All About the Best Lottery Odds

Lotteries come in all shapes and sizes. Some boast amazing jackpots while others offer more modest prizes but combined to much better winning odds. There are lotteries with jackpots that can roll over until they reach mouth-watering amounts, while others fall easily.

Obviously, every lottery offers their own odds of winning and the jackpot odds are no different. Your shot of winning secondary prize divisions also differ from lottery to lottery because each lottery has different overall lottery odds. We will take a look at every aspect of lottery winning odds, so you can make an informed decision when getting your next lottery ticket online.

1. What Are Lottery Odds

4. Best General Odds

2. Best Jackpot Odds

5. All You Should Know

3. Jackpot Odds vs. General Odds

6. How to Improve Your Odds

What are Lottery Odds?

Every lottery ticket you buy means one shot at winning the lottery’s jackpot. Obviously, the more tickets you buy, the more chances you have to win the main jackpot or a prize from the secondary prize divisions. However, the overall odds of winning (the jackpot or secondary prizes) are determined based on a variety of factors, such as:

  • the numbers of balls extracted in the draw

  • the size of the guess range

  • If there is a bonus number drawn, that makes it even harder to win the respective lotto game.

For example, when you play the NY Lotto, you need to select 6 numbers from a guess range of 1 to 59, and you have a 1 in 45,057,474 chance of winning the jackpot. This is much better than the odds of winning the jackpot when playing lotteries that also include an additional ball, such as the Germany Lotto. Although this lottery has a smaller guess range (1 to 49), the fact that it includes a bonus ball makes it harder to win the jackpot. You stand a 1 in 125,854,344 chance of winning the first prize in the Germany Lotto.

Let’s compare the winning odds for the two biggest American lotteries, the US Powerball and the Mega Millions. When you enter a US Powerball draw, you are required to select 5 main numbers from 1 to 69, and the additional Powerball from 1 to 16. This means you have a 1 in 292,201,338 chance of winning the jackpot. When playing Mega Millions, you still have to choose 5 numbers, but from a guess range of 1 to 70, while the additional Mega Number is extracted from 1 to 25. This lottery offers you a 1 in 302,575,350 shot of winning the jackpot. If you are aiming at the jackpot, you have a better chance at the US Powerball than at the Mega Millions.

As you can see, the odds of winning Powerball and Mega Millions are quite steep which makes their jackpots roll over multiple times until they reach record-breaking amounts. You shouldn’t let this discourage you, as there are many players who managed to beat these odds and match all the numbers to take home these fascinating prizes!

As a general rule, a bigger guess range and more numbers to match make the jackpot harder to get.

* Please remember that the bonus numbers which you do not pick when you buy your ticket, have no impact on the odds of winning the jackpot. They are used to give you more chances of winning the secondary prizes in the game.

When deciding on which lottery to play, you should take into account both the lottery odds and the jackpot odds. Learning the difference between these two types of odds helps you make an informed decision.

Which Lottery Has the Best Jackpot Odds?

Of course, the most important factor people consider when choosing what lottery to play is the size of the jackpot. However, the biggest the jackpot, the lower are your odds of winning it generally. The fact that the record jackpots offered by the US Powerball and Mega Millions have passed the $1.5 Billion threshold made the lotteries popular all over the world, regardless of their difficult winning odds.

To get a complete overview of how jackpot odds compare, take a look at the table below which highlights the jackpot odds for the biggest, most popular lotteries.

Biggest Lotteries


Spain El Gordo

Spain El Gordo


                 Australia powerball

Australia Powerball





Spain La Primitiva

Spain La Primitiva






US Powerball


mega millions

US Mega Millions





Based on the data in the table above, you may decide against playing the Italian SuperEnalotto lottery, or the US Powerball, as their winning odds are discouraging. A good strategy could be to play smaller lotteries, like the Mexico Chispazo, because this state lottery offers you a 1 in 98,280 chance of winning the jackpot! Look at the odds of winning the jackpots offered by smaller lotteries to see the significant difference:

Best Jackpot Odds


MX chispazo

Mexico Chispazo


JP mini lotto

Japan Mini Loto


TX cash 5

Texas Cash Five


sa daily

South Africa Daily Lotto


poland mini lotto

Poland Mini Lotto


ukraine loto maxima

Ukraine Loto Maxima


      Texas Two-Step

Texas Two Step


          Ireland Daily Million

Ireland Daily Million


          Mexico Melate Retro

Mexico Melate Retro


         Peru Kábala

Peru Kábala


As you probably have noticed, the jackpot odds in these less-popular lotteries are much better. The Mexico Chispazo draws even take place twice a day because the jackpot winning odds are just that good! Another lottery that offers some amazing odds of winning is Japan Mini Loto which usually has multiple jackpot winners in every draw. As you probably guessed, with such great winning odds, the jackpots fall often, so they amount to much smaller sums than those offered by bigger lotto games.

In conclusion, the Mexico Melate is one of the lotteries with the best odds in the world. However, if you want to play a major lottery, the Spain El Gordo has much better odds than the US Powerball or the Mega Million that offer the biggest jackpots on the planet!

What Lottery Odds Should You Look At? Jackpot Odds vs. Lottery Odds

To find the answer to the question which lottery has the best odds, you need to consider both jackpot odds and overall lottery odds. So, what are jackpot odds? What is the difference between them and lottery odds?

Lottery odds represent your chances of winning any prize in a lottery, while jackpot odds refer to your odds of winning a single prize: the jackpot!

The odds for winning any lottery prize are determined using various formulas considered "lottery mathematics", which establish your chances of matching the extracted numbers. The formulas used for calculating lottery and jackpot odds are quite complicated. Lottery odds and jackpot odds look at how many numbers there are in total; how many of them are selected in each draw; and whether there is bonus number extracted in the draw.

The lottery organizers want to establish a balance between setting up a game with difficult jackpot odds (which mean higher jackpots and also higher ticket sales) and setting up a game with decent overall lottery odds (so lotto players have a good chance of winning prizes).

Which Lottery Has the Best General Odds?

The maths behind determining lottery odds is hard to understand, but luckily you don’t have to. All you need to understand is how it affects your game play strategy. The obvious thing is that the lower the odds are, the lower are your chances of winning the jackpot or the secondary prize.
Now, you need to consider what lower odds mean. Take a look at the random examples below which compare the winning odds for secondary prizes in different lotto games. A 1 in 38 chance of winning a Powerball prize is lower than your odds of winning a EuroMillions prize, which stands at 1 in 21.

Lottery Prize Lottery Odds Come Play!
EuroMillions 12th division prize
1 in 21
Austria EuroMillions
Mega Millions 9th division prize
1 in 37
Mega Millions
Powerball 9th division prize
1 in 38
EuroJackpot 11th division prize
1 in 49
Australia Oz Lotto 7th division prize
1 in 87
Australia Oz Lotto

Keep in mind that the lottery odds explained above may be misleading. When you play the lottery you can win more than one prize, so you should know what your odds are of winning any of the prizes in that lottery. See our table below:

Lottery Odds of Winning Any Prize Come Play!
1 in 13
Austria EuroMillions
Mega Millions
1 in 24
Mega Millions
1 in 25
1 in 26
Australia Oz Lotto
1 in 55
Australia Oz Lotto

Basically, you have better chances to win any prize at the EuroMillions (1 in 13) than you have to win a prize in the Australia Oz Lotto (1 in 55).

All About the Lottery Odds of a Jackpot

The jackpot winning odds are the lowest of all because you would need to guess all the numbers drawn (main numbers and bonus numbers) to win the main prize.

Please note that jackpot odds are not influenced by ticket sales. However, ticket sales have an impact on the amount of a rollover because a certain percentage of the ticket sales goes to the jackpot. As a result, the more tickets sold, the higher the jackpot will rise in lotteries that offer rollovers. Also, the likelihood of the top prize being shared by more than one player increases with the number of tickets sold.

In the weeks before the world-record Powerball jackpot of January 2016, so many tickets were sold that the rollovers were simply incredible! However, the main prize worth $1.586 Billion, was split between three winning lotto tickets. This was the biggest Powerball lottery prize ever awarded and it stood proudly first in the top biggest Powerball jackpots until a player won a magic jackpot of $2.04 Billion on the 7th of November 2022.

Smaller, less-popular lotteries, such as the Hungary Hatoslotto, Austria Lotto or Peru's Kabala, offer modest prizes compared to the lotto giants, but the jackpot odds in these games are significantly better.

How to Improve Your Lottery Odds?

Here are our best tips on theLotter Kenya to improve your lottery odds:

  • Choose a lottery with better odds like the ones listed above

  • Play regularly with Multi-Draws or a Subscription

  • Play in a syndicate – more chances for a fraction of the price

  • Try our Systematic Forms so that you can enter the game with your 6 to 14 favorite numbers!

Bottom Line on Jackpot and Lottery Odds

In the end, deciding what is the best lottery to play involves more than the winning odds. You should also consider the ticket prize, the game options, the additional features available, the frequency of the draws, and even the location where the draws are held.

However, when the Powerball displays a $500 Million jackpot, we can’t afford to ignore it, let's be honest. The same applies to the Mega Millions; when the major US lotto offers a mouth-watering jackpot, you are going to participate, regardless of the winning odds. Even a €190 Million EuroMillions jackpot is worth the investment and your time! A good game strategy would be to try your luck at both a major lottery and a tinier game with better odds.

It is absolutely O.K. to play for the amazing jackpot, but you should play with realistic expectations. A basic understanding of jackpot odds and overall winning odds is necessary for a good game play strategy, but you should also follow your instincts. If you feel like playing a certain lottery, you should do it, regardless of how difficult it is to win it because every lotto jackpot is eventually won. At the end of the day, you never know when your luck will strike, no matter the odds.
 Create a strategy that fits your style and start playing your favourite lotteries online on theLotter Kenya. Good luck!