Ticket sales for the Florida Lotto game started On Friday, April 29th 1988 and the first ever draw took place for the game on Saturday, May 7th of the same year. When the game first launched the matrix was 6/49 for the Florida Lotto and draws only took place once a week on Saturday nights at 11pm EST. There were four prizes tiers and the odds of winning the jackpot for the original game were 1 in 13,983,816 with the odds of winning any prize being 1 in 53.655.
On February 6th, 1993 the prize structure changed for the Florida Lotto in order to increase the percentage of sales added to the jackpot pool. This allowed for a minimum jackpot of $6 million and saw the percentage of sales rise from 25% and rollover to 33.5% and rollover. It was then another five years before any further changes were made to the Florida Lottery and in October 1998 players were allowed to receive their jackpots in one lump sum rather than the 20-payment annuity that had previously been the only option to jackpot winners. The length of annuity payments increased in November 1998 to 30.
Just a couple of months later, in January 1999 the Florida Lottery began to guarantee the estimated jackpot for Florida Lotto and would supplement the prize if the jackpot was below the estimate to guarantee the 30-payment annuity. If the jackpot exceeds the estimated amount then the player would receive the larger annuity if that were there chosen payment option.
The biggest change to date for the Florida Lotto was introduced on October 24th, 1999 when the Florida Lottery changed the matrix from 6/49 to 6/53. As well as the increase of balls to each draw the Florida Lottery also introduced a midweek draw making the Florida Lotto a bi-weekly game. This first midweek draw took place on October 27th, 1999 and produced the new highest number in the balls drawn, 53. At this point the Florida Lottery also reduced the minimum guaranteed jackpot from $6 million to $3 million and later, on February 14th, 2010 this was reduced again to $2 million.
In October 2009 a couple of other changes; a new prize level was introduced at this point that saw players who match just 2 main numbers being a free Xtra ticket and the prize amount for players who match 3 main numbers being guaranteed a $5 prize.
Florida Lotto Odds
|Matches||% of Sales||Odds of Winning|
|6 balls||31.75% + rollover||1 in 22,957,480|
|5 balls||6.15%||1 in 81,409.50|
|4 balls||5%||1 in 1,415.82|
|3 balls||7.10%||1 in 70.79|
|2 balls||Free Xtra Ticket||1 in 8.58|
|Overall odds of winning||1 in 67.36|
Lotto Xtra was introduced on October 11th 2009 and the feature has been likened to the PowerPlay option on Powerball (also available from the Florida Lottery). To use the Lotto Xtra features players have to spend an additional fee and are then in with a chance of having any non-jackpot win multiplied by either 2, 3, 4 or 5 times the normal prize amount. The Xtra number is selected by a computer and show on a monitor whilst the standard Florida Lotto draw takes place.
It is worth noting that at this point the Florida Lotto does not have a jackpot cap or a limit to the number of times that the jackpot can rollover. So long as no players match all six numbers drawn the Florida Lotto jackpot can roll indefinitely creating some pretty amazing jackpots.