Do you ever get tired of tossing away that ticket when you didn’t match any numbers or pick the right horses? A relatively new concept solves that problem, for lottery players anyway, by paying the top prize if you select all of the winning numbers, or none of them. Appropriately named All or Nothing, the game debuted in Texas in September 2012. It was an immediate hit. After all, who wouldn’t be attracted to a game where you could win $250,000 by not matching a single number?


The $2 Texas Lottery game is played four times daily Monday through Saturday. Players choose 12 numbers from a pool of 24, and win the top prize of $250,000 by either matching all 12 numbers drawn or none of them. Lesser prizes are awarded if you match 11 to 8 numbers, or 1 to 4 numbers. In this game, you don’t want to end up in the middle.


Texas actually relaunched the game in August 2013 after sales were suspended last June. The first version had no protections should an unexpected number of winners be produced for any given drawing. The new version added a liability cap and a pari-mutuel payoff should there be more than 20 top-prize winners in a single drawing.


Two more lotteries begin sales of their version of the game today as Iowa and Minnesota have joined together in a $1 All or Nothing game. Players in those two states can expect a $100,000 top prize for hitting all 12 numbers drawn out of 24, or for matching none of them. Smaller prizes are also available, except in the middle of course. There are two drawings per day, seven days a week. A pari-mutuel system is also in place should an extraordinary number of winners come up in any given draw.


It’s good to know that the lottery industry continues to develop new game concepts. Not all of them prove popular with the public, but at least they are trying. Multi-state games are particularly advantageous, as states can pool funds to offer attractive propositions not available on their own. That doesn’t always mean a Powerball or Mega Millions type of jackpot game – the New England lotteries have a great game on their hands with Lucky for Life, which offers a top prize of $1,000 a day for life. I could live with that.