Everyone has fantasised about winning the lottery. Whether you’re one of the 60% of UK adults that plays regularly, or you only buy a ticket once in a blue moon, it’s safe to say that the lottery gets the nation excited.
But, while it was once just the humble National Lottery, there are now lots of different draws to choose from and with jackpots ranging from £100,000 to over £100 million, which one do you go for?
We’ve done the hard work for you and broken down the most popular lotteries to help you decide which one is the easiest for you to win.
When: Every Tuesday and Friday
Odds for jackpot: 1 in 139 million
Odds for any prize: 1 in 13
Ticket price: £2.50
Other chances to win: UK Millionaire Maker & European Millionaire Maker
Most people play the Euromillions because of the obscene amount of money that can be won. The top prize is capped at €190 million (£166 million) which makes it the biggest jackpot you can win in the UK.
Unfortunately, because it’s played throughout Europe, the chances of winning are pretty slim, 1 in 139,838,160 to be precise. This makes it the most difficult jackpot to win on the list, by a lot. However, all is not lost as you only need two matching numbers to win a prize, although that will only leave you an 80p profit from your £2.50 ticket.
You are also given two other chances to win some money, with the UK Millionaire Maker, which guarantees two millionaires and the European Millionaire Maker which guarantees multiple millionaires.
While this is probably the hardest lottery to win, it’s by far the biggest.
When: Every Wednesday and Saturday
Odds for jackpot: 1 in 45 million
Odds for any prize: 1 in 54
Ticket price: £2
Other chances to win: Millionaire Raffle
With around 15 to 45 million tickets sold in each draw, Lotto is by far the most popular lottery played in the UK. After its inception in November 1994, Lotto has made over 4,000 millionaires, with the largest jackpot at £50.4 million back in 2016.
But, with great popularity comes a smaller chance of winning. Even though the odds of winning are a fraction of the Euromillions, you’re still more likely to be hit by a part of a plane falling from the sky than winning the Lotto jackpot.
Since increasing the numbers from 49 to 59 back in 2015, the odds of winning the jackpot increased. However, with the introduction of the Millionaire Raffle and a prize for matching two main numbers, your chance of winning something has increased.
If you want to hit the big jackpots, you’re better off going for the Lotto, but it’s also pretty unlikely you’ll win anything.
When: Every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday
Odds for jackpot: 1 in 8 million
Odds for any prize: 1 in 13
Ticket price: £1
Other chances to win: N/A
Many people opt to play the Thunderball because you’re more likely to win a prize than any other on this list. You only need a matching Thunderball to win and because the top prize is limited to £500,000 and it’s played four days a week, you’re less likely to be competing with everyone else in the UK.
The other good thing about playing the Thunderball is that you will never have to split the jackpot with other winners. The Thunderball is also the cheapest lottery to play with a line costing just £1.
Although you won’t be hitting the millions, you’re better off playing the Thunderball because you’re more likely to win and if you do, the money is yours to keep.
When: Every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
Odds for jackpot: 1 in 2 million
Odds for any prize: 1 in 108
Ticket price: £1
Other chances to win: Health Lottery Raffle
The Health Lottery is the only one on the list that isn’t a national lottery. It is, instead, 51 local society lotteries representing one or more local authority areas across Great Britain. The aim of this lottery is to raise money for health-related good causes across the country.
Draws run five days a week and the top prize is calculated from 10% of all ticket sales up to £100,000. With a 1 in 2 million chance to win, it’s actually the best lottery to play if you want to win big. However, keep in mind that the jackpot varies and is dependant on the number of people playing that day.
You also have a chance of winning the Health Lottery Raffle and the Second Chance Draw which, if you qualify, gives you a chance to win an iPad.
Easiest lottery to win the jackpot: The Health Lottery (1 in 2 million)
Easiest lottery to win any prize: Euromillions & Thunderball (1 in 13)
Biggest jackpot: Euromillions (up to £100 million)
Smallest jackpot: The Health Lottery (up to £100,000)
So, basically never play Lotto and reduce your expectations of winning big. Oh, and remember, you're probably more likely to win an Olympic gold medal.
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