The fact is ‘roll down’ draws greatly increase your chances of winning a larger prize.
But for some reason, not many people seem to be aware of what they are, or when they happen.
What Is A Roll Down?
Not every lottery game has one. In fact, most don’t.
But for games that DO have a roll down rule, they can occur either in a game with a jackpot cap (i.e. a limit on how big the jackpot can get), or in a game that sets a limit on the number of rollovers allowed.
And when that limit is reached – one of two things can happen.
Either the cash that would have gone into making the jackpot even bigger is added to the next prize tier down (i.e. it ‘rolls down’). Or if the jackpot is not won by someone, the entire jackpot can sometimes be added to the next prize tier.
Which means the 2nd prize level (or theoretically, even the 3rd prize level) gets one heck of a boost.
Here’s A Real Example
EuroMillions is probably best known for having this kind of rule attached to rollovers (and not many people know about it for this game!).
Here’s how the rules works.
1. If the jackpot reaches €190M then it is frozen (i.e. capped).
2. Next draw everything in excess of €190M gets rolled down – even if the jackpot is won.
3. If the jackpot is NOT won, next draw the whole lot will roll down.
And this came into play just this week (I did tell my lottery tips gang about this so they could take advantage).
Here’s the results of the draw for Tuesday 21st October:-
Now look what happened in the next draw on Friday 24th October:-
The big deal is that 2nd tier payout. On Tuesday it paid €333,091 to 8 winners. But on Friday despite being virtually the same number of winners (there were 9) it leaped up to a massive €2,174,634.
And that’s the EuroMillions roll down rule in play.
Now, unfortunately the jackpot was actually won, otherwise this Friday the entire jackpot would roll down and those 2nd tier prizes would be looking something more like €20M+ each – about 66 times bigger than normal!
(P.S. But this Wednesday (17th June) is looking very nice for UK Lotto as it’s a Quadruple Rollover draw which triggers the roll down rule on this game. Make the most of it now. Buy more tickets and/or get extra syndicate entries <- yes, you can play from outside the UK this way too)
Why Does This Matter?
Think of it in terms of your chances of winning.
If somebody said to you, “no problem, you didn’t get the last number right, but have the jackpot anyway”… wouldn’t that be worthwhile?
Because that’s what we’re talking about here.
You could potentially be winning a jackpot sized prize, without having to match all the numbers!
That’s a rare bonus that you should take maximum advantage of.
So How Do You Find Roll Down Draws?
Well, you have to look out for them.
I’d recommend checking your local games first of all, as they are the easiest to get tickets for.
Go to your lottery companies website, and look for ‘Game Rules’ or other pages full of small print that explain the fine detail of how each game works. Search for sections that talk about rollovers and jackpot caps or limits to the number of times a rollover can occur.
The term ‘roll down’ is fairly common, but not all companies may refer to it the same way. So watch out for that too.
Then, when you’ve chosen the games you’re going to play – sign up for email alerts from them if at all possible. But you may just simply have to keep checking to find out when the special rules go into play.
And that’s when you strike.
Because obviously it makes sense to play big when draws like this come along.
So Good, Maths Geeks Bankrupted One Game
Just in case you’re underestimating the power of fully understanding rules like this, there’s a nice example of a bunch of maths geeks from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) who exploited a game with this rule to such a degree that it had to be shut down.
Described as an “interesting school project”, the undergrads made an $8M profit over a 7 year period.
They only played when they knew the game had tipped in their favour – and mathematically they couldn’t really lose. As leader of the group James M. Harvey said, the key to the entire enterprise was “rolldown weeks”.
The Massachusetts Cash WinFall game they exploited was eventually closed down and officials were forced to investigate.
But before you get too excited, exploiting a game to this degree does require some flaws in the ticketing rules, as well as significant resources to buy large numbers of tickets.
Harvey’s group were initially buying around 300,000 tickets per draw to guarantee a 15-20% profit.
But towards the end they even refined their system to buying enough tickets that they were actually triggering a roll down all by themselves. The result was they won 860 out of the 983 winning tickets (with a value of $600+). They held over 80% of all tickets for that draw.
So whilst I’m NOT suggesting you try to exploit a game in this way, it does show that fully understanding the rules of a game can make a big difference.
As can playing big when the timing is best.
Have you looked closely at the rules for the lottery games you play? Do you take advantage of ‘roll down’ or other special rules that increase your chances? Let me know – add a comment below.