Lotteries involve the random generation or drawing of numbers for a prize. The most obvious and common prize is cash, however, at times lotteries offer goods. Lotteries offer you a chance to win a large jackpot in return for a very small monetary investment.
The United States
In 2011, the Department of Justice in the United States altered its previous ruling on The Wire Act of 1961 to allow online gambling with the exception of sports betting. Therefore, it is not illegal to buy lottery tickets in the eyes of the federal government but it is important to consider that lotteries are subject to state regulation, including purchasing lottery tickets online.
In the United States, lotteries are offered by 44 states and Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, and Utah are the six states that do not offer lotteries.
While there is not a national lottery there are lottery games that encompass multiple jurisdictions and generate massive jackpots. The most popular multi-jurisdictional lottery games are Mega Millions and Powerball but not all states are part of the shared lottery network for these two lotteries.
Prior to the Internet you would have had to find an authorized retailer in your state to purchase a lottery ticket. While this is still an option, more recently online lottery sites are beginning to grow in popularity mainly due to the convenience It provides. But they also maintain the same options as a brick-and-mortar retailer, such as allowing you to pick your own numbers.
Currently, Illinois, Georgia, and Minnesota are the only three states that directly sell online lottery tickets. However, there are several states such as New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, Virginia, and Kentucky that have introduced and/or are actively working on finalizing regulations to officially enter the online lottery ticket market.
An alternative that some states have implemented is lottery subscriptions. By purchasing a subscription, you guarantee that your lottery tickets are purchased automatically on a reoccurring basis. Subscription links are often included on each state’s official lottery website.
The United Kingdom
The UK Lotto is the United Kingdom’s national lottery and is arguably the most popular game. However, the UK offers other lottery games operating under the National Lottery brand such as Lotto Hotpicks, Thunderball, EuroMillions, UK Millionaire Maker, and various Scratchcards. The Gambling Commission in the UK is responsible for regulation and licenses for each lottery game in the UK.
Much like the United States, the primary method of purchasing a UK Lotto ticket is in-person via an authorized retailer. Nowadays, it is perfectly legal to buy a UK Lotto ticket on the National Lottery website or through various online lottery agency websites. Furthermore, residents of other countries are eligible to purchase tickets for The UK Lotto.
While each country in Europe reserves the right to enact laws and regulation pertaining to online gambling and online lotteries there is one multi-jurisdictional lottery game that is extremely popular throughout Europe and is offered online – EuroMillions.
EuroMillions draws winners every Tuesday and Friday night in Paris, and tickets are sold Andorra, Austria, Belgium, France (including territories), Ireland, Isle of Man, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
EuroMillions tickets are available for purchase online via an online lottery ticket agency or you can purchase them online via most national lottery websites depending which country you live in. If you are a UK resident and win EuroMillions you will collect your prize in British pounds but the rest of the countries use Euros as their currency of choice.
In addition to the 13 countries that participate in EuroMillions, there are several other national lotteries throughout European countries.
European Countries That Offer Lotteries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Channel Islands, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Macedonia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.
Online lottery ticket sales vary by country, but for the most part, the more popular European lotteries can be played online by purchasing tickets through an agency or a government-run website.
Rest of World
Similar to Europe throughout the rest of the world national lottery regulation varies by country, including online ticket sales. Countries such as South Africa, Turkey, Japan, Hong Kong, Brazil, and Australia seem to allow players from all over to access their national lotteries rather easily via online lottery agencies. Australia in particular officially welcomes international players on their government lottery website and you can easily purchase tickets online.
Below is a list of countries that offer national lotteries.
African Countries That Offer Lotteries: Algeria, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, South Sudan, and Uganda.
North and South American Countries That Offer Lotteries: Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, and the United States.
Asian Countries That Offer Lotteries: Burma, China, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam.
Oceania Countries That Offer Lotteries: Australia and New Zealand.
Online Lottery Agents
One way that you are able to circumnavigate online gambling regulation in your jurisdiction or elsewhere is to purchase lottery tickets via an online lottery agency website. Essentially, these websites serve as the bridge between you (the player) and the lottery ticket retailer and grant you access to lotteries all over the world.
Online lottery agents employ local representatives in various jurisdictions, and they can purchase lottery tickets on your behalf and you will receive verification via email once the purchase is complete. Also, you are able to pick numbers if you choose to do so, thus there is very little difference between purchasing a lottery ticket online as opposed to purchasing one in-person.
Most online lottery agents offer their services in other countries besides the United States and can be found in countries located in South America, Canada, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Typically, small jackpots can be claimed via their agency’s online site, but in the event, you win a large jackpot you can expect to be contacted by the agency to discuss the protocol for claiming your winnings.
Some of the more popular online lottery agents include Lotto Dominator, Lottery University, Lotto Destroyer System, Professional Lottery Robot, Lottolucker, Lotto Profits, and European Lottery Guild.
Lotteries with Best Overall Odds
Australia Saturday Lotto
The Australian Saturday Lottery offers one of the best odds of winning in the entire world. You have a 1 in 85 chance of winning any type of prize and a 1 in 8,145,060 chance of winning the top prize.
Spain’s La Primitiva
La Primitiva is the oldest national lottery in the world having first started in 1812. You have a 1 in 10 chance of winning some type of cash prize and the lottery pays out more than €1 billion on an annual basis.
Florida Mega Money
The Florida Mega Money lottery is not only one of the better lotteries in the United States, but also the world. You have a 1 and 12.5 chance of winning some type of prize and a 1 in 2.98 million chance of winning the jackpot.