Louisiana Lottery announces December winnings figures

The following is a news release from the Louisiana Lottery.

BATON ROUGE –  Buying a new car, helping family members with their finances and purchasing a big screen television are just some of the ways winners of the Louisiana Lottery's scratch-off games planned to spend the more than $6.2 million in prizes they claimed in December. The Lottery also reported more than $7.9 million won on draw-style game tickets last month.

December's draw-style game winnings included one Lotto jackpot worth $300,000, one "match-5" Powerball with Power Play prize of $1 million, one "match-5" Powerball prize of $200,000, eight Powerball prizes of $10,000 each and 144 "match-5" Lotto prizes averaging $1,817 each. Pick 3 prizes totaled $1,787,890 and Pick 4 prizes totaled $2,053,700.

Easy 5 prizes totaled $181,830 with an additional $234,437 won in ezmatch prizes. For an additional $1, players can add ezmatch to their Easy 5 ticket for the chance to win up to $250 instantly.

"Over 31,000 Power Play purchasers won a bonus total of $1,224,676 in addition to their regular Powerball prize," Lottery President Rose Hudson said.  For an additional $1, the Power Play option offers Powerball ticket purchasers the chance to multiply any nonjackpot-related prize up to five times depending upon the Power Play multiplier number randomly selected during the drawing.

In total, draw-style game winnings were $7,915,949 in December. Lottery draw-style game players have 180 days from the date of the drawing to claim any winnings from those tickets.

 "We encourage players to sign the back of their tickets immediately after purchasing and to check them promptly after the drawing. Even if a ticket does not win the jackpot, it could have won another prize," Hudson added.

In addition to $6,256,775 in scratch-off cash prizes paid during December, players also claimed $1,274,831 worth of free tickets. According to Lottery policy, scratch-off games are closed when all top prizes are claimed, and scratch-off players have 90 days from the official game closure date to redeem a winning ticket.

While actual game performance and the amount of prizes claimed will vary from month to month, the Lottery allocates at least 50 percent of sales to fund prizes. At least 35 percent of sales is transferred to the state treasury for the Minimum Foundation Program that funds public education in Louisiana. Retailers are paid at least 5 percent in commission, and the Lottery retains less than 10 percent of sales to operate.

A list of current scratch-off games, prizes remaining and claim deadlines, as well as winning numbers and large unclaimed prizes for the Lottery's draw-style games, can be found on its Web site, www.louisianalottery.com.

Hudson reminded ticket purchasers to play responsibly, encouraging anyone who has a gambling problem, or friends and family of anyone with a gambling problem, to call toll-free 1-877-770-7867 for help.  Ticket purchasers must be at least 21 years of age.