Of course, lottery is a game of chance, and the odds of hitting the jackpot are pretty slim, but It’s the what if factor of lottery that makes it such a popular game and draws you in time and time again. It’s now easier than ever to join in on the lotto action, thanks to online lottery sites. You’ll be spoiled for choice, with a wide variety of lotteries to choose from and jackpots ranging from thousands to millions of pounds.
If you’re wondering where to start when it comes to online lotteries, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve picked out the top lottery sites, so all you need to do is compare, sign up and start playing. Check out this guide to get to grips with all you need to know before you get going.
How do lottery sites work?
There are two ways to get involved with online lottery: you can either buy lottery tickets through a third party site, or bet on the lottery numbers that come up in a draw. Let’s take a look at how each option works.
Lottery concierge services
Lottery concierge services purchase tickets on your behalf. These sites allow you to play lotteries from around the world, thanks to staff local to the country of the lottery you’re playing. You’ll simply login, place your order and the ticket will be bought for you and a record of your ticket uploaded to your online lottery account. These lottery sites will usually monitor the lottery draws, and notify you if your ticket is a winner.
You won’t usually pay any more for a ticket than you would if you bought the ticket yourself in that country, but these sites usually have service fees.
Lottery betting works slightly different. Rather than playing the lottery, you’re placing a bet on the outcome of the draw. You’ll still pick lottery numbers, but you aren’t actually buying a ticket. The stakes are usually the same price as a ticket, but rather than contributing to the lottery fund, the money goes to the betting site. Likewise, payouts are usually the same as if you were actually playing the lottery, but it’s the lottery site, rather than the lottery operator that pays out.
Some lottery sites also give players the chance to bet on certain individual numbers being drawn. Of course, the more numbers you bet on, the higher your chance of landing a win. The odds will be the same for each number, given that lottery is a game of chance, and these bets will be paid out in a similar way to a sports bet.
Online lottery betting sites operate on an insurance-based model. This essentially means that they partner with insurance companies to insure each bet that is made. It’s this insurance company that covers the cost of your winnings if you do get lucky
Best lotteries available online
One of the best things about playing lottery online is that you get access to a range of different draws. Whether you want to play it closer to home, or take your chance on international draws, online lottery sites make this possible. Compare.bet has picked out some of the most exciting lotteries that you can get involved with online.
- Euromillions – Euromillions is played across nine European countries, but online lottery sites give players around the world the chance to get involved. You play by choosing five numbers from 1-50 and two bonus numbers from 1-12, with draws every Tuesday and Friday. EuroMillions has 13 prize tiers and, though the jackpot is capped at €190 million, it has been reached several times in the past, meaning there’s plenty of potential for winning here.
- US Powerball – The Powerball is the world’s richest weekly lottery and has a minimum jackpot of $40 million. With no cap on how high the top prize can go, the US Powerball holds the record for the biggest ever lottery payout – a whopping $1.586 billion that was split between three lucky tickets in 2016. With draws every Wednesday and Saturday at 10.59 pm EST, the concept is simple. All you need to do is pick five numbers between 1 and 69 and an additional ‘Powerball’ number from 1 to 26 to grab your chance of winning a share of the nine prize tiers.
- MegaMillions – Another US title, MegaMillions is the second richest weekly lottery. Like Powerball, you’ll need to match 6 numbers to hit the jackpot, but with MegaMillions you choose between 1 and 70 for the five main numbers and 1 to 25 for the bonus, so the odds are slightly longer. The jackpot also starts at $40 million and is uncapped, with the biggest win being a $656 million payout made in 2012. Draws are held at 10.59 pm EST every Tuesday and Friday, giving you plenty of chances to get involved.
- El Gordo – The name of Spanish Christmas Lottery draw means ‘The Big One’ – a reference to the huge jackpot prize that reached the heights of £2.3 billion in the past – making this Spanish lottery one of the biggest anywhere on the planet. Results are drawn in the run up to Christmas each year, with tickets selected from a hopper containing 100,000 numbered tickets, ranging from 00000 to 99999. Players buy tickets with a five number combination, and the matching ticket hits the big jackpot, though there are smaller prizes to be won, depending on number combinations.
- SuperEnalotto – This Italian lottery is one of the biggest in Europe, with a record jackpot of €177 million. To play, you simply pick six numbers from 1-90. You can also play the ‘SuperStar’ variation at some online lottery sites – simply pick a bonus number and if everything matches up, your prize will be bigger. With draws every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, the jackpot builds up quickly. There are five other prize tiers for the regular lotto and seven for the SuperStar, so there’s plenty of cash to be won!
- EuroJackpot – This international lottery is played across 18 different countries, offering a maximum jackpot of €90 million. Players must choose five numbers from 1-50 and two ‘Euro’ numbers from 1-10, and winning a prize in one of the 12 prize tiers will depend on how many numbers they match. EuroJackpot draws taken place every Friday night in Helsinki.
These are just a few of the many of lotteries on offer at the best online lottery sites, with some offering bettors the chance to enter over 50 different draws. Use our carefully selected list to browse and compare the full range of games and prizes and find one that’s right for you.
Why play at online lottery sites?
So why would you play lottery online when you could easily buy a ticket for a local lottery at a retailer? Let’s take a look at why people use online lottery sites.
The best thing about lottery sites is that you can enter draws that would be otherwise inaccessible. This opens up a whole new world of potential mind-blowing jackpots. For example, while UK residents can’t easily buy US Powerball tickets from a retailer, online lottery sites allow you to buy tickets and bet on the draw of this lottery.
Online lottery sites make joining a lottery syndicate easier than ever before. Joining a syndicate means that you’re part of a group of players who buy tickets collectively. So if you buy one ticket as part of a syndicate of 100 and your numbers win, you’ll bag a percentage of the prize. The more tickets or ‘shares’ you buy, the larger your win. This is a great way to boost your chances without breaking the bank!
Another big plus of playing the lottery online, at one our recommended sites, is that you can benefit from some great bonuses. Matched deposits, free bets and reduced prices are just some of the top welcome bonuses up for grabs at lottery sites. Many sites even reward regular lottery players with loyalty scheme promotions. For example, WinTrillions’ VIP loyalty program rewards one loyalty point for every £2 you spend. Once you’ve collected enough you can redeem points for discounts and free plays.
Online lottery draws are at set times, so if you can’t wait to get a slice of the action, online lottery scratch cards might be for you. These are simple, instant win games, available at a range of the best lottery sites. Scratch games odds are more favourable than traditional lotteries, so they can be useful for picking up a few smaller wins.
How to pay and play at online lottery sites:
- Choose your favourite online lottery site
The first step to potentially bagging a life-changing jackpot is to figure out which lottery site is best for you. This is where we come in – we’ve searched the web far and wide to bring you our carefully curated list of the top online lottery sites. We only recommend sites that are licensed by regulatory bodies such as the UK Gambling Commision (UKGC), so you’re guaranteed a 100% safe and fair place to play when you pick from our list. You can use our expert reviews to compare the best jackpots and bonuses on offer and pick out the best lottery site for you.
- Create your account
Found a site? Follow our link to head straight to the registration page. From there, you’ll be able to create an account within a matter of seconds- all you’ll need is some basic personal information. If an enticing welcome bonus has caught your eye, make sure to opt in when you sign up so that you don’t miss out. Remember that the biggest bonus numbers aren’t always the best deals- check the terms and conditions so that you understand exactly what you’re signing up to.
- Make a deposit
Making deposits at our recommended lottery sites is a piece of cake. Simply head over to the cashier page, select your preferred payment method and deposit amount and click confirm. Whether you want to pay by bank transfer, bank card, e-wallets, or prepaid cards, you’re sure to find a site that suits you. Decided the welcome bonus is for you? It’ll usually be credited to your account when you’ve made your deposit.
- Pick & play
With the funds in your account, you’re ready to get going! Find the draw you want to play, select your numbers and buy your ticket or place your bet. Whether you want to play overseas jackpots, raffles or jackpots, you’ll find it all at the best lottery sites. Good luck!
What else do I need to know?
Playing the lottery is probably the most simple form of gambling out there, so as you can imagine, there isn’t too much in the way of rules to be explained. However, there are a few lottery tips we have to share and important information you should be aware of before playing online lotteries.
Some lotteries offer something that doesn’t crop up too often – the chance to get your hands on tax-free cash. For example, if you live in the UK and are lucky enough to win the UK lotto jackpot, you won’t be taxed on your winnings as they are not classed as income. However, you will pay tax on any interest you earn on your returns, as well as gift and inheritance tax on money you give or leave to people.
For other lotteries, winnings may be taxed according to the country or state where the ticket was purchased, as well as your country of residence. If you’re lucky enough to win big on one of the US draws, then you can expect to be paying a fair amount of tax on your prize. At TheLotter, for example, tickets for Powerball and MegaMillions are purchased in Oregon, so any big winnings would be taxed by 38%. Non-jackpot prizes are generally pre-taxed, but jackpots aren’t, so it’s important to be aware of rules before you play.
When it comes to online lottery betting sites, if you win on a taxed lottery then generally the site will pay out the winnings as if you had bought a regular ticket. This means that the prize you’re awarded will be theoretically “taxed”, as if you were a resident of the country in which the lottery is held.
As with any kind of online betting, it’s important to be aware of the odds you’re gambling on. Everyone who plays lotteries know that the odds are slim, but you may not be aware of just how slim they can be. Lottery odds depend on how many numbers are drawn and the possible range of each number. Generally, the bigger the prize, the higher the odds. For example, the odds of hitting the Powerball jackpot are around 1 in 292,201,338, while you have a 1 in 45,457,474 shot at winning the UK National Lottery, so it’s fair to say that your chances are pretty small.
The good news is that most lotteries come with several prize tiers, so you don’t have to have a complete set of matching numbers to earn some lottery winnings. Both the Powerball and MegaMillions lotteries have nine prize tiers in total, whilst Euromillions has thirteen. The odds of winning smaller prizes are much better – 1 in 38 for Powerball and 1 in 22 for Euromillions, for example. Keep in mind, though, that whilst you may be able to win prizes for matching just one or two numbers, these will be very small – usually only a few pounds.
Keep within your limits
Some online lotteries offer jackpots that are beyond colossal. The biggest lottery jackpot to date was a massive $1.586 billion paid out by the US Powerball in 2016, which was split between three lucky tickets. The thought of winning such a life changing sum can make it tempting to buy multiple tickets to improve your chances of winning, but it’s important to always keep a level head when playing the lottery. Individual tickets might seem cheap, but the price can quickly add up if you don’t keep track of your spending.
When playing at the best online lottery sites you can activate features to help manage your gambling, just like you can at online casinos and sports betting sites. Deposit and loss limits, time out sessions and self exclusions are all tools that can be used to help ensure you play responsibly and don’t end up gambling more than you can afford to lose.
Ready to play online lottery games?
No other games offer a prize pool that even comes close to touching the jackpots that you can win playing online lotteries. With millions of players buying tickets each week and ever-growing rollovers, now is the perfect time to jump in and join the fun. All you have to do is browse and compare the top lottery sites from our list, get signed up and you could be the next multi-million pound winner!