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Your Chances of Winning The Lottery

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lotteryYou have to be in it, to win it.” 

Let’s all stop what we are doing, me writing this blog, and you reading this blog, and just think what we would do if we won the lottery….I mean won big….millions ££££.

What did you dream of?

* A new house

* A new car

* Travelling around the world

* Giving money to family and friends

And let me ask you this question….would you tell anyone that you had won the lottery?

Personally, I would not tell a soul, not even my partner; although she could probably figure it out as I started to splash the cash about.

If you think about it, if you win millions, it is hard for people to not figure it out.

You move, buy a big house, stop working.

That’s my second question to you, would you continue working?

Personally, I would not, my job would then become spending the millions of pounds I had won. At my age, why not.

Those that say they would continue working, and that the money would not change them need to have a reality check.

Winning millions does change you, and in a big way. It can change people around you. Suddenly you have friends and relatives you never knew existed coming out of the woodwork looking for you.

Recently in the news was a couple that had won £50,000 a year ago, and are now skint, and facing eviction. The couple are not working and were looking to receive income support and housing benefit.

The couple say they did use the money for a large TV, designer clothes, and admit they went a bit “silly” with the money.

Unfortunately, just as winning the lottery can bring about an air of celebrity, so can being in the news saying you’ve blown it all.

The couple have been called “scroungers”, and so far, no benefits are being provided to them.

As we will see, winning the lottery may not be all that we want it to be.

But what are the odds of winning??

lottery2Odds of Winning The Lottery

I’m sure we all have known someone that has played the lottery and/or the EuroMillions for years and has never won.

Week after week they play their numbers in the hopes of winning big. And they may win from time-to-time, just not the millions we all hope for.

There in lies one of the problems with playing the same numbers, if one week you don’t play those numbers and they come up, you’re not going to feel too well.

Lucky dips, that’s the way to go. Let Lady Luck decide for you.

There have been some changes to the lottery over the past few years. A couple of years ago the cost of a single lottery ticket was raised from £1 to £2, and just this past October, an additional 10 numbers were added. No longer is the highest number 49, it is now 59.

By adding the additional 10 digits, it dramatically changes the odds. And not in a good way as you can imagine.

The house always wins.

Just a little gambling saying. And playing the lottery is a form of gambling.

However, the saying is stating the obvious, the odds are against you in gambling, they have to be or no one would ever set-up a gambling house, or allow wagers. The same is true with the lottery and EuroMillions, the odds are against you.

The odds of winning the lottery jackpot are now 1 in 45 million!

The odds of winning by hitting five (5) numbers and the bonus ball are 1 in 7.5 million.

The odds of winning the EuroMillions is 1 in 116.5 million.

So the Euromillions does seem to have better odds, and may be a better game to play.

To put these odds in perspective, you have 300,000 to 1 chance of being struck by lightning.

However, Camelot who run the lottery say these changes, even with the odds increasing, will make for better games. There will be larger jackpots, which this past week did prove, and they will also have a “millionaire raffle” each game and guarantee a winner each time.

It is easy to see why the jackpots will increase, by increasing the odds no one will win, causing the jackpots to roll over.

Once the jack pots reach a high level, such as over £50 million this past week, more people scramble to buy tickets, which again causes the jackpot to increase.

The Chief Executive of Camelot, Andy Duncan said, “The changes we made to reinvigorate Lotto two years ago have been hugely successful, helping us achieve record total sales last year of £7.2 billion and delivering over £300 million more for National Lottery projects than if we had done nothing to change the game.”

“To build on this success, we need to carry on innovating to keep our games fresh and appealing.”

“By giving our players more chances than ever to become a millionaire and with bigger rolling jackpots to play for, we’re making Lotto even more exciting.”

There are other lotteries you can play, such as the Health Lottery or Postcode Lottery. Tickets for the Health Lottery are only a £1, and some have fairly high jackpots. You pay a monthly subscription for the Postcode Lottery, and they have quite a few draws, with a few large draws each month.

The odds of winning the Health Lottery are 1 in just over 2 million. So better odds than the Lotto or EuroMillions.

Scratch Cards: In looking at the odds of winning the lottery, I decided to look into scratch cards as well. I see them littering the streets all the time, people must buy one, scratch it right outside the shop, and if they don’t win, just toss the card down. 

I have witnessed people so eager in scratching their recently purchased card, they scratch it right there in the shop on the counter.

But what are the odds of winning on one? Much will depend on what games are still available, and what has already been won. 

So the odds can change as people win, as there are only so many top prizes.

I decided to do a little experiment, and went and bought a £2 “Diamond Riches” scratch card. I thought, why buy a £1, push the boat out and get a £2 card. And I had been told, the higher the price of the scratch card you buy, the better your odds.

So I was told.

According to the National Lottery web site as of January 8, 2016, two (2) top prizes were still available for the scratch card I purchased. So I felt somewhat hopeful.

In reading the back of the card, and there is some good information on the back to read, I read the odds of winning a prize was 1 in 4.24; it didn’t say 1 in 4.24 million, just 1 in 4.24. That sounds promising. 

The prizes that were available were:

    A top prize of £100,000.

  • £10,000

  • £1,000 

  • £500

  • £100 

  • £40
  • £20
  • £10
  • £5
  • £3
  • £2

And you could win another £2 scratch card.

So off scratching I went.

And much to my surprise….. I won!

I won £3. Whoo hoo!

I will parlay that £3 into an empire of millions ££.

jackpotCurrent Huge Jackpots

As of this writing, January 11th, 2016, no one has won the £45 million EuroMillions drawing on this past Saturday, so the jackpot will continue to grow, to around £51 million

If we are to believe the National Lottery web site, two (2) people won the lottery on Saturday the 9th, and each won around £33 million.

I say this as the lottery’s web site has been experiencing high volumes of traffic, and is down more than it is up lately.

You would think with all the money they are generating, Camelot could afford additional and better servers. I mean, they are the ones that have changed the odds by adding additional numbers knowing it would increase the jackpots, hence driving more traffic to the web site.

Just my opinion.

Powerball: The Powerball is a lottery in the United States, which is similar to our lotteries in that if no one wins the jackpot, it rolls over,

As no one has won the Powerball recently, the next drawing this Wednesday, January 13, 2016, will be for the sum of $1.3 billion! That’s correct, billion!

Now that’s a lottery. That is equivalent to around £900 million here in the UK. And we thought £60 million was a lot. Leave it to the Americans to do something bigger:)

££ to CharitiesSo where does all these millions and millions of pounds go, besides to the huge jackpots and winners?

All the lotteries donate portions of the money spent on lottery tickets to charities.

For the year 2015, £7,277.8 million was spent on lottery tickets!

Of this the lottery averaged £34 million a week to various projects and charities.

Prizes totalling £3,915.3 million was paid out.

That is a lot of money, billions is not just spent on the lottery, but also paid out and given to the charities and projects. So it would seem playing the lottery is a good thing as the money generated does good.


Lottery syndicates are where people pool their money and purchase lottery tickets so they can increase their chances of winning.

This may be a lottery pool at your place of work, friends and family, or even some companies that operate lottery syndicates.

There can be some problems that arise from lottery syndicates, usually if the group wins.

Suppose one person doesn’t pay their portion one week and the syndicate wins. Do they share it with the person who failed to pay.

In some instances one person who holds the winning ticket may not share the proceeds. They could just run off with the cash.

You may need a formal agreement in place prior to setting-up a lottery syndicate.

money-goneThe Curse of The Lottery

Just as we saw with the couple that won £50,000 on the lottery, only to spend it all within a year, there has been a “curse” associated with winning the lottery.

Many lottery winner who win millions, only wind-up years later bankrupt.

In part they may not know how to handle that kind of money. Going from earning £20,000 annually to winning millions is a life changing event. Some winners just spend and spend and spend, until the money is gone.

Having millions of pounds is a responsibility, and can be a heavy one at that.

Michael Carroll, who was called the “lotto lout” won almost £10 million in 2002 at age 19.

He spent it all on “drink, drugs, and fast cars” and is now working in a biscuit factory, earning a couple hundred pounds a week.

And Michael is not alone, there are many lottery winners who are now worse off than before they won.

So we need to be careful what we wish for.

As for myself, I have never won big on any lottery, the most was £114 once on a lucky dip I bought because everyone I was out with bought a lucky dip as well. And of course now my £3 off the scratch card.

However, I can still dream about hitting the big one.

If I did win big, again, no one would know, and I would go in person to the lottery offices to claim my prize, no posting the card off and trusting the Royal Mail.

Face-to-face to meet my winnings.

,“You have to be in it, to win it.”  Let’s all stop what we are doing, me writing this blog, and you reading this blog, and just think what we would do if we won the lottery….I mean won big..

This article by Jon Emge was syndicated by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.

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