Not all lottery jackpots are created equally. Some grow at set amounts from draw to draw; others rise in proportion to player interest and ticket sales. Some lotteries have jackpot caps while others boast jackpots that seem to roll over forever. Apparently, some jackpots are harder to win than others. That's because the jackpot odds are not the same for each lottery.
When questioning which lottery has the best jackpot odds we quickly realize that the biggest lotteries of all – the Powerball and the Mega Millions – have odds that are nearly impossible to beat. Their jackpots do not fall very frequently and as a result, rise to astronomical heights. On the other hand, there are lotteries with relatively modest jackpots which seem to fall every other draw.
What exactly are jackpot odds? How do jackpot odds differ from lottery to lottery? And how are they different from lottery odds?
These questions and more are answered in the following article which will be helpful determining which lottery has the best jackpot odds.
By definition, lottery odds are the odds of your winning any prize in a lottery, while jackpot odds refer to your chances of winning a specific prize - the jackpot.
The odds for winning a lottery prize are based on formulas considered "lottery mathematics", which determine your chances of having winning numbers in a draw. Formulas for calculating lottery odds and jackpot odds are a bit complicated. They take into account how many numbers there are in total, how many of them are selected in each draw, and whether there is an additional 'powerball' to be considered. All you really need to know is that a 1 in 21 chance of winning a prize is better than a 1 in 53 chance of winning a prize.
Of course, the better the odds for winning a prize, the lower that prize will be. And as the odds get harder to beat, the prize one could potentially win gets higher.
A lottery's jackpot is awarded to the player(s) who have successfully matched all the numbers in a lottery draw. As such, the odds of winning a jackpot prize are the lowest of all.
While the lotteries with the biggest jackpots draw the most interest, their jackpots are particularly difficult to win. The low chances of winning a Powerball or Mega Millions jackpot does not stop most people from rushing to purchase their lottery tickets. For them, taking the jackpot odds into account is the last thing on their minds.
Jackpot odds are not dependent on ticket sales. If 1,000 tickets are sold or 10,000 tickets are sold, the odds of winning the jackpot remain the same. The one thing that can be affected by ticket sales is the possibility that the jackpot prize, when won, will be split among more than one winner.
In the table below you can see a listing of the jackpot odds in some of the biggest, most popular big lotteries.
California SuperLotto Plus
Compare the above jackpot odds with the odds of winning a jackpot in the following smaller lotteries.
Finland Viking Lotto
The odds of winning the jackpot when playing the UK Thunderball are the best among the lotteries listed in these two tables, and unsurprisingly, the Thunderball offers a very small jackpot. Consider this: If you purchased 8,060,598 lines in the UK Thunderball, each with a different combination of numbers, you are guaranteed of winning that lottery's fixed £500,000 jackpot with one of those lines!
The most difficult jackpot to win, according to the jackpot odds listed above, is the Italian SuperEnalotto. Winning the SuperEnalotto jackpot is twice as difficult as winning either the Powerball or Mega Millions jackpots.
The excitement of playing the lottery is not determined by lottery odds or jackpot odds. When the US Powerball boasts a $500 million jackpot can you afford not to play? When there's a $500 million jackpot up for grabs in the Mega Millions, will you not take a chance? Even a €190 million EuroMillions jackpot draw is too exciting to miss!
No matter what the odds, every lottery jackpot is eventually claimed by a winner. Playing the lottery gives you a chance to win the jackpot, so take the next step and play!
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