Most players know that the odds of winning any prize in the UK Lotto game are around 1 in 54 and the odds of doing the same in the EuroMillions game are around 1 in 13, so how can we expect such lottery averages to pan out in the real world? Well, we can’t expect the averages to be exact for every player (it is a fact of life that some players will win more often than the averages suggest whilst some will win less often) but if there was a player (we will call him Mr Average) who experienced lottery averages exactly as stated and exactly ‘on time’ then the following would hold true…
If Mr Average bought one Lotto entry for every Saturday draw only then he could expect to win a prize once every 54 weeks, which is almost once a year. Don’t forget the fact that the odds of winning ‘any prize’ include the jackpot and second-tier prizes, so once a year wouldn’t be at all bad if the prize eventually won was a big one!
If Mr Average bought one Lotto entry for every Wednesday and Saturday draw then he could expect to win a prize once every 27 weeks, which is once every 54 draws. That is just under two prizes per year.
Now if Mr Average was to enter his or her single line of numbers for the Lotto Plus 5 game too (where the odds of winning are the same as in the main Lotto game), he could expect to win a prize approximately once every 54 days. That’s because his numbers would be entered into a lottery draw every day of the week.
Shifting over to the EuroMillions game, if Mr Average was to play a single line of numbers in just one draw each week (for example, the Friday draw) then he could expect to win a prize once every 13 weeks, which would equate to four prizes per year.
If Mr Average played his numbers in both the Tuesday and Friday EuroMillions games, then he could expect to win a prize once every seven weeks or so (actually once every six and a half weeks), which would be around eight prizes per year.
Of course, no player can reasonably expect the lottery averages to unfold with this level of precision in practice, but the expectations outlined here should illustrate that playing lottery games regularly is the best way of maximising the odds of winning prizes. And, it should go without saying, if you play more than one line of numbers for each game you play, your odds of winning will be even better!
Written by Ian Bruce
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Saturday 1st November 2014
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