By Steve Beauregard
Wisconsin has plenty of number-drawn lotto games, with seven different options, including the Daily Pick 3, Daily Pick 4, Badger 5, Megabucks, Powerball, Super Cash and Mega Millions.
The state’s scratch off instant win tickets were introduced in 1988. The variety of games offered range $1 to $30 tickets, where the instant win prize is a cool $1 million dollars. They are also one of the few states I’ve seen to offer the instant win pull tab games, like you often see at bingo halls across the country.
Regardless of what game you play, you should keep those losing tickets and enter them into the Wisconsin state lottery’s second chance drawing.
The Wisconsin lottery’s second chance drawing is held once a week, and each week, $10,000 is awarded.
Called the “Super Second Chance” the second chance drawing is held each Thursday, every week of the year. Every Thursday, state lottery officials draw 10 names from the entry pool. Each of the ten winners wins $1,000 in cash.
Like almost all other lottery second chance drawings held by various states across the country, the Wisconsin Super Second Chance gives you much better odds of winning a significant prize than you’ll find in the original game.
In a recent $20 scratch game, “$200,00 Crossword,” for example, your odds of winning a $1,000 prize were 1 in 15,200. However your odds of winning $1,000 in the second chance drawing with that same ticket are 1 in 5,000. (More on that below). In other words, your odds of winning in the 2nd chance drawing are roughly times better.
How to Enter the Wisconsin Lottery’s Second Chance Drawing
Unlike many other states, who allow you to enter your losing lottery tickets online, or drop them off a lottery office in the state, the Wisconsin’s second chance lottery drawing is mail-in entry only.
This, however, is an advantage to the savvy player, in that the more hoops you have to jump through, the fewer the people who are willing to do it, and thus, the better your odds of winning.
In the California Lottery’s second chance lottery contest, for example, millions of people compete for sometimes very small prizes. That’s because in California, second chance entries can only be entered online. The fact it is easier seems nice, (you save the cost of a stamp), however it makes for significantly more competition.
So to enter the Wisconsin Super Second Chance, you must first have at least five dollars in losing tickets. This can be five different losing lotto tickets (any lotto type game is OK), or $5 worth of losing scratch tickets.
You could enter, for example a losing $5 or $10 scratch ticket, or a combination thereof. (Example: a losing $2 Powerball ticket and 3 losing $1 scratch off tickets). Tickets sent in cannot have been “expired.” That is, the game’s prize claim period must not have ended.
Also, the $5 worth of losing tickets must have your contact information on the back of the ticket. The tickets have to be mailed in an envelope that is 4.5 inches by 9.5 inches long. Each envelope counts as only one entry, so if you have, say, $10 worth of losing $1 scratch games, it’s better for you to mail those in two separate envelopes, so as to give you double the chance of winning the $1,000 second chance prize.
As I mentioned, you are only allowed to enter by mailing losing (or as they gently call them “non-winning”) instant scratch game tickets and/or lotto tickets to Wisconsin lottery headquarters in Madison. The exact address is:
Super 2nd Chance
PO Box 77006
Madison, WI 53707-1006
Ten winners are drawn, with each winner receiving $1,000. The state estimates there are just 50,000 second chance entries per week. That may sound like a lot, but with 10 winners, your odds of winning by entering once one time one week is 1 in 5,000.
A few years ago, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported on a Wisconsin couple who frequently played the state’s second chance lottery drawings and who – in a five year period – “won second-chance drawings 36 times, in amounts ranging from $750 to $3,000.” The total came to around $40,000. Remarkably, the couple won a $1,000 prize in the Super Second Chance drawing mentioned above, five weeks in a row.
The Journal-Sentinel reported that a busybody state lawmaker (a Democrat naturally), wanted to investigate the couple and the drawing. However with the drawing odds of just 1 in 5,000 for one entry, it’s neither unreasonable, nor mathematically improbable for a couple entering numerous times to win frequently.
Lottery 2nd chance drawings are still somewhat of a well-kept secret. Wisconsin’s Super Second Chance offers better odds for a big prize than any of the original game, and are fairly easy to enter. And, other than the price of a stamp, they are free to enter. As with most other second chance drawings, the Wisconsin Super Second Chance is definitely worth your time.