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Ultimate Guide to Playing Online Lotteries
Lotteries have a special place in the hearts of gamblers worldwide—and despite what you might think, it is a form of gambling. The only thing you can be sure about lotteries is that you can easily pick up a scratchcard at nearly any convenience store. But, lotteries are games of pure chance. The price of a scratchcard is betting on the chance of winning a life-changing jackpot.
Here is another question to ponder: How many gambling games get sponsored by a city, provincial, or federal government? Some countries and provinces ban them, just like any other form of gambling. But in other places, except the government lottery, all private lotteries are illegal.
The lottery’s appeal is undeniable; for just a few dollars, an amount that even the poorest can afford, you have a chance to win hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands, and even millions of dollars.
Even if lotteries are outlawed where you live or limited to government-run lotteries, rest assured that online casinos offer private lotteries. These private lotteries are an effective way for new online casinos to build their user base since many people don’t even consider lotteries to be gambling. Because of these private lotteries, you have the opportunity to play the lottery no matter where you live.
A Short History of Lotteries
The earliest record of a lottery date back to between 205 and 187 B.C; these are the keno cards of the Han Dynasty in ancient China. These may have helped finance the construction of the Great Wall of China, among other public works.
Lotteries were also a popular party game during the ancient Roman Empire. In fact, the son of Julius Caesar, Emperor Augustus, organized the first public lottery to finance Roman public works. In fact, many of these public works remain standing today.
During the 15th Century, lotteries were held in Western Europe to raise money for both charitable and public works. Records from the German towns of Ghent, Bruges, and Utrecht document the long-standing tradition of holding lotteries to fund public works.
The first documented Italian lottery was held in Florence and dates back to May 9, 1445. The jackpot was a prize of 1,737 florins (nearly $175,000 in today’s money). More than 4,000 tickets were sold.
In the Netherlands, lotteries were held on a regular basis to raise money as early as the 17th century. This method of raising public money is by far more popular with the public than taxes. The oldest continuous lottery in operation today is the Dutch Staatsloterji. In fact, the word lottery comes from the Dutch lot, which means “fate”.
To add to the intrigue, lotteries also have a dark history, tying lotteries to the role of fate in living and dying. The drawing of “lots” is often designated for dangerous, undesirable, and even suicidal tasks assigned to whoever draws the “short straw.” In 1948, Shirley Jackson wrote her classic short story, titled “The Lottery”. It's the story of an isolated village that held a lottery to choose a human sacrifice.
During the Vietnam War, lotteries were used in the U.S. to randomize drafting young men into the military.
A Short History of Online Lotteries
When gambling made its way to the Internet, lotteries became among the most popular games at online casinos. Prior to the Internet, players were limited to the local lotteries that were available in their jurisdiction, which could potentially mean no lotteries at all.
Online lotteries offer opportunities for players who live in places that have no lotteries. Also, these online lotteries give players an opportunity to play a variety of lotteries other than the ones offered by their local government lottery.
A progressive lottery with a user base that’s unrestricted by city, state, or national boundaries lends itself to much greater participation and results in some truly impressive jackpots. Online lotteries include well-known multinational lotteries like Euro Millions, Mega Millions, La Primitiva, and Mega-Sena. Other online lotteries include instant digital scratch-off games, raffles, and daily lotteries.
Among the interesting things about lotteries is that people of all cultural backgrounds and nationalities buy into them. Somehow beating the odds and winning a lottery seems to be a universal belief. In reality, winning a jackpot lies solely in the luck of the draw.
Understanding the Rules: How to Play Online Lotteries
Playing a lottery online involves buying a digital lottery card. This digital card has a series of numbers that the player can select themself or a random number generator can choose the numbers. When it’s time to draw the winning numbers, the lottery operator selects these numbers through some randomized method. Live lottery drawings where numbered balls are spilled out of a tumbler rely on pure chance.
The random number generating software powers digital drawings by selecting the winning numbers. In fact, random number generators seem tailor-made for drawing lottery numbers.
The goal of playing the lottery is simple, purchase a card with as many matching numbers as possible. The more matching numbers on your card, the bigger your winnings.
The basic lottery goes like this:
- Select an online lottery or online casino and sign up for an account. Verify that the casino offers its services in your area; some gambling sites and lotteries are restricted in certain provinces and countries. Take a little time to verify the reputation of your casino or lottery site.
- Pick the lottery game you want to play. Depending on the website, you might gain access to lotteries across the globe. Go to the page to play or purchase your lottery ticket.
- Choose your lottery numbers. Typically, these can be any numbers you like within a certain range. Some ideas for numbers include betting on your child’s birthday, or yours or someone else's birthday, even your pet gerbil's birthday. There are simply no limits! It could even be the birthdays of all your pet hamsters. Only you need to know the secret of your numbers. Just have fun and be creative!
- As fate will have it, watch for the winning numbers and collect your winnings, if luck is on your side.
Here is a listing of the common types of lotteries:
- Six-number selection, 1-49
- Six-number selection, 1-59
- Six-number selection, 1-90
- Bonus ball
Playing Keno Online
Keno is a form of lottery that dates back to the Han Dynasty in ancient China thousands of years ago. However, it's still a very popular game at today’s online and land-based casinos.
The game of Keno is played on a grid of 80 numbers. The rules can vary but keno players typically pick between 1 and 20 numbers out of the 80 to wager on. The game starts out with players placing their bets and then collecting winnings depending on how many of their numbers are randomly drawn. Keno jackpots are based on an established paytable.
Follow these steps to play Keno online:
- Choose an online casino that offers a Keno game you like, open your account, and deposit funds.
- Pick your numbers.
- Decide how much money you want to bet.
- Watch the drawing.
- Collect your winnings if your numbers match.
Playing Scratchers Online
Scratchcards are a fan favorite on the lottery scene. For one thing, you don’t have to wait for the numbers to be drawn; winning or losing is determined by your decision to go to a particular convenience store on a whim, and buy a random scratchcard. It can even be decided which scratchcard the clerk picks.
A popular gaming option in online casinos is “digital scratchers”. These are a fast and easy way to win a little easy money when you’re on break at work, in between TV commercials, or any other time.
Follow these steps to possibly win with an online scratcher:
- Select an online casino that offers scratcher games that appeal to you, register for an account, and fund your bankroll.
- Decide how much money you want to spend and buy your scratchcard.
- Click on the “scratch-off” buttons to see if you win. If you're out and about, save your card and check it again once you get home. If you were distracted, you could have missed something.
What are the Advantages of Playing Online Lotteries?
Many lottery fans are accustomed to playing lotteries the old-fashioned way––buying paper tickets at authorized dealers, and then scanning the news or the radio for the winning numbers. In the face of nostalgia and well-loved habits, why would anyone make the switch to online lotteries? If anything, what makes online lotteries better?
As a player, this might be irrelevant to you, but paper lottery tickets are the end result of a supply chain that substantially increases overhead. In an effort to compensate for that overhead, both the retailer and the lottery operator increase the price of the tickets.
Online lotteries offer a better alternative to paper tickets. The overhead costs of online businesses are much lower than a convenience store selling paper tickets. Online lotteries might be able to sell you a lottery ticket at a discount. However, they don’t always do that.
As lotteries make their way online and distributors compete over price, you can expect the prices of tickets to be driven down and the size of jackpots to be driven upward, as the operators and retailers require less margin to cover their overhead costs.
Automated and Centralized
Selling lottery tickets online creates an automated and centralized system for a lottery that is unlikely to be subjected to human error, bad weather, or traffic accidents. There’s a slight chance that the servers fail or the site crashes, but in general, online lotteries are more foolproof and harder to break than their land-based counterparts.
Governments that migrate their lotteries online ultimately have more control over ticket sales. They no longer need to manually track tickets sold wholesale to retail stores.
Fair Drawing Methods
A lottery’s reputation means everything to its success. Lotteries depend on public perception of fairness. Lottery revenues would fall dramatically if the public perception was that the lottery was rigged.
This is why lottery operators often go above and beyond to ensure the public that their drawing is fair. Lottery operators go to great lengths to limit the possibility of fraud, even if the drawing uses balls shot from a tumbler.
However, it's debatable whether or not a digital random number generator is tamper-proof.
However, paper lottery tickets have a built-in flaw that most people are unaware of.
Paper lottery tickets are drawn against all tickets sold and unsold. This greatly skews the odds away from the players. Online lotteries, on the other hand, have the luxury of being drawn against tickets sold, significantly increasing the players’ chance of winning.
Typically, online lotteries are subject to stringent pre-draw and post-draw audits to ensure authenticity and fairness. On the other hand, paper lottery tickets are not subjected to this type of audit. That's an extra layer of protection that players can expect with an online lottery.
Easy Winning Validation
Online lottery players can count on easier and faster validation of their winning ticket; often, players get the results as soon as they are announced. Paper lottery tickets can't be immediately validated; rather, traditional lotteries require a drawn-out process to confirm a winning ticket. In fact, millions of dollars in lottery winnings go unclaimed every year, due to both lost tickets and the confirmation process.
Easy to Understand
Online lotteries are extremely easy to understand. This is why they are also a favorite among young people. Regardless of the required gambling age, which varies from province to province and country to country, even kids know how to play the lottery. Even if they are too young to buy their own lottery ticket, parents often let them help pick the numbers.
Strategies and Tips for Online Lotteries
Lotteries are solely based on chance and player luck. Typically, lotteries are not a game you can master with skill and strategy. That's part of the appeal; without any skill and very little risk, the average person could become a multi-millionaire! It all depends on a random draw and the luck of the player.
However, there are a few tactics that can increase your likelihood of winning. or at least help even the odds. A lot of players make mistakes that actually decrease their likelihood of winning. For example, forgetting where you put a paper ticket could be one of the biggest gambling mistakes of a person's life. But, learning how to increase your chances for the best possible outcome could help the Average Joe become the next big winner.
Buy Multiple Tickets
If you have the money, consider purchasing more than one ticket to increasing your chances of winning. The more tickets you purchase, the more chances you have to win. But, make sure you don't use the same numbers on every ticket. If any of those gets picked, you could win. But remember to mix up your numbers to give you a much better chance of winning.
Pick the Right Game for the Best Chances
Many online lotteries post the odds of winning. You can work this information to your advantage by choosing the online lottery with the best chance of winning. Often, these lotteries have smaller jackpots. But, if your goal is to sway the odds of winning in your favor, smaller lotteries with better odds are a better bet. However, if your only reason to play the lottery is for a chance to become millionaire, long-odds lotteries are a must. However, you need to have patience on your side.
Lotteries with Second-Chance Drawings
One more thing to consider when choosing a lottery is whether or not it offers a second-chance drawing.Getting one or two out of a winning combination of six numbers is hard enough let alone getting all six. Second-chance drawings give you another chance to win on the same ticket.
Pick Numbers Strategically
It may seem any number is as good as another because all numbers are equally likely to be drawn, right? However, while the luck of the draw is random, human psychology isn’t. Many people bet birthdays; that means a disproportionate number of lottery picks range between 1 and 12 and 1 and 31. Your chances of winning are no better if you choose numbers bigger than 31, but you have a better chance of winning a jackpot that won’t have to be divided with other winners.
Are Online Lotteries Legal?
Like many things online, lotteries have a complicated legal status. In many ways, lotteries on the internet depend less on what is “illegal” and more on what the government chooses to prosecute.
Whether they are government-run or privately run, lotteries typically operate in a legal jurisdiction. For example, Mega Millions is authorized by the US government, and EuroMillions is authorized by the EU. Casino lotteries and non-government lotteries can be operated out of jurisdictions with liberal gambling laws, like the Kahnawake Nation, Cyprus, and Curacao. These jurisdictions are where the companies that run private lotteries are headquartered, and where they house their servers.
The Internet does not recognize provincial or national borders. It runs through a network of satellites and fiber optic cables connecting the globe. While this unites the global economy, it also presents challenges to jurisdictions that want to restrict online gambling.
While you might live in a jurisdiction where playing a lottery is illegal, the authorities are unlikely to catch you and also unlikely to prosecute you. Online gambling is similar to the days when people file-shared software, music, and movies via Torrent.
Governments can try to block access to an illegal gambling website, but this is often easy to get around by using a VPN (a virtual private network). A VPN disguises your location. However, many licensed online casinos use software to block virtual private networks.
If the online casino is licensed in Canada, that could be a different story. For example, online casinos licensed in some provinces could require players to enable GPS tracking on their device, to help ensure they're playing legally.
Few games have been around as long as the lottery, with some popular online lotteries tracing their origins back for thousands of years. Some national lotteries, such as the one in the Netherlands, have been continuously operating for hundreds of years.
Regardless of their origin, lotteries have a lasting hold on the public imagination for their ability to turn ordinary men and women into overnight millionaires. Online lotteries transcend jurisdictions, increasing their appeal.