Whole Lotto Luck: These Are the Luckiest (and Unluckiest) States in America

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Feeling Lucky?

Are you someone who flocks to your local corner store every time the Mega Millions jackpot skyrockets, even though you know the odds aren't ever in your favor? Do you yell at the TV when the Powerball numbers don't go your way? Well, maybe the state you live in is partially to blame. Gambling site Bonus.com put together a study analyzing jackpot wins on a state-by-state basis to determine which states are the luckiest. Cheapism highlighted some of the results so you can decide if moving across the country to increase your chances of securing a jackpot is worth the headache (note: Cheapism does not endorse that decision, though we won't judge you either). 

Related: 18 Ways to Go Broke Trying to Get Rich

batch of scratched lottery tickets

Luckiest States

Lady Luck must be best friends with California. With 16 Mega Millions wins and 11 Powerball jackpots between 2012 and 2022, the state is considered the luckiest of them all. These states round out the top five:

2. New York

3. New Jersey

4. Florida

5. Illinois and Michigan (tie)

Related: Why You Should Never Play the Lottery

Lottery ticket on the floor.  Symbolic image of losing at gambling and wasting money.

States With Zero Jackpot Wins

Lady Luck isn't besties with every state, apparently. There are eleven states that had not a single jackpot win between 2012 and 2022 including:

  • Arkansas
  • Idaho
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Mississippi 
  • Montana
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma 
  • South Dakota 
  • Wyoming

Cash Pile Lottery
Michael Burrell/istockphoto

States With the Highest Jackpot Totals

The top Powerball jackpot rang in at $2.04 billion to a lucky Californian and the top Mega Millions jackpot of $1.537 billion was sold in South Carolina. But when it comes to states with the highest overall jackpot totals, here are the states that crack the top ten:

1. California: $7.7 billion

2. Florida: $5.07 billion

3. New York: $4.01 billion

4. New Jersey: $3.81 billion

5. Illinois: $2.83 billion

6. Tennessee: $2.74 billion

7. Michigan: $2.03 billion

8. South Carolina: $1.93 billion

9. Pennsylvania: $1.83 billion

10. Arizona: $1.83 billion

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Quit Worrying So Much

States With No Lottery

Not every state indulges its residents in the potential luck (or endless disappointment) of the lottery. These states do not play the lottery:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Nevada 
  • Utah

Mega Millions lottery

The Maine Event

Until this year, Maine was down on its luck, ranking among the states with zilch for jackpot wins. Then, on Friday the 13th (of all days) in January 2023, Maine scored big with a $1.34 billion Mega Millions jackpot win, which is the second-largest Mega Millions jackpot of all-time. Talk about luck changing.