Which Lottery Has The Best Odds Of Winning?

It’s a question I get asked a lot.

Along with simply ‘which lottery is the best?’ (to which my tongue in cheek answer is… ‘the lottery that just paid you the jackpot.’)

The Best Odds Of Winning

But it is a serious question, because the odds of the game are the number one factor that determine if you win or lose.

The lottery with the best odds is usually the one with the fewest balls drawn. So a pick 3 game is of course easier to win than a pick 4 game. Which is why the pick 3 prizes are much smaller.

Prize Matters

This is the hidden half of this question.

Because, yes you really want the game with the best odds. But you also want the jackpot to be big enough to get you excited. And the key is how you balance the two.

Yes, it’s great to win the pick 3 jackpot – but if winning that money won’t change your life at all, then you’re not playing the right game.

Compare Lottery Games

To compare lottery games well you need to understand the odds, and have an idea of how big a win would change your life. To make this super easy, use my tool to help you compare lottery odds.

Then you can pick which lottery game has the best odds for you.

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12 Comments so far ↓

  • Paul Monks

    Dear Lottery Guy,

    Have you seen this fantastic ‘Odds Busting’ Lottery which will be launching VERY soon :-))

    etc etc

    • LG

      Seen it, but wasn’t impressed. (It’s been ‘launching soon’ for a very long time!)

      I really don’t see anyone wanting to switch from a national lottery game, to an unknown with a €50 ticket price! Especially when the odds are no better when you factor in that ticket price.

  • Brad

    But which lottery in the world has the best odds? Who cares how much you win, as long as you win division 1 you will win heaps anyway. In Australia we have The Pools which draws 6 + 1 supp from 38 numbers and the odds of hitting the 6 from 38 are 2.6m to one but most other world lotteries i can see are in the hudreds of millions to one. Pfft, i sure know which one i would rather try.

    • LG

      Hey Brad

      But that’s the whole point – it does matter, a lot.

      The best lottery odds in the world would go to one of the many ‘Pick 3’ games out there. But with odds of 1:1000 for just a $500 jackpot – you may as well be playing a slot machine. And Pick 4 games aren’t much better.

      But the thing is you’ve already thought about the odds and prize level, and chosen the right game for you. Most players haven’t taken that step, or don’t know how to 🙂

  • Marc

    Which lotto takes the least % from my stake. UK lotto with tax and good causes takes half, 50p. Which lotto gives back the most because that has to have the best payout (worldwide)?

    • LG

      Around 50% for the prize fund is not uncommon for a lottery. But some pay out more – e.g. the Irish lottery company return 55%, or the Texas Lottery is 63%.

      The amount returned in prizes can be a useful factor in deciding which game to play. At least in theory anyway. Because it gets complicated fast.

      It can vary by game as well as the lottery company. And of course the percentage allocated to each prize tier also varies greatly between games too.

      So if a game paid 60% in prize money but that simply meant the ‘Match 3’ prizes were twice as big as another game, would it really be better? What if the jackpot was 10 times harder to win than the other game which only paid out 50%?

      It’s also not quite as easy as that.

      You can’t buy tickets online from lottery companies around the world – so you’d have to use a 3rd party service to do that. Which means paying a lot more for your tickets – a factor likely to outweigh any payout percentage differences.

      It depends on your Strategy really. But overall it’s still going to be the chances of winning the jackpot that matters most of all to most players.

  • Jon

    After 25 years of $20 a week, losing a total of a new Camry ($26,000), but we did win $5 & got rolled for it. Yes, we with all the degrees still believe in Santa Claus. Alas, I’ll still play as I don’t need the $20 a week & who knows, maybe the pols. won’t steal it from our kids.

  • Sam Cruz

    Is it true that Mega Millions has more winners than Powerball?

  • Darryl

    “… yes you really want the game with the best odds. But you also want the jackpot to be big enough to get you excited. And the key is how you balance the two.”

    This insight intrigued me that your site may be different than so many others. Intrigued enough to shift over to the Florida lotteries rather than always PowerBall, because I don’t need the biggest wins – just enough to breathe a sigh of financial relief and stay comfortable.

    I could use your comparison tool but I’m not ready to sign up. Convince me? – D.

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