There’s a procedural change coming for the drawings in our Pick 3 and Pick 4 games, and from a player perspective, you’ll notice a couple updates.
The drawing results in the games will be unique to Iowa for the first time since the games were introduced here in our state. And the drawing times also will change slightly, as will the deadlines by which you’ll need to buy tickets for those drawings.
Beginning on Wednesday, April 16, Iowa-specific drawings will be held in both games. That’s a change from current procedures. 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.
But over time, both states have added different features to our individual games 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.
Pick 3 and Pick 4 both have drawings twice a day here 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.
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 0 to 9 while Pick 4 players choose combinations of four numbers from 0 to 9. The prize you could win depends on the type of play you make.
For example, you can choose the option of winning a prize only if your numbers match the winning numbers in the exact order they come up in the drawing. That’s called a straight play. Or, you can choose the option of winning a prize if your numbers match the winning numbers in any order. That’s called a box play. There are other options in the games as well.
Prizes in Pick 3 and Pick 4 are smaller than those in big-jackpot games like Powerball and Mega Millions®, but 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 cost 50 cents up to $5.