What Is the Best Lottery to Play?

Everyone has different preferences and criteria for just about everything, including which lottery they choose to play. Some prefer to play for the biggest jackpots, while others would rather play lotteries with smaller jackpots but better odds of winning. Here are some ideas and tips you can use to help you choose which is the best lottery for you to play the next time you buy lottery tickets online.

Which Lotteries Have the Biggest Jackpots?

The record for the biggest lottery jackpot ever was set in November 2022 when the Powerball jackpot reached an unprecedented $2.04 billion and was won by single winning ticket. The previous record was a $1.58 billion Powerball jackpot that was split between three winning tickets in January 2016. Each of those tickets was awarded a lump sum payment of $327.8 million. Mega Millions came close to breaking that record when it awarded a $1.602 billion jackpot in August 2023. 

Seeing that the top ten lottery jackpots of all time have been set by two American lotteries - US Powerball and US Mega Millions - leads to an initial conclusion that these are the best lotteries to play. Their enormous jackpots, as well as their massive prize pools, attract not only huge publicity but also large throngs of players. Over 600 million tickets were sold for the drawing when the record Powerball jackpot fell. With that amount of competition, one could possibly conclude the only barrier to winning a huge jackpot prize is buying a Powerball ticket.

Read how Powerball jackpots compare to Mega Millions jackpots for more information about these two multi-state American lotteries.

Many lotteries have guaranteed starting jackpots, and if you know a bit about how lottery jackpots are calculated, you know that they rise very quickly when ticket sales are strong.

As for prize pool size, no lottery can compete with the Spanish Loteria de Navidad. This annual Christmas season raffle offers a staggering €2.59 billion in prizes. The odds for winning a Navidad prize are very attractive: 1 in 10.

Which Lottery Fits Your Budget?

You should only play the lottery based on what you can afford! But do you find yourself compelled to play when the jackpots are really, really big? Fortunately, you can enjoy playing the lottery without overspending. There’s a lottery for everyone!

The price of lottery tickets is determined by many different factors, such as prize amounts, how many lines you purchase, adding on special features, and more. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most cost-efficient lotteries for every budget!

best lotto to play

If you’re new to lotteries or simply want to save money, we have some great news for you! Like many things in life, lotteries are not one-size-fits-all. Playing the lottery doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, in fact, it can cost less than €2. While the lotteries with cheaper tickets do tend to have smaller prizes, they’re usually much easier to win. When you play the SA Lotto online and South Africa Powerball, you are truly playing lotteries that give you bang for your buck! While they both have humble starting jackpots, their value easily rolls into the millions before it’s won, setting you back less than a euro per line!

Other good, affordable options are Australia Weekday Windfall Lotto and playing Saturday Lotto. As some of the most cost-efficient lotteries in our opinion, the Australian Lotto series actually has some of the lowest ticket prices on our site, yet still manages to reward winners with millionaire-making jackpots at every draw. 

So which lotteries have the best balance of price and prize? We would have to go with Italy's SuperEnalotto on this one. For a lottery that awards some of the biggest jackpots in the world, the tickets are definitely worth it! Compared to other lotteries which have similar, or even smaller top prizes, SuperEnalotto’s ticket prices are definitely on the lower end of the spectrum.

Other well-balanced lotteries in terms of the price to prize ratio are Lotto Texas and Spain La Primitiva. Both lotteries have very reasonably priced tickets, especially when you look at their fantastic starting jackpots of $5 million and €5 million respectively.

There are certain lotteries out there with unique prize structures- Just like when you play EuroDreams online! Instead of a flat prize handout, when you win the top EuroDreams prize, you will win €20,000 a month for 30 years!

There are many rewarding lotteries to choose from! It may be obvious, but we think that US Powerball is the top contender for this price point. The tickets may be a bit expensive, but for a the, in terms of the prizes it hands out, you can’t go wrong! Another honourable mention is France Loto. Although it does have some of the priciest tickets on our list, the fantastic prize-winning odds and €1 million jackpot increase after each rollover make this French favourite a lottery that you should seriously consider!

What Is the Best Lottery to Play? Take a Look at Lottery Odds and Jackpot Odds

Lottery Odds and Jackpot Odds

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292 million. Before Powerball introduced a rule change in October 2015, the odds were 1 in 175 million. Lottery officials undoubtedly realize that with reduced odds, there is less chance of winning and this creates larger jackpots. This in turn, increases ticket sales. But, are the odds of winning the lottery in Powerball the best in the lottery field?

Mega Millions, in comparison, offers 1 in 302.6 million odds of winning the jackpot, not much of a difference. The odds of winning the EuroJackpot's top prize, or the EuroMillions jackpot however are 1 in 139.8 million, which are much better.

Small lotteries can be candidates for the best lottery games as well. Even though the jackpots may be smaller, the odds of winning them are better. The odds to win when you play Powerball Australia online are 1 in 76.7 million; the odds in the Spain La Primitiva lottery are 1 in 13.9 million. With lower jackpot odds, there is less of a chance that a jackpot will go unclaimed for long. 

The lotteries that you're actually most likely to win are daily lotteries. Although lotteries staged every day tend to have jackpots that run on the smaller side, the odds of winning are so good that the top prizes are routinely awarded at every draw! For example, at 1 in 98,280, Mexico’s Chispazo has some of the most favourable odds of winning in the world as a result of the tiny guess range of just 1-28 and twice daily draws. So if you’re looking for a cost-efficient way to win quick cash, playing daily lotteries may just be the ticket!

The Best Lottery Game to Play May Depend on the Time Factor

lottery time

Do you often feel that you’re just too busy to think about which lottery to play next? We’ve all been in that position. So what can you do? One super easy option is choosing a lottery according to its draw time. If you go on our Lottery List page, you’ll see a Next Draw column on the left-hand side which tells you exactly how much time is left until the next immediate draw. So if you’re debating, why not be spontaneous and choose one of the lotteries that are closing soon? Who knows, it may just lead to your lucky break!

Best Lotto to Play? Consider Lotteries With Special Features

If you’re still not sure which lottery you want to play, why not check out which ones have additional special features? Many lotteries have exciting play options, such as prize multipliers to ticket refunds, that unfortunately go under the radar. These give the player a much more dynamic experience by creating more opportunities to win as well as awarding players with exciting boosted prizes.

Lotteries with special features

Check out this list of lotteries that offer rewarding playing options you may not have known about:

Multipliers and Game Extras

Lottery multipliers, like the Mega Millions Megaplier, can increase your non-jackpot winnings. When adding the multiplier on a Mega Millions ticket, for example, players can increase the second-place prize by up to 5 times!

On the other hand, Italy’s SuperEnalotto has its own extra game feature called SuperStar. With Superstar you choose an additional number between 1-90 on top of your regular SuperEnalotto game play. If you win, this additional game feature adds €2 million to the jackpot prize!

  • Mega Millions: Megaplier

  • Powerball: Power Play

  • SuperEnalotto: SuperStar

  • Texas Lotto: Extra!

Second Chance Divisions/Bonus Balls

Bonus balls were added into the mix to make the games more exciting and dynamic. Bonus balls are drawn separately from the main numbers and are used to create additional prize divisions. This can apply to just one prize division or all of them depending on the game. Let’s take SuperEnalotto’s Jolly number for example. When players match the Jolly number along with 5 of the main numbers drawn, they’ll receive a boosted second division prize called a SuperBonus! Another lottery that utilizes bonus balls is Japan Loto 7 which has 2 bonus balls that create three new prize divisions: 2nd, 6th, and 7th. A few more examples of lotteries that feature bonus balls are Japan Loto 6, La Primitiva, and BonoLoto to name a few!

Ticket Refunds

Lottery ticket refunds is a uniquely Spanish idea. Three of Spain’s most popular lotteries, El Gordo, BonoLoto and La Primitiva, each have a special bonus ball called a Reintegro. Unlike most lotteries that utilize bonus balls to create new prize divisions, when the Reintegro, or refund number is matched, the winner quite literally will receive a refund on the cost of their lottery. Players can receive a refund by matching the Reintegro number with any of the main numbers, as well as simply matching the additional number by itself. Maybe a game offering ticket refunds is the best lotto to play!

Choosing Which Lottery to Play? Take Taxes into Account!

There are many tax-free lottery games around the globe. Prizes in Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, South Africa, and the UK, among other countries, are paid out tax-free at source, however winning players may be subject to local taxation based on their country of residence. You could choose what is the best lottery to play based on how many taxes you would need to pay, however it would be wise to check all financial matters with a tax professional when you win.

Which lottery is the best to play

So, Which Is the Best Lottery to Play?

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing which is the best lottery to play, including the odds, the jackpot prizes, the price of tickets, and the taxes. It is often difficult to make an informed decision.

Take for example the Australia Saturday Lotto and the Spain BonoLoto. These two lotteries may not offer the highest jackpots or the best winning odds, yet playing them gives players the best run for their money.

One additional thing to consider. Winning a lottery prize is most certainly a matter of luck. Because not even a psychic can help you win the lottery, many players simply go with their gut in choosing both the lottery they'll play and the numbers they'll select. It is more than likely that the best lottery game to play is different for everyone. The best advice, therefore, would be to play the lotteries which appear to be luckiest for you.