Investing in their churches, their futures and their children's educations are some of the ways draw-style winners planned to use the more than $9.8 million in prizes won during drawings held in August. The Lottery also reported nearly $8.4 million in scratch-off prizes claimed in August.

Last month's draw-style game winnings included one Powerball prize of $1 million, two Mega Millions prizes of $10,000 each and one Easy 5 jackpot for $197,130.  Lotto winning tickets totaled $692,266, Pick 3 winning tickets totaled $2,212,190 and Pick 4 winning tickets totaled $1,237,700.

Easy 5 prizes totaled $365,289 with an additional $158,730 won in ezmatch prizes. For an additional $1, players can add ezmatch to their Easy 5 ticket for the chance to win up to $250 instantly. 

"More than 27,000 Power Play purchasers won a bonus total of $228,611 in addition to their regular Powerball prize," Lottery President Rose Hudson said, "and more than 11,000 Megaplier purchasers won a bonus total of $109,371." The Power Play option offers Powerball ticket purchasers the chance to increase nonjackpot-related prizes to a set amount, which ranges from $12 for matching just the red Powerball number to $2 million for matching all five white-ball numbers. The $1 Megaplier add-on option multiplies nonjackpot Mega Millions prizes by a multiplier number of 2, 3 or 4 selected during the drawing.

In total, draw-style game winnings from drawings held in August were $9,834,805. Lottery draw-style game players have 180 days from the date of the drawing to claim the winnings from those tickets.

"We encourage players to sign the back of their tickets immediately after purchasing and to check them promptly after the drawing. Even if a ticket does not win the jackpot, it could have won another prize," Hudson added.

In addition to $8,391,072 in scratch-off cash prizes paid during August, players also claimed $1,303,913 worth of free ticket prizes. According to Lottery policy, scratch-off games are closed when all top prizes are claimed, and scratch-off players have 90 days from the official game closure date to redeem a winning ticket.   

While actual game performance and the amount of prizes claimed will vary from month to month, the Lottery allocates at least 50 percent of sales to fund prizes. At least 35 percent of sales is transferred to the state treasury for the Minimum Foundation Program that funds K-12 public education in Louisiana. Retailers are paid at least 5 percent in commission, and the Lottery retains less than 10 percent of sales to operate.

Hudson reminded ticket purchasers to play responsibly, encouraging anyone who has a gambling problem, or friends and family of anyone with a gambling problem, to call toll-free 1-877-770-7867 for help.  Ticket purchasers must be at least 21 years of age.