Big Wins with the World’s Best Lotteries
7 min read
Bought a lotto ticket lately? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of Aussies purchase a lottery or scratchie ticket every year, making this one of the country’s most popular forms of gambling. Between June 2017 and June 2018, for instance, nearly 11 million Australians aged 18 or older participated in a lottery – that’s around half of the adult population!
And of course, the lotto isn’t only big in Australia. You’ll find lottery options throughout the world, including some massive lotteries that offer a great chance to maximise your potential winnings and enjoy an international experience. Ready to start exploring the best world lotteries? Read on below.
Top 10 major lotteries in the world
From the popular United States Powerball lottery to the historical Loteria de Navidad in Spain, here’s our list of world lotteries that everyone should know about.
One of the newest lotteries sweeping the world is the Eurojackpot, which was launched in 2012 and has since become one of the biggest lotteries in the UK. Eurojackpot is currently open to all participating countries, which are Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. The jackpot starts at €10 million and can get as high as €90 million. To play, betters must match five numbers out of 50 and two additional numbers between 1-10. It costs €2 to place a bet, and the odds of winning are 1 in 95,344,200. Drawings take place every Friday in Helsinki.
2. La Primitiva
As one of the oldest lotteries still played today, La Primitiva is one of the best lotteries around – a must-have experience for any lottery lover. This lottery boasts a minimum guaranteed jackpot of €3 million, though the big prize has gotten much, much higher in recent years.
Drawings are completed every Thursday and Saturday, and the odds of winning are 1 in 139,838,160. To win, a player must match six numbers out of a possible 49 in addition to a ‘Complementario’ number and a ‘Reintegro’ number.
3. China Welfare Lottery
As one of China’s two legal gambling options, the China Welfare Lottery is understandably a huge lottery and a very popular place to try one’s luck. It not only offers a hefty jackpot but also benefits the community, as any money that doesn’t go towards prizes or overhead costs is donated to social welfare programs.
This lottery was established in 1987 and is played by matching six numbers between 1-33 and one additional number between 1-16. Lottery tickets are available from licensed vendors — not only for Chinese residents but also for visitors over the age of 18 and who hold a valid visa.
Each bet costs ¥2, and drawings take place three times a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. The odds of winning are about 1 in 79,453,500.
4. US Powerball
US Powerball has made a name for itself as one of THE huge lotteries around the world to enter, thanks to its massive prizes. This lottery is currently available throughout most of the United States of America and is open to international players as well. What makes it so enticing? With a guaranteed jackpot of at least US$40 million and no jackpot cap, there’s plenty of opportunities to win a large sum — and many people have. In fact, US Powerball currently holds the world record for largest jackpot; a cool US$1.6 billion split by three winners in 2016.
Play Powerball by matching five winning numbers from a pool of 1-69 and a single number from 1-26. Drawings are held twice a week on Wednesday and Saturday, and the odds of winning are 1 in 292,201,338.
5. Oz Lotto
When it comes to best world lotteries, who can forget Australia’s most popular lotto? The Oz Lotto has paid out some of the largest jackpots in Australian lottery history, including a win of more than AU$111 million in 2012. This game is played by choosing seven matching numbers from a range of 1-45 and is open to Aussie and international players alike.
The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 45,379,620 and with tickets costing only AU$1.45, taking a gamble has never been more affordable. Drawings are held every Tuesday to determine a winner.
6. Mega Millions
Another huge lottery from the US is the ever-popular Mega Millions. This game offers massive jackpots (in fact, it holds the record for the largest jackpot to go to a single winner) and is available to residents and international players alike, making it an extremely popular world lottery. Some states also offer different ways to play, such as a ‘Just the Jackpot’ option or the ‘Megaplier’ option.
Players compete by matching five numbers from a possible 1-70 in addition to a single number from 1-25. Drawings are held twice weekly, and the odds of winning are a staggering 1 in 302,575,350, but there’s a 1 in 37 chance to win back the cost of your US$2 ticket.
7. Euro Millions
The Euro Millions is no stranger to massive jackpots, so it comes as no surprise that this is one of the best lotteries in the world and the leader of European lottery games. The game is played by selecting five numbers from a pool of 1-50 and an additional two numbers from a pool of 1-12. Drawing takes place weekly, and there are additional surprise drawings that take place randomly throughout the year.
The odds of winning the Euro Millions jackpot are 1 in 139,838,160. However, the odds of taking home any prize is a tantalising 1 in 13.
At only R$2.50 to play, this is the largest lottery in Brazil. It is popular not only for the low entry price but also for its annual jackpots that can reach up to R$50 million and that have a minimum guaranteed jackpot of R$1 million. Mega-Sena also offers a special New Year’s Eve drawing with an extremely large jackpot that accumulates throughout the year and can result in hundreds of millions.
Players place bets by choosing 6-15 numbers out of a possible 60. Draws are held twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 50,063,860.
9. Lotería de Navidad
Loteria de Navidad is the second-longest continuously running lottery in the world, having first started in 1812. These days, it’s considered one of the huge lotteries to enter, no matter where you are in the world, thanks to its large prize pool of over €2 billion. Unlike other lotteries on the list, the Spanish Christmas lottery takes place only once a year, on 22 December, and is unsurprisingly one of the most anticipated and celebrated holiday events in the country.
Loteria de Navidad tickets cost between €20 and €200, making them one of the more expensive lotto tickets out there. All tickets have a pre-generated code on them with a random five-digit number from 00000 to 99999, with multiple tickets printed for each number. Drawings are completed via drawing from two large spheres – one that contains balls inscribed with lotto numbers and the other filled with balls inscribed with a euro prize number.
Players can choose from a variety of ways to purchase pre-generated tickets and then tune into the drawing on 22 December. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 100,000.
This Italian lottery has been pleasing players in Italy and around the globe since the late 1990s. The goal is to match six numbers ranging from 1-90 and the ‘Jolly’ number, which can increase prizes in the second tier category. An optional superstar pick is available, which can increase the value of prize tiers as well.
Drawings happen three times a week and tickets cost €1. There are six prize categories in all, including the jackpot, which has odds of 1 in 622,614,630.
Of course, we’ve only discussed a small fraction of the available world lotteries! Be sure to check these out and do your own research to find the lottery that’s right for you.
What countries have a lottery?
Lotteries have been around since the days of the Roman Empire (and possibly even before) and are still just as popular and varied in contemporary times. Lotteries take place worldwide, and though some governments have outlawed or heavily regulated their lotteries, others have embraced them. In fact, over 90 countries currently have a national lottery, and many others allow lottery games within their borders.
Which country has the best lottery odds?
In general, lottery odds depend on the particular lottery game you are playing. Most mega lotteries – for example, the US Mega Millions and the US Powerball – have lower winning odds due in part to the extremely high jackpots. Smaller lotteries often offer much better odds.
Where can I play the lottery?
Online lotteries give people limitless opportunities to test their luck from any location. Even if you’re away from home or located in a place that doesn’t have a lottery, you can still enjoy many of the best lotteries online.
Which is the best lottery in the world?
That depends on what you’re looking for in a lottery. Some people prefer better odds with a reduced prize, while others look for the biggest jackpot. No matter what you’re looking for, you can always find a new, unique lotto experience by playing online.
How do I play the lotto internationally?
These days, there are plenty of websites offering hopeful lottery players the chance to play world lotteries from the comfort of their own home. When playing lotto online, always be sure to purchase tickets from trustworthy sites and read the lottery rules closely to ensure that you are eligible.