Nobody invests in the National Lottery, but we often set up our direct debits as we do and then watch as the money leaves and our numbers don’t come in. Let’s face it, the National Lottery funds some very good causes, nobody can argue about that, but most of us play for the chance to win a million.
The average spend on the National Lottery per year is over £148 per person
In the UK, there are now 65.6 million of us and we combined to spend over £6.95 billion on the National Lottery in the year up to March 2018. Remove the 18.9 million under 16-year-olds who cannot buy a lottery ticket and that’s an average spend of over £148 per person.
It’s not surprising we spend so much on it when you consider the size of the prize money on offer. Every week, the National Lottery guarantees to make someone a millionaire in the Millionaire Raffle and with regular jackpot prizes of over £15 million, the incentives to try your luck are indeed tempting. But have you considered what the actual odds are you will become a millionaire every time you play?
It’s a 1-in-45 million chance to win the Lotto draw
In fact, if you are looking to become a millionaire, the best chance you have isn’t on the main lottery draw at all. To match all six balls in the main Lotto draw is a 1-in-45,057,474 chance. It gets three times more difficult to win the EuroMillions at a 1-in-139,838,160 chance. To win a million (by matching five balls and the bonus) in the Lotto is a 1-in-7,509,579 chance and your odds are roughly the same to win an estimated £23,586 by matching the same numbers on the EuroMillions.
Your odds are equally as bad when looking at the Thunderball odds. You generally have a 1-in-8,060,598 chance of winning just (just) £500,000 but your odds of winning a much smaller prize (£3, £5 or £10) is actually 1 in 13. If you fancy the Health Lottery then the chances of winning (a minimum) £25,0000 is a 1-in-2,118,760 chance. But to improve your chances then the EuroMillions Hotpicks is your best bet, where, for the same 1-in-2,118,760 chance, you could win the top prize of £1 million.
There are other ways to win a million
There are of course a number of other ways you can spend your money for the chance at winning a million. There are hundreds of casinos you can walk in, or you could become an expert in sports betting strategies, or invest on the stock market. There are also jackpot prizes in excess of a £1m to be found on the William Hill games site, with 17 games offering payouts of over £1 million.
If you have ever thought it was time for a rethink on your lottery strategy, perhaps you should examine the odds closely and understand exactly what your monthly direct debit offers you in return for the chance to join the millionaires’ club. While multiple charities also prosper from your lottery losses, it is just as easy to send money directly to your favourite charities as well. Either way, there are reasons why more millionaires are not walking the streets; either it’s more difficult than you imagine or they’re not buying a ticket.