You may not know this, but lotteries have been around for over 2,000 years already. It’s the most common and most popular form of gambling there is. About 80% of all Indians have reported having played the lottery before. Indeed, it is also the most widely accepted form of gambling. Let us tell you more about lotteries and how to play them in India.
Some history behind lotteries
The earliest version of lotteries has been traced back to the 2nd century BC in China. Archaeologists found evidence of keno games, which are a lottery game.
We know that privately run lotteries existed in ancient Rome, mostly for the fun of it among the richer population. But a national lottery was held by Emperor Augustus, who wanted to raise funds for repairs throughout the City of Rome.
From the late Medieval period onwards, lotteries were held more commonly. Towns ran lotteries to raise funds for repairs or necessary building projects. Local and national governments also ran lotteries to fund war efforts. Even Elizabeth I. held lotteries with such goals in mind.
Many governments used lotteries to raise funds for big projects or to fund wars instead of raising the taxes once more. Some were more successful than others, but the general appeal of a potential win usually meant that the general population was interested in purchasing lottery tickets. After all, they might even win something in the end and the investment was relatively small for each individual.
Since governments have often been in charge of running lotteries, they have also been in charge of regulating them. Whilst lotteries were sometimes prohibited, mostly they were at least tolerated or strictly regulated by various governing bodies.
That is true to this day. And nowadays it is more necessary than ever before because lotteries are somewhat of a global phenomenon. Some offer jackpots of hundreds of millions of US dollars. Or how about the Euro Jackpot that climbs to 90 million Euro, at which point it is capped. Someone will win it eventually.
Interestingly, the higher a jackpot climbs, the more people participate and hope to win it. This usually means that the funds raised in total are much larger than the jackpot is often worth.
And this is a good thing because even today lottery revenue is used for public projects or the common good. Often, lottery revenue that is not paid out to the winners will be used for various charities or educational projects. Whatever the funds are used for, it is usually for the good of many.
How does a lottery work
The principle of how a lottery work tends to be the same: you have to pick the numbers you believe will win among a range of numbers provided (often you pick 5 or 6 numbers out of a maximum of 50 to 100 numbers, depending on the lottery). One or two special numbers may also be needed (usually from the more limited range of 1 to 10).
Then a draw will take place to determine the winner. Whoever picks all numbers correctly will win the jackpot. Usually, picking some of the numbers correctly will also yield a win, which will be significantly smaller, however.
Depending on the lottery you are playing, you may get to choose just one set of numbers as your prediction of the winning numbers, or you get to pick several sets of numbers as your prediction on one ticket. The Euro Jackpot, for instance, allows 12 picks on one ticket. But you can always purchase additional tickets. Each pick adds to the overall cost of the lottery ticket, though.
Of course, if you want to participate in a particular lottery draw, you have to ensure to have purchased your ticket before the draw. Often, there is a deadline by which you will need to have purchased your ticket. If you miss the deadline, your ticket is usually counted towards the next lottery but not towards the upcoming one. Since all lottery tickets have electronic time stamps these days, this cannot be disputed either.
What are the odds?
The odds of winning a lottery are horrible if you want to know the truth. For instance, the US Powerball lottery has odds of 1:292 million (that is 1:292,000,000). The Euro Jackpot odds are a little better at 1:96 million.
Let’s look at the probability for an example of a lottery that requires you to pick 6 out of 49 numbers:
|Number of balls matched
|1 in 13,983,816
|1 in 1,906,884
|1 in 211,876
|1 in 18,424
|1 in 1,176
|1 in 49
|1 in 2.3
That doesn’t include additional numbers you may have to select for the chance of winning the jackpot, which means the odds become even worse.
But no matter how small the odds might be for any lottery out there, people still continue to buy lottery tickets. The hope remains to one day be the lucky one who scores the big jackpot and become an instant millionaire.
Where to play lotteries
Traditionally, you purchase your lottery ticket at a local retailer. They usually offer a range of lotteries to play, whether they are local or national.
Nowadays, however, you can play almost all lotteries online as well, at least the bigger ones, including national and international lotteries. In India, you’ll be able to find a considerable number of local lotteries that you may not be able to play online. But playing national or international lotteries won’t be an issue.
You will need to visit sites such as Lottoland.asia and open up an account there in order to play the big lotteries, but that’s usually not a big deal. In fact, Lottoland is a trusted provider. They’ve been around for many years and are well-regulated through Gibraltar, Malta, and the UK Gambling Commission.
Another place to play Indian lotteries, as well as international ones, is lotto-india.com. Whilst we have reviewed neither operator, we have checked their credentials and their overall reputation and found everything in good order.
Picking your numbers – Lottery strategies
You’ll be able to find countless lottery strategies touted online, but mostly you will also find that they are also entirely useless.
Sometimes you’re giving statistics of which numbers have shown up the most during a particular lottery and which numbers are due to show up at some point sooner rather than later. But that’s not helpful and lotteries are a pure game of chance. Statistics and probability are interesting tools, but they won’t help you predict the future. We don’t know of anything or anyone that predicts the future.
We can tell you what you should not do when picking your numbers:
Do not pick patterns! Whether that’s a row of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 or a pattern of 3, 13, 23, 33, 43 or even a pattern such as 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36 or whatever you can come up.
Playing such patterns is ridiculously popular and if one of them ever comes up in a lottery draw, the jackpot will be shared among thousands of winners.
Which numbers should I pick instead?
There’s no guarantee that you’ll win no matter which numbers you end up picking. Lotteries are simply too random, and the number of possible combinations is too high to hope for a combination that is guaranteed to win you the jackpot. It all comes down to luck.
Play your favorite numbers, if you like. Play the birthdays of your family members or other dates that hold meaning for you. Play several sets of numbers, if that’s an option, and simply hope for the best.
As long as your numbers are random and don’t follow a pattern that others may have chosen as well, you probably won’t have to share the jackpot with too many others, if you should ever win.
In fact, the only thing that does increase your odds is playing as many picks as possible. Join a lottery pool and play three dozen tickets at once. You may have to share the winnings among more people, but probably still not as many as you would if you played a pattern.
The most important thing to remember is to have fun. If you only play one ticket each week (or month), you won’t be spending too much money. No more than on a movie ticket anyway. If you don’t worry about it and don’t stake too much on it, you’ll be happy even about a small win. And who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky one day.