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California SuperLotto Plus Odds & Payout

Updated on October 01, 2016
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TR Smith is a product designer and former teacher who uses math in her work every day.

SuperLotto Plus is a popular lottery game in California with multi-million dollar jackpots and better odds of winning than Powerball or Mega Millions. A lottery ticket costs $1 for a single play and drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday. You can play SuperLotto Plus even if you don't live in California, but you have to buy your tickets and claim your prizes within the state.

With a large population of potential ticket buyers, the jackpot amounts often reach above $10 million. When the jackpot is not won in a drawing, the amount rolls over to the following drawing. All residents of the US must pay federal income taxes on lottery winnings, but California residents do not pay state income on lottery winnings.

How to Play

In SuperLotto Plus, you select five distinct "lucky numbers" from between 1 and 47, and one "mega number" from between 1 and 27. The mega number may be equal to one of your lucky numbers. You win your share of the jackpot if all six of the numbers on your lottery ticket match the six numbers of the SuperLotto Plus drawing.


Probability of Winning SuperLotto Plus

The total number of different SuperLotto Plus number selections is

27*(47 C 5) = 41,416,353

where (n C r) is "n choose r," the combination function used in discrete and combinatorial mathematics. Therefore, the probability and odds of winning a share of the lottery jackpot prize are

1/41416353
= 0.00000002414505
= 0.000002414505%
= odds of 1 in 41,416,353

The likelihood of matching 5 out of 5 lucky numbers but not the mega number is

26/41416353
= 0.0000006277714
= 0.00006277714%
= odds of 1 in 1,592,937

Your chances of matching 4 out of 5 lucky numbers and the mega number are

42*5/41416353
= 70/13805451
= 0.000005070461
= 0.0005070461%
= odds of 1 in 197,221

Here are the odds for all prize levels

Type of Match
Exact Probability
Approx. Odds
5/5 + mega
1/41416353
1 in 41,416,353
5/5
26/41416353
1 in 1,592,937
4/5 + mega
70/13805451
1 in 197,221
4/5
1820/13805451
1 in 7,585
3/5 + mega
2870/13805451
1 in 4,810
2/5 + mega
114800/41416353
1 in 361
3/5
74620/13805451
1 in 185
1/5 + mega
186550/13805451
1 in 74
mega only
283556/13805451
1 in 49
overall chance of winning
1763285/41416353
1 in 23

Why are the odds of getting only the mega number correct 1 in 49? If there are 27 numbers, shouldn't the odds be 1 in 27?

The reason the odds are 1 in 49 is because you are considering the event that the mega number is correct AND zero of your five lucky numbers are correct. This is a more specific event. The odds of matching the mega number, regardless of how many lucky numbers match, are 1 in 27.


SuperLotto Plus Payout

All prizes except the bottom two are paid out on a pari-mutuel basis, meaning the amount awarded depends on the size of the lottery funds pool and the number of winners at each level. Matching 1 out of 5 lucky numbers plus the mega number wins a fixed $2, while matching only the mega number wins a fixed $1.

The dollar amounts of the prizes decrease as the odds become more favorable. For instance, the cash prize for matching 2/5 + mega will be more than the cash prize for matching 3/5, unless there are some unusual circumstances where many more people have won than expected by chance.

Prize amounts vary from drawing to drawing, but you can compute the average amount won from previous lottery drawings. For the 5/5 match without the mega number, the prize typically ranges from $10,000 to $50,000, but may exceed or fall short of this range. For matching 4/5 + mega, the prize usually ranges from $1,000 to $2,000, but it could be higher or lower.


Lottery Probability Curiosities for SuperLotto Plus

Probability of only odd numbers drawn:
The likelihood that the winning numbers are all odd is
(24 C 5)*14/41416353
= 784/54567
= 0.014368
= odds of 1 in 70

Probability of only even numbers drawn:
The chance that the winning numbers are all even is
(23 C 5)*13/41416353
= 1729/163701
= 0.010562
= odds of 1 in 95

Probability of mega number matching lucky number:
The likelihood that the mega number is equal to one of the 5 lucky numbers in SuperLotto Plus is simply 5/27. Out of the 27 possible mega numbers, there are 5 ways it can be equal to one of the lucky numbers.


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    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 3 years ago from California

      Splendid! Always enjoy simple to understand stats.

    • calculus-geometry profile image
      Author

      TR Smith 3 years ago from Eastern Europe

      Thank you!

    • profile image

      Tyson 2 years ago

      How much better are the odds to play CA Super Lotto+ than Powerball? What are the prizes for the different matches?

    • calculus-geometry profile image
      Author

      TR Smith 2 years ago from Eastern Europe

      State lotteries are always much better bets than the national lotteries. In CA the prizes are awarded on a parimutuel basis, so the amounts vary from drawing to drawing. The state lottery website has the most updated info on prize amounts for the current and past drawings, so you can calculate an average.

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