Best Online Lotteries Around the World
Regardless of which country you live in, you’ve likely heard of some of these massively popular lotteries: US Powerball, American Mega Millions, EuroMillions, Euro Jackpot, and the UK National Lottery. These lotteries offer the biggest jackpots in the world, sometimes worth more than ONE BILLION USD! That kind of money could set not only you but also most of your future generations up for life—provided you use your lotto winnings wisely, of course. However, there are many other lotteries around the globe that still offer excellent prizes worth tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars. Among these are Canada’s Lotto Max and 6/49, Spain’s La Primitiva, Germany’s 6 aus 49, and dozens of others.
With so many amazing lottos to choose from, how should you decide which lottery to play? The choice ultimately comes down to a few main factors:
Online Lottery Jackpot Value
As mentioned above, the jackpots of different lotteries can vary greatly. For example, the biggest American Powerball jackpot ever reached a staggering $1.5864 billion, which was split by three winners. Some winners spend their money wisely, like these winners did, while others, like these ones, not so much
Here are the other biggest lottery jackpots of some the world’s most popular lotteries, ranked according to value:
US Mega Millions: $758.7 million (won by ONE person!)
SuperEnalotto (Italy): €177.7 million
EuroMillions: €190 million
UK National Lottery: £161 million
Euro Jackpot: €90 million
La Primitiva (Spain): €66.6 million
6/49 (Canada): CA $64 million
Lotto Max (Canada): CA $55 million
6 aus 49 (Germany): €45.3 million
If you’re going for the gold and hope to win the biggest jackpot possible, then it’s pretty clear which lotteries you should play. However, what your actual odds of winning are is probably just as important, if not more, of a consideration.
Online Lottery – Odds of Winning
Even if the top possible prize of a particular draw is billions of dollars, what good does it do you if your chances of winning it are so low that you’re more likely to be hit by an asteroid? Therefore, considering what the odds of winning a particular lottery is important, especially if you’d be content with dozens of millions as opposed to hundreds of millions. For example, the odds of winning Powerball jackpot are 1 to 292,201,338, while the odds of winning the Canadian 6/49 jackpot are 1 to 13,983,816. Maybe those aren’t “great” odds, but they’re definitely a lot better. Meanwhile, your odds of winning the Italian SuperEnaLotto are 1 in 622,614,630! You can greatly increase your chances of winning by playing with a syndicate (a pool of people) or by playing less frequently but buying more tickets for each draw. For other ways to improve your chances of winning the lottery, read this.
Price of an Online Lottery Ticket
The prices of tickets for different lotteries vary quite significantly, depending on how popular the lottery is, how big the jackpot is, and which country the organization that runs it is registered in. As a general rule, playing EuroMillions or one of the big national American lotteries is going to cost you a bit more than playing a small lottery that is exclusive to a single state or small country. This might not make much of a difference to you if you’re just an occasional player, but if you play a lot of numbers and do so regularly, the little variations definitely start to add up.
Online Lottery – Legality Issues and Taxation
Another important consideration, which some players never think about, is how much they’ll be taxed on their winnings. The US, for example, levies an incredible federal income tax of 39.6% on jackpot wins for American citizens and 30% for non-residents. Canada, on the other hand, does not tax lottery wins at all.
One way to reduce the taxes you’d have to pay is to take annuity payments rather than a cash lump sum, which most people do not do. Annuity payments would split your jackpot win over several decades so that you’d get an annual payment every year rather than the full amount upfront. One advantage of this is that depending on what the jackpot is worth, you might be able to stay out of the highest income tax brackets and thus end up paying considerably less in taxes over the long term. Another advantage is that managing $200,000 of income each year is much easier than managing hundreds of millions all in one go. This means you’re more likely to spend your money responsibly and not make terrible decisions like these unfortunate lottery winners.
For specific details on how much in taxes you’d have to pay for your other favourite lotteries, check out our in-depth lottery reviews.
Your Eligibility to Play an Online Lottery Based on Your Geographic Location
Some lotteries and countries have strict regulations about who can play their lotteries, requiring players to either be citizens of that country or at least be in the country physically when buying a lotto ticket. Luckily, thanks to the Internet and numerous companies that know exactly what people want, there are easy ways around this.
How Can I Play the Lottery Online?
Many people are surprised to learn they can play online lotteries, as the vast majority still buy lotto tickets the old-fashioned way: by going down to a local lottery retailer and buying a physical paper ticket. While there’s nothing wrong with this approach, we are in the 21st century—and with that come all the luxuries and comforts that the Internet affords. Why waste time driving, walking or commuting, and possibly waiting in line, when you could be doing other things? Luckily, you can buy online lotto tickets via third-party lottery ticket websites as well as official lottery companies—although the latter are often strictly regulated and thus limited to specific geographical areas such as countries or states.
Lotto Ticket Purchasing Agents vs. Lotto Betting Sites
Third-party lottery websites are split into two types, ticket purchasing agents and lottery betting sites, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages.
Ticket purchasing agents do exactly what the name suggests: they purchase lottery tickets on your behalf. They usually do this by having agents in the country of each lottery they advertise. Their agents physically go to a lottery kiosk and purchase lotto tickets for you based on the numbers you chose via the company’s website. Although such companies charge a small surcharge for picking up the tickets for you, the incredible convenience they provide to let you play incredible lotteries all around the world without getting up from your couch is definitely well worth the cost. Here are several other great perks of using lottery ticket agent websites:
- Many will scan your physical ticket, which you can see in your account anytime
- The sites that scan tickets keep them in a safe, ensuring you’ll never lose them
- Many sites automatically send you notifications via email or your account if you won a prize, meaning it’s virtually impossible to forget to check your numbers after a draw
- Most sites instantly credit your account if you win a smaller prize; you can then either continue playing with your winnings or withdraw them for use in the real world
- Many sites offer players great features such as syndicate play (also known as group play or a lottery pool, which greatly increases your chances of winning a prize) and subscriptions (meaning you can pay up front to automatically play consecutive draws for weeks or months)
Though there are quite a few players in this industry, some of these companies have been around for almost as long as the Internet, meaning they’re not only legit but also very successful. Clearly, these sites are doing something right
Lotto betting sites, meanwhile, basically act like sports bookies in the sense that they let you bet on the results of real-world lottery draws. Although they do not buy any physical tickets for you or have anything to do with the official lottery games at all, they usually offer the same jackpots that the official draws are offering. For smaller prizes, they pay players out directly from their profits, whereas for big wins they are covered by an insurance company. The advantages of lotto betting sites include:
- Usually cheaper tickets than lottery ticket agents, since betting companies set their own prices
- Better odds than lottery games, as some sites award great prizes to players who even just match a few of the next draw’s lottery results
- Deals and discounts that allow players to play more frequently
- No need to worry about your tickets getting lost or damaged
While all these perks are great, not having an official physical lottery ticket means that you’re at the mercy of the lotto betting website that you’re dealing with. While most are legit and some are highly recommended, there are also some shady ones to be wary of. In theory, such sites could take your money without ever paying you out a penny, and if that happened, what could you do about it? In addition, if someone won a massive jackpot worth hundreds of millions, would the insurer actually be able to afford paying out a sum that large? Or would they go bankrupt and leave you with nothing or just a fraction of what you thought you’d be getting?