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Draw Procedures

DRAW PROCEDURES

We are committed to fairness and security

The Draw Management Section of Lottery's Security/Law Enforcement Division conducts all draws with a representative present from a firm of independent certified public accountants (referred to as an "independent representative") who witnesses the draws and certifies that official draw procedures are followed to the letter.

The independent representative has the authority to stop a draw at any time prior to or during a draw if they feel the integrity of the draw has been compromised. In this event, the independent representative submits a written report to the Lottery Director noting the draw deviation observed and the actions taken to complete the draw. During every draw, audio and video surveillance equipment is used to record the entire draw process.

The Draw Room

All onsite draws are conducted in a secured draw room at the Lottery's Headquarters draw site in Sacramento. The independent representative must be present along with a Draw Management staff member in order to enter the draw room. The draw room door is sealed with a numbered, metal seal which is cut and removed upon entry. The seal number is then recorded in a logbook secured inside the draw room and is verified by the independent representative and Draw Management staff member. As an additional security measure, the draw room is alarmed and monitored by the Lottery’s command center 24-hours a day.

SuperLotto Plus® Draws

The draw machines and ball sets used for SuperLotto Plus draws are stored in the secured draw room. For each SuperLotto Plus draw, a pool of three draw machines and six ball sets is used. Using a random number generator program, two machines and two ball sets are selected for each draw. The first machine selected is designated as the SuperLotto Plus draw machine, with the second machine designated as the Mega number draw machine. Six solid rubber balls sets are available for use for each SuperLotto Plus draw, three sets each for the SuperLotto Plus balls (white), and three sets each for the Mega balls (gold). Each ball set is stored in a locked box with a numbered seal attached and the seal number is recorded in a logbook as the box is opened. In the event a ball set or machine failed during pre-testing, an alternate ball set or machine would be used for the draw.

The machines and ball sets used at each draw are pre-tested before every draw. These results are recorded and documented by Draw Management staff and the independent representative to ensure that the machines are working properly and the balls are being selected in a random manner. Once the machines and ball sets have passed the pre-test process, they are ready for the official draw. The official draw occurs after the draw entry has closed at 7:45pm PT on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and wagering has ceased for that drawing. All pre-test and official draw results are submitted to an independent statistician who analyzes this information to ensure true statistical randomness.

The solid rubber balls used for SuperLotto Plus draws are weighed, measured and cleaned once a month to check for wear and weight consistency in comparison to the other balls. This process ensures that each ball maintains the manufacturer’s original weight and measurement specifications.

Powerball® Draws

California joined the Powerball game in April 2013. To date, 44 states plus Washington DC and the US Virgin Islands participate in the bi-weekly Powerball drawings. Powerball draws are conducted in Tallahassee, Florida at 7:59pm PT, following the 7:00pm PT draw closure on Wednesdays and Saturdays. This draw is conducted in the same way as California’s SuperLotto Plus draw with similar safeguards in place to ensure that the equipment and draws are securely maintained and audited. Powerball draws are also monitored and documented by California’s Draw Management staff and independent auditor.

Mega Millions® Draws

California joined the Mega Millions game in June 2005. Currently, there are 44 states plus Washington DC and the US Virgin islands participating in the bi-weekly Mega Millions drawings. Mega Millions draws are conducted in Atlanta, GA after draw entry closes at 7:45pm PT on Tuesdays and Fridays. This draw is conducted in the same way as California’s SuperLotto Plus draw with similar safeguards in place to ensure that the equipment and draws are securely maintained and audited. Mega Millions draws are also monitored and documented by California’s Draw Management staff and independent auditor.

Fantasy 5, Daily 4, Daily 3 and Daily Derby Draws?

The California Lottery began conducting automated draws for Fantasy 5 and Daily 3 on July 1, 1998; Daily Derby on August 10, 1998; and Daily 4 on May 19, 2008. The decision to switch from manual draw machines and balls to automated draws was made because of the increase of daily games offered to players and the need for a faster, more efficient and maintenance-free method of drawing winning numbers. The official draws occur every day after the draw entry has closed at 6:30pm PT (also at 1:00pm PT for Daily 3's mid-day draw).

The automated draw machines are state-of-the-art, stand-alone computers. Two automated draw machines and two randomization methods are used for the daily draws. Before each draw, Draw Management Staff uses a random number generator program to determine which draw device and which randomization method will be used. The winning numbers selected by either method are unpredictable. The computer's hard drive cannot be opened without breaking a numbered security seal and the programs inside the computer that generate the random numbers are permanently implanted and cannot be altered.

Hot Spot Draws

Hot Spot draws are conducted by a computer program that randomly selects the winning numbers. Because they occur every four minutes, Hot Spot draws are completely automated. These computerized draws are as secure as the mechanical draws and the computer used for Hot Spot draws is housed in the same secured draw room at Lottery Headquarters. The draws occur every four minutes from 6:00am to 2:00am PT the next day.

2nd Chance Draws

Entries received for 2nd Chance draws are sequentially numbered by the 2nd Chance system when a player keys in their ticket code to enter a draw; no mail-in entries are accepted. 2nd Chance draws are video and audio recorded and witnessed by the independent representative to ensure that written draw procedures are followed. Draw staff use the same stand-alone automated draw machines to select the winners similar to draws previously mentioned. Winners’ names and prize information for each drawing is posted on the Lottery’s website, and winners are notified using the contact information provided by the player at time of registration.

Draw Game Results

After the draws are conducted, the winning numbers are noted on various official documents that are verified by Draw Management staff and the independent representative. Official draw results are then distributed to Lottery retailers and media throughout the state.
The Hot Spot draws can be viewed on any Lottery retailer's terminal that offers the Hot Spot game to players. Detailed Draw Results for all draw games can be viewed on each game page. Use our free mobile app to view winning numbers and jackpots on-the-go. (The California Lottery “Official App” is available in the Apple Mobile App store; an Android version is currently under development.) Draw results can also be found in many major newspapers, broadcasted on some local television stations, and by calling toll-free 1-800-LOTTERY and pressing option 1.

All draws are open to the public.
To attend a drawing at our headquarters in Sacramento, call toll-free 1-800-LOTTERY (1-800-568-8379) ahead of time to ensure that staff is available to give you a tour and answer questions.