Almost every country in the world has a national lottery and you can play them all thanks to the internet. Online lottery ticket agents simply use your lottery numbers to buy official lottery tickets on your behalf. But the problem is how do you pick the best lotto game to spend your money on?
Questions to ask before you buy your lottery ticket
Before you play the lottery online, you’ll need to learn more about the different games you can play. Each lottery has its own rules and payout odds. Being familiar with these will make it easier to pick a lotto games that suits you. Here are some questions you should ask:
- What are my odds of winning the jackpot?
Your odds of winning a jackpot are calculated by working out how many winning combinations can be generated by the pool of numbers used by the lottery.
For example, to play the US Powerball players need to pick five main numbers from a pool of 1-69 and one Powerball number from 1-26. That makes your odds of winning the Powerball one in 292 201 338. But, the Powerball does offer some of the biggest jackpots in the world.
You might prefer to look for a lottery that offers you better odds of winning a smaller jackpot such as the Australian Powerball. With a playing field of only 40 main numbers and 20 Powerball (or bonus) numbers, your odds of winning an Australian Powerball jackpot are only one in 76 767 600. But the jackpot has never been higher than Au &$80 million.
- How many prize divisions are there?
If you’re not too worried about winning the jackpot, have a look at how many prize divisions the lottery has. Using the US Powerball as an example again, it has nine prize divisions (including the jackpot). You can win a small prize simply for matching the single Powerball number.
Compare that to the Spanish La Primitiva lottery which only has five prize divisions and you have to match at least three numbers to win the smallest prize on offer.
- How often do the draws take place?
If you buy a lottery ticket online, you won’t have to worry about keeping track of the draw results. The agent will check your ticket and email you if you’ve won a prize. But you should find out how many draws the lottery has every week. Some lotteries are drawn twice a week, while others only have one draw a week.
If you intend to play the lottery consistently (in other words, play every draw), this information can help you work out a budget. Don’t forget that a lottery ticket will cost you a bit more online because the agent charges you a small fee for the service they provide. Experts agree that playing every draw can improve your chances of winning.
- Will I have to pay tax on my lottery winnings?
This depends on the rules of the country where the lottery is hosted. For example, in Canada, lottery prizes are paid out tax free. But in the USA, lottery winnings are regarded as a form of income tax. If you win more than $5000 on an American lottery, you will have to pay both federal and state taxes on your winnings.
You’ll still have to pay these taxes, even if you play the lottery online. And your lottery winnings may also be subject to tax according to the rules governing lottery winnings in your home country. If you’re not certain, check with your local tax office before you start buying lottery tickets.
The more you know about a particular lottery, the easier it will be for you decided if it’s the best lotto game for you. All the information you need is freely available online, and you’ll find reviews on the various online lottery ticket agents too. Use these reviews to learn where you can buy lottery tickets online safely.