Lottery betting is something that many bookmakers offer. Visit your friendly neighbourhood bookie and he will no doubt be delighted to let you bet on the numbers that you think will appear in the next lottery drawing. However, comparing the odds you are given at face value could be a bit of a mistake.
For example, a bookmaker might offer you odds of 460/1 for picking and matching three numbers. This is far better than the 9/1 offered by the UK lottery for 3 numbers, but it isn’t 46 times better as many people would assume. This is because the lottery lets you pick 6 numbers, not just 3.
To pick 6 numbers and have 3 of them all on one betting slip would require 20 bets with a bookmaker instead of just one with the lottery. And that means you’d have to bet £20 with a bookie in order to get odds of 460/1, whereas you can bet £1 on the lottery and get odds of 9/1. The bookie has the edge, but not by nearly as much as most people assume. And don’t forget, if you managed to get all six numbers right, you’d probably win a million or several million on the lottery itself, whereas you would only win 20 x £460 with the bookie.
Whilst some bookmakers will allow you to place lottery-related bets that you can’t enjoy when playing the lottery itself (such as a single number, the colour of the first number out of the machine, or whether that first number will be odd or even) the odds available on those markets are hardly life-changing, and you would need to stake a heck of a lot of money to get rich from them. That said, you can’t bet on any of these things playing the lottery, so the bookmakers have a clear edge in that department even if their odds aren’t particularly generous.
Whilst there is nothing wrong with having a flutter on lottery bets with a bookmaker if you only want to pick a few numbers, you won’t be able to win the same kind of life-changing amounts that you can by hitting the jackpot on the lottery itself. And of course, when you bet with a bookmaker you won’t be helping any good causes other than the bookmaker himself.
The moral of all this is simple: if you want to profit from just a few numbers, you can do so by betting with bookmakers. But if you have your heart set on a life-changing jackpot, playing the lottery itself is the way to go.
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Saturday 20th September 2014
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