Which Lottery Has the Best Lottery Odds? | theLotter
 
 
 

Which Lottery Has the Best Lottery Odds?

Not all lotteries are created equally. Some lotteries offer multi-million-dollar jackpots, while others award more modest prizes. Some jackpots can roll over for months while others seem to fall in every draw. It's apparent that it is easier to win some lottery jackpots than others and that’s because the jackpot odds are not the same for every lottery. The chance of winning secondary prizes is also not the same in every lottery and that’s because each lottery has different lottery odds. What exactly are jackpot odds and lottery odds, and how can you decide which lottery gives you the best chance of winning prizes?


What are your chances of winning the jackpot?

Each lottery ticket you buy gives you one chance of winning the jackpot. Buying three tickets gives you three chances of winning, however the overall odds of winning the jackpot, or any other prize in the lottery draw, depend on how many numbers are to be chosen on a ticket and the guess range of the numbers available in the draw. If an additional number, such as a powerball, is also drawn, it is even harder to win prizes.

For example, your chances of winning the jackpot in Australia Wednesday Lotto, where you choose 6 numbers from a 1-45 guess range (1 in 8,145,060 odds) are better than if you were playing Swiss Lotto. Swiss Lotto has a smaller guess range (1-42) but also features an additional number (1-6 guess range) and as a result your chances of winning the Swiss Lotto jackpot are 1 in 31,474,716.

In comparison, when you play the US Powerball you choose 5 numbers from a guess range of 1-69 and an additional powerball from a guess range of 1-16, giving you a 1 in 292,201,338 chance of winning the jackpot. When you play Mega Millions, you choose 5 numbers from a guess range of 1-70 and an additional Mega Number from a guess range of 1-25. This gives you a 1 in 302,575,350 chance of winning the Mega Millions jackpot.

The odds of winning Powerball and Mega Millions are not high and as a result, their jackpots roll over repeatedly until they reach world-record amounts. However, in the end one or more players manage to beat the odds and match all the numbers to win incredible jackpots. Eventually every Powerball and Mega Millions jackpot is won!


The bigger the guess range, and the more numbers you must match, the more difficult it is to hit the jackpot.

Bonus numbers, which you do not select when you purchase your ticket, do not affect the odds of winning the jackpot but rather give you more chances of winning a lottery’s secondary prizes.

When choosing a lottery, you should take into consideration the lottery odds as well as the jackpot odds. Knowing the difference between these two types of odds can help you select which lottery to play.

best lottery odds

Which lottery has the best jackpot odds?

The size of a jackpot is what attracts many people to play the lottery although the bigger the jackpot, the lower the chances of winning it. Jackpots of the American Powerball  and Mega Millions lotteries have in the past skyrocketed to over $1.5 billion and when jackpots are that big, odds of winning are the last thing on a player's mind. Still, it’s important to understand the concept of jackpot odds and to know what they are in the various games.

The table below compares the jackpot odds in some of the biggest, most well-known lotteries.

Big Lotteries

Jackpot Odds

  SuperEnalotto

  1:622,614,630

  Mega Millions

  1:302,575,350

  Powerball

  1:292,201,338

  EuroMillions

  1:139,838,160

  EuroJackpot

  1:95,344,200

  Australian Powerball

  1:76,767,600

Based on the above information, you may decide not to play the Italian SuperEnalotto lottery, or even the American Powerball. You might instead consider buying tickets to a smaller lottery, such as New York's Lotto, because the odds of winning the jackpot of that state lottery are 1:45 million. Or you could buy Swiss Lotto tickets, as the odds of winning the Swiss jackpot are 1:31 million. Compare the above jackpot odds with the odds of winning a jackpot in the following smaller lotteries available on our site.

Small Lotteries

Jackpot Odds

  Ontario 49

  1:13,983,816

  Poland Lotto

  1:13,983,816

  Ireland Lotto

  1:10,737,573

  Hungary Hatoslotto

  1:8,145,060

  Austria Lotto

  1:8,145,060

  Poland Mini Lotto

  1:850,668

  New York Take 5

  1:575,757

  Japan Mini Loto

  1:169,911

South Africa Daily Lotto

  1:376,992

Mexico Chispazo

  1:98,280

The jackpot odds in these lotteries are much better. Mexico Chispazo even holds draws twice a day because the odds of winning jackpot prizes are just that good Feel like travelling to the far east? The odds of winning Japan Mini Loto are so good that there are usually multiple jackpot winners in every draw. But as can be expected, the jackpot prizes up for grabs are much smaller than those you could win in the bigger games.

Jackpot odds vs. lottery odds

To answer the question which lottery has the best odds, you have to take into account both jackpot odds and lottery odds. What exactly are jackpot odds? And how are they different from lottery 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 matching the numbers drawn. Formulas for calculating lottery odds and jackpot odds are a bit complicated. (Formulas for the calculation of lottery jackpots are also complicated, but that's a different story.) Lottery odds and jackpot odds 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' included in the draw.

Lottery organizers tend to seek a balance between setting up a game with unfavourable jackpot odds (which will result in higher jackpots and therefore higher ticket sales) and setting up a game with favourable lottery odds (so that players will have a relatively good chance of winning prizes).

In the case of Mega Millions, organizers made it significantly more difficult to win the jackpot as part of changes they introduced in October 2017 so that the lottery could compete with Powerball’s record-breaking jackpots. But on the other hand, these changes resulted in better lottery odds for second tier prizes. Prize amounts were raised as well as part of efforts to encourage people to play Mega Millions.

lottery jackpot odds

Best odds of winning a lottery prize

While it’s difficult to understand the math setting the lottery odds, it’s important to understand how to relate to them. The lower the odds, the lower your chances of winning. That statement is obvious, but it should be clear what it means when you say that odds are “lower”. In the random examples shown below, comparing the odds of winning certain secondary prizes in different lotteries, a 1 in 38 chance of winning a Powerball prize is lower than a 1 in 21 chance of winning EuroMillions prize. Meaning, you have better chances of winning the EuroMillions lottery prize.

Lottery Prize

Lottery Odds

  EuroMillions 12th division prize

  1 in 21

  Mega Millions 9th division prize

  1 in 37

  Powerball 9th division prize

  1 in 38

  EuroJackpot 11th division prize

  1 in 42

  Australia Oz Lotto 7th division prize

  1 in 87

The lottery odds shown above are a bit misleading. When you play the lottery, you can win prizes in more than just one specific prize division. Therefore, it is important to know what your odds are of winning any prize in that lottery.

Lottery

Odds of Winning any Prize

  EuroMillions

  1 in 13

  Mega Millions

  1 in 24

  Powerball

  1 in 25

  EuroJackpot

  1 in 26

  Australia Oz Lotto

  1 in 55

The odds of winning a lottery jackpot

The odds of winning a jackpot prize are the lowest of all and that’s because you would need to match all the numbers drawn (main numbers and additional numbers) to win the prize.

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. On the other hand, ticket sales do impact the amount of a rollover because a percentage of the ticket sales goes to the jackpot prize. The more tickets sold, the higher (and faster) a jackpot will rise. Also, the more tickets sold for a draw, the greater the likelihood that the top prize will be shared by more than one winner.

For example, in the weeks prior to Powerball’s world-record jackpot in January 2016, tickets were being sold at such an unprecedented rate that the rollovers were huge. The top prize, $1.586 billion, was split between three winning tickets.

The Italian SuperEnalotto’s jackpot is even harder to win than the Powerball and that is because you must choose 6 numbers from a guess range of 1-90. This is the biggest guess range of any lottery on our website. Winning the SuperEnalotto jackpot is twice as difficult as winning either the Powerball or Mega Millions jackpots – yet jackpots in all of these lotteries are eventually won!

Smaller lotteries, such as Hungary Hatoslotto, Austria Lotto, and New York Take 5, offer modest prizes in comparison but the jackpot odds in these games are much more favourable.

chances of winning the lottery

The bottom line when considering lottery odds

The choice of what is the best lottery to play is not always determined by lottery odds or jackpot odds. There are several other factors to consider such as the price of a lottery ticket; the game options; extra features the lottery offers such as a supplementary raffle draw; the secondary prizes; the frequency of the draws; and even the country where the draws take place.

Still, 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 Mega Millions, will you not take a chance? Even a €190 million EuroMillions jackpot draw is too exciting to miss!

The size of a lottery jackpot might be what attracts you to the game, but you should play with realistic expectations. Understanding the game’s jackpot odds and the overall lottery odds is very important but shouldn’t stop you if you feel like playing. Your ticket has just as much of a chance at winning the jackpot as anyone else’s ticket. As you probably realize, no matter what the odds, every lottery jackpot is eventually claimed by a winner. If you want a chance at winning, you need to play the lottery, so take the next step and play!