Odds of Winning the Lottery

The Real Odds Of Winning At The Lottery

25 min

What are your chances of winning the lottery jackpot? Can you be 1 in 1000.000 with the right strategy? There are proven tips to improve your probability of winning. This guide shares strategies based on lottery statistics and historical drawings to give you an edge.

How to calculate the chances of winning the lottery?

How to calculate the chances of winning the lottery

You will find the odds of winning the lottery, either by any amount or by prize type, as a 1 to a value.

These fractional values indicate the probability that a random selection of numbers on a ticket will be the winning combination.

Regarding your probability of getting any amount, the calculation considers the additional payouts for combinations that match fewer numbers than the full draw. To better understand (and calculate) the probability of winning the lottery, you should understand how a draw works.

How do lotteries work?

How do lotteries work

  • The organiser sells tickets to willing participants on a national, regional, or international level.
  • Each player buys one or more tickets with varying combinations of numbers.
  • Depending on the lotteries, a part of the customer’s money or a previously set amount is advertised as the jackpot.
  • On the day of the draw, an automatic system randomly selects several balls with the winning numbers.
  • Players are awarded payouts according to the game rules.

Rules may vary, with lotteries having bonus balls or other special features. However, only these steps are essential for calculating your probability of winning the lottery.

Most operators of lotteries resemble the ones of online casinos, often offering various games, such as bingo or keno, as well as available online tickets.

Calculating the Jackpot odds: Explained

Resulting odds of winning the grand lottery prize

The chance of winning the lottery is given by the probability that you select all numbers as they will be drawn.

We will work with a standard 6/49 lottery. In this case, you get the big prize by matching six numbers from 1 to 49. Now, if you would have to match the drawn balls exactly, your odds would be 1 in 49 to the sixth. Without getting into it, 49 raised to the sixth is gigantic, so your odds of winning the lottery would be microscopic.

Fortunately, you just have to match the numbers in any order. The result is marginally better. You can compute it by the combinations formula.

The formula for the odds of winning the lottery

To calculate the probability of guessing all numbers, you must divide the factorial of the maximum number by the factorial of the number of selected numbers times the factorial of their difference.

The formula for 6/49 draws

  • 1 in 49!÷[6! ×(49-6)!]

The factorial is the product of every positive integer less than or equal to a number. For 6, for instance, 6! is equivalent to 1 × 2 × 3 × 4 × 5 × 6.

Example: Odds of winning the lottery UK jackpot

The UK lotto is a standard draw with six numbers going from 1 to 59. For the chances of winning the lottery UK jackpot, we proceed similarly.

We use the combination formula

  • 1 in 59!÷[6!×(59-6)!]

By simplifying, we only need to calculate 54 × 55 × 56 × 57 × 58 × 59 divided by the factorial of 6. This results in the odds of winning the lottery UK draw of 1 in 45,057,474.

Extra features mean extra issues

The calculations are not equivalent and can be complicated by adding a bonus ball and other systems.

What are the odds of winning the lottery twice?

No matter the raffle, the probability of getting the jackpot twice equals the square of your odds of getting it once.

For a standard 6/59 raffle with 1 in 45,057,474 odds, the likelihood of getting the jackpot twice is 1 in 45,057,474 times 1 in 45,057,474 or 1 in 2,030,175,963,260,676.

Example: Mega Millions Powerball jackpot odds

Powerball is played by choosing five numbers from 1 to 69 and one more bonus ball from 1 to 26.

In the situation of the Mega Millions Powerball jackpot, we need to break down the problem into several subtasks.

The odds of winning Powerball are given by

  • The odds of correctly matching the five numbers in any order.
  • AND the correct guess of the bonus ball.

We capitalised the AND word since it indicates an essential condition for our result that we will see later.

The first part is basic knowledge: we divide 69! by 5! times (69-5)! to get a 1 in 11,238,513 chance that you win the lottery prize of US$1 million. However, this still is not the grand prize.

For this, you need to mark the correct outcome for the bonus ball. This is as simple as guessing the one in 26 possible results, so we get 1 in 26.

The odds of winning Powerball grand prizes are then conditioned by guessing the five regular balls AND the bonus ball. Thus, we have to multiply these two results.

In other words, 1 in 11,238,513 AND 1 in 26 equals 1/11,238,513 × 1/26, or 1 in 292,201,338.

The Cold Hard Facts: Odds of Winning the Lottery Calculated

Lotteries Odds of winning the lottery Grand prize
2by2 1 in 105,625 US$22,000 / US$44,000
6aus49 1 in 139,838,160 €9 Million
All or Nothing 1 in 324,632 US$100,000
Atlantic 49 1 in 13,983,816 CA$1 Million
Austrian Lotto 1 in 8,145,060 € 250,000
Cash4Life 1 in 21,846,048 US$1,000 / day for life
Danske Lotto 1 in 8,347,680 Kr.9,271,928
El Gordo de Navidad 1 in 100,000 €4 Million
El Gordo de Verano 1 in 100,000 €20 Million
El Niño 1 in 100,000 €2 Million
Eurojackpot 1 in 139,838,160 €33,068,520
Euromillions 1 in 3,107,515 £138 Million
Euromillions GO! 1 in 3,107,515 £138 Million
Euromillions Hotpicks 1 in 2,118,760 £1,500
Finnish Lotto 1 in 18,643,560 €12 Million
French Lotto 1 in 19,068,840 €3 Million
Gimme 5 1 in 575,757 US$100,000
GlücksSpirale 1 in 5,000,000 €2,010,000
Health Lottery (UK) 1 in 2,100,000 £25,000
Hong Kong MK6 1 in 13,983,816 HK$90,951,590
La Primitiva 1 in 31,625,100 €5 Million
Lotofácil 1 in 3,268,760 R$124.9 Million
Lotto 649 (Canada) 1 in 13,983,816 CA$6 Million
Lotto America 1 in 25,989,600 US$22.8 Million
Lotto America 1 in 25,989,600 US$15.93 Million
Lotto Hotpicks (UK) 1 in 834,398 £350,000
Lotto MAX (Canada) 1 in 33,294,800 CA$65 Million
Lotto New Zealand 1 in 3,838,380 NZ$4 Million
Lotto Strike (Australia) 1 in 3,575,880 AU$11 Million
Lotto UK 1 in 45,057,474 £2 Million
Lotto x5 1 in 45,057,474 £1 Million
Lucky for Life 1 in 30,821,472 US$1,000 / day for life
MEGA 2022 1 in 50,063,860 £100 Million
Mega Jackpot (Australia) 1 in 9,483,167 AU$1 Million
Mega Millions 1 in 302,575,350 US$312 Million
Mega-Sena 1 in 50,063,860 R$325.2 Million
Mexico Melate 1 in 32,468,436 Mex$238.5 Million
Mini Lotto 1 in 850,668 £70,000
National Lottery (Ireland) 1 in 10,700,000 €175 Million
OZ Lotto 1 in 45,379,620 AU$4 Million
People’s Postcode lottery 1 in 135,000 £3.2 Million
Polish Lotto 1 in 13,933,816 €90 Million
Poppy Lottery 1 in 1,489 £20,000
Powerball 1 in 292,201,338 US$312 Million
Quina (Brazil) 1 in 24,040,016 R$500,000
SA Powerball 1 in 42,375,200 R232,131,750
SAT Lotto 1 in 8,145,060 AU$4 Million
Set for Life lottery 1 in 15,300,000 £10000 / month for 30 years
Spiel 77 1 in 10,000,000 € 177,777
Sunday Lotto 1 in 31,625,100 €3.5 Million
Super Enalotto 1 in 622,614,630 €209.1 Million
Super Jackpot (Australia) 1 in 18,385,876 AU$500,000
Super6 (Germany) 1 in 1,000,000 € 100,000
Swiss Lotto 1 in 31,474,716 CHF45 Million
Tag Canada 1 in 600,000 CA$100,000
Thunderball 1 in 8,060,598 £500,000
Tri-State Megabucks 1 in 4,496,388 US$1.28 Million
UK Millionaire Maker 1 in 3,570,000 £14 Million
Viking Lotto 1 in 61,357,560 €44 Million
Wednesday Lotto 1 in 8,145,060 AU$4 Million
WorldMillions 1 in 100,000,000 R130,000,000

The top prizes and current rules provided by CasinoAlpha reflect the current state of a lottery jackpot, its lower bound, average, or estimated value. We share this data for informative purposes. Remember that these values will fluctuate from one draw to the next.

Key facts about your chances of winning the lottery

Key facts about your chances of winning the lottery

  • El Gordo offers the best odds of winning the lottery (1 in 100,000) among multimillion-dollar draws.
  • The British Poppy Lottery provides a better chance but with a considerably smaller £20,000 prize.
  • SuperEnalotto provides the poorest odds for winning the grand prize, 200 times lower than winning the EuroMillions maximum jackpot.
  • For the chances of winning the lottery by any amount, El Gordo de Verano provides the best odds of 1 in 3, with the French lotto coming as a close second with 1 in 5.99.
  • The worst chance of getting a lottery payout is met in the Brazilian Mega-Sena, which provides 1 in 2,298 odds of a payout.
  • You are 1.54 times more likely to win the maximum £20,000 in the Poppy Lottery than you are to get a payout in the Mega-Sena.
  • Powerball has had the highest recorded jackpot win of US$ 1.586 billion in 2016.
  • The odds of winning Powerball jackpots is 1 in 292,201,338, being the third-lowest among selected draws.

Calculating the Odds of Winning Secondary Lottery Prizes

We have only considered the odds of winning the lottery jackpot or first prize up to this point.

However, all lotteries will provide a smaller prize for matching a smaller number of balls.

A simple example: Lotto Hotpicks odds and prizes

Matching Options Prize Odds
5 matched numbers £350,000 1 in 5,006,386
4 matched numbers £13,000 1 in 455,126
3 matched numbers £800 1 in 32,509
2 matched numbers £60 1 in 1,711
One matched number £6 1 in 59

Rules of Lotto Hotpicks

It is a standard draw of five numbers going from 1 to 59. We have used the same combinations formula to calculate each chance.

Odds of winning the lottery visualized for Hotpicks

Odds of winning the lottery visualized for Hotpicks

A complex example: Odds of winning Powerball prizes

Powerball is an excellent example of a draw where payouts depend on two independent variables.

When considering the payouts and odds of winning Powerball prizes, payouts other than the grand prize require a different approach from the combinations formula.

The complications come from the payout table. Take, for example, the most straightforward double pool conditioned payout: you match the Powerball.

You should know by now that the probability of winning the lottery payout should equal 1/26 or 1 in 26. It seems natural since you are focusing on a single pool where there are 26 possibilities

What changes your chances of winning the lottery payouts?

The main idea is that these calculations would be correct, but only if you played solely on the 26-pool pull.

However, when placing a ticket, you also select values for the main pool of numbers. In this case, you must think of the probability of matching the Powerball AND not matching any other balls in the main pool.

Steps to calculating the odds of winning Powerball conditioned payouts

  • Calculate the probability of matching the Powerball (it’s 1/26)
  • Express the chance of not matching any number in the main draw
  • Derive the probability of not matching any numbers
  • Multiply the two resulting probabilities (hence the capitalised AND)

The main issue

The most difficult (and most contrasting to our previous approach) is the requirement to think of the likelihood of not matching any number from the main draw. Unfortunately, this event does not come with a clean and intuitive expression.

There are two ways of thinking about computing the probability of not hitting any number in the main draw.

You could eliminate all the possibilities of success, i.e., compute the odds that you do not match five numbers AND do not match four numbers and so on. Unfortunately, the approach comes with issues mainly from the fact that these outcomes are not mutually exclusive.

Shifting focus

Here is a second approach. Imagine that the five balls were drawn already. This leaves 64 undrawn balls.

What is the probability that all your picked numbers reside exclusively in this pool?

This reduces the problem to our previous combinations formula. Essentially, you are calculating how to select the five numbers from these remaining 64 possibilities.

The probability that you do not match any of the drawn white balls for any one draw is 1 in 7,624,512. But there are 292,201,338 possible combinations, so we must divide the first result by the latter. Thus, the probability of not matching any white balls and only matching the Powerballs is 1 in 38.32. As expected, it is slightly lower than the intuitive (but erroneous) 1 in 26 odds.

Odds of winning the lottery visualized for Powerball

Odds of winning the lottery visualized for Powerball

The emerging probabilities provide a slope that is relatively evocative of the previous, non-conditioned draw type. The additional Powerball payout entries only reduce the steepness.

However, when looking at the grander picture, one thing is clear. The odds of winning Powerball payouts remain low.

The odds of winning the lottery visualised for all payouts

Odds of winning the lottery visualized for all payouts

Powerball has an additional power play multiplier from 2x the prize values up to 10x. Power play does not affect the grand prize and only raises the second prize to US$2 million.

Odds of winning any amount at the lottery

Most lotto organisers will publish an overall chance of winning the lottery that takes any amount into consideration.

This probability characterises the likelihood for a ticket to receive any type of payout without considering its actual value.

You can see it as a parallel to the return to player rate that you would find published for casino games.

Its computation, too, comes close to that of the RTP. It also summarises the computations you have seen and learned up until now.

Likelihood to win anything in standard draws

We will use a standard lotto draw of six numbers from 1 to 49. The prize amounts are irrelevant to the calculation.

Reminder: Odds of winning anything for 6/49 lotto

  • Match 6 – 1 in 13,983,816
  • Match 5 – 1 in 55,5492
  • Match 4 – 1 in 1,033
  • Match 3 – 1 in 56.7
  • Match 2 – 1 in 8.3
  • Match 1 – 1 in 2.42

Calculating chances of winning the lottery by any amount

We have to sum up all the possibilities of receiving a prize by tier and then divide it by the number of possible draws, i.e., 13,983,816.

However, the payout odds per prize tier we computed are the number of possible wins for that particular tier divided by total outcome combinations. Thus, we can sum them up without further calculations.

We get ~0.5523, and we convert it into the odd formulation. The final chance to get any payout is 1 in 1.8106.

The same process holds for bonus games

You can similarly compute the chance of winning the lottery draw by any amount for bonus games.

You need to follow the highlighted steps for finding the prize tier payout probabilities, sum them up and turn them back into odd formulations.

Short example: Odds of winning Powerball by any amount

There are 11,750,538 total ways in which you can get a payout. By dividing by 292,201,338 (total possible draws), we arrive at ~0.04021.

Then, we divide 1 by 0.04021 and arrive at 1 in 24.87 odds of winning Powerball payouts in general.

We arrived at the total combinations where you get a payout via the same process for calculating smaller payout probabilities. We then only summed up the values.

Chances of winning a national lottery

Lottery Country Odds of winning the lottery jackpot Odds of getting anything
The National Lottery United Kingdom 1 in 45,057,474 1 in 9.3
The National Lottery Ireland 1 in 10,700,000 1 in 29
Loterias y Apuestas del Estado Spain 1 in 13,983,816 1 in 8.43
6aus45 Austria 1 in 8,145,060 1 in 12
FDJ Loto France 1 in 19,068,840 1 in 5.99
6aus49 Germany 1 in 8,145,060 1 in 12
Lotto Italy 1 in 8,145,060 1 in 12
SuperEnalotto Italy 1 in 622,614,630 1 in 16
Lotto7/34 Norway 1 in 5,379,616 1 in 138
Lotto7/40 Finland 1 in 18,643,560 1 in 50 / 1 in 19 for Plus
Lotto7/36 Denmark 1 in 139,838,160 1 in 10
Svenska Spel Sweden 1 in 6,724,520 1 in 59
Lotto Plus Poland 1 in 13,933,816 1 in 8.43
Sayisal Turkey 1 in 13,983,816 1 in 8.43
Lotto 6/49 Canada 1 in 13,983,816 1 in 8.43
Loteria Nacional Mexico 1 in 120,000 1 in 5
Lotto New Zealand 1 in 3,838,380 1 in 11
Mega-Sena Brazil 1 in 50,063,860 1 in 2,298
Quiniela Argentina 1 in 76,527,504 1 in 299
Tatts Lottery Australia 1 in 8,145,060 1 in 12

These are only a selection of popular and accessible lotteries from around the world. There are many more nations that organise their own raffles. However, these often are only available to their citizens.

Countries with functioning lotteries

Countries with functioning lotteries

Odds of winning the lottery for international draws

Europe and North America have several cross-state or country lotteries with varying odds and game types. These draws will accept players from participating countries and provide a shared prize pool.

Regional lotteries and their winning odds

Name Participating countries/states Chances of winning the lottery jackpot Odds of getting any payout
EuroMillions Austria, Belgium, Ireland, France, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, the UK 1 in 139,838,160 1 in 13
Eurojackpot Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Iceland, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Czechia 1 in 140,000,000 1 in 32
Vikinglotto Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Belgium 1 in 61,357,560 1 in 1.75 (Belgium)

1 in 21 (Estonia, Lithuania, Slovenia)

1 in 51 (Sweden)

1 in 50 (others)

Channel Islands Lottery Islands of Guernsey and Jersey
Mega Millions All but Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah 1 in 302,575,350 1 in 24
Powerball All but Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah 1 in 292,201,338 1 in 24.87
2by2 Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wyoming 1 in 105,625 1 in 3.59
Cash4Life Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Virginia, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee 1 in 21,846,048 1 in 8
Lotto America Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia 1 in 25,989,600 1 in 9.63
Lucky for Life Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, North Carolina, North Dakota, Delaware, District of Columbia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming 1 in 1,813,028 1 in 7.8
Tri-State Lottery Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont 1 in 4,496,388 1 in 5.9

Odds of winning EuroMillions

Tiers Chances of winning EuroMillions prizes Average prizes
Match 5 + 2 lucky stars 1 in 139,838,160 €55,040,199.04
Match 5 + 1 lucky star 1 in 6,991,908 €439,922.08
Match 5 1 in 3,107,515 €66,944.69
Match 4 + 2 lucky stars 1 in 621,503 €3,669.25
Match 4 + 1 lucky star 1 in 31,075 €181.29
Match 4 1 in 13,811 €77.74
Match 3 + 2 lucky stars 1 in 14,125 €76.97
Match 3 + 1 lucky star 1 in 706 €13.96
Match 3 1 in 314 €11.62
Match 2 + 2 lucky stars 1 in 985 €18.80
Match 2 + 1 lucky star 1 in 49 €7.53
Match 2 1 in 22 €4,14
Match 1 + 2 lucky stars 1 in 188 €9,87

EuroMillions draws five numbers with values from 1 to 50 and an additional 2 lucky stars from a separate pool of numbers from 1 to 12.

When are EuroMillions draws held?

You can watch the EuroMillions next draw every Tuesday and Friday at 20:45 in Paris.

How much is a EuroMillions ticket?

A standard ticket for the next raffle has a price of €2.5, £2.5 for British residents, and CHF 3.5 for Swiss citizens.

Odds of winning Powerball

Matching Options Prize Odds
5 numbers + Powerball Grand prize 1 in 292,201,338
5 numbers US$1 Million 1 in 11,688,053.52
4 numbers + Powerball US$50,000 1 in 913,129.18
4 numbers US$100 1 in 36,525.17
3 numbers + Powerball US$100 1 in 14,494.11
3 numbers US$7 1 in 579.76
2 numbers + Powerball US$7 1 in 701.33
1 number + Powerball US$4 1 in 91.98
Powerball US$4 1 in 38.32
Win anything 1 in 24.87

When is Powerball drawing?

You can watch Powerball drawings every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 10:59 PM ET.

How much is a Powerball ticket?

The standard ticket costs US$2 apiece. You can also add on the Power Play multiplier up to five times. Each multiplier costs US$1.

Set for Life lottery systems

Set for Life lottery systems

Lotto set for life systems has a recurrent grand prize. If you match the main draw entirely, the operator will award you with an award for a specified time period.

This can vary from one year to your lifetime, depending on the lotto game you participate in and its operator’s decisions.

There are already several set-for-life lottery systems out there. We will present the most popular.

UK’s Set for Life odds

Match options Prizes Probabilities
5 standard balls + Life ball £10,000 / month for 30 years 1 in 15,339,390
5 standard balls £10,000 / month for 1 year 1 in 1,704,377
4 standard balls + Life ball £250 1 in 73,045
4 standard balls £50 1 in 8,116
3 standard balls + Life ball £30 1 in 1,782
3 standard balls £20 1 in 198
2 standard balls + Life ball £10 1 in 134
2 standard balls £5 1 in 15

The first two payouts for the UK Set for Life draw will award participants a jackpot divided into monthly instalments, similar to how some gambling platforms divide large withdrawals.

However, while in the case of these sites, monthly payments represent a hindrance, making players flock to fast payout casinos, incremental payouts for a lottery’s jackpot can be beneficial. Having a constant flow of funds means you can manage your spending and lower the risks of overindulgence.

The UK Set for Life draw gives you a 1 in 12.4 probability of getting anything per ticket.

What time is Set for Life drawn?

You can tune in on the official website or YouTube channel of Set for Life every Monday and Thursday at 8:00 PM, to watch a new draw.

Cash4Life (US) chances

Matches Prizes Probabilities
5 standard balls + bonus ball US$1000 / day for life 1 in 21,846,048
5 standard balls US$1000 / week for life 1 in 7,282,016
4 standard balls + bonus ball US$2,500 1 in 79,440
4 standard balls US$500 1 in 26,480
3 standard balls + bonus ball US$100 1 in 1,471
3 standard balls US$25 1 in 490
2 standard balls + bonus ball US$10 1 in 83
2 standard balls US$4 1 in 28
1 standard ball + bonus ball US$2 1 in 13

Cash4Life also comes with a 1 in 8 chance to win anything. The game is interesting since, unlike Set for Life, where the payout works on a limited (albeit lengthy) period, grand prize and second prize winners receive funds throughout their life.

In Set for Life, you would get £3.6 million or £120,000 across 30 or 1 year. Cash4Life is much more generous.

The grand prize winner would get US$365,000 per year and over US$10,950,000 within 30 years.

For the second prize, claimants can expect US$52178.6 in one year and US$1,565,358 in 30 years.

When is Cash4Life played?

You can tune in every day at 9 PM to watch a new Cash4Life draw.

Lucky for Life (US) odds

Matches Prizes Probabilities
5 standard balls + Lucky ball US$1000 / day for life 1 in 30,821,472
5 standard balls US$25,000 / year for life 1 in 1,813,028
4 standard balls + Lucky ball US$5,000 1 in 143,356
4 standard balls US$5200 1 in 8,433
3 standard balls + Lucky ball US$150 1 in 3,413
3 standard balls US$20 1 in 201
2 standard balls + Lucky ball US$25 1 in 250
2 standard balls US$3 1 in 15
1 standard ball + Lucky ball US$6 1 in 50
Lucky ball US$4 1 in 32

Lucky for Life resembles Cash4Life in its prize tiers, but the probability of getting the lottery jackpot is lower.

While grand prize winners would make the same amount, second prize winners would accumulate US$25,000 in one year and US$750,000 in 30 years. However, the odds to win the lottery second prize in Lucky for Life are more than 4 times better than in Cash4Life.

When is Lucky for Life drawn?

Lucky for Life also runs nightly at 10:30 PM ET.

Which lottery has the best odds of winning?

Which lottery has the best odds of winning

You now know how to calculate the odds of winning the lottery, the types of draw games, various national and international draws, and set-for-life draw statistics.

But where will you have the best chance to win the lottery?

We will think of the probability of getting the grand prize and that of getting a payout in general.

El Gordo

El Gordo de Navidad, El Gordo de Verano, and El Niño provide the best odds of winning multi-million Euro grand prizes.

Each ticket has a 1 in 100,000 chance to get the maximum jackpot.

The Poppy Lottery

The Poppy Lottery from the UK has a probability of 1 in 1,489 to get the maximum prize. However, the jackpot only amounts to £20,000.

Thus, the Poppy Lottery is best when considering the net odds of winning the jackpot, regardless of whether it is in the millions or not.

The French Lotto

The French national lotto draw provides the best chance of getting any payout. Each ticket has a 1 in 5.99 likelihood of getting any payment.

However, this fact is only valid when considering national lotto games.

Varying Vikinglotto odds

The best chance of winning the lottery by any amount is in Vikinglotto, but only if you reside or play from Belgium. Belgians have a 1 in 1.75 chance of a payout.

Any other participating country has poorer chances, which go lower than 1 in 20.

Since we do not all share the privilege of being a Belgian citizen, we cannot consider it the best choice. But there is another option.

Standard 6/49 games

We have computed the probability of getting any payout in 6/49 games and arrived at an estimated 1 in 1.8106 likelihood.

However, this is only the case if the draw pays for any match, including matching only one number. This is not generally the case, so we look further.

El Gordo de Verano & El Niño

We return to El Gordo de Verano and El Niño. These games provide a 1 in 3 likelihood to have a paying ticket.

From our current research, El Gordo is the international lotto game that provides the best chances to get a payment for your ticket.

The People’s Postcode Lottery

The People’s Postcode Lottery is special in many ways, from the participation criteria to how it awards its prizes.

How does the Postcode Lottery work?

You enter it using your postcode. If you match the random draw, your whole postcode area will benefit.

Tiers for the People’s Postcode Lottery

  • £3.2 million for one postcode area in August draws
  • £30,000 for every winning ticket in a postcode area – Every Saturday and Sunday
  • £10 for 1,000 winning postcodes – Every Thursday
  • £1,000 for every winning ticket in 20 postcodes – daily

Not only will your ticket help your whole postcode area, but it will also support good causes across the nation. 33% of the ticket prices go to various charities.

The likelihood to win the People’s Postcode Lottery is 1 in 135,000. More importantly, 19.86% of all playing postcodes won a prize in the most recent draw. In other words, more than 1 in 5 tickets got a payout.

What can and can’t help your odds of winning the lottery

What can and can’t help your odds of winning the lottery

There are some general tips and tricks that will help your chances of winning the lottery, no matter what draw you enter.

More crucially, some standard practices will actively hinder your already small chances of getting the big prize.

Lucky numbers don’t help

The argument is simple. While you may think these numbers to be very personal to you, there’s a big chance that you share your lucky numbers with thousands of other players.

Additionally, lucky numbers, dates of birth or other such combinations usually cover a small range of possibilities. You are essentially lowering your likelihood of getting the right match alone.

Two takeaways

  • Don’t choose birthday numbers, common strings (1,2,3,4,5,6), or “lucky numbers.”
  • Since many will do just that, pick double digits higher than 31, as they will not be included in birthday tickets.

There is a secret to choosing numbers

We can draw this conclusion based on Arin Zargarian’s 2020 paper on the statistical analysis of Powerball winning numbers.

Essentially, Zargarian went back and checked all the hit frequencies for the game balls beginning in 2010.

He found two numbers with a multiple hit frequency: 21, with a 43% greater chance, and 23, with a 58% greater chance. He hypothesised that the explanation resides in minor physical differences in the weights of ink and residue. Statistical data indicates that you may want to choose 23 and 21 on your ticket.

Playing the same ticket in subsequent draws does nothing

Lottery draws are independent and random events. This means that they do not influence each other.

Many intuit that if a combination came up in last week’s draw, it would not do so this week. However, this is just as likely as any other string of numbers.

Fortunately, even though playing the same ticket will not increase your chance to win, it won’t decrease it either. Playing the same ticket again and again will neither improve nor impair your likelihood of success.

Buying more tickets helps

Now, if you play multiple ticket variations in the same draw, you will have a better chance.

If each ticket has, say, a 1 in 100,000 probability, buying ten tickets with different combinations gives you a 10 in 100,000 likelihood or 1 in 10,000.

This still does not considerably lower the probability, but it gives you a better chance. Buying more tickets for the same raffle has a beneficial effect. Still, you need many of them to see a considerable change in your chances.

Playing in syndicates may help

Take it with a grain of salt since the viability of this tip may depend on the operator’s regulations.

However, there were countless examples of draws that were won by a group of participants who bought tickets together and selected their numbers strategically.

This was the case of the last SuperEnalotto grand award, which was won by a syndicate of 70 players from Milan. Keep in mind that SuperEnalotto is notoriously disadvantageous to the player. Allying yourself with other participants is a tested way of increasing chances. However, some jurisdictions and operators prohibit it.

Remain level headed

Do not fall into the rabbit hole of lotteries and master plans for the next big draw. The odds of winning the lottery should show that your actual chance of getting something is slim, no matter your approach.

The best conclusion you can draw from the data you have read is that lotteries are not profitable for the broad population. You should not obsess over the results, nor should you treat them as anything more than a pastime. And most important of all, knowing how to stay in control is key in any gambling activity.

CasinoAlpha’s Closing Remarks

The odds of hitting the jackpot are incredibly small. Yet this guide has shown tips to gain an edge based on maths and statistical data. Choosing games with better odds, picking numbers strategically compared to your fellow lottery players and buying multiple tickets can improve your chances of winning. Even though the house heavily favors the lottery no matter what, arming yourself with data provides a slight advantage that you shouldn’t overlook.


What are the odds of winning the lottery?

The probability that you win the grand prize is 1 in the total number of possible combinations of balls from the pool.

How are the odds of winning the lottery calculated?

While it will depend on the number of total numbers, drawn balls, and bonus features, your lottery winning odds are given by the combinations formula.

What are the odds of winning the lottery twice?

The probability of getting the jackpot twice equals the square of your odds for getting it once. For a 6/49 draw with 1 in 13,983,816 odds, the chance of getting the grand prize twice is 1 in 13,983,816 times 1 in 13,983,816 or 1 in 19,554,710,9921,856.

What are the odds of winning the lottery UK jackpot?

You have a 1 in 45,057,474 probability to get the grand prize in the UK national lottery.

Which lottery has the best odds of winning?

The raffles organised by El Gordo provide 1 in 100,000 chances for multi-million euro jackpots, and a 1 in 3 chance to get any payout. The Poppy Lottery has good odds to get the grand prize, but the value is lower.

How much is a lottery ticket?

Values may vary, but most tickets cost between £2 and £2.5 or the currency equivalent. Raffles like the People’s Postcode Lottery or Lotto Hotpicks are exceptions.

How much is a EuroMillions ticket?

Each line played or singular ticket for EuroMillions costs €2.50, £2.50 or CHF3.50, depending on your location and local currency. 

How does the Postcode Lottery work?

Instead of registering with a ticket, you will use your postcode. If you receive a payout, so does your whole area.

What are the odds of winning the Postcode Lottery?

There is a 1 in 135,000 chance that your postcode will be selected out of the total 1,080,000 postcodes. 

What time is Set for Life drawn?

There is a new draw every Monday and Thursday at 8:00 PM, local time. You can find live streams on the official Set for Life website or YouTube channel.

Is playing the lottery worth it?

It is insofar as you do not expect great returns. Most lottery players hardly make it even.

How to increase the odds of winning the lottery?

There are a few tricks you may employ, from selecting numbers from the entire pool, not using special numbers, playing in a syndicate, or buying more tickets yourself.

Do your odds of winning the lottery increase with more tickets?

Yes, but only linearly. You need a large number of tickets to actually have a visible effect.

Does buying 100 lottery tickets increase your odds?

Yes, it will increase your odds by 100, but only if you select different strings of numbers.

Are Quick Picks rigged?

No officially organised lottery is rigged. All tickets theoretically have the same odds of being winners.

Is there a pattern in the lottery?

Theoretically, there shouldn’t be any. However, researchers found higher hit frequencies for some lotto numbers, due to ball imperfections and residue.
Anca Iamandi
AuthorAnca IamandiSenior Author & Editor at CasinoAlpha

Anca's analytic skills developed in Generative Linguistics allow her to bring you clear and concise gambling-related content. Her texts will help you understand casinos, bonuses, fees, and rules and forget about all the gambling myths that pull you down. She's a strong advocate of safe gambling.

Tudor Turiceanu
ReviewerTudor TuriceanuCEO & Chief Editor at CasinoAlpha

Tudor Turiceanu uses his multiple systematic skillsets to oversee and coordinate the CasinoAlpha project. He assists the authors in creating a transparent gambling niche for users. As a CEO and Chief Editor with broad knowledge, Tudor knows the importance of transmitting confident advice.