Does Buying More Tickets Change The Odds Of Winning The Lottery?

This is the one area of the lottery that you are directly in control of. So it’s a simple question, deserving a simple answer…

[A] Yes.

OK, maybe you want more answer for your money 🙂

Buying more tickets instantly changes the odds of winning. It’s your No.1 sure fire way to do so. And it’s extremely simple to work out the increased chances of winning you get.

Buy two tickets and you double your chances over having just the one ticket. OK, that still means you only have about a 2 in 13 million chance of winning, but it’s still twice the chance you had before. Buy three tickets and you have three times the chance. Buy a hundred tickets and you have, yes you guessed it, a hundred times the chance! (Of course buying a hundred lottery tickets can be pretty expensive to do by yourself, which is why I suggest to friends that they consider playing in a syndicate).

So yes, buying more tickets does change your odds of winning. It also just happens to be the one of the best ways to boost your chances of winning. But it should always be considered together with your overall lottery strategy – it’s just one piece of the pie.

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13 Comments so far ↓

  • Serge

    The real answer to the question is: Yes you have more chances of winning, and what you forget to talk about is the payout. More winners means that the pot has to be split.

    Second: if you play a dense wheel your odds are higher and yes you come closer to win the pot. You may perhaps not win the pot when you have the right numbers but your payout will be higher.

    I suggest that you analyse wheelings and banksystems in a spreadsheet.

    Lottery syndicates are an easy way or a lazy way to play but the payout suffers due to commissions and services paid by you. The cheapest syndicate is to create one with your friends. I am against quickpicks (machine chooses for you).

    For knowing the odds, check out the formula of combinations. I won’t get more mathematical here now. A good wheel is the one with 8 numbers where any combination of 5 is correct. Most of the people won’t hit 6 / 8 in liftime but maybe a 5 / 8 or 4 / 8.

    Just another expert

  • Thrifty

    You can actually participate with 1 quick pick ticket in any lottery game pool. Remember every lottery game is a just a big pool of players in itself.

    • Thrifty

      When I posted the above, I forgot to mention that lottery games are not a cumulative thing.

      • LG

        Yes, you’re right. How many times you won or lost in the past makes no difference to your odds in the next draw.

        But a lottery isn’t really a pool (not in the syndicate sense anyway – is that what you meant?) because you don’t personally get anything when other people win.

  • Good Will

    This is a brilliant post. I mean, the math is far too advanced for me, but I think I have the gist of it. If I buy two tickets I have twice the chance to win… if I buy three tickets I have three times the chance to win??? Right?? What if I buy 4 tickets? I think the math may be far too complex for me on 4 tickets. It probably includes some kind of irrational numbers or something only Will Hunting could understand. Thank you for releasing these “secrets” to us, the Internet population. Only with brilliant mathematicians like you can someone like me actually beat out those fat cats who can manipulate the lottery with fancy maneuvers like buying multiple tickets. I think you should be tested for a possible genius level IQ. Thank you so much.

    • LG

      I love a big dose of sarcasm at the best of times.

      But ask around, read some of the comments here – a lot of people genuinely do NOT understand even the most basic maths of the lottery. That’s why there are so many scammers cranking out “winning lottery systems“.

      You’re welcome.

    • Carla

      Maybe best to divide the amount of #’s to be played into the total #’s available. For instance the lotto plays 6 #’s out of 49 divide 6 into 49 now you have a ratio then take this ratio and divide the #’s you want to play into the first quotient received from the 6 divide into 49 work out this will at least tell you the percentage of odds available for that or those pics. Then the task come to determining which combinations of #’s to place on a ticket, yet some of many of your selections may prove to be correct.

      Thanx for the forum to reply, take care.

  • Peter Birmingham

    So if we’re talking odds and not probability then the odds of winning the jackpot for a 6/49 lottery is:
    1 ticket, 1: 13,983,815
    2 tickets, 1: 6,991,907
    3 tickets, 1: 4,661,271
    140 tickets, 1: 99,883
    6,991,908 tickets, 1: 1 or evens

    The maths is this
    number of tickets bought / (13983816 – number of tickets bought)

    Hope this helps.

    • Reasoning Birdie

      Peter… is there an infinite number of number combinations to the lottery that you are referencing?

      If not… the odds of winning are not affected by the number of tickets bought. The only thing that is affected by the number of tickets that are bought is the likelihood that more than one person will win.

      • LG

        The overall odds of any particular ticket winning are not affected by the number of tickets bought. But the odds of the jackpot being claimed are – i.e. the more tickets sold, the more likely the winning combination will have been played.

        And of course, the more tickets you personally buy the better your odds of winning.

  • Don

    An interesting question for you please – are your odds better buying 5 tickets with 3,000,000 odds OR 1 ticket with 1,800,000 odds?

    • LG

      Your odds are better with the 5 tickets.

      You have to ‘simplify the fractions’ to be able to compare. (Sorry about the maths terms – it’s way easier than it sounds!)

      Basically, the 5 tickets give you odds of 5-in-3,000,000.

      So you divide both sides by 5 to give you a ‘1-in-something’. Which comes out to 1-in-600,000.

      Now you can compare directly: 1-in-600,000 vs 1-in-1,800,000.

      Which means the ‘5 tickets’ give you 3 times the chance of winning the jackpot.

      You also need to consider ticket price to make a ‘fair comparison’. I get into all this stuff in my Strategy Group (and keep the maths easy).

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