Lotto (or lottery) is a form of gambling that dates back thousands of years. The old Chinese dynasty had number games (Keno) that resembled how the lotteries are held now. Also in the Roman Empire it was common to have lotteries and other number games for the public.

The lotteries in the Roman Empire resemble the lotto games now. Tickets were sold to the public in order to help the society and build infrastructure.

Currently lotteries are promoted by the governments, state and other public organizations. Profits from the tickets sales are usually funneled back to the public – as well as the winnings.

How to play Lotto

The usual format of lottery is simple to understand and easy to play. The basic idea of lottery, is to match your ticket numbers to the drawn numbers by the organizer.

Lotto is a number game. Depending on the organizer you either choose your own numbers or you buy a ticket with set numbers. This affects the lottery as well.
If you choose your own numbers, multiple people can have same numbers. This means that that there can be multiple winners come those numbers.
Therefore buying a ticket with set numbers, guarantees that if you win, you won’t be needing to share the winnings with anybody as your numbers are unique.

Lotto can be played online and through the national and state lottery ticket shops.

  1. Playing Lotto online.
    a. There are multiple providers of online lotteries. On these websites you can buy tickets to not only state lotteries but online specific lotteries like the WorldMillions as well.
    b. It is very convenient to play Lotto online. You can buy multiple tickets, keep records of winnings and losses easily. Also if you’re tired of checking you numbers against the draw, this is done automatically for you.
  2. Buying lottery tickets in shops
    a. If you live in a country where there is a state organized lotteries you can search online for the closest ticket shop and buy tickets from there.
    b. Follow when the draw is held and check your possible winnings.

Different forms of Lotto

There are many variants of lotto and the prizes can vary from petty goods to millions in prize money. But in its simplest form lotto is very straightforward. Choose numbersm and try to match these to the drawn numbers of the organizer. Let’s take an example from Eurojackpot – a weekly multinational and multimillion lottery.

In Eurojackpot every ticket must contain 7 numbers. 5 of these 7 numbers are main draw numbers and 2 are so called star numbers. The 5 main draw numbers are drawn from 50 (chosen from numbers 1 to 50) and star numbers are drawn from 10 (chosen from 1 to 10).

There are different prize tiers as well in different lotteries. For example in the above example of Eurojackpot a player would already win with matching 2 main draw numbers and one star number. This fact makes playing Lotto usually so intriguing.

Lotto is essentially a number game but the term can be used to describe some other formats of raffle with an element of luck. In Stockholm, Sweden the city decided to enter all the people who did not drive over the speeding limit in a speeding camera zone to a lottery where prizes were drawn amongst these responsible driver. Read the whole article of worlds weirdest lotteries on Lottoland.

How to win in Lotto

  1. Despite general belief buying more tickets to a given lottery does not improve your chances of winning. There are still ways how to optimize your lottery playing:
    Don’t buy multiple tickets this won’t improve your chances of winning.
  2. Try to avoid popular numbers or strings of numbers not to overlap with other players (not to share jackpot or other winnings).
  3. Play Lotto online, this way you ensure that every ticket you buy is checked against the draw.
Lotto balls in machine

Lotto balls in machine

What Lotto numbers are drawn the most?

As the drawing mechanism in all of the lotteries is based on randomizing the numbers, there are no specific numbers that would be favored, within a single lotto.

Some statistics say that number 38 is the most drawn lottery number, and number 13 the least drawn number. This is however only when looking at a single lottery during a particular time period. That might be true if all the available data would be included in the study. However most lotteries do contain numbers up to 40. This would make that stat plausible. Is number 13 really the unlucky number?

When are lottery draws taking place?

It is safe to say that most of the lotto draws take place over the weekend. The most common days for draws are Friday and Saturday.

However, to expand lotteries and people taking part in them, most of the providers offer lotteries that are drawn over the week as well. Most noteworthy, some of the most high profile lotteries like the EuroMillions and PowerBall have expanded draws from weekend to Tuesday (EuroMillions) and Thursday (PowerBall).

What is the biggest lottery win and who won it?

The biggest single jackpot in any lottery has easily been the PowerBall (United States) in January 2016 with 1.58 billion dollar jackpot, shared by three lucky winners. However in the US based lotteries the prize money is subject to income tax and other withholding. Winning alone the 1.58 billion dollar jackpot would mean pocketing only around 1/3 of the money. This jackpot of 2016 was won by three people splitting it between them.

1.58 billions dollars would mean around 1.48 million euros in current currency and 493 million euros to each winner. But this is before tax and other deductions that the US based players were subject to.

The largest ever jackpot that has been won tax free is the EuroMillions jackpot from 2011 in England. The winner pocketed 185 million euros tax-free hence making it fully comparable in size towards the big win in PowerBall.

Do you need to pay tax on lottery winnings?

If you play lotto with lotto betting companies online, all the winnings are tax free for you. Because of this fact online lotteries have become more and more popular. Also if you play state lotteries in France, Canada, Australia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Finland or the United Kingdom all the lottery winnings are tax-free.

How do online lotteries work?

First of all you should be careful when picking and buying online lotteries. Online lotteries can either sell you actual tickets, be syndicates or offer you lottery betting.
Lotto syndicates mean that the actual provider is buying the tickets first and then selling shares on those tickets and their winnings.
Betting on lottery is very close and similar to actually buying a lotto ticket. The only difference is that provider is insuring the jackpot and big winnings and paying out the rest from regular cash flow.

“Fun fact”

Lotto is one of the most popular forms of gambling. Only in United Kingdom over 2/3 of the adult population plays lotto.