Tuesday 21st October 2014
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Overall Odds

Pound lottery balls Overall odds are the odds that reflect your chances of winning a National Lottery prize overall. Most people are aware of their chances of winning a jackpot, and quite a few are aware of the odds of winning the smallest prize, but unfortunately the overall odds tend to be ignored.

For example, we all know that the odds of you winning the jackpot when playing the UK Lotto game are 1 in 13,983,816, and that the odds of you winning the match 3 prize are 1 in 57. But did you know that the overall odds of winning any prize are 1 in 54? Most people don’t.

Does it matter that people tend to be unaware of the overall odds of lottery games? We think it does, and here’s why: knowing the overall odds of winning allows you to focus on playing games that give you the best chance of getting a return.

Yes, we would all like to win a lottery jackpot, but we all know that achieving such a goal is unlikely. So why not enter lottery games where we have a good chance of winning a smaller prize? We can still dream about scooping a million or two if we happen to get exceptionally lucky, but we can also look forward quite realistically to having some smaller wins as well.

So what are the overall odds of winning any prize in the UK’s most popular lottery games? The chart below shows the odds of you winning any prize in the four most popular UK lottery games:

Lottery Game Overall Odds of Winning a Prize
UK Lotto 1 in 54
EuroMillions 1 in 13
Thunderball 1 in 13
Health Lottery 1 in 108

As you can see, you have a much better chance of winning any prize with the Thunderball lottery than you do with the main UK Lotto game, and that might be expected because of the much larger prizes that the Lotto offers. But look at the difference between the Lotto and EuroMillions.

Although EuroMillions offers bigger jackpots, the odds of you winning any prize are twice as good as when playing the Lotto. That’s because there are more prize levels, and the minimum prize in EuroMillions is generally less than the minimum prize of £10 in the Lotto, but if frequency of winning is more important to you than the actual sum you win, EuroMillions is certainly a lottery to look at.

Being aware of the overall odds of winning doesn’t mean that you should automatically play the games that give you the best chance. Sometimes it’s fun to forget all about the odds and just play the game that takes your fancy. That said, being aware of the overall odds can’t hurt you one bit, and it can be a useful factor to consider when you feel compelled to choose between different games. Good luck!

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