Which UK Lottery Has The Best Odds Of Winning?
Note: *The following article is purely for fun. It is based on individual opinions and does not constitute advice. The drawing of lottery numbers is entirely random. Please always gamble responsibly.
Approximately 70% of the UK population play the lottery - that’s a whopping 45 million people. It’s easy to see why so many of us love the lotto - it’s an opportunity to turn a tiny amount of money into a life changing sum. With the average UK National Lottery jackpot at approximately 10 million pounds it could give us the chance to travel the world and generally live out our dreams.
When it comes to engaging with lottery Jackpots from the UK we are spoilt for choice - there’s traditional lotteries, charity lotteries and ‘Bet On Jackpots’. Let’s look at what each of these are:
The ‘Traditional Lotteries’ are the most prominent in the UK. Brands such as UK National Lottery, Euromillions, Thunderball, Health Lottery and Postcode Lottery. There are a few defining features of traditional lotteries - firstly, some proportion of profits go to charitable and good causes. The UK National Lottery donates 28% of ticket sales to good causes, the Health Lottery donates 20% and the Postcode Lottery donates 32%. Secondly, the jackpot is based on ticket sales - the more people play the bigger the jackpot.
Charity lotteries such as Oxfam Lottery, NSPCC Lottery or AgeUK lottery are very similar to Traditional Lotteries - they donate profits to charity and the jackpot varies depending on tickets sold. The differences are, firstly, the only charity the money will go towards is their own - lotteries such as the National Lottery will donate to a wide range of causes and charities. Secondly, as much fewer people play these lotteries they are often part of a collection of charities to boost the prize - this means when you enter say the AgeUK lottery to win £25,000 you will be playing for the same jackpot as the Fire Fighters Lotto.
Bet On Jackpots
Firstly, we have to say these aren’t technically lotteries, these are essentially bookmakers that replicate the format of a lotto. Rather than operating a lottery that sells tickets and providing a jackpot based on ticket sales they are actually offering odds on another lottery draw.
To read more about Bet On Jackpot providers see our guide here.
Which Lotteries Can I Play/Bet On From The UK?
Currently, on CompareTheLotto.com we feature 5 Traditional Lotteries, 8 Bet On Jackpot lotteries and 13 Charity Lotteries. Plus, we also feature 9 lotteries available to Bet on 1-5 balls through the traditional bookmakers... but that’s another story.
That’s a whopping 35 lotteries you can play/bet on from the UK!
To keep things simple, we’re just going to compare the top 10 lotteries:
|Lottery||Method||Average Jackpot||Odds Of Winning Jackpot||Price Per Line|
|UK National Lottery||Ticket||£10M||1 in 45M||£2.00|
|Euromillions||Ticket||£52M||1 in 139M||£2.50|
|Health Lottery||Ticket||£50K||1 in 2.1M||£1.00|
|Postcode Lottery||Ticket||£300K||1 in 1M||£10 (per month)|
|Thunderball||Ticket||£500K||1 in 8M||£1.00|
|Irish Lotto||Bet||£5M||1 in 10M||£3.00|
|EuroJackpot||Bet||£57M||1 in 95M||£3.00|
|US Powerball||Bet||£141M||1 in 292M||£3.00|
|US Mega Millions||Bet||£49M||1 in 302M||£3.00|
|Polish Lottery||Bet||£2M||1 in 13M||£0.75|
When you see the lotteries side by side like that it’s confusing, right? Consider:
- Every lottery has a different jackpot
- Every lottery has different odds of winning
- Ticket or Line Bet prices vary widely (from £0.75 to £3.00)
For example, if you simply wanted to know which lottery is the best odds that I can play/bet on from the UK the answer would be the Postcode Lottery. However, the Postcode Lottery jackpot is only £300K, compared to a lottery such as the US Powerball ($141M) this is 470 times smaller!
Value Is More Important Than Odds
To help determine which lottery might have the best odds and which lottery is the best value, a calculation based on jackpot size, odds of winning and ticket price is needed.
Luckily, the boffins at CompareTheLotto.com have done that for you by creating their Jackpot Value Ratio™. The formula is:
(Odds of Winning ÷ (Average Jackpot ÷ Stake))
The lower the number, the better the value.
For example, let’s look at the UK National Lottery and the Health Lottery
- National Lottery: (45,000,000 ÷ (10,000,000 ÷ 2.00)) = 9 Value Ratio
- Health Lottery: (2,100,000 ÷ (50,000 ÷ 1.00)) = 42 Value Ratio
If we were just looking at odds of winning the jackpot, the Health Lottery looks better, however, when taking jackpot size and ticket into consideration the National Lottery is far better value than the Health Lottery.
Which Lottery Jackpot Is The Best Value
Now, let’s look at our top 10 lotteries again but this time with Jackpot Value Ratio™ rather than jackpot, odds and ticket price.
|Lottery||Jackpot Value Ratio™|
|Polish Lottery||4.8 Good|
|Irish Lotto||6.0 Good|
|US Powerball||6.2 Good|
|UK National Lottery||9.0 Average|
|US Mega Millions||18 Average|
|Postcode Lottery||36 Poor|
|Health Lottery||42 Terrible|
There you go... The best value traditional lottery in the UK is the Euromillions lottery. The worst value lottery by a long way is the Health Lottery.
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Bet On Lotteries With The Best Value
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