Group Play

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Group Play FAQs

The following is an example that may help you decide. Say you just bought 5 Lotto 649 tickets for the next draw. The jackpot is $20 million. You meet a friend who tells you they have just bought 95 tickets for the same draw as part of a lottery group purchase. Your friend invites you to join the group by simply adding your 5 tickets to the group's 95 tickets. You cannot decide what to do, so your friend offers you the option to decide after the draw. You sign your 5 tickets and the group captain signs their 95 tickets and all 100 tickets are placed in an envelope. The envelope is given to an independent auditor to hold. After the draw is held, the auditor checks all the tickets and reports back to you and the group captain. There are two cases to consider. If the auditor reports that none of the 100 tickets won the jackpot, then your decision on whether or not to join the group is moot.

But, what if the auditor reports that one of the 100 tickets won the $20 million jackpot and now you are faced with the choice of whether or not to join the group. If you decide to join the group, then you are guaranteed to win $1 million (your 5 tickets represent a 5% share of the jackpot). If you decide to not join the group, then you have a 5% chance of winning $20 million or a 95% chance of winning nothing. In other words, by not joining the group, you are effectively making a $1 million wager on the hopes of winning $20 million. Most people, when faced with that option would join the group and take the $1 million. There are very few millionaires even, that would make that kind of wager. If you are the type of person that would take the guaranteed $1 million, then group play is for you.

Yes it has, several times. The Michigan Lottery sold a series of scratch tickets in 2005 and 2006 where the grand prize was a free trip to attend a live drawing for a chance at $2 million. The drawing was always held at a special event such as half time at a football game or a community carnival. For each special draw, there were only 5 finalists. Prior to the draw, the 5 finalists had an opportunity to meet "back stage". In many cases, the discussions revolved around the possibility of splitting the prize evenly among the 5 finalists.

Michigan Lottery held these draws between 10 and 20 times. Every variety of situation arose. In some cases, there was no decision to split and a single person won the $2 million. In many cases, all 5 contestants decided to split the money and...

Are you looking to start a lottery pool in your office or with friends? Great! Follow our easy step-by-step instructions for setting up a lottery pool and get started with group play today.

Step 1.

Get the email addresses from the players who are interested in joining the group.  Each player will need to setup a Player Direct account. 

Decide who will be the group leader.  The Group Leader is in charge of setting up and managing the rules of the group.

The leader will Log into their Player Direct account.

Step 2.

Select group play.

Build your group. Each player pays the same amount to enter the group.  Winnings are evenly split between all the participation group members.

Name the group - The name of the Group and what will be displayed to other players when they join.

Setup the group parameters:

Public vs Private group:  Public: Groups that are open for any player to join.  Private: Groups that require an invite to join.

Max Players - Limit the amount of players who are able to join your group.

Group start date - You don’t have to activate your group right away. Date: Activate the group on a specific date.

Step 3.

Configure a wager for one of the supported games.  Purchase the wager. 

The cost of the wager will be the cost to join the group.  Each group member will need to configure a wager for the same game for the same cost, number of draws, and add-on/multiplier options.

Step 4.

Invite your friends and associates who are interested or may be interested in participating in group play. You may type in email addresses, or load them from your social networks and email contacts.

Send the invitation.  Each player who accepts will need to login to their own Player Direct account and purchase a similar wager.

The group members will share any or all prizes from any of the group wagers purchased by group members.  The system automatically pays out each player’s share.  Low tier prizes (below $601) are split by the number of group members and deposited to each player’s account.  High tier prizes (greater or equal $601 are process via the claims center to split out prizes to each player.

The cost is setup by the group leader and may be as low as the cost of a single Powerball or Mega Millions ticket or as large as the leader decides based on number of draws, multipliers, and number of boards.  Each group member needs to pay the same amount to join.

The length of the group is setup by the group leader.  It may be for one draw or up to the maximum number of draws supported for the game.

The leader has the option of renewing the group to setup new games for group play after the original group has ended.