Way?

While the answer to this would have been no a few years ago, the advent of online lottery websites has changed this. Some of these sites support second chance draws run by lottery operators or even run their own. One example of this is Lottoland, which gives you automatic entry into second chance draws. The one thing that you will need to double-check, however, is whether or not the lottery site you are using is a site that physically purchases tickets for you or if they simply allow you to bet on lottery outcomes. The latter of these types of sites will generally—with the exception of Lottoland—not support second chance draws.

What Does It Cost to Enter a Second Chance Lottery Draw?

If you have already paid for a lottery ticket that has failed to win you anything, you will not want to pay to play that same ticket again, right? Well, this is what most lottery operators believe—and something we are not going to argue with. Thankfully, because of this belief, most second chance lotteries are entirely free to enter and will only require that you actually take the time to enter into the draw to play.

What States in the US Offer Second Chance Lotteries?

As mentioned earlier, 44 different states offer second chance lottery draws. The lotteries supported by each state vary, and you will need to check with the official lottery operator to confirm if your favourite lottery is supported. An example of this is the comparison between the New York Lottery and the California Lottery.

The New York Lottery second chance draw supports ticket from all draw games offered by the lottery organization. This includes international favourites such as US Powerball and Mega Millions. By contrast, the California Lottery only supports second chance draws for scratchers, SuperLotto, and Fantasy 5.

This difference in supported games shows you how vast the difference between second chance draws can be and gives proof to the statement that you should always confirm details of these draws with the lottery operator first.

The 44 states that currently host a second chance lottery draw are:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Other Second Chance Lottery Draws

While the US is the primary provider of second chance lottery draws, there are a few others available. The most notable of these are the three offered in Europe by EuroMillions, the Health Lottery, and the UK Lotto. Not to be outdone, Australia has also begun offering second chance draws—but only for scratch tickets that do not win.


If you have never heard about second chance lottery games before reading this article, then you are probably bursting to go and search through your sofa cushions to find some old lottery tickets that you know aren’t winners—and we don’t blame you. These draws are fantastic ways to try your luck again in the hopes of winning something that can justify your investment into your ticket. So, we recommend finding out if there is a second chance lottery in your area and, if so, making the best use of the options available.

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