When playing the lottery, you may do well knowing what odds you’re up against. Thus, this guide on lottery odds is here to help you become accustomed to the most popular game of chance. We look at the basics and some lottery examples.
Guide on Lottery Odds: An Overview
So, what do we mean by the term lottery odds? In a nutshell, lottery odds are the ratio which one is up against when playing a lottery. For instance, the US Powerball has a massive jackpot which is triggered by matching 6 numbers. Albeit, five of those numbers are in the base-game and one of them is the Powerball itself.
Of the five numbers, players are required to select anything from 1-69 whilst the Powerball can be between 1-26. This leaves players against the odds to actually select all six winning numbers and claim the jackpot prize. According to Powerball, players have a 1:292,201,338 ratio of winning the jackpot. This puts them against the odds to actually win.
How Lottery Odds Vary
Now, let’s get something straight. Lottery odds are the amount of possibilities which can come from a draw. This figure will always change depending on which game you play.
For instance, if you take a look at our guide to the best lotteries online, you’ll find many different types of games from all around the world. You don’t need to be a computer whiz to understand that a lottery with 5 balls from 1 to 40 will have lower odds than a game with 6 balls from 1 to 70. Most lottery experts will advise you to steer clear of lotteries with too high odds. If you want to stand a chance of winning, it works in your favor to play the easier lotto.
Lottery Odds and Probability
It’s a fundamental asset to know the difference between odds and probability. What lottery odds tell you is the chance you have and what you’re up against. Probability, on the other hand, is used to give you an understanding of what combinations work best.
By using a simple formula, we can state that winning the jackpot equals one possible way divided by all possible outcomes. So, as mentioned before with the US Powerball, 1 possible way is divided by 292,201,338 – the total amount of available outcomes.
However, let’s say that the one possible way you’ve selected is by using numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 as the Powerball. The probability of these numbers hitting is far less likely than other combinations.
Possible Lottery Draws
According to theory, every ball has got an even chance of being drawn as the next. Mathematicians will tell you that all day long. However, whilst this may be true, the practice is very different.
Although every ball has an equal chance of getting selected, patterns and combinations are not all equal. This is what is known as the probability of the outcome.
Let’s draw you a picture. If you’ve got 6 numbers to select from 49, you can go about your business in two separate ways. The first option would be to select 6 even numbers. The second choice would be to choose 3 even numbers and 3 odds.
In the first case, with 6 even numbers, you’ve got 134,596 different possible outcomes you can land. And yet, for choosing 3 even numbers and 3 odds, there are 4,655,200 possible outcomes.
The difference is, in the first case, you’ve got just under 1% chance of landing all six even numbers. However, if you decide to mix and match evens and odds, the probability of landing a winning combination is 33%. This is due to the additional number of possible outcomes.
A Winning Lottery Strategy
As this is a guide on lottery odds, we believe you might do well knowing a little tip. If you haven’t got the time to check out some famous lottery books, we can give you an insight here.
Smart Luck Powerball Tips
Gail Howard is a top-notch lottery expert who has produced several books on winning lottery strategies. One of her best bits of work can be found in “Smart Luck Powerball Tips”. In this case, her logic applies to the US Powerball.
Howard highlights the importance of choosing your US Powerball numbers by mixing odds and evens. Whether that be three even numbers and two odds or vice-versa, she recommends balancing them out.
Grouping of Numbers
Next up, you’ll want to head on over to the Powerball website. On the page, you’ll be able to find the outcome of the previous draw. You’ll want to be on the look-out for the groups of numbers which missed out. For instance, if last week the balls 3, 17, 36, 44, 54 and 64 were drawn, you should look out for the 20s. It is more likely that a number from 20-29 will be selected for the upcoming draw. Howard’s strategy suggests players look for the missing links from previous draws and insert these patterns into their own numbers.
The next thing you’ll want to do is to separate the numbers into a higher and lower category. As there are 69 balls, it is recommended to separate them from 1-34 and from 35-69. According to Howard, only 3% of the time will it ever be only balls from the higher/lower tier. Once again, it is advised to select two higher value balls and three lower value ones or the other way around.
Hot Number Picks
Last but not least, Howard recommends players select at least one of the winning numbers from a previous draw. According to her mathematics, a single winning number has 40% chance of being selected for the next draw. This can be a brilliant time to identify the hot numbers and put them to the test. If they’re truly on fire, they may yet get picked for the upcoming draw and you’ll already have one of your numbers ready.
Playing with Lottery Odds
As you have probably noticed, we’ve put a lot of focus on the US Powerball. Now, this may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but it is certainly the biggest lottery in the world. The Powerball has seen winners claim 10-digit number sums.
However, there are more lotteries than just the Powerball. And, with a little bit of special help from various online lottery agents, you’ll be able to play these lotteries without even residing in the country itself.
If you are keen to try out any of our guides to the best UK lotteries online, feel free to by clicking on the link. The UK National Lottery is by far the most popular choice but leaves players with a 1:45,057,474 chance of winning the lottery. The fixed jackpot for the UK Thunderball is considerably less; valued at 1:8,060,597 odds.
For players who want to try out the big ones, Mega Millions has a jackpot that comes out at odds 1:302,575,350. This is a considerable sum but still almost twice as big as the EuroMillions which is rated at 1:139,838,160. You can try out all these different lottery games by playing at one of the best online lottery agents at your disposal.
To conclude this guide on lottery odds, we do hope that you’re now far more confident in understanding what chances you have of winning. Remember, although your odds are slim, you’ve still got a far better shot of winning by using a strategy. The US Powerball one by Gail Howard could be an option for the future.
The most important thing is to remember the difference between lottery odds and the probability of winning combinations. Yes, all numbers have an equal chance of getting selected but always go for the highest number of possible outcomes.