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How to Play the Lottery
How to play the lottery; learn everything you need to know in just five minutes. This article serves as an introduction to those who have never played before and covers all the main topics such as how it works, picking numbers, extra/supplementary numbers, lottery odds and prize divisions.
The lottery remains the most common and popular game of chance for two very obvious reasons. Firstly, it offers the biggest payouts, and secondly, it’s the easiest to play.
Unlike sports betting, where the odds change according to the whim of the bookies, lottery odds are fixed, and unlike games like poker or blackjack, there’s no rules to learn. You literally just pick your numbers and hope for the best!
Playing the Lottery: How It Works
To play the lottery you just need to fill out a ticket. Traditionally these are made of paper, but here at Lottoland it’s all done digitally.
On your ticket area you’ll see a grid of boxes, each representing a number. So, let’s take the Saturday Lotto as an example; its ticket grid is numbered from 1 to 45.
The Saturday Lotto is referred to as a 6/45 lotto, that is, out of the 45 available numbers, you must pick 6 to play.
Playing the Lottery: Picking Numbers
So, how do you pick your lottery numbers? Well there are two options.
- Pick your own numbers manually
- Use a Quick Pick
The first way is the most common method; players mark the squares corresponding to their desired numbers which often include birthdays or important personal dates.
Alternatively, you can opt for a Quick Pick which is a random, computer generated set of numbers.
You do this by clicking on the Quick+1 button for a single pick, or the +Rest button to fill out the entire ticket area.
When picking numbers manually we’ve discovered that a lot of players tend to pick certain dates that are of significance to them.
Research has also shown that, even when players try to pick numbers at random, their subconscious fails them and they end up picking similar numbers to other players without even realising.
The danger with picking numbers manually, therefore, is that there’s a much higher chance that other players will pick the same numbers as you. Should you win, therefore, you’ll have to share it with all the other players who picked those same numbers.
Playing with quick picks minimizes this risk, but not entirely. Which is why we have an exclusive feature called NumberShield which protects your numbers to ensure you win the full jackpot, even if other players have the same numbers are you!
How to Play the Lottery: Extra & Supplementary Numbers
Some lotteries have extra numbers, and this can sometimes lead to confusion because there are two different types.
Extra/Bonus Number Lotteries
First we have extra or bonus numbers. These are numbers that the player picks, and are are often referred to by different names depending on the lottery in question.
As with your main, regular numbers, these bonus numbers will have a specific range. For example to play the Thursday Lotto you must pick your bonus number from a range of one to 20.
Here are five such lotteries that are available at Lottoland Australia:
|Lottery:||Bonus Number Name:
|The Thursday Lotto (aka Australian Powerball)||Powerball (x1)|
|US PowerBall||Powerball (x1)|
|EuroJackpot||Euro Number (x2)|
In the first two games the extra number is referred to as the Powerball. In MegaMillions it’s known as the Megaball.
In both the European mega lotteries you pick two numbers. In EuroMillions these are called Lucky Star numbers and in EuroJackpot they’re referred to as Euro Numbers.
Supplementary Number Lotteries
Now to the second type of extra numbers, referred to as Supplementary numbers. The difference here is that you don’t pick these numbers. Rather these are drawn after the main numbers are drawn. So, returning to our Saturday Lotto example, six numbers from a range of one to 45 are drawn each Saturday night, followed by two Supplementary numbers.
You’ll need all six regular numbers to hit the jackpot, but having one or both of these supplementary numbers will also help you win other prizes.
So, for example, if you have five regular numbers plus the supplementary you’ll win the second prize division (the exact same goes for both the Monday and Wednesday Lotto).
Of course there’s also a way you can play with even more numbers than the standard amount and potentially win big – learn about how to play with System Entries.
How to Play: Lottery Odds
Knowing your odds is key to selecting the right lottery game. Do you want to win more money, but at tougher odds, or would you rather increase your chances of winning a nice fat jackpot?
Generally speaking the higher the jackpots the higher the odds against you, so the tougher it is to win. Conversely lotteries with relatively smaller jackpots are usually much easier.
This is certainly the case in Australia; the Tuesday Lotto (aka Oz Lotto) has the highest jackpots but it’s also got very high jackpot odds, at 1 : 45,379,620.
The Monday/Wednesday and Saturday Lotto games, meanwhile, generally have significantly lower jackpots, but the odds of winning are much more favourable, at a much lower 1 : 8,145,060.
Don’t know the odds of a given lottery? Don’t worry, we publish them all on our site. To find out select any of our lotteries and click on the Help & FAQ button and you’ll be able to find detailed information on jackpot and other prize division odds.
How to Play: Prize Divisions
So what are these prize divisions exactly? Well, surprisingly a lot of lottery players only focus on the jackpot and neglect to consider the other cash prizes they can win.
Each lottery is different, and therefore has a different amount of prize divisions, and different criteria in order to win them.
The Thursday Lotto has a total of eight prize divisions, the most prize divisions of any Australian lottery.
To hit the top prize, the jackpot, you must have all six regular numbers plus the bonus Powerball number. To hit the lowest prize you need only have two regular numbers and the Powerball.
In other words the easier it is to win, the lower the prize division value, the more difficult it is, the higher the amount you can. Check our recent article about which game gives you the best odds to find out more.
Congratulations – You’re Now a Lottery Expert!
See? Easy peasy, right?
Now that you know how to play the lottery, the next thing is to give it a go yourself. Who knows you could well be just seconds away from a multimillion dollar win! But you’ll never know unless you play.
And the best place to play the lottery is right here at Lottoland. Not only have we got all the world’s best lotteries right under one roof, we make playing even easier!
Everything’s done automatically, safely and securely, so you never need to worry about filling in your ticket incorrectly, or worse, loosing it!
Get automatic win notifications and money straight to your player account. Take advantage of our time-saving options to ensure you never miss a draw, not to mention our exclusive features and promotions.
Signup today to take full advantage!