What is the cut-off time to buy lottery tickets in Arizona?

Buying lottery tickets is a popular pastime for many people looking to try their luck and potentially win big. However, there are certain rules and regulations surrounding lottery ticket sales, including when sales must end before each drawing. This leads to an important question for Arizona residents hoping to get their tickets in time: what is the cut-off time for buying lottery tickets in the state?

Quick Answer

The cut-off time for buying lottery tickets in Arizona is 7:00 PM on the night of the drawing. Ticket sales must end promptly at 7:00 PM per state law. This applies to multi-state games like Mega Millions and Powerball as well as in-state Arizona lottery games. Retailers cannot sell tickets even one minute past the 7:00 PM deadline.

Cut-off Time Applies to All Arizona Lottery Games

The 7:00 PM cut-off applies to all Arizona lottery games, including:

  • Multi-state games: Mega Millions, Powerball
  • In-state jackpot games: The Pick, Fantasy 5
  • Scratcher tickets
  • All other Arizona lottery games

There are no exceptions – tickets for every game played in Arizona must be purchased by 7:00 PM on the day of the drawing. Retailers are required to stop selling promptly at 7:00 PM per Arizona state law.

Cut-off Time Allows Processing Before Drawings

The 7:00 PM statewide cut-off time for lottery ticket sales allows enough time for all purchases to be processed before the actual lottery drawings occur.

For multi-state games, all tickets bought in Arizona must be processed along with tickets bought in other participating states. The sales data must be transmitted to the Multi-State Lottery Association and aggregated before the drawing can be conducted. Ending sales at 7:00 PM provides adequate time for this required processing before Mega Millions and Powerball drawings.

The cut-off time also allows Arizona Lottery officials to finalize all ticket sales for in-state drawings. By stopping sales at 7:00 PM, there is sufficient time to get all purchases into the system so drawings can proceed as scheduled.

Purchasing Options Before 7PM Cut-off

When wanting to purchase lottery tickets in Arizona before the 7:00 PM cut-off, there are a few options:

  • At convenience stores, gas stations, grocery stores – Most lottery retailers stay open until 7:00 PM.
  • Self-service ticket vending machines – These machines are available at many retail locations and allow ticket purchases up until the cut-off time.
  • The Arizona Lottery website or mobile app – Online ticket sales end right at 7:00 PM.

As long as transactions are fully completed by 7:00 PM, tickets can be purchased through any authorized Arizona Lottery retailer. However, sales – in person or online – cannot continue even one minute past the posted cutoff time.

Tickets for Future Drawings Can Still Be Bought After 7PM

While ticket sales must halt at 7:00 PM for that night’s particular drawing, it is still possible to purchase tickets after 7:00 PM for future drawings.

For example, on Tuesday night, ticket sales must stop at 7:00 PM for that Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing. However, tickets can still be purchased after 7:00 PM on Tuesday for the next Mega Millions drawing occurring on Friday. Sales will continue uninterrupted until 7:00 PM on Friday.

The 7:00 PM cut-off only applies to ticket sales for that particular night’s drawing. It does not restrict purchasing tickets for drawings taking place on upcoming days. As long as the tickets are for future dates, sales can continue after the posted cutoff times.

Recently Changed Cut-off Time in Arizona

Up until 2012, the cut-off time for buying lottery tickets in Arizona was 6:50 PM – 10 minutes earlier than the current time of 7:00 PM. A state law passed in 2012 extended the sales period to provide more flexibility and convenience for ticket buyers. Lawmakers recognized that the prior cut-off time of 6:50 PM was inconveniently early for many hopeful lottery players.

Now with the extra 10 minutes, Arizonans have a better opportunity to purchase Powerball, MegaMillions and other lottery tickets on their way home from work or while running last-minute errands. The additional time is more accommodating while still allowing all sales to be processed before each night’s drawings.

Checking Arizona Lottery Results After 7PM

While Arizona lottery ticket sales must stop at 7:00 PM, the drawings themselves are not conducted until later in the evening. So players must wait to check results until after the drawings occur.

Here are the typical drawing times in Arizona after the 7:00 PM ticket sales cut-off:

  • Mega Millions – Drawings held at 8:00 PM Pacific Time on Tuesdays and Fridays.
  • Powerball – Drawings held at 7:59 PM Mountain Time on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
  • Arizona state lottery games – Varies, but typically between 7:30 PM and 9:00 PM.

Results can only be checked after these posted drawing times. The Arizona Lottery website and app provide the winning numbers as soon as they are announced. Retailers also have display monitors showing latest results.

Purchasing Lottery Tickets in Nearby States

For Arizonans located near other states, it may be possible to purchase lottery tickets across state lines before Arizona’s 7:00 PM cut-off. For example:

  • In Nevada – Sales end at 7:00 PM Pacific Time, so tickets could be bought later over the border.
  • In California – Sales end at 7:45 PM, allowing extra time versus Arizona’s cut-off.
  • In New Mexico – Tickets can be purchased until 15 minutes prior to each drawing.

However, it is advisable to verify the exact laws in neighboring states. And recipients of out-of-state lottery winnings may be subject to additional taxes or fees compared to winning with Arizona tickets.

The 7PM Cut-off Helps Maintain Integrity of Games

Arizona’s strict 7:00 PM statewide cut-off for lottery ticket sales helps maintain the integrity and fairness of the lottery system. By stopping all sales promptly at a specific time, there is no possibility of manipulating when transactions occur or altering entries after a drawing’s parameters are set.

The definite cut-off provides assurance that all entries have an equal chance and no tickets can be sold when winners are already determined. This lends credibility to Arizona’s lottery and compliance with responsible gaming practices.

Online Sales Also Must Adhere to 7PM Deadline

It is important to note that online lottery ticket sales through the Arizona Lottery website or mobile app must also adhere precisely to the 7:00 PM cut-off time.

While the convenience of online ticket purchasing is appealing, all transactions must be fully completed by 7:00 PM sharp. Potential buyers should allow extra time for:

  • Creating/funding an account
  • Selecting numbers
  • Inputting personal information
  • Completing payment
  • Waiting for email confirmation

The entire online order must be finished prior to 7:00 PM in order for entries to be valid. Simply starting the purchase process before 7:00 PM does not guarantee tickets will be issued for that night’s drawing if the transaction is not submitted in time.

Reasons for Missing the Cut-off Time

There are a few common reasons that enthusiastic lottery players may miss out on buying tickets by Arizona’s strict 7:00 PM cut-off time:

  • Getting caught in long lines at retailers near cut-off time
  • Technical issues when purchasing online at the last minute
  • Assuming cut-off times are later in the evening
  • Forgetting that sales end earlier on draw days
  • Arriving at retailers a few minutes after 7:00 PM

Careful planning is required to ensure ticket purchases are completed before the imposed sales deadline each evening. Rushing to buy at the last minute without accounting for possible delays usually results in disappointment.

How Retailers Stop Selling Tickets at 7PM

To comply with Arizona’s firm 7:00 PM cut-off time for lottery ticket sales, retailers utilize the following procedures when the deadline approaches:

  • Sales terminals automatically shut down at exactly 7:00 PM, preventing any ticket sales
  • Staff starts notifying customers approaching the deadline minutes beforehand
  • Warning announcements are made in stores alerting buyers
  • Signs are posted clearly showing the cut-off time
  • Staff will refuse any lottery sales attempted after 7:00 PM

Retailers face significant penalties for violating the posted cut-off times in Arizona. By strictly following proper procedures, they avoid any compliance issues around the 7:00 PM deadline.

Penalties for Selling Tickets After 7PM

Arizona retailers are subject to harsh penalties if caught selling lottery tickets after the 7:00 PM cut-off, including:

  • Fines up to $2,500 per violation
  • Possible criminal charges for repeat violations
  • Lifetime ban from the Arizona Lottery program
  • Invalidation of any sales made after cut-off time
  • Suspension or revocation of lottery license

The Arizona Lottery division has undercover investigators who monitor retailer compliance. Intentional violations around cut-off times are taken very seriously.

However, the division also recognizes that occasional technical issues may occur around 7:00 PM resulting in a few late transactions. Small variances from the posted stopping time are usually handled with warnings if deemed accidental. Nonetheless, retailers are expected to make every effort to end sales precisely at 7:00 PM daily.


Arizona requires lottery ticket sales to end each day at 7:00 PM sharp per state law. Tickets cannot be purchased even one minute past this cut-off time through any retailer or online for that evening’s drawing. While the rule may disappoint some buyers occasionally, the cut-off helps maintain integrity and fairness in the lottery system. Retailers are required to adhere closely to the deadline and buyers should plan carefully to finish transactions beforehand. With proper preparation, Arizona residents can obtain their desired lottery tickets before sales conclusively stop each day at 7:00 PM.

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