Frequently Asked Questions about online lottery in India
Is it legal to play lottery online in India? (include international lotteries)
Yes, with the following restrictions:
- Local Indian lotteries – as of today there are 13 states in India that their government consider the sale of lottery tickets to be legal (The states are Kerala, Goa, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Sikkim, Nagaland, and Mizoram).
However, this doesn’t mean that online lotteries are legal as well. The only states that allow today online ticket purchase of Indian lotteries are Sikkim, Goa, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal.
- International lotteries outside of India – Indian citizens can win foreign lotteries (for example the American Powerball or Mega Millions). The lottery tickets for these international lotteries are available online and are not bound by the Indian law on lottery since the draw happens outside the country. Similarly, those who are not citizens of India can play the Indian lottery.
Where can I purchase a ticket to play Indian lottery or international lotteries online?
- Local Indian lotteries – Every state that allows the sale of lotteries has its online website. This website can be used to get relevant information on whether online ticket purchasing is available. For example: if you will take Kerala lottery website you will see that they offer just results and general information, while the Sikkim state which owns the biggest online lottery operation in India – Playwin, offers both results and an online ticket purchase option. Technically, any resident of a state in India that don’t ban lottery can play on Playwin’s platform.
- International lotteries outside of India – There are a lot of lottery agents which offer international lottery tickets, here on top10bestonlinelotto.com we cover over 200 of them (!). However, don’t be alarmed we chose only the best and recommended for you here.
Are there online lotteries that don’t require deposit or investment?
Basically, every lottery participation requires a first deposit, either it’s a local Indian lottery that is offered for example on PlayWin site or an international lottery outside of India that is offered on our top picks at the beginning of this page.
However, there are benefits such as welcome bonuses that the different sites are offering like Buy 1 Get 1 or free additional lottery bets. We cover each site’s main bonus on our brand reviews section.
Can I play International lotteries using Indian payment methods?
- For local Indian lotteries (such as Jaldi 5 or Thursday Super Lotto) you need to have PlayWin account, you can open one on their website however charging it is not available online and you’ll need the local kiosks (link) to charge your account with funds.
- For international lotteries (such as Powerball or Mega Millions) there is only 1 lottery agent that supports local Indian payment methods and deposits in Rupee currency and that is Lotto Agent.
What is the biggest lottery in India?
Thunderball, Thursday Super Lotto, and Saturday Super Lotto are top 3 popular lottery games in India and they are available for any Indian citizen participating from a state where lottery is not prohibited.
Who are the most famous jackpot winners in India?
There are many winning stories to elaborate on, but we picked the 3 most exceptional ones of Indian citizen whose luck changed instantly:
- Mofijul Rahima Sheikh, $150,000 – a 22-year-old, who left West Bengal to look for a job in construction in Kerala. A day after arriving in Kerala, Mofijul used his first-day salary of 50 rupees to buy a lottery ticket.
Moments after realizing he won 10m rupee prize ($150,000), he rushed to the nearest police station where he spent 2 days securing his ticket.
Once he managed to deposit the prize money in the bank Mr. Sheikh returned joyfully to his town in West Bengal (several days after leaving it to look for a job, amazing!).
- Harikrishnan V Nair, $3.2M – originally hails from Kerala, the 42-year-old business development manager won the biggest ever jackpot in Abu Dhabi’s big-ticket lottery on Jan 2018.
Nair left Kerala to work in a firm located in Dubai, in his 3rd attempt to play local lotteries he hit the jackpot with a win that changed his life completely.
- Nirmal Dhamodarasamy, $1M – a 23-year-old student that traveled to Chicago, U.S in purpose of completing his master’s degree in industrial engineering at the University of Illinois.
Nirmal used Illinois lottery online service and purchased a Powerball subscription, it didn’t take long before he realized he won an incredible $1M prize on February 06th, 2016 Powerball draw.
The History and Journey of the Indian Lottery
The lotteries in India can be traced back to very olden times. There have been instances of lotteries and gambling that can be seen in traditional stories. One such example is in the book of Mahabharata in the form of the game “Pasa” (or Pachisi in Hindi).
It is recorded that Pasa can be dated even before the Indus valley civilization. It was also mentioned by the famous 7th-century prose writer Banabhatta in his book Kadambari. It is noted that unlike the modern day lotteries and gambling, Pasa was a game of skill and thus was limited to only those who understood how to play the game.
The modern-day gambling and lotteries were introduced in India by the British in the form of horse races and dog races. Other than horse races, gambling by using animals for sports such as cockfights, elephant races etc. is now strictly illegal. Few states allow horse races. Gambling and lotteries are, however, still practiced in parts of India in some form or the other.
Over time, lotteries developed into a government based system. But in the earlier days, it was a private event.
In 1984, the game of lotteries was introduced privately in Calcutta. It was exclusive to certain sections of society and outsiders were strictly prohibited from participating.
The lottery prizes were only in kind. The information on whether the earlier forms of lotteries were taxable or not is not available. It is believed that Mr. Ratan Lal Chetteri from Bombay introduced a relatively simplified game of number known as the “Satta Matka”. The year this game was created is not clear, but it was introduced in Calcutta in the year 1969.
The first government-supported lotteries were introduced by the governor of Madras. Known as the provincial lottery, this was introduced to generate funds for construction and welfare activities. The revenue made from this lottery financed the construction and running of the Victoria Hall, the Rippon building, government museums, and various theatre halls.
With the stories of experiences and successes of lotteries from other countries traveling far and wide, India quickly jumped onboard the lottery trend. The first of its kind state-run lottery was organized by the government of Kerala in 1968.
This perked a lot of interest among the state’s residents. The success of Kerala’s lotteries was an eye opener for the other states. Following in the footsteps of the southern state, the rest of the states and the union territories began running their own lotteries for different purposes.
The lotteries had then become a good form of business and revenue. Almost all the states had their weekly, monthly and annual jackpot lotteries. It had molded itself into a highly institutionalized structure. There were both online and on-site sales of lotteries. And many industries flourished under the lottery system.
The change in lottery laws
In 2015, the Supreme Court of India changed the laws on lotteries and allowed state governments to ban the sale of lotteries. This court judgment came from an appeal filed by the All Kerala Lottery Dealers Association against the ban of online lotteries.
The three-judge bench of chief justice HL Dattu, Justice RK Agarwal and Justice Arun Mishra refused to recognize the sale of lotteries as a fundamental right and upheld the Kerala government’s decision to ban the online sale of lotteries in the same year.
It was noted by the bench that the temptation of the instant lotteries has proven to be more than harmful to the lower income families, especially for those earning daily wages.
Despite a strong set of guidelines issued and regulated by the government, there is no control over the risks that families face because of investing all their income and savings on lottery tickets. The scams still continued and the poorest families faced the harshest consequences.
It was also noted that experience has shown that it is often the most vulnerable families and individuals who invest in these lotteries. And often, they do not have the knowledge or awareness required to stay away for scammers and non-authorized retailers.
But the hope of winning the lottery and dream of having a life-changing event pushes people to go back and invest in the tickets continuously. The situation of the poorest people in India and the issues they face because of lottery addiction makes the idea of lotteries complex and not easily acceptable by most people in the country.
Thus, as of 2015, the law states that each state has the right to have its own set of rules with regard to the online and on-site sale of lotteries. After the Supreme Court ruling of 2015, most states have officially banned the sale of lotteries.
Current India Lottery Law
The lotteries in India fall under The Lotteries (Regulations) Act, 1998. As mentioned above, the states and union territories in India have their own set of rules and regulations for the state-run lotteries.
There is no national ban on lotteries. However, at present, only 13 states in India consider the sale of lottery tickets to be legal.
These states are Kerala, Goa, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Sikkim, Nagaland, and Mizoram.
The most popular lotteries and run in the states of Maharashtra, Mizoram, Kerala, Nagaland, and Sikkim. The residents take an active interest in these lotteries and the results are awaited by everyone.
The southern states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka were at one time, key centers for sale of lottery tickets. Now, both the states have completely banned the sale of lotteries of any kind. This happened because concerns were raised about addiction to lottery tickets leading to severe consequences for families. Thus, most states in India banned lotteries stating that despite lotteries being a good source of revenue, the social cost to be borne was too high.