An Introduction to the New Jersey Lottery

The New Jersey Lottery started in 1970, beginning a long history of New Jersey lottery winners both as game players and state funded beneficiaries.  There are now a number of games available to play, with many fantastic prizes on offer.


Lottery24 - New Jersey

New Jersey Lottery Games

New Jersey lottery   Powerball

Powerball is a multi-state jackpot game with a minimum jackpot of $40 million and drawings twice a week. The game is played by choosing five numbers between 1 and 59 and then one Powerball number between 1 and 35. New Jersey Powerball began on 31st January 2010.

   Lottery24  - New Jersey Powerball


Lottery24 - New Jersey MegaMillions


New Jersey Mega Millions

Mega Millions is another multi-state game with a minimum jackpot of $15 million. With each rollover it grows by at least $5 million. This game is played by choosing five numbers between 1 and 75 and one Mega Ball number between 1 and 15. New Jersey Mega Millions has been played since May 1999 when it was still known as the Big Game.




New Jersey Cash4Life games cost $2 and are played on Mondays and Thursdays. It is played by selecting five numbers from 1 to 60 and a Cash Ball from 1 to 4. The prize can be as high as $1,000 daily for life or $7 million. This is a new game, having started on 16th June 2104.

Other states have expressed an interest in New Jersey Cash4Life, with New York already playing and Virginia expected to join in 2014. New Jersey Cash4Life draws are held on Mondays and Thursdays from New Jersey’s lottery studio in Lawrenceville.

   Lottery24 - New Jersey Cash4Life


Lottery24 - New Jersey Pick-6 Lotto   

Pick-6 Lotto

Pick-6 Lotto has made more millionaires in New Jersey than any other game. It is played by picking six numbers between 1 and 49 and is drawn every Monday and Thursday evening.  It was first introduced in May 1980 after a successful test of the computerized sales network of 2,000 retailers.

Jersey Cash 5

This game began on 30Th September 1992. New Jersey Cash 5 is played daily by picking five numbers between 1 and 40. Odds of winning the jackpot are 1:658,008 and the game rolls over until the jackpot is won. The New Jersey Cash 5 jackpot used to be shared amongst second tier winners (those who matched four numbers) if no one got the jackpot, but became a progressive jackpot in September 2003. New Jersey Cash 5 draws began five times a week but were increased to include Saturday and Sunday in 2001. 50% of the value of ticket sales goes towards the New Jersey Cash 5 prize pool, and can be supplemented with unclaimed prizes.

With 5 out of 5 correct balls, odds of winning the New Jersey Cash 5 are 1 in 658,008 with 53% of the prize pool. 4 out of 5 balls have odds of 1 in 3,760 and winners here share 27% of the pool and 3 out of 5 correct balls have odds of 1 in 111, and these players share 20% of the cash pool.


   Lottery24 - New Jersey Cash 5


Lottery24 - New Jersey Pick-4   


New Jersey Pick-4 was introduced as a weekly game on 9th July 1977. It later became a daily game and has been played twice-daily since November 2001. It is a four-digit draw game which can be won either as a ‘Straight’, by matching all four digits exactly or ‘Box’, by matching all four digits in any order. The minimum play in this game is 50 cents.


New Jersey Pick-3 is a three-digit game drawn twice daily. It began on 22nd May 1975 as a daily game and the midday drawings were introduced in November 2001. Pick-3 was originally known as Pick-it; the name was changed when Pick-4 was introduced. The ways to win are ‘Straight’, matching all three digits exactly as they are drawn; ‘Wheel’ where all three digits are matched in any order and win the straight pay-out; ‘Box’ by matching all three digits in any order and ‘Pair’ and ‘Split’ which are both two-digit bets.

   Lottery24 - New Jersey Pick 3

Instant Match

Instant Match is played as a $1 add-on to Pick-3, Pick-4 and Jersey Cash 5 tickets. The maximum prize is $500.

New Jersey Lottery Winners

Endreson family

17 siblings, ranging in age from 53 to 76, racked up a $20 million Pick-6 jackpot on 16th July 2014 when they checked the New Jersey lottery results. After their mother, Flossie Endreson, passed away in 2004, the siblings pooled money to pay for funeral expenses and discovered they had set aside too much. Rather than taking the money back, the family decided instead to use it for lottery tickets. Times had been tough, as four members of the family lost their homes during Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and a sibling also lost his life shortly after the storm. Their lucky New Jersey lottery results were 3, 12, 18, 34, 35 and 42.

Sundel "Sonny" Judson

In 2002, Sonny Judson became a New Jersey lottery winner when he won what was the largest prize in the state’s history, winning $165 million in the New Jersey Mega Millions. At the time he said that he had “no desire to change”, and apart from a move to Florida, he appears to be living a comfortable but not flashy lifestyle. He could teach some other winners a thing or two!

Elaine and Harold Messner

Elaine and Harold Messner of Woodbine shared a New Jersey Mega Millions win on 6th March 2007 of $390 million. Harold Messner went for a lucky dip ticket, which gave him the numbers 16, 22, 29, 39 and 42 and Mega Ball 20. The couple chose the cash option, which yielded them $116,557,083 before New Jersey lottery tax. After checking their New Jersey lottery results, they wisely waited almost two weeks before coming forward, after taking advice from a financial consultant and a lawyer. This is always recommended, as the pressures of a sudden massive win can be massive.

Giuseppe Garofalo

Giuseppe “Joe” Garofalo of Tinton Falls was the New Jersey lottery winner of the $198 million Mega Millions jackpot from the draw on 17th May 2014.  He shared the pot with another winner from Virginia. This New Jersey lottery result meant that Joe received a tasty $73,279,052 before New Jersey lottery tax. The ticket was bought from a Kwik mart store who made a $30,000 bonus, and the winning numbers were 11, 15, 35, 43 and 49.  The Mega Ball was 41 and the Megaplier Multiplier was 04. New Jersey Mega Millions struck lucky again.

Ocean's 16

The New Jersey Powerball came up trumps in 2013. Named after Ocean County Vehicle Maintenance Garage in Ocean County, New Jersey where they worked, Ocean's 16 were a syndicate who won one-third share of a $448 million Powerball jackpot on 7th August 2013.

Their name was a play on the Ocean's Eleven films, which coincidentally grossed almost the same amount; $450 million. This New Jersey lottery result meant that each member of the syndicate took home a tasty $3.8 million after New Jersey lottery tax.




Powerball winners Ocean's 13 wins $448


Sandra Mcneil

A northern New Jersey school board member and committed Christian Sandra Mcneil, held the single winning ticket for a $211.7 million New Jersey Powerball jackpot on 13th March 2010. The very private New Jersey lottery winner said "I was a private person before God blessed me so generously, and that is how I wish to remain." In 2012 she began donating to Democrat candidates and committees associated with Barack Obama, something she couldn’t have done without this New Jersey lottery result.

Harold and Helen Lerner

The numbers 5, 16, 41, 46, 50 and the Mega Ball 1 were lucky for the Lerner’s, sole winners of a $258 million New Jersey Mega Millions jackpot and at the time the largest single-ticket win in New Jersey history. However, the attention that followed their win in the end forced them to move house. It was to North Jersey they moved in March 2006, and in the way multi-millionaires do, they also added a condominium in Florida.

New Jersey Lottery History

An 81.5% majority of New Jersey voters overwhelmingly approved the State Lottery as part of a general election in 1969. This ‘Yes’ vote was one of the largest in New Jersey political history.

The Commission has seven members, including the State Treasurer, who are appointed by the Governor. 

They all serve for a term of five years. None are salaried but they are entitled to reimbursement for expenses up to $5,000 a year for the Chairman and $3,500 for other members. New Jersey Lottery weekly game tickets first went on sale at 2,000 retailers throughout the state on 16th December 1970.

The Commission is also responsible for setting New Jersey lottery tax and paying out to New Jersey lottery winners.


New Jersey Lottery Taxes

The Energy Policy Act of 1992 required the withholding of New Jersey Lottery tax of at least 25% of all prizes to Lottery winners who win more than $5,000.00 on any Lottery. The New Jersey Lottery tax of 25% Federal and 3% State is deducted from all prize payments to any New Jersey Lottery winner winning more than $10,000 on any game.


Other New Jersey Lottery Information


There are now more than 6,600 lottery retailers in the state of New Jersey. In the 2012 tax year, they earned over $157 million in commission and bonuses. They earn 5% of ticket sales plus a 1.25% for pay-out of prizes up to $600. There are other bonuses too, including $30,000 for selling New Jersey Powerball and New Jersey Mega Millions jackpot winning tickets. Retailers can also give out New Jersey lottery results up to a year after each game.

New Jersey lottery sales

In 2013, the New Jersey Lottery took over $2.8 billion in sales.
In May 2014, New Jersey Lottery instant game players benefited from over $6.37 million in top-tier prizes. This included million dollar wins from 50X Money and two Diamond Spectacular game tickets.

59.2% of lottery ticket revenue is paid out in prizes; 34.2% in education and institutions and 5.6% in retailer commissions. The remainder goes towards fees and expenses.

Supporting education

Since its inception in 1970, the New Jersey Lottery has contributed more than $22 billion to state education and institutions.

The Annual Report for 2013 reported that the Lottery contributed $1.08 billion to the State for aid to education and institutions, an increase from $950 million on the year before.

Among the Lottery's beneficiaries are: homes for disabled soldiers; community and other colleges and universities; school nutrition programs; homes for the developmentally disabled; psychiatric hospitals; higher education scholarship programs and the Marie Katzenbach School for the Deaf.

Current Jackpots