Press Room

Iowa Lottery Will Transition This Month To Its Own Drawings In Pick 3 and Pick 4 Games

Drawing & Sales Cutoff Times Will Change Starting April 16

DES MOINES, Iowa - The Iowa Lottery will soon implement new drawing procedures in its Pick 3 and Pick 4 games, providing results that are unique to Iowa for the first time since the games' introduction.

Beginning April 16, Iowa-specific drawings will be conducted in both games, a change from current procedures. The time of the drawings also will change slightly, as will the deadline by which players must purchase tickets for the drawings.

Since Pick 3 was introduced in Iowa in 1998 and Pick 4 was added here in 2003, the Iowa Lottery has shared drawing results in those games with the Illinois Lottery.

Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich said that the shared system has led to some player questions as each state's games have changed over time.

"We can't thank our lottery counterparts in Illinois enough for allowing us to share results with them," Rich said. "We're lucky to work in an industry where cooperation like that happens a lot. But both states have added different features to our individual games over time, and we've heard from players wondering why we share drawing results but have separate options in each state. We think it makes sense to begin holding separate drawings to help avoid player confusion."

Rich said that while the change largely impacts internal procedures at the lottery, players will notice beginning April 16 that the two states have independent drawing results in the games.

"Based on player feedback, we think this is something they'll appreciate," he said.

The time of the drawings in Iowa will change a bit, as will the sales cut-off time in advance of each drawing.

Pick 3 and Pick 4 both have drawings twice daily in Iowa, with a midday drawing currently at 12:40 p.m. and an evening drawing about 9:20 p.m. Starting April 16, the midday drawing in each game will be held at 12:50 p.m., with the sales cut-off time for that drawing at noon. The evening drawing in both games will be at 8:50 p.m., with the sales cut-off time for that drawing at 8 p.m.

With the change, the Iowa Lottery's Pick 3 and Pick 4 drawings will be conducted by the Multi-State Lottery Association in Urbandale, which also administers the drawings in Powerball® and other lotto games on behalf of Iowa and the other lotteries that sell the games.

For those who aren't familiar with Pick 3 and Pick 4, they're numbers games with a long history along the East Coast. But they're also offered by numerous other lotteries across the country, including the Iowa Lottery.

Pick 3 players choose combinations of three numbers from 000 to 999 while Pick 4 players choose combinations of four numbers from 0000 to 9999. The prize that a player could win depends on the type of play they make.

For example, players can choose the option of winning a prize only if their numbers match the winning numbers in the exact order selected in the drawing. That's called a straight play. Or, players can choose the option of winning a prize if their numbers match the winning numbers in any order. That's called a box play. There are other options in the games as well.

While prizes in Pick 3 and Pick 4 are much smaller than those in big-jackpot games like Powerball and Mega Millions®, the odds of winning also are significantly better.

Iowa's Pick 3 game features a top prize of $3,000, with odds of just 1 in 1,000 of winning it. Plays in Pick 3 range in cost from 50 cents to $5.

Iowa's Pick 4 game features a top prize of $30,000, with odds of 1:10,000 of winning it. Plays in Pick 4 also range from 50 cents to $5.

Return to top↑