From purchasing Christmas gifts to treating their kids to something special, Louisiana Lottery winners expressed big plans for the more than $8.6 million in scratch-off prizes claimed in October. The Lottery also reported more than $6.1 million in prizes won during drawings held in October.

In addition to $8,624,338 in scratch-off cash prizes paid during October, players also claimed $1,326,456 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.   

Last month's draw-style game winnings included one Powerball prize of $10,000 and three Mega Millions prizes of $10,000 each.  Lotto winning tickets totaled $643,575. Pick 3 winning tickets totaled $1,767,060 and Pick 4 winning tickets totaled $1,069,900.

Easy 5 prizes totaled $615,242 with an additional $158,782 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 20,000 Power Play purchasers won a bonus total of $93,997 in addition to their regular Powerball prize," Lottery President Rose Hudson said, "and nearly 10,000 Megaplier purchasers won a bonus total of $115,640." 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 October were $6,172,261. 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.

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.

A list of current scratch-off games, prizes remaining and claim deadlines for the Lottery's draw-style games can be found on its website.