What are the Odds of Winning the Lottery?

Not all lotteries are created equally. Although winning a lottery is based entirely on luck, it's theoretically easier to win some lottery jackpots than others. For example, the odds of winning a US Powerball jackpot are much slimmer than your chance of claiming a smaller jackpot from a daily lottery. Find out what exactly is the difference between the odds of winning a jackpot and the odds of winning a secondary prize, and which lotteries gives you the most and least favourable chance of winning prizes?


Which Lotteries are You Most Likely to Win?

The size of a jackpot is what attracts many people to play the lottery although the bigger the jackpot, the lower the chances of winning it. 

Mexico's Chispazo has the most favourable odds of winning at LottoSmile, with a 1 in 98,280 chance of claiming the jackpot prize. Smaller lotteries may mean smaller jackpots, like Texas Cash Five's modest $25,000 top prize, but it also means that the chances of winning the lottery are far better when compared to lotteries with huge jackpots, such as . Disregarding these lotteries is a big mistake because even the smallest jackpots can make a huge impact!

The table below will help you choose a lottery by comparing the jackpot winning odds of several different lotteries available on our site.

Lottery

Odds

MX chispazo

Mexico Chispazo

  1:98,280

JP mini lotto

Japan Mini Loto

  1:169,911

TX cash 5

Texas Cash Five

  1:324,632

sa daily

South Africa Daily Lotto

  1:376,992

Kazakhstan 5/36

Kazakhstan 5/36

  1:376,992

poland mini lotto

Polish Mini Lotto

  1:850,668

ukraine loto maxima

Ukraine Loto Maxima

  1:1,221,759

      Texas Two-Step

Texas Two Step

  1:1,832,600

         Mexico Melate Retro

Mexico Melate Retro

  1:3,262,623

         Peru Kábala

Peru Kábala

  1:3,838,380

Other popular lotteries with attractive odds are Japan Loto 6 with 1 in 6,096,454 chances of winning, as well as Australia’s Monday Lotto, Wednesday Lotto, and Hungary’s Hatoslotto which each offer odds of 1:8,145,060. 

What Are the Odds of Winning US Powerball?

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1:292,201,338, but as insurmountable as that might seem, it's not impossible to win! Another American draw with challenging odds is Mega Millions, which gives players a 1 in 302,575,350 chance of winning the top prize.
 The table below compares the jackpot odds in some of the most popular lotteries from around the world.

Biggest Lotteries

Odds

Spain El Gordo

Spain El Gordo

  1:31,625,100

Australia powerball

Australia Powerball

  1:134,490,400

Spain La Primitiva

Spain La Primitiva

  1:139,838,160

eurojackpot

EuroJackpot

  1:139,838,160

euromillions

EuroMillions

  1:139,838,160

powerball

US Powerball

  1:292,201,338

mega millions

US Mega Millions

  1:302,575,350

superenalotto

SuperEnalotto

  1:622,614,630

Will the Guess Range Affect Your Chances of Winning the Lottery?

The overall odds of winning a prize depends on how many numbers are to be chosen and the guess range of the numbers available in the draw. If an additional number is also drawn, it is even makes it even more challenging to win. Bonus numbers, which you do not select when you purchase your ticket, do not affect the odds of winning the jackpot but rather give you more chances of winning secondary prizes.

For example, your chances of winning the jackpot in Philippines Lotto, which allows you to choose 6 numbers from a 1-42 guess range (1 in 5,245,786), are better than if you were playing a lottery with an additional number. Even though Germany's Lotto has a similar guess range of 1-49, the additional number (bonus ball) reduces the  odds to 1 in 139,838,160.

Jackpot Odds vs. Lottery Odds

What exactly are jackpot odds? And how are they different from lottery odds?

By definition, lottery odds are the odds of your winning any prize, while jackpot odds refer to your chances of winning a specific prize - the jackpot.

The formulas for calculating jackpot odds and the lottery odds take into account how many numbers there are in total; how many of them are selected in each draw; and whether there is an additional 'Powerball' included in the draw.

When choosing a lottery, you should take into consideration the lottery odds as well as the jackpot odds. Knowing the difference can help you understand which lottery you might want to play next.

Lottery organisers tend to seek a balance between setting up a game with unfavourable jackpot odds (which will result in higher jackpots and therefore higher ticket sales) and setting up a game with favourable odds of winning the lottery (so that players will have a relatively good chance of winning prizes). In 2017, Mega Millions organisers made several changes, including significantly more difficult jackpot winning odds, so that the lottery could compete with Powerball’s record-breaking jackpots

Best Odds of Winning a Lottery Prize

What Are the Odds of Winning a Lottery Prize?

While it’s difficult to understand the math setting the lottery odds, it’s important to understand how to relate to them. The lower the odds, the lower your chances of winning the lottery.  For example, a 1 in 38 chance of winning a 9th division Powerball prize is lower than the 1 in 37 chance of winning a 9th division Mega Millions prize. This means that you have better chances of winning a Mega Millions  prize.

Lottery

Odds of Winning any Prize

  France Loto

  1 in 6

  Austria Lotto

  1 in 12

  EuroMillions

  1 in 13

  Italy SuperEnalotto

  1 in 20

  Mega Millions

  1 in 24

  Powerball

  1 in 25

Do Ticket Sales Influence the Odds of Winning a Lottery Jackpot?

Jackpot odds are not dependent on ticket sales. If 1,000 tickets are sold or 10,000 tickets are sold, the odds of winning the jackpot remain the same. On the other hand, ticket sales do impact the amount of a rollover because a percentage of the ticket sales goes to the jackpot prize. The more tickets sold, the higher (and faster) a jackpot will rise. Also, the more tickets sold for a draw, the greater the likelihood that the top prize will be shared by more than one winner.

For example, in the weeks prior to Powerball’s world-record jackpot in January 2016, tickets were being sold at such an unprecedented rate that the rollovers were huge. The top prize, $1.586 billion, was split between three winning tickets.

Which lottery has the best odds

The Bottom Line When Considering Your Chances of Winning the Lottery

The best lottery to play is not always determined by the odds of winning. There are several other factors to consider such as the price of a lottery ticket; the game options; extra features the lottery offers such as a supplementary raffle draw; the secondary prizes; the frequency of the draws; and even the country where the draws take place.

The size of a lottery jackpot might be what attracts you to the game, but you should play with realistic expectations. Understanding your chances of winning is important, but it shouldn’t stop you from playing your favourite lottery. Your ticket has just as much of a chance at winning the jackpot as anyone else’s ticket. As you probably realize, no matter what the odds, every lottery jackpot is eventually claimed by a winner. If you want a chance at winning,  take the next step and play the lottery online!