The Winning Odds in Lottery

Updated: | By: Viktor Peters
The Winning Odds in Lottery

Lotteries are held in almost every country in the world and are allowed even in places with strict gambling rules. People regularly give them a shot, all with the same dream — to receive a payout. But how likely is it? What are your chances of winning a lottery, and which of them offers the best odds? We will answer these questions below.

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Mathematics of Lotteries Explained

The best thing about lotteries is that they do not require experience or knowledge. You don’t need anything but luck, and anyone can be the next winner. But what is the chance to win the lottery? Let’s explain this in simple words.
  • Let’s say you are participating in a lottery with 49 numbers and are allowed to pick 6 of them. To win the grand prize, you need to guess all sequences correctly. In mathematics, this can be shown as “6/49”.
  • Your chance of guessing the first number right is 1 in 49 (1/49). When the second number is drawn, there are only 48 numbers left, so your chance becomes 1 in 48 (1/48).
  • In other words, there are 49 different ways to guess the first number and 48 – the second, and so on. The probability of correctly guessing the first two numbers can be calculated as 1 in 49 × 48. By the third number, the chance becomes 1/47, which can be added to the same formula, i.e., 1 in 49 × 48 × 47. We can continue this formula until the sixth number: 49 × 48 × 47 × 46 × 45 × 44. The result is 10.068,347,520.
However, it is essential to remember that the order of numbers is optional here. You win if your ticket has the correct numbers, regardless of the order. We can express this concept as 6 × 5 × 4 × 3 × 2 × 1 = 720. To find your actual chance of winning, you divide the previous result by this one: 10,068,347,520 / 720 = 13,983,816. So, the answer to “how many chances to win the lottery” is “1 in 13,983,816.” You can use this formula for different lotteries by changing the total and number you can choose. It’s worth noting that these calculations are based on a single ticket. If you increase the number of tickets, your chances will improve. You may win if you purchase 13,983,816 different tickets in a 6/49 lottery. Yet, respective organisations have rules and even special laws to prevent players from obtaining the jackpot. Moreover, even if you purchase every ticket, the overall cost may still be more than the prize.

How Many Chances Are There to Win Lottery: Sample Scenarios

We previously provided theoretical data, and now we can apply these calculations to well-known lotteries, which are listed in the table below. This will assist you in identifying the titles offering the best chance to win lottery.
Lottery Name Winning Chance
Saturday Lotto 1 in 8,145,060
Monday & Wednesday Lotto 1 in 8,145,060
Powerball 1 in 134,490,400
OZ Lotto 1 in 62,891,499
Set for Life 1 in 38,320,568
Lucky Lotteries Mega Jackpot 1 in 9,483,168
Lucky Lotteries Super Jackpot 1 in 18,385,877
Super 66 1 in 1,000,000
Lotto Strike 1 in 3,575,880
RSL Art Union 1 in 1,775,000
TATTS 1 in 678,755
The Pools 1 in 230,057
Mega Millions 1 in 302,575,350

Second Chance to Win Lottery Explained

Some lotteries offer a “second chance to win” opportunity through a “consolation draw” for tickets that didn’t win the main prize initially. While the second chance prize may not be as substantial as the first, it’s still worth considering. In essence, if your ticket didn’t win for the first time, don’t discard it immediately – you might still have a shot at winning.

How Do I Know If I Win Second Chance Lottery?

To check if you’ve won a second chance lottery, all you need to do is visit the operator’s official website and enter your ticket number in the designated section. The website will provide you with the results instantly. Here are the links to a few of the most popular second-chance lotteries:

How to Get the Highest Chance to Win Lottery

According to Harvard statistics professor Dr. Mark Glickman, purchasing more tickets is the only effective strategy to improve your chances of winning. This is because the odds remain constant, and no other tactics can alter them. Even if you buy a single ticket for a particular lottery daily and continue doing so for 50 years, your chances will always remain unchanged. This is also true for previous winners. If someone wins the lottery, that person’s chances of winning the same lottery a second time will be the same as someone who has never won the lottery before. In other words, having won the lottery before does not mean anything: it does not make your chances better or less likely. By purchasing more tickets, you can cover more outcomes, giving you the best chance to win the lottery. And while none of them offer a “guarantee”, you can try the following:
  • Join lottery groups. Buying many tickets alone will be costly, but you can find online groups collecting them in a single pool. For example, if everyone in a group of 100 people buys 10 tickets, a collection of 1,000 tickets is created and the chance of winning increases statistically. However, remember that even if you succeed in such a case, the prize will be shared among the pool members.
  • Prefer lotteries with a few participants. The more people participate in a lottery, the less chance of winning. Therefore, it would be a better idea to participate in local and small-scale lotteries instead of world-famous ones like Powerball.
  • Focus on double digits. This may seem strange advice, but scientific truth is behind it. Academician Arin Zargarian suggested that double-digit numbers, particularly 23, appear more frequently in Powerball draws. He attributes this to the extra ink in printing such numbers, creating a weight difference that affects the selection process.
In any case, there is no single and proven method to get the highest chance to win lottery. At the end of the day, everything will depend on luck. Remember that lotteries are for entertainment purposes and do not believe in strategies that promise “guaranteed results” for them. If they were real, they would not be shared with anyone.
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