Mon, Jul 18, 2011 - 9:09 am

Types of Lottery Games

5 min read

There are hundreds, if not thousands of different lottery games right across the world that are played on a regular basis and they pay out millions of dollars, pounds, euros, yen, rand every year. The United States alone has over 190 different types of lottery games each varying from state to state.

The major types of lottery tickets are scratch and win tickets (scratch –off, scratchie, scratchit, scratcher), pre-selected numbers that are printed and sold as lottery tickets, user-selected tickets and in more recent times; video based lottery games.

User-selected games involve the player selecting their own numbers either via a random number generator or often people choose to play with their own ‘lucky’ numbers. These types of games are most commonly played in countries like Australia, the US, UK, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa. They are easy to analyse and the odds are relatively easy to calculate.

User-selected number games can be placed into one of four categories:

  1. One-number lottery games

  2. Multi-number lottery games

  3. Two set multi-number lottery games

  4. Keno style lottery games

One-number Lottery Games

A relatively easy and straight-forward type of game where the player selects one number consisting of either 3 or 4 digits, depending on the game being played.

3 digit games such as Cash 3Pick 3 and Daily 3 are played by simply selecting a 3 digit number between 000 and 999. Similarly, 4 digit games such as Big 4Pick 4 and Daily 4 are played by selecting a 4 digit number between 0000 and 9999.

In both of the games you can choose to play it either straight or you can go for the box. When you play it straight you are betting that the numbers you selected will come up in the exact same order that you picked and when you go for the box option, as long as the numbers are the same as yours, they can be drawn in any order.

For example if you picked a random number such as 6598 if you were to play it straight then this is exactly how the number needs to be drawn in order for you to win, but with the box the numbers can come up in any order such as 8956 or 9568 or even 6958, it doesn’t matter – you are still eligible for a prize.

The odds are pretty good with these types of games as well; when played straight the odds for a 3 digit game are 1:1000 and with the 4 digit game the odds are 1:10,000.

Multi-Number Lottery Games

As the name would suggest, this game involves the selection of multiple numbers. The range of numbers to select from is limited and this number varies from game to game as does the total amount of numbers that you select to play. To paint a clearer picture, in Australia a popular multi-number game is the Saturday Lotto where players choose a total of 6 numbers from 1 – 45. When the draw takes place, a total of 8 balls are drawn, the first 6 being the winning numbers and the remaining 2 being supplementary numbers.

These supplementary numbers allow for distribution of prizes in divisions that aren’t the jackpot prize. For example, in some cases, you can still win a prize where you have as few as 2 or 3 numbers matching to the ones drawn these are known as divisions. If you do match all 6 numbers, then count them chickens, they’ve just hatched – You’ve won the JACKPOT!!

Two-set Multi-Number Lottery Games

The multi-number game where the numbers are selected from two separate sets of numbers; often referred to Mega Ball, or the popular Powerballwhere in addition to the numbers matching there is an extra number that if matched in addition to the set of numbers the jackpot goes off.

Keno Style Lottery Games

Keno dates back to 205 B.C.E. Where the emperor of the time, Cheung Leung invented the first ever game. It is played in a similar manner to the popular game of bingo; it is a multi-number game where a player chooses 20 numbers between the range of 1 – 80. Numbers are drawn and called out, or in some cases displayed on a screen. In order to win you need match usually around 10 of the numbers drawn, not necessarily all 20. The more numbers you have that match, the bigger the prize.

Most lottery games played throughout the world today would most likely fall into one of the 4 categories outlined but it isn’t unusual for new games and methods to be invented. The lottery is continually evolving and with new technologies, the possibilities are seemingly endless.

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