PA Lottery Second Chance Drawing

Pennsylvania’s lottery is a popular one, with over $350 million worth of tickets sold.

Each month.

The vast majority of people will throw their losing tickets into the trash, however you’ll increase your chances of scoring a prize by entering that loser into one of the numerous second chance drawings available.

Pa Lottery's Lucky Bucks game offered 2nd Chance Drawing Prizes
Pa Lottery’s Lucky Bucks game offered 2nd Chance Drawing Prizes

Second-Chance drawings are offered for select scratch-off games, Draw games, and Fast Play games. (Fast Play games are like the instant scratch-off games, without the scratching).

Prizes awarded range from some you may not want (2 tickets to a lacrosse game), up to ones you’ll definitely take, ($100,000 cash).

PA Second Chance Lottery

The majority of PA Lottery second chance drawings are for scratch-off tickets.

This makes sense, considering scratch-off tickets are the most popular games, accounting for 2/3rds of all sales, according to the Commonwealth’s Department of Revenue.

These scratcher tickets range in price from $1 to $30. By my count, there are 49 different scratch-off ticket games available. Prizes on the original games range from another free ticket, up to $3 million dollars.

However not all of the 49 scratch-off games offer second-chance drawings. These promotions change all of the time, however it’s typical for there to be 2nd chance drawings for just a handful of games.

As of this writing for example, there are just three scratch off games with second-chance drawings.

How to Enter the Pennsylvania Lottery Second Chance Drawing

First off, to enter a losing ticket into a second chance drawing, you must register for a VIP Players Club account at the PA Lottery website:

PA Lottery Official Home Page

It’s free to register, and you’ll have to provide your address and some personal data.

My understanding is that anyone registered with the VIP Club is eligible to win one of the many giveaways the PA Lottery often awards – even if you do not enter a losing ticket.

These giveaways are usually tickets to events. They’re almost always either two or four tickets per prize, and range from seats to Pittsburgh Steelers games to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Peguins minor league hockey games, to Temple Owls football games, to John Mayer or Dierks Bentley concert tickets to soccer, NASCAR tickets and everything in-between.

A recent Philadelphia Phillies giveaway was particularly cool (to me anyways), as the winner received four tickets in a suite, a jersey, free food and drinks and a meet-and-greet with a former Philly player.

Entering Non-Winning Tickets

The big money prizes however, are only for those who enter losing tickets.

All entries must be entered either manually online at the lottery website, or through the Second Chance App. There is no mail-in option. The app can be downloaded from the Apple App store and on Android devices as well.

You can enter into the PA Lottery Second Chance Drawing by scaning the losing ticket on their app
You can enter into the PA Lottery Second Chance Drawing by scaning the losing ticket on their app

According to the official lottery homepage, you may also text the word, “APP” to 66835 to download the app.

Once you have the app, you can use the “Ticket Checker” bar code to scan your ticket. It will tell you if you won. If the ticket is a loser, and the game you’re playing has a 2nd chance drawing, you can enter it into the second-chance drawing right then and there.

Be sure to enter the losing ticket immediately, as there are oftentimes short entry periods for these contests.

After you’ve successfully entered the losing ticket, you can throw it away, as the state doesn’t require you to show it to collect a 2nd chance prize.

For scratch-off and Fast Play tickets, the number of entries into the drawing is proportional to the dollar amount of the ticket.

In other words, a $2 scratch-off ticket gives you two entries, a $5 scratcher gets you five entries, etc.

Draw Game 2nd Chance Prizes

And while scratch-off tickets and Fast Play have most of the 2nd chance drawings, be sure to check for Draw Game opportunities.

Last year, a draw game second chance drawing allowed you to enter any non-winning Pick 2, Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5, Cash 5, Match 6, Cash4Life, Treasure Hunt, PowerBall, Mega Millions, and even Keno tickets into a drawing that awarded 20 different trips to New York, complete with airfare for 2, hotel, transportation, $1,000 spending money, excursions and more.

PA Lottery Second Chance Prizes

More than most states, the Pennsylvania lottery gives away a huge variety of prizes in their second chance drawings.

While some states tend to bundle their 2nd chance prizes into one or two huge packages (Colorado has a $3 million 2nd chance prize), the Keystone State spreads the love out with many, many smaller prizes.

Whether the 2nd chance drawing is for a scratch off, draw or Fast Play, there is typically one major prize. This prize can be $10,000 to $100,000.

Numerous Cash Prizes

2019’s Holly Jolly Second Chance game, for example, gave away $100K to one winner, and $50,000 to four different people as well. Other prizes included, $10K given out to five winners, and $5K awarded to ten winners.

In other words, twenty people who played this game and lost, ended up winning at least $5,000 by playing the second chance game.

While you may not be able to quit your job and retire on a private island with these prizes, the numerous multi-thousand dollar prizes awarded definitely make it worth the few seconds it takes to scan a losing ticket onto the app – especially since it’s free to enter the 2nd chance drawings.

In addition, my research has shown that participation rates into 2nd chance drawings are usually very low, making your chances of winning these better than your odds of winning a big prize on the original game. I don’t have exact statistics for Pennsylvania, however research I’ve conducted for a couple of states has showed that less than 15% of all eligible tickets were entered into second chance drawings.

In addition to the aforementioned trips, and tickets to sporting events and concerts, the state awards $100 in iLottery bonus money for every second chance drawing game I’ve seen. (iLottery is the state’s online lottery game, so this is basically the equivalent of free play.)

In fact, for each second chance scratch off and Fast Play game, it’s common for there to be fifty different $100 iLottery bonus winners.

Pennsylvania Lottery Tidbits

* Pennsylvania’s lottery began in March of 1972. The first tickets sold cost just fifty cents.

* The PA Lottery sells over $4.5 billion worth of tickets a year.

* According to latest figures from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’ s Department of Revenue, 66.39% of all lottery sales are scratch-off tickets. Draw tickets are the second most popular, with roughly 30.28% of all sales. Mega Millions and Powerball tickets combine to account for roughly 10% of all the state’s lottery sales.

* Special state-themed scratchers over the years have included Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers tickets, and a Hershey’s Chocoate-themed $2 and $5 scratch off tickets.

* Just over 25% of lottery proceeds go “benefits programs.” This money, (over a billion dollars a year) goes entirely towards programs aimed to help the state’s senior citizens. These include property tax and rent rebates, funding of senior centers, transportation, etc.

* You must be 18 year old or older to play PA Lotter games and the second chance drawing.

(By Steve Beauregard. Photos courtesy of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania).