How late can you buy a Lottery ticket in south carolina?

In South Carolina, the deadline to purchase lottery tickets depends on the specific game. For in-state draw games like Pick 3 and Pick 4, tickets can be purchased up until 1:53 p.m. ET on the day of the drawing. For multistate draw games like Powerball and Mega Millions, tickets can be purchased until 10:00 p.m. ET on the evening of the drawing.

Pick 3 and Pick 4 Deadline

For South Carolina’s Pick 3 and Pick 4 games, ticket sales end at 1:53 p.m. ET on the day of the drawing. The cutoff time is set at 1:53 p.m. because the drawings for Pick 3 and Pick 4 are held daily at 1:59 p.m. ET. Players need to purchase their tickets before the 1:53 p.m. deadline in order to be eligible for that day’s drawing.

Pick 3 and Pick 4 are South Carolina’s in-state draw games, meaning the games and drawings are exclusive to South Carolina. Tickets can only be purchased through authorized SC Education Lottery retailers located within the state. There is no option to buy Pick 3 or Pick 4 tickets online.

Powerball and Mega Millions Deadline

For multistate draw games like Powerball and Mega Millions, the ticket purchasing deadline is 10:00 p.m. ET on the night of the drawing. Powerball drawings are held Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 p.m. ET. Mega Millions drawings are held Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:00 p.m. ET. Players can buy tickets for either game up until 10:00 p.m. on drawing nights.

Powerball and Mega Millions are played in multiple states across the country. Tickets for these games can be purchased in person at SC retailers or online through the SC Education Lottery website. The 10:00 p.m. deadline applies regardless of whether players buy tickets in-person or online.

Why the Different Deadlines?

The reason for the different ticket purchasing deadlines has to do with logistics behind the scenes. For in-state games like Pick 3 and Pick 4, all tickets are sold through retailers and processed in-state. There is a tight timeframe between the 1:53 p.m. sales cutoff and the 1:59 p.m. drawings to batch, process, and validate all ticket orders.

For multistate games, ticket orders must be batched and processed through a central system. The 10:00 p.m. deadline provides a couple of hours for the lottery systems in each state to finalize ticket sales before the nightly drawings. So the later deadline accommodates the multistate coordination required.

Can You Buy Tickets After the Deadline?

All ticket purchases for South Carolina lottery drawings must occur before the deadlines. There is no grace period or way to buy tickets after the posted cutoff times. Some key points:

  • Retailers cannot sell tickets after the 1:53 p.m. deadline for Pick 3 and Pick 4.
  • The online ticket purchasing system automatically closes at 10:00 p.m. ET for Powerball and Mega Millions.
  • Any transaction initiated after the deadline will be rejected.
  • There are no extensions or exceptions to the deadlines.

The lottery deadlines are firm to ensure all ticket orders are properly validated and processed prior to the drawings. Players should be sure to buy their tickets in advance of the posted deadlines.

Purchasing Tickets for Future Drawings

While the deadlines prohibit buying tickets for a current drawing after the cutoff, it is possible to purchase tickets for future drawings in South Carolina.

Some key points about advance purchases:

  • Pick 3 and Pick 4 tickets can be purchased in advance for up to 7 future midday drawings or 7 future evening drawings.
  • Powerball and Mega Millions tickets can be bought for future drawings up through the next 10 scheduled drawings.
  • When purchasing tickets in advance, players should specify the desired drawing date(s).
  • Advanced draw tickets can be purchased online or through retail locations.

So while the deadlines stop last-minute purchases for current drawings, South Carolina players do have flexibility to buy tickets for upcoming drawings in Pick 3, Pick 4, Powerball, and Mega Millions.

Can You Buy Tickets in Other States?

For South Carolina’s in-state games, Pick 3 and Pick 4, tickets must be purchased through an authorized SC lottery retailer located in the state. There is no option to cross state lines and buy tickets for SC drawings.

For the multistate games Powerball and Mega Millions, it is possible to purchase tickets in other participating states. For example:

  • A South Carolina resident visiting North Carolina could purchase a Powerball ticket at an NC retailer.
  • A Georgia resident could cross the border and buy a Powerball ticket in South Carolina.

When buying multistate tickets out-of-state, players should be aware of the ticket purchasing deadlines in that state. Some states may have different deadlines than South Carolina’s 10:00 p.m. ET cutoff for Powerball and Mega Millions.

Lottery Ticket Terms and Conditions

All lottery tickets purchases are subject to rules and regulations:

  • Players must be 18 or older to play.
  • Tickets are bearer instruments – whoever signs the ticket is considered the owner.
  • Tickets cannot be canceled once printed.
  • Liability for lost or stolen tickets rests with the player.
  • Ticket sales are non-refundable.
  • Purchasing tickets through unauthorized channels is prohibited.

Players should review the complete South Carolina Education Lottery game rules and regulations before participating. The lottery reserves the right to investigate, verify, and resolve any matters pertaining to ticket sales.

Claiming Prizes

For South Carolina lottery games, players have 180 days from the date of the drawing to claim any prizes won. To collect a prize:

  • Winning draw game tickets can be redeemed at retailer locations, regional claims centers, or by mail.
  • Scratch-off tickets can be claimed in-person or by mail.
  • Jackpot and Grand prizes must be redeemed at SC lottery headquarters.
  • Claimants must provide a valid government-issued photo ID.
  • The person claiming must be the same as the name signed on the winning ticket.

Any tickets that expire prior to redemption become void and no longer eligible to claim a prize. Lottery winnings in South Carolina are subject to federal and state tax withholding requirements.

Getting Help with Lottery Tickets

For additional questions or assistance with South Carolina lottery tickets, players can contact the SC Education Lottery directly through the following channels:

  • By phone at 803-734-3840 during normal business hours.
  • By email using the Contact Us form on
  • In-person at the SCEL headquarters at 1333 Main St. in Columbia, SC.
  • By live online chat during business hours on

The lottery also provides a Frequently Asked Questions section on their website with more details on purchasing tickets, claiming prizes, rules, and regulations.


Key takeaways about purchasing lottery tickets in South Carolina:

  • Pick 3 and Pick 4 ticket sales end at 1:53 p.m. ET on draw days.
  • Powerball and Mega Millions tickets can be purchased until 10:00 p.m. ET on draw nights.
  • Tickets cannot be purchased after the posted deadlines under any circumstances.
  • Players can buy tickets in advance for future drawings.
  • Winning tickets can be redeemed up to 180 days after the draw date.
  • SC lottery winnings are subject to applicable federal and state taxes.
  • Additional questions can be directed to the SC Education Lottery by phone, email, online chat, or in person.

Following the ticket purchasing deadlines allows lottery players to participate fully in the chance to win. With proper planning and attention to cutoffs, South Carolina lottery players can enjoy playing draw games like Pick 3, Pick 4, Powerball, and Mega Millions.

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