Lottery players in the UK are in the fortunate position of having quite a few different games to choose from, with the Lotto, EuroMillions, Thunderball and Health Lottery games being four of the most popular. Most players decide which games to play based on their mood at the time or on habits that they have already established, but a more informed way of making ticket purchase decisions might be to consider the odds of winning in each case and the amount of cash that would be won if success were achieved.
A direct comparison between UK lottery games isn’t as straightforward as you might think because there are so many different variables to take into consideration. For example, the odds of winning the jackpot are better in the UK Lotto game than they are in the EuroMillions game, but a EuroMillions jackpot is normally several times larger than a Lotto jackpot, so a direct comparison wouldn’t be fair. The overall chance of winning any prize at all is another factor that needs to be taken into account if you want to play intelligently.
If you are trying to decide which games to play in any given week you would do well to start by identifying which of the following factors is most important to you:
1 - Having the opportunity to win the biggest jackpot currently on offer.
2 - Having the best chance to win a jackpot of £1 million or more.
3 - Having the best chance to win a top prize of any size.
4 - Having the best chance to win a prize of any kind.
Your preference here will no doubt change from week to week as your mood and outlook varies, and that is perfectly fine. The key thing is that you clarify which of the four factors is of primary importance at the time. When you have done that, you can proceed as follows:
Response 1 – If the most important thing for you is to have the opportunity to win the biggest jackpot currently on offer, you don’t need to consider the odds at all. Simply take a look at the advertised jackpot amounts and play the game that offers the biggest one! Usually the game that you choose to play here will be EuroMillions, but it’s always worth double-checking just in case another lottery game happens to be offering a larger amount.
Response 2 – If the most important thing for you is having the best chance to win a jackpot of £1 million or more then you can instantly discard the Health Lottery and Thunderball games, as they offer top prizes of £100,000 and £500,000, respectively. Your best option here would be the UK Lotto game, where the odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 13,983,816.
Response 3 – If the most important thing for you is having the best chance to win a top prize of any kind then you would probably want to focus on playing the Health Lottery game. The top prize here is worth £100,000 (no matter how many players win it) and the odds of success are around 1 in 2,118,760.
Response 4 – If the most important thing for you is having the best chance to win a prize of any kind then you need to play the game with the best overall odds. At the time of writing that would either be the EuroMillions or Thunderball game, because in each case the odds of winning any prize at all with a single entry are a very respectable 1 in 13.
To save you having to read through the above instructions every time you want to buy a ticket, here is a handy comparison of the odds of winning the jackpot and any prize at all in each of four most popular UK lottery games. Add a generous dash of luck and it just might help you to win big!
|Lottery Game||Default Jackpot Size||Odds of Jackpot Win||Overall Odds|
|EuroMillions||€15 million||1 in 116,531,800||1 in 13|
|Lotto||£2.2 million +||1 in 13,983,816||1 in 54|
|Thunderball||£500,000||1 in 8,060,598||1 in 13|
|Health Lottery||£100,000||1 in 2,118,760||1 in 209|
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