The Future of Lotteries

In recent years it seems to me that we have had a situation where interest in lotteries like the Lotto draw from the National Lottery, and EuroMillions has waned.

Its in huge part due to Camelot increasing the price of tickets but also because they have made it much harder to win by increasing the number of balls in the draws.

The probability of winning some of these two draws are now:

  • UK Lotto: 45,057,474 to 1
  • EuroMillions: 139,838,160 to 1

The Birth of Lottery Betting

Due to these changes companies like Lottoland and World Lottery Club (now called LottoGo), pounced on the opportunity by allowing you to bet on the outcome of these draws.

This was whilst keeping a Lotto ticket (well, really a bet) at £1 and a EuroMillions ticket (also a bet) at £2 rather than the increased £2.50.

For a period, this concept really took off for these firms and they had huge success with national TV campaigns with Who Wants To Be A Millionaire front man of old, Chris Tarrant.

This success was short-lived with Camelot successfully lobbying the UK government to make betting on the outcome of Lotto and EuroMillions against the law.

In response to these restrictions you can now place bets on literally 10s of draws from around the world, here are some of the highlights, their odds and the biggest jackpot ever won.

Lottery Game Odds

Lottery Draw Jackpot Odds Record Jackpot
Swedish Lotto 6,724,520 to 1 £18 million
Austrian Lotto 8,145,060 to 1 £6.8 million
Irish Lotto 10,737,573 to 1 £13.0 million
Polish Lotto 13,983,816 to 1 £9.4 million
French Lotto 19,068,840 to 1 £16.9 million
Spanish Lotto 31,625,100 to 1 £25.9 million
MegaSena (Brazil) 50,063,860 to 1 £56.3 million
Oz PowerBall 76,767,600 to 1 £42.7 million
EuroJackpot 95,344,200 to 1 £63.5 million
PowerBall (US) 292,201,338 to 1 £1.119 billion
MegaMillions (US) 302,575,350 to 1 £419.8 million
SuperEnaLotto (Italy) 622,614,630 to 1 £125.7 million

The Introduction of Free Lotteries

As well as the changes in the real money world of lotteries there has also been a real surge in the development of free lotteries in recent years.

This trend really started a number of years back when Chris Holbrook launched what was then called the Free Postcode Lottery (now called the slightly less catchy Pick My Postcode or PMP for short), where he gave money away for free every day to players using their postcode.

This concept spawned a number of other free lotteries like DOB Lotto, Number Plate Lotto and all sorts of other variations on the theme.

None of these sites could replicate the quality of the offering and site available on PMP and have disappeared into obscurity in more recent times.

That is with the exception of a new site called Free National Lotto (FNL) which seems to have the ingredients to give PMP a run for their money.

Free National Lotto also gives away money each day in what they have cleverly called the ‘Daily Draw’, and they have the big money ‘5-Ball Draw’ twice a week, the jackpot now over £2,000.

To enter these draws you select 5 numbers from 40, like you would in a traditional lottery draw.

What’s Next for Lotteries

I think the main issue for the world of lotteries is that the main real money lotteries in each country tend to be either state backed, or have such a good relationship with the state that they will be protected from concepts like lottery betting.

We have already seen this in the UK, Germany, Australia and various other countries, and in most cases (such as the UK) its actually because without the money raised for good causes it will leave a hole in public finances that the government will have to fill.

Due to this huge reason the future of real money lotteries looks anything but dynamic. We expect companies like Camelot will release the odd new draw, like the recent launch of ‘Set For Life’ game where you can win £10,000 a month for the next 30 years, and that’s probably about it.

One area of hope could be the free lotteries like PMP and FNL where they will have much more flexibility on their offering, as long as the draws remain free and away from the clutches of regulation and legislation.

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