What are the odds of winning the lottery?
August 29, 2019
The first National Lottery draw took place on Saturday 19th November 1994 with a total jackpot size of £5,874,778 which was shared out between 7 different winners. Since that initial draw, people in the UK and further afield have been hooked on the dream of their numbers coming up and winning life-changing sums of money with being able to place bets online and buy physical tickets.
However, what are the actual chances of winning the lottery?
The most popular lottery game in the UK is the Lotto. Players simply need to select six number ranging from 1-59 and should two or more of their number be drawn, they win a prize.
There are six available prize tiers which we have listed below and are dependant on how many of your numbers are drawn. The odds of winning the higher tiers increase due to you having to correctly pick more winning numbers.
|Prize Tier||Match||Odds Of Winning||Prize|
|1 (Jackpot!)||6 numbers||1 in 45,057,474||Jackpot (varies)|
|2||5 numbers + Bonus Ball||1 in 7,509,579||£1 million|
|3||5 numbers||1 in 144,415||£1,750|
|4||4 numbers||1 in 2,180||£140|
|5||3 numbers||1 in 97||£30|
|6||2 numbers||1 in 10.3||Free Lucky Dip Ticket|
As you can see, the odds of picking two numbers correctly is 1 in 10.3 which will win you a free lucky dip for the next Lotto draw and the odds increase all the way up to the jackpot which has a pool of several millions of pounds. However, the odds of picking all six drawn numbers is 1 in over 45 million!
Taking an average of all of the possible outcomes, the odds of you winning any prize on the Lotto is 1 in 9.3.
How does Lotto compare to other lotteries?
There are several other lotteries available for which players around the world can participate in. They have varying prize amounts but we have listed the odds of winning any prize for each of them below.
Odds of winning any prize in various lotteries around the world
|French Lotto||1 in 6|
|UK Lotto||1 in 9.3|
|Spanish Lotto||1 in 10|
|Austrian Lotto||1 in 12|
|Euromillions||1 in 13|
|MegaMillions (US)||1 in 24|
|PowerBall (US)||1 in 24.8|
|EuroJackpot||1 in 26|
|Irish Lotto||1 in 29|
|German Lotto||1 in 31|
|Swedish Lotto||1 in 55|
|OZ Tuesday Lotto||1 in 55|
|Polish Lotto||1 in 57|
|OZ PowerBall||1 in 78|
|Mon/Wed Lotto||1 in 85|
|Mini Lotto (Poland)||1 in 124.51|
|Saturday Lotto||1 in 144|
|SuperEnaLotto (Italy)||1 in 314|
|MegaSena (Brazil)||1 in 2,332|
Looking at the table above, the UK Lotto actually has the 2nd best odds for winning any prize, only behind the French Lotto. However, with the minimum prize being a free lucky dip, it may not appeal to all players as the odds of winning over £2,000 are more than 1 in 7,509,579.
if you’re looking for a big win then there are many better options than the UK Lotto. The table below shows us the chances of winning the jackpot prize from lotteries around the world with the UK Lotoo behind in 13th place out of 22.
Odds of winning the jackpot
|Mini Lotto (Poland)||1 : 850,668|
|Swedish Lotto||1 : 6,724,520|
|Mon/Wed Lotto||1 : 8,145,060|
|OZ Saturday Lotto||1 : 8,145,060|
|Austrian Lotto||1 : 8,145,060|
|Irish Lotto||1 : 10,737,573|
|Polish Lotto||1 : 13,983,816|
|Bitcoin Lotto||1 : 13,983,816|
|German Lotto||1 : 15,537,573|
|French Lotto||1 : 19,068,840|
|Quina (Brazil)||1 : 24,040,016|
|Spanish Lotto||1 : 31,625,100|
|UK Lotto||1 : 45,057,474|
|OZ Tuesday Lotto||1 : 45,379,620|
|MegaSena (Brazil)||1 : 50,063,860|
|Oz PowerBall||1 : 76,767,600|
|EuroJackpot||1 : 95,344,200|
|WorldMillions||1 : 100,000,000|
|Euromillions||1 : 139,838,160|
|PowerBall (US)||1 : 292,201,338|
|MegaMillions (US)||1 : 302,575,350|
|SuperEnaLotto (Italy)||1 : 622,614,630|
Should you play the lottery?
The odds of winning a significant prize on the lottery are extremely high and very unlikely. However, many continue to buy tickets for the chance of winning life-changing amounts of money. Considering that only 53% of all money spent on the UK National Lottery goes on prize funds, it’s not hard to come to the conclusion that it is extremely bad value. The remaining 47% of lottery income goes to good causes (25%), the UK Government as lottery duty (12%), retailers (4%) and to the operator Camelot (5%).
What are the alternatives?
If you play the lottery with the hope of landing a big win then it’s likely that it won’t come. However, the risk is generally quite small if you are just buying one ticket a week which many can afford. If you are looking for a genuine way to make money then one of the best options is matched betting. Matched betting is something tens of thousands of UK individuals are involved in throughout the year and provides much better value than playing the lottery.
Why? Because when done correctly, the odds are in your favour. Matched betting may not make you a millionaire but it is possible to earn a significant income from it in your spare time. Many members of MatchedBets.com are doing just that by taking advantage of bookmaker and casino offers which can return a profit using matched betting methods.
MatchedBets.com teaches members how to generate a profit from matched betting with user-friendly training guides, a helpful support team, a number of matched betting tools and daily profitable offers. You can join MatchedBets today for 14 days for just £1 and if you decide it’s not for you within those 14 days, we’ll refund your £1 membership fee.
Sign up to MatchedBets.com today and learn how to turn the odds in your favour using matched betting.