Lottery: Does Buying More Tickets Increase Odds of Winning?

Multiple Lottery Tickets Increase Odds of Winning?

/ 7 min

Does buying multiple lottery tickets increase your odds of success, or are you just wasting your money? Here are the facts of the chances of winning the lottery.

Understanding Multiple Lotto Ticket Odds

Understanding Multiple Lotto Ticket Odds

Your chance of winning the lottery does change with multiple bought tickets. However, the effect is not as relevant as you may think.

Lotteries organised by land-based jurisdictions give participants very slim chances of earning the big prize. You will often find smaller lotto games provided in online casinos, which come with better odds, but with smaller prizes. These sites will also provide quick-buy links for international lotteries, making it easier to participate in all possible options.

What are the Chances of Winning the Lottery?

Chances are theoretical results that tell how likely any player is to obtain the desired result, such as success in a lotto draw.

The essential of all lotteries is the random extraction of a result from a multitude of possibilities. Some smaller events may use a set number of raffle tickets. If only one is pulled to determine the winner, out of, say, 500, then your chances of success are 1 in 500.

However, most popular games utilise numbered balls drawn to establish the winning series.

Maths Behind Your Chances of Winning the Lottery

Lotto outcomes are governed by evenly distributed probability variables. This fact means that all results are just as likely to come up.

Case Study: Coin Flipping

You can organise the simplest (theoretical) lotteries based on a coin flip. Heads are just as likely to come up as tails, both having probability of ½, 0.5, or 50%. Notations are interchangeable.

Now, consider a game of chance where you wager on the outcome of 20 coins being flipped. This is equivalent to wagering on each coin flip in turn and always guessing right. There are 1048576 possible outcomes by the end. Thus, the likelihood is 1 in 1048576.

Odds Decrease Quickly Depending on the Number of Coins

Odds Decrease Quickly Depending on the Number of Coins

Multiple Ticket Odds Applied to Real Lotteries

Multiple Ticket Odds Applied to Real Lotteries

Say you only need to guess one number out of 49. You thus have a 1 in 49 chance of winning the lottery, or 0.2040816.

As the drawn numbers do not repeat, you have a 1 in 49 probability to guess the first, 1 in 48 to guess the second, 1 in 47 for the third, and so on. You compute the total probability by multiplying all the odds: 1/49 × 1/48 × 1/47 × 1/46 × 1/45 × 1/44. The odd total come up to 1 in 10068347520.

Another essential of a lotto draw is that they do not consider the order of resulting numbers. The possibility for any ordering of the drawn numbers increases your chances by 6! or 720. Thus, in a standard 6 out of 49 version, your odds are 1 in 13983816.

Is it Better to Buy Separate Lottery Tickets?

Theoretically, yes, especially if you select different spots. This approach will allow you to cover more outcome possibilities and eventually get a return for your tickets overall.

To What Extent Does Buying Multiple Lottery Tickets Increase Your Odds?

When you buy several tickets, your chances of having a winning combination grow, but linearly. The increase is not vertiginous enough to affect the game considerably. This fact is because, after the draw, the first ticket will be correct, or the other.

While you won’t get a big chance at the big jackpot, your overall purchase price expenses will also increase.

Example: How Does Buying More Tickets Increase Odds for 6 out of 49?
  • For two tickets bought, the chances are 2 in 13983816.
  • For three tickets bought, the odds are 3 in 13983816.
  • For four tickets bought, they are 4 in 13983816.
  • And so on…

As you may guess, the difference between 1 in 13983816and 4 in 13983816is almost unobservable.

So, does buying multiple lottery tickets increase your odds? Yes, but to an irrelevant degree. More so, your chance of success is more directly governed by the version you are playing.

What Are the Chances of Winning the Lottery Across the Globe?

Name / Country Jackpot Win Chances Largest Lottery Jackpot
Christmas El Gordo (Spain) 1 in 100000 €4 million
Mini Lotto (Poland) 1 in 850668 zł2 million
Austrian 1 in 8145060 €15 million
Irish 1 in 10737573 €19 million
Polish 1 in 13983816 zł57.8 million
French 1 in 19068840 €24 million
Quina (Brazil) 1 in 24040016 R$152.6 million
South African 1 in 31625100 R232 million
MegaSena (Brazil) 1 in 50062860 R$152.6 million
EuroJackpot 1 in 95344200 €90 million
Euromillions 1 in 139838160 €230 million
Spanish 1 in 139838160 €26.2 million
Swedish 1 in 139838160 kr237 million
6aus49 (Germany) 1 in 139838160 €1-37 million
Powerball (US) 1 in 292201338 $1.59 billion
Mega Millions (US) 1 in 302573350 $1.54 billion
SuperEnalotto (Italy) 1 in 622614630 €209 million

Tips

Although many entries are state lotteries, you can participate in most of them online even if you are not a resident of the country.

Odds in Lotto Draws Vs Other Gambling Games

Odds in Lotto Draws Vs Other Games

Lotteries are not the only random draw games. Gambling sites especially provide more variations on the same theme, which could be worth your time.

We will look at the chances of winning the lottery versus other games.

Lotteries Vs Progressive Jackpot Slots

We will look beyond the big jackpot to compare the eligibility of lotteries compared to progressive jackpots present on most online slots sites.

Rather, we will consider that you can have a return for matching less than the total of drawn balls. Although the chances of the big hit are astronomically low, the probability for a return may deem the occupation worthwhile.

To compute this, we will consider the Return to Player rate. Without going in-depth, 1 in 13983816 maximum jackpot lotteries, such as the Polish lotto or UK National lottery, has a standard RTP of 45%. The result considers more aspects relevant for lottery players, such as having any return or the ticket price.

Your probability of obtaining a profit in a lotto draw, by any amount, feign in comparison with slots, which have an RTP ranging from 96% to 99%. So, lotteries fail here.

Lotteries Vs Bingo

Bingo is similar in many ways to lotteries. The casino game also functions by a random draw of numbers that you must match to succeed.

You would expect, then, to have equal chances of making a profit in a lotto draw and other bingo games. However, the most frequently encountered RTP for 90 ball bingo games ranges from 70% to 85%.

Does Buying More Tickets Increase Odds in Bingo?

By similar reasoning, your chance does get better with more tickets entered into a single raffle. However, the effect is still marginal.

Lotteries Vs Keno

Keno is the last other random draw game present in gambling venues. Its system is virtually identical to that of lotteries.

However, it does differ because you can enter a chosen number of spots. Your return, when guessing right, will vary accordingly.

There is no set number of spots that you can enter across all versions. However, most often, it variates between one and ten.

RTP for Keno Based on Number of Spots

Number of Spots Chosen Return to Player Rate
One 50%
Two 60.1%
Three 62.4%
Four 58.2%
Five 67.2%
Six 62.1%
Seven 64.1%
Eight 59.4%
Nine 60.5%
Ten 63.8%

Compared to the 45% RTP of standard lotteries, keno still performs better, even with the worst bets.

Considering the Chances of Winning the Lottery, Why Do People Play It?

No other gambling activity provides a jackpot prize as large as a national or international lottery game.

Surely, your chance for the big jackpot is slim. Still, if you manage to match the drawn numbers, the prize is incomparable. Given the larger time frame for a draw, playing in lotteries is not a very addictive form of gambling.

But, returning to the original query, does buying more tickets increase odds in lotto draws, bringing them to an RTP rate comparable to other games?

No. For buying multiple lotto tickets to have a visible effect on the outcome, you would need to purchase them in batches of hundreds, thousands, or millions, even.

What Helps Your Chances of Winning the Lottery?

What Helps Your Chances of Winning the Lottery

  • Choose from the whole board. The probabilities of numbers are evenly distributed.
  • Basing your choices on birth dates or notable years also reduces your number range.
  • Enter the recurring draws consistently. Play regularly and at a low cost over a longer period.
  • However, do manage your funds and learn how to stay in control of gambling.
  • Check the statistics of all lotteries that you participate in.
  • Choose the option with the best winning chance and not necessarily the biggest prize.
  • Several lotteries, such as the US Powerball and Mega Millions, have side bets that add to your game.
  • If you consider buying multiple tickets, choose different number variations.
  • Vary your gameplay with other random draw games present on gambling sites.
Author Francisc Csiki Author & Editor at Casino alpha
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