Lottery Basics on How to Play: Lottery Types, Rules, Prizes & Tips

Buying lottery tickets online is just an example of how the lotto has grown over the past 30 years. It was not all that long ago when the first lotteries in the US and UK were being hosted. Nowadays, you’ve got far more selection of choice, plus a chance of playing these lotteries online. In this guide on lottery basics, we take a look at all the different types of lotteries, how to play, and what benefits online lotteries provide.

The History of Lotto

Where else to begin other than right from the very start. It is suggested that the first lotteries were formed back in the 15th century. The lotto was formed as a way of giving folk in a town to try their luck to win more food and wealth.

Fast forward to the 20th century and there’s a lot more to talk about. The one which probably every single punter around the world knows is US Powerball. Well, it was only in 1992 on April 19th that the first-ever Powerball was drawn. It is arguably the largest lottery in the US and also the world.

The main reason why it is only arguably the biggest and best is because of the Mega Millions. This is another US lottery which, like the Powerball, is also a multi-state lottery which was initiated by an independent lottery company in the States. Other major lotteries such as the UK National Lottery and EuroMillions have also pushed on since their respective starts in 1994 and 2004.

Advance in Technology

With the development of the internet, the lotteries mentioned above have only just skyrocketed. Going back several years, if you wanted to play the lottery, you’d have to take a walk to your local betting shop or post office. But since the internet and new devices have come into play, that’s all in the past.

Advance in Technology

Sure, you can still buy real lottery tickets, but most players opt to purchase it online. As long as you’ve got connection to use the internet, you need not take a trip to any betting terminal. You’ve got all the options for buying tickets online on smartphone, desktop and tablet.

Another perk, which is a big one, is the availability of lotteries. Previously, only players residing in the country could play the lotto. Thanks to the internet, anyone above the age of 18 can now play lotteries around the world. This has seen online lottery sites develop and bring about a wider audience for lotteries hosted in different states.

Lottery Basics – How to Play

We assume that most players know how to play or already have some sort of an idea but this section on how to play lottery is for players with absolutely no idea. Thus, if you feel as though this section on lottery basics is going to be straightforward, skip on down until the next heading.

If you want to learn how to play the lottery, the first thing you need to have is a few lucky numbers. Playing the lottery means you select out your lucky lottery numbers and watch the results come in. If you’ve got a combination of at least two matches, chances are, you’ve won the smallest of prizes.

Let’s take Powerball as our example! In the US lottery, you’ve got to pick 5 white balls which can be any value between 1 and 69. You also then get to choose one red ball, also known as the ‘Powerball’. This one should be anything between 1 and 26.

In order to win the massive jackpot, which is always a guaranteed $40 million, you’ll need to have 5 numbers correct. The Powerball is hosted every Wednesday and Saturday evening in the States. But remember, the ticket you buy is only for that specific night. If you want more chance of winning, you’re better off playing in both lottery events in the week.

As we’re sticking with Powerball for now, a ticket typically costs $2. However, you can play the Power Play bonus for an additional $1. This would see many more windows of opportunity open for you. The Power Play gives players more bonuses and can win with smaller combinations – lesser tier prizes. You can also trigger multipliers with Power Play, which can sometimes even go up to 10 times your original winning value is.

This lottery basics section is not limited to how to play lotteries. We’ve more lottery guides that give you an insight into unique features to help you play, win and enjoy the lottery.

Different Types of Lotteries

There are many different types of lotteries available for players around the world. The two terms which we’ve come up against time and time again are ‘progressives’ and ‘non-progressives’.

What you will notice is that the progressive lotteries are the biggest ones in the world. All the ones mentioned above – Powerball, Mega Millions, UK National Lottery and EuroMillions – are all progressives. So, what are progressive lotteries?

Progressive Lotteries

Progressives – as the name may suggest – are lotteries which are always growing. That is, of course, until someone wins the big jackpot.

Progressive lotteries have got a minimum amount and typically add €/£/$10 million each week when someone does not win the jackpot.

It is important to state that even though a lottery may be hosted twice per week, the jackpots are always different. For instance, UK National Lotteries Wednesday’s draw will be for one jackpot and the Saturday draw for a completely different prize.

Progressive lotteries are the most popular types of jackpot prizes. Players get to dream about winning millions. And, if they fail to do so, then next week’s prize is even bigger.

Progressive lotteries typically have a cap. This is a certain amount which is set as a maximum for the lotto. For instance, EuroMillions can raise all the way up to €200 million. Each week the lotto isn’t won, the prize increases by €10 million. Other lotteries, such as Powerball and Mega Millions, do not have any limitations. These progressives can go all the way up to the billions.

Non-Progressive Lotteries

Non-progressive jackpots, which can also be known as ‘fixed’, are lotteries that have a fixed amount. That means that the prize cannot grow and will always remain the same.

In lottery terms non-progressive lotteries such as the New York Take 5 is a fixed lotto. That means that the jackpot of this lotto will forever be set at a specific amount.

Guaranteed Lottery Prizes

When playing the lottery, there are a few things to remember. Most lotto jackpots have a guaranteed amount set. This can also be called the minimum jackpot amount for the lotto.

Guaranteed Lottery Prizes

Take Mega Millions or Powerball. Now, when a non-progressive lotto is won, the prize will be back to its same amount as in the previous week. It is fixed which means the jackpot will always be worth the same amount.

However, Mega Millions and Powerball also have a guaranteed lottery prize. In both cases, the minimum amount is $20 million. And then, for each week that the jackpot is not won, it increases based on actual ticket sales.

These guaranteed lottery prizes are really something you’ll need to be looking out for. Even if you win the lottery right after a previous lottery winner claimed the prize, you’ll still take home $20 million at least.

What Happens if you Win the Lottery with Others?

Let’s say that you’ve won the lottery and it’s a big jackpot worth $100 million. Well, in the case that you’ve got the winning ticket, but there’s more than one winner, the prize is shared.

Thus, if you’ve got a winning ticket for the $100 million lottery, but there’s also 4 others with the same combination, you all claim a portion of the prize. That means you’ll be taking home $20 million whilst the others also get their share.

That’s the truth about lottery jackpots. Sadly, your dreams of claiming a $100 million get split in 5 ways, leaving you with only $20 million. Still, better than nothing. Remember, in the case of Powerball and Mega Millions, you could be splitting $1 billion rather than just $100 million. There’s no cap and if that jackpot keeps growing without a successor, the prize gets way bigger.

Friendly Tip

Just as a friendly reminder, we’d recommend you steer clear from numbers 1 2 3 4 5 6 on a ticket. Now, even though the numbers have all the chance in the world to win – even though they’re consecutive, you’d be in a crowd trying to claim that prize.

It has been calculated that 10,000 people buy lottery tickets with those numbers. So, if you were a winner of a $100 million jackpot with those numbers, you’d be sharing that prize with 10,000 other winners (on average). That means you’d only get to claim $10,000. Moreover, numbers 1 2 3 4 5 6 have never actually been picked on any lottery ever.

The Truth about Picking Lottery Numbers

When it comes to selecting your winning combination, most players tend to find the meaning behind numbers. This could be worth a go, as ultimately, the lottery numbers are selected at random and every ball has an equal chance of getting picked.

Just like on a roulette table, each number has got as much chance of being selected as its neighbour. You can, however, approach the lottery using a scientific or mathematical way of looking at it.

Do Not Follow Hot and Cold Lottery Numbers

One of the tactics which many players play with is the fate of frequency. By checking up on hot and cold numbers, you could draw some luck by picking the numbers which are more likely to hit or selecting the ones which are long overdue. We personally do not favour this strategy for a good reason.