The probability of win jackpot of world lotteries. Which lottery is better to play?

Many lottery fans sooner or later wonder: what is the probability of winning in a particular lottery.


Is there any chance to win a prize in lottery?

Almost any lottery ticket is a chance for a big win.

Indeed, this chance is not very big, the percentage of winning the lottery is very small, but still it is a chance: the one who did not buy a lottery ticket will definitely remain without a prize.

Every lottery ticket holder expects a big win: they can solve all their financial problems for a long time. However, almost every lottery has not only a significant jackpot, but also very large prizes of other categories.

Probability theory of winning the lottery

Of course, for each lottery, the exact probability of winning is known.

Probability-of-win-world-lottery

Without these calculation data, no lottery operator will be able to draw up the rules of the game in such a way as to remain profitable, pay off lottery distributors, pay for advertising, organize the broadcast of the draw on TV and pay all the prizes.

Calculating the probability of winning the lottery deals with the section of mathematics-probability theory and combinatorics. Without going into the formula for calculating the probability of winning the lottery, let me say that an important factor in determining the chances is the number of combinations that are possible in the results of the lottery draw.

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Which lottery is more likely to win?

Let’s look at which lottery is more likely to win. Below there’s a summary table of the probability of winning the lottery jackpot (the main super prize) of the most important world lotteries:

LotteryFormulaOdds of Winning
SuperEnalotto6/901 : 622,614,630
Mega Millions5/75 + 1/151 : 302,575,350
Powerball5/69 + 1/26 1 : 292,201,338
EuroMillions5/50 + 2/12 1 : 139,838,160
La Primitiva6/491 : 139,838,160
Australian Oz Powerball7/35 + 1/201 : 134,490,400
Lotto 6 aus 496/49 + 1/91 : 125,854,344
EuroJackpot5/50 + 2/101 : 95,344,200
Australian Oz Lotto7/451 : 45,379,620
UK National Lottery6/591 : 45,057,474
El Gordo5/541 : 31,625,100
Ireland Lotto6/471 : 10,737,573

Prize categories and chances to win each world lottery:

USA Powerball

MatchOdds of WinningEstimated Prize Fund
5 plus Powerball1 in 292,201,338Jackpot
51 in 11,688,054$1 million
4 plus Powerball1 in 913,130$50,000
41 in 36,525$100.00
3 plus Powerball1 in 14,494$100.00
31 in 580$7.00
2 plus Powerball1 in 701$7.00
1 plus Powerball1 in 92$4.00
Powerball1 in 38$4.00

USA Mega Millions

MatchOdds of WinningEstimated Prize Fund
5 + Mega Ball1 in 302,575,350Jackpot
51 in 12,607,306$1 million
4 + Mega Ball1 in 931,001$10,000
41 in 38,792$500.00
3 + Mega Ball1 in 14,547$200.00
2 + Mega Ball1 in 693$10.00
31 in 606$10.00
1 + Mega Ball1 in 89$4.00
Mega Ball1 in 36$2.00

EuroMillions

MatchOdds of WinningEstimated Prize Fund
5 + 21 in 139,838,16043.20%
5 + 11 in 6,991,9083.95%
5 + 01 in 3,107,5150.92%
4 + 21 in 621,5030.45%
4 + 11 in 31,0760.48%
3 + 21 in 14,1260.67%
4 + 01 in 13,8120.38%
2 + 21 in 9861.75%
3 + 11 in 7071.85%
3 + 01 in 3143.50%
1 + 21 in 1884.95%
2 + 11 in 5014.85%
2 + 01 in 2218.25%

EuroJackpot

MatchOdds of Winning% of Prize Fund
5 + 21 in 95,344,20036%
5 + 11 in 5,959,0138.5%
5 + 01 in 3,405,1503%
4 + 21 in 423,7521%
4 + 11 in 26,4850.9%
4 + 01 in 15,1340.7%
3 + 21 in 9,6310.6%
3 + 11 in 6723.1%
2 + 21 in 6023%
3 + 01 in 3444.3%
1 + 21 in 1287.8%
2 + 11 in 4219.1%

UK National Lottery

Numbers to MatchOdds of WinningPrize Value
6 Numbers (jackpot)1 in 45,057,474Jackpot
5 Numbers + Bonus Ball1 in 7,509,579£1,000,000 (fixed)
5 Numbers1 in 144,415£ 1,750 (fixed)
4 Numbers1 in 2,180£140 (fixed)
3 Numbers1 in 97£30 (fixed)
2 Numbers1 in 10.3Free Lotto Lucky Dip (fixed)

Italian SuperEnaLotto

MatchWinOdds of Winning
Match 6Jackpot1 in 622,614,630
Match 5 + JollyEstimated €311,0001 in 103,769,105
Match 5Estimated €32,0001 in 1,250,230
Match 4Estimated €3001 in 11,907
Match 3Estimated €251 in 327
Match 2Estimated €51 in 22

German Lotto 6 aus 49

TierMatchOdds of Winning% of Prize Pool
16 + Superzahl1 in 125,854,34412.80%
2Match 61 in 15,537,57310%
35 + Superzahl1 in 542,0085%
4Match 51 in 60,22315%
54 + Superzahl1 in 10,2345%
6Match 41 in 1,14710%
73 + Superzahl1 in 56710%
8Match 31 in 6345%
92 + Superzahl1 in 76Fixed amount*

Australian Oz Powerball

Prize DivisionsMatchWinning Odds
Level 17 + Powerball1 in 134,490,400
Level 271 in 7,078,443
Level 36 + Powerball1 in 686,176
Level 461 in 36,115
Level 55 + Powerball1 in 16,943
Level 64 + Powerball1 in 1,173
Level 751 in 892
Level 83 + Powerball1 in 188
Level 92 + Powerball1 in 66

Australian Oz Lotto

MatchOdds of WinningPercentage of Prize Fund
Match 71 in 45,379,62040%
Match 6 plus either supplementary1 in 3,241,4011.7%
Match 61 in 180,0783.5%
Match 5 plus either supplementary1 in 29,6021.8%
Match 51 in 3,4302.1%
Match 41 in 15424%
Match 3 plus either supplementary1 in 8726.9%

Which lottery is better to play?

There is no definite answer

Probability-of-win-world-lottery

Of course, the probability of winning the super prize lottery is not the only factor when deciding to buy a lottery ticket.

Based on the above information, you may not play the popular Italian lottery SuperEnalotto, although the lottery offers large winning categories besides the jackpot.

The lottery with the highest probability of winning, as a rule, is able to accumulate less significant prizes than lotteries in which the probability of winning is less. This is very logical, because lottery operators are not charitable organizations, and form a prize Fund from the money from the sale of tickets.

An important factor is the amount of the accumulated jackpot. The bigger the jackpot, the more opportunities are given to players if they win it.

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