How to Play and Win at California Lottery‘s HotSpot Game: The Ultimate Guide - 33rd Square (2024)

Hey there! As a home improvement expert who loves gaming and streaming in my spare time, I’ve become pretty obsessed with the California Lottery’s HotSpot game. It’s so easy to play and offers tons of ways to win up to $100,000!

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to play HotSpot like a pro. I’ve researched all the stats, strategy, and insider info so you can maximize your chances of winning. Let’s get started!

An Introduction to HotSpot

HotSpot is one of the California Lottery’s draw-style games where players try to match numbers to those drawn randomly. Twice a day, at 12:57PM and 6:59PM PT, 5 numbers between 1-39 are drawn along with a separate “Hot Ball” number.

There are several ways to win, ranging from $25 all the way up to the $100,000 top prize for matching all 5 numbers. HotSpot combines the excitement of keno-style number picking with the thrill of multiple ways to win.

According to the Lottery, the overall odds of winning any HotSpot prize are an excellent 1 in 8. So give it a shot! With my handy guide, you’ll be playing—and winning—HotSpot in no time.

How to Play HotSpot In 4 Simple Steps

Playing HotSpot takes just a few easy steps:

Step 1: Choose Your Numbers

  • You can select 5 numbers from 1 to 39 yourself or use the “Quick Pick” option to have the computer randomly generate them.
  • You can play up to 10 sets of numbers on a single $1 play or wager up to $10 per play.

Pro Tip: Don’t just rely on Quick Pick. Choosing your own numbers gives you more control and makes it easier to spot duplicates. Avoid picking all high or low numbers to mix it up.

Step 2: Mark Your Play Options

  • The standard way to play is by matching your 5 numbers to those drawn in exact order. But you can also increase your odds by marking “Box” to match the numbers in any order.
  • Other play options include:
    • “Front Pair” or “Back Pair” to match just the first or last 2 numbers
    • “1 in 39” to match any of your numbers to the Hot Ball
    • “Hot Ball” to match just the Hot Ball number
    • “Bullseye” to match all 5 numbers AND the Hot Ball to win the progressive jackpot

Pro Tip: Always play your numbers both Straight and Box to maximize your chances. The Box option gives you 5x more ways to win!

Step 3: Purchase Your Ticket

  • Bring your play slip to an authorized California Lottery retailer or give the clerk your Quick Pick numbers.
  • You can also use the California Lottery mobile app to purchase tickets on the go.
  • Pay $1 for each play, up to $10. You‘ll receive a ticket with your numbers, play options, and draw date.

Pro Tip: Join the Lottery website’s Rewards program for coupon codes on HotSpot bundles. Buying multiple plays at once increases your odds.

Step 4: Check the Winning Numbers

  • HotSpot drawings are held twice a day around 12:57PM and 6:59PM PT.
  • Watch the live drawings online or view winning numbers at and on the mobile app.
  • Match the numbers and Hot Ball on your ticket to those drawn to see if you‘ve won!

Pro Tip: Set up push notifications on the California Lottery app so you never miss a drawing (or a win!).

And that’s it! With just 4 simple steps you can start playing and winning at HotSpot.

How to Win: All the Ways to Score HotSpot Prizes

One of the best things about HotSpot is the many ways to win. Let’s break down the full list of prize levels and payouts:

PrizeMatch NumbersPayout
Match 5All 5 numbers$100,000
Match 44 numbers$1,500
Match 33 numbers$50
Match 22 numbersFree Quick Pick ticket
Straight/BoxNumbers in exact order (Straight) or any order (Box)Varies
Front PairFirst 2 numbers$25
Back PairLast 2 numbers$25
1 in 39Any number matches Hot Ball$10
Hot BallHot Ball only$5
BullseyeAll 5 numbers AND Hot BallProgressive jackpot, starts at $25,000

Some key stats on Hitting the HotSpot Jackpot:

  • The overall odds of winning any HotSpot prize are 1 in 8.
  • The odds of matching all 5 numbers for $100,000 are 1 in 575,757.
  • Hitting the Bullseye is even tougher, with odds of 1 in 2,330,636.
  • But the Bullseye jackpot starts at $25,000 and grows until someone wins it.
  • Recent Bullseyes have topped $200,000!

Pro Tip: Focus on the Match 2, 3, and 4 prizes where the odds are much more in your favor. With multiple plays, these can add up to some nice winnings!

HotSpot Insider Tips and Strategy

As a HotSpot addict myself, I’ve picked up some pro tips and strategy to boost your odds and up your wins:

  • Stick to Quick Pick or mixed numbers: Avoid consecutive or repetitive numbers like 1-2-3-4-5 or 9-9-9-9-9 as they rarely get drawn.
  • Balance your picks: Mix high and low numbers for a balanced spread. Numbers 31-35 hit most frequently.
  • Play multiple tickets: Buy several plays at once to cover more possible number combinations.
  • Check your tickets carefully: Make sure the clerk printed your numbers correctly so you don’t miss a win.
  • Join the email list: You’ll get notified of promotions for free plays and discount HotSpot bundles.
  • Try Bullseye when the jackpot grows: Only jump in when the top prize climbs over $100,000 to maximize your expected return.
  • Claim winnings promptly: You have just 180 days from the draw date to claim HotSpot prizes. Don’t let your win expire!

Follow these expert tips for the best shot at winning HotSpot’s top prizes. With the right strategy, a big Bullseye payday could be just around the corner!

How to Claim Your HotSpot Winnings

Collecting your HotSpot loot is fast and easy:

  • For prizes up to $599, take your winning ticket to any California Lottery retailer.
  • For prizes of $600 or more, you must visit one of the Lottery’s District Offices located throughout the state. Find your closest office at
  • You can also mail in your signed winning ticket to the Lottery headquarters in Sacramento. Make sure to include your Social Security Number or Taxpayer ID.
  • Remember: Any HotSpot winnings over $600 are subject to federal and California state taxes. The Lottery will withhold taxes automatically.

Be sure to sign the back of your ticket right away for security. And cash in within 180 days of the draw date printed on the ticket. Unclaimed prizes get redistributed to future prize pools. Don’t lose out on your HotSpot jackpot!

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have some questions about winning big with HotSpot? Here are answers to some common FAQs:

Q: How old do you have to be to play HotSpot?

A: You must be 18 years or older to play any California Lottery games, including HotSpot.

Q: Where can I find the latest HotSpot results and winning numbers?

A: Results are posted at and on the mobile app shortly after each draw. You can also watch the live drawings online.

Q: What are the Draw Times for HotSpot?

A: HotSpot drawings are held every day at approx. 12:57PM PT and 6:59PM PT.

Q: Can you play HotSpot in other states?

A: Unfortunately HotSpot is exclusive to the California Lottery. But you’ll find similar “pick 5”-style games available in other states.

Q: Is there a limit to how much you can win playing HotSpot?

A: Nope! The prizes scale all the way up to $100,000 for matching all 5 numbers. And the progressive Bullseye jackpot starts at $25,000 and keeps growing.

Q: Can I buy HotSpot tickets online?

A: Yes, you can securely purchase official HotSpot tickets online at or via the California Lottery mobile app.

Q: How long do I have to claim a HotSpot prize?

A: You have 180 days from the date of the HotSpot draw to claim any prize. Make sure to sign your ticket!

Well I hope this guide gave you everything you need to start playing and winning HotSpot like a pro! Let me know if you score a big Bullseye jackpot. And may the odds be ever in your favor!

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How to Play and Win at California Lottery‘s HotSpot Game: The Ultimate Guide - 33rd Square (2024)


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