What are the odds of winning the lottery?
The lottery is one way that people can win money. Sometimes, the prizes are huge, so they’re extremely tempting. Other times, they have smaller payouts, but they are just enough to give someone a small financial boost.
As a form of gambling, there is no way to guarantee that you’ll win. However, knowing the odds of each lottery could help you make the right decision about which lottery you spend your money on, so you have the greatest opportunity to win.
In this article, we’ll go over several different lotteries that take place throughout the United States, so you can get an idea of which might be the best for you to invest your money into. With luck (and a little strategy), you could be walking away with a big prize.
ALL UNITED STATES
1. USA PowerballOdds of winning: approximately 1 in 38 for any prize, 1 in 292,201,338 for the jackpot
Same as: One of the only odds worse than winning the USA Powerball or Mega Millions is the odds of composing a perfect NCAA Championship bracket. You may be surprised to hear it, but the odds are almost off the chart at around 1 in 9.2 quintillion. You’re actually only slightly less likely to win the USA Powerball than being killed by a vending machine (about 50% less likely, to be clear).
2. Mega Millions Multi-State Lottery
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 302,575,350Same as: Getting struck by lightning and dying. The National Safety Council reports that so few people were injured and killed by lightning in 2020 that it is actually impossible to calculate the odds of getting struck by lightning yourself.
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 28 for smallest tier prizes, 1 in 21,846,048 for large-tier prizes
Same as: Similar to becoming the President of the United States, which has a 1 in 32.6 million chance of happening.
4. Lotto America
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 25,989,600
Same as: Dying as a railway passenger. There are so few deaths linked to this in the United States annually that the odds are astronomical, according to the NSC.
5. Lucky for LifeOdds of winning: approximately 1 in 30,821,472
Same as: Getting canonized. Getting canonized is likely at a rate of around 1 out of every 20 million, which is actually a bit better than winning the grand prize of this lotto.
6. All or Nothing
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 324,632Same as: Not quite the same odds, but you have a similar chance of having conjoined twins. Around 1 in 200,000 people give birth to conjoined twins, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
7. Natural State Jackpot
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 9 (all prizes)SSame as: The odds of dying from heart disease set at right around 1 in 6, and cancer comes in a little less likely at 1 in 7, to put your chances in perspective.
8. California Super Lotto Plus
Odds of winning: 1 in 42 million
9. Electric 8s
Odds of winning: 1 in 6.86Same as: Developing long-haul COVID-19 symptoms.
10. Money Ball
Odds of winning: 1 in 3.76 overall, 1in 6.03 for cash prizes.
11. $250,000 Payout
Odds of winning: 1 in 4.73
12. $5,000,000 Extreme Cash
Odds of winning: 1 in 3Same as: Having the favorite color “red.”.
13. Colorado Lotto+
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 30 (all prizes)Same as: Dying from a lower respiratory disease (1 in 28).
14. Connecticut Lotto!
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 7,100,000Same as: The population of Foshan, China, which is home to 7,497,000 people as of 2022.
15. Connecticut Keno
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 9.1 (10-spot game)
Same as: The likelihood of a man developing prostate cancer (approximately 1 in 8)
16. 20X Cash 8th Edition
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 4.08
17. $150,000 a Year for Life
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 4.16
18. 10X Cash 16th Edition
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 3.95
19. Florida 5/36 Matrix Fantasy 5 Lottery Game
Odds of winning: 1 in 376,992 for the jackpot
Same as: Dying as a passenger on an airplane. The likelihood is so low that the NSC doesn’t have enough deaths to determine the actual odds, much like the likelihood of winning this lottery game. It’s also about the same likelihood that you live in a city around the size of Lafayette, Louisiana.
20. Florida Lotto with Double Play
Odds of winning: 1 in 7.61
21. 500X The Cash
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 21,419,145Same as: This is nearly the same as if you were betting against all the people living in New York City. There are nearly 19 million people in the city limits as of 2022. Or, to put it in another way, you could bet against all of Beijing and have the same odds.
22. Mystery Multiplier
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 2,051,370Same as: Betting against all the people who are residents of Orlando, Florida, on a single game.
23. Triple Tripler
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 501,042
24. Money Miner
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 4 (all prizes)
25. Beach Bonanza
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 4.3 (all prizes)
26. Prize Potions
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 4.7 (all prizes)
27. Power 10s Scratch-Off
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 3.48 (all prizes)
28. Mega Millionaire Scratch-Off
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 3.58
29. Twisted Scratch-Off
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 3.56
30. Win Win Win Scratch-Off
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 3.69
31. Funky 5’s Scratch Off
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 3.78
32. 50X The Cash Bonus Edition
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 160,000 for the highest prizes
33. $500,000 Bankroll
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 137,143 for the highest prizes
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 120,000
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 137,143
36. 50,000 PAYDAY
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 2.8, highest odds 1:36,000Same as: The number of people who decided to adopt a pet during COVID-19 (33%, or around 1 out of every 3).
37. Northstar 5
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 7 (all prizes)
38. Gopher 5
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 12 (all prizes)Same as: Dying from a case of COVID-19 in 2020.
39. Summer Riches Scratch Off
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 7.69 all prizes
40. Jersey Cash 5
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 153 (all prizes)Same as: Getting audited as an average taxpayer in the United States. According to the Internal Revenue Service, working adults have a risk of around 1 in 160 of being audited in their lifetimes.
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 54 (all prizes)
42. Jersey Cash 5 with XTRA
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 11 (all prizes)
43. Pick-6 with XTRA
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 7 (all prizes)
44. Pick 10 New York
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 17 (all prizes)
45. New York Lotto
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 92.05 (all prizes)
Same as: Getting audited. People who make $200,000 or more annually are expected to be audited at a rate of around 1 in 80.
46. Rolling Cash 5
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 9 (all prizes)
47. Classic Lotto
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 54 (all prizes)
48. Texas Two Step
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 32.4 for all prizes
Same as: Getting onto the TV show, “The Price is Right.” Your odds are around 1 in 36 once you are a part of the studio audience.
49. Cash 5
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 7.2 for all prizes
Same as: Sitting near someone who cannot read.
50. Lotto Texas
Odds of winning: approximately 1 in 7.9 considering all prizes
How Can You Increase Your Odds of Winning the Lottery?
Winning the lottery is not always a pipdream, but it depends on what level of prize you want to win. Remember, too, that the odds are more in your favor as lesser prizes are won and larger prizes remain (when there are a limited number of tickets.
- Get to know the odds first. For most scratch-off cards, you can go online and look at the scale of odds. It will tell you the overall odds of winning as well as the odds for each prize.
- Find out how many tickets there are and how many have been sold. If there are only 100,000 tickets with 10 prizes and 50,000 have already been sold with no winners, your odds have just gone up exponentially.
- Try for lower prizes. If you set you target on getting a $50 or $100 payout rather than $5,000 or $10,000, for example, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much more often you win.
- Play lottery games that are local only. While the nationwide games are fun, the likelihood of winning them is much lower since so many people play. If you choose a game that not many people play, you’ll have better odds when you buy one or two tickets.
- Consider joining a game with friends. Buy 10 or 20 tickets for a group, and agree to divide the prize if you win. An office pool, for example, gives everyone better odds since there are more tickets.
- Play every week. While you might not want to play if you always lose, playing consistently increases your chances of winning.
- Use the same numbers every time, and choose them carefully. For example, did you know that the more ink there is on a ball, the more likely it is that it will drop? Choose double-digit numbers for a greater chance of winning big prizes.
- Simply buy more tickets. In some games without limits, this isn’t helpful, but if you buy more tickets for games that have limited tickets sold, you’ll increase your likelihood of winning the prize you want.
- Stop choosing lucky numbers. Some studies have shown that lucky numbers are more likely to be chosen by multiple groups of people, so even if they win, the prizes will be worth less.
- Choose a wide range of numbers. Don’t think about a pattern, because the odds are that the lottery picks will not be beholden to one.
- Don’t play a variety of games, choose one and stick with it. As long as the prizes haven’t been won, each card you lose with (on scratchers) will put you closer to winning the grand prize.
- Choose scratch-off cards over big lotteries. While the prizes might be smaller on some, the chances of winning at least your money back are much higher. You may find that you can win several medium-sized prizes without much effort.
- Double up with second-chance games. Many of the lottery tickets you use have second-chance games and drawings that could get you your money back or help you win a prize you weren’t expecting.
- Opt for rare numbers. While you want to choose double-digit numbers to avoid choosing other people’s favorites, you also want to look for numbers that other people don’t pick as often. Numbers like 7 and 13 are often selected, but what about 41 or 26? If you do hit a grand prize, the likelihood is that you’ll win more because of the unusual numbers you chose.
- Avoid playing games that have been out for a long time and had many prizes won. While it might be appealing to try to win the million-dollar prize left on a lotto card, you could miss out on many smaller prizes if they’ve already been collected.
These are a few tips to help you win the lottery. The odds aren’t always in your favor, but if you’re smart about the games you play, you may get lucky!