Besides offering the best odds of winning $1 million, the Louisiana Lottery's newest $10 raffle game, Millionaire Bonus Raffle, will give players more chances to win the earlier they purchase their tickets.  Sales for the game start at 12:01 a.m., Monday, Feb. 28.

"In celebration of our 20th anniversary, the Lottery is excited to bring back a game that's not only a customer favorite, but also gives players more bang for their buck," explained Lottery President Rose Hudson. "In addition to the chance to win up to $1 million in our May 12 finale drawing, players will also have the chance to win $20,000 in five preliminary bonus drawings. That means Millionaire Bonus Raffle tickets will be good for up to six drawings instead of one, depending upon how soon they are purchased." 

The previous two raffles games conducted by the Lottery sold out. The Lottery is expecting the same success with Millionaire Bonus Raffle because of the bonus drawings.

Like a traditional raffle game, only a limited number of tickets will be available - 300,000 to be exact. Preliminary bonus drawings for $20,000 each will be held on March 24, March 31, April 7, April 14 and April 21. Tickets purchased before midnight the day before these drawings will be eligible for that drawing and all subsequent Millionaire Bonus Raffle drawings, including the finale drawing on May 12. In the finale drawing, one $1 million winning raffle number will be drawn from those sold, along with 20 numbers worth $20,000 each. In all, 26 players will win $1.5 million in cash prizes.

"Since our inception in 1991, the Lottery has transferred more than $2.3 billion to the state and paid out more than $3 billion to winners. We realize our success is due to the trust players have placed in us. With its bonus drawings, Millionaire Bonus Raffle allows us to provide players with a little something extra for their Lottery purchase," said Hudson. 

Raffle numbers will be generated in sequential order from 000001 to 300000. Players can purchase more than one raffle ticket at $10 each, but each number will print on a separate ticket. 

"For security purposes, we strongly suggest that players sign the back of their ticket immediately after purchasing and treat the ticket as cash, securing it until all drawings have been held," advised Hudson.

Raffle prizes must be claimed within 180 days of the drawing in which the prize is won.  Bonus drawing winners can claim their prize immediately after the drawing at any Lottery office, where they will be given an Exchange Ticket good for any remaining raffle drawings. All Millionaire Bonus Raffle prizes are subject to state and federal tax withholdings.

Odds of winning the $1 million prize are 1 in 300,000. Odds of winning any prize are 1 in 14,286.  For bonus drawings, the odds of winning $20,000 are dependent upon the number of tickets sold by each drawing deadline, as only those raffle numbers sold by the deadline will be included in the drawing.  

Millionaire Bonus Raffle tickets may be purchased legally only from an authorized Louisiana Lottery retailer and only by those age 21 and older. 

Complete game rules are available on the Lottery's website. Drawing results will also be available on the Lottery's website and from Lottery retailers following each drawing.

As with all of its games, 35 percent of sales is transferred to the state to fund K-12 public education. The Lottery cautions players to play responsibly and to know that help is available to those who may have a gambling problem by calling toll-free, 1-877-770-7867.