Why Not to Bank on a Big Lottery Win?

Why Not to Bank on a Big Lottery Win?

It’s the ultimate dream of millions of people all around the world – to find themselves the lucky winners of a life-changing lottery payout. The sort of prize that means that you can move into a luxury mansion and trade in your old car for a shiny new Ferrari or Lamborghini, as well as giving a financial helping hand to friends and family. And the figures really can be staggering with lotteries in the US leading the way with their European equivalents following not far behind.

In terms of your chances of walking off with a prize, the popular lottery in France is undoubtedly your best chance. That’s because there’s a one in six possibility of winning any prize; pretty good by anyone’s standards. This is closely followed by the UK Lotto where the figures are 1:9.3, and then Spain where it’s one in ten. But these figures, it must be remembered, are for winning any prize, even if it’s just a free entry into the next draw to be held.

The really important statistics that need to be taken into account are the chances of winning the big prize in a lottery draw. It’s only when you get to examine these that the implausibility of becoming one of those lucky instant millionaires starts to hit home. For example here are the corresponding chances of winning big for the three lotteries we’ve just mentioned:

  • French Lotto – 1:19,068,840
  • UK Lotto – 1:45,057,474
  • Spanish Lotto – 1:31,625.100

Lightning Strikes

So, while the French lottery still comes up on top, the chance of finding yourself drowning in Euros is undoubtedly small, it’s still over twice as likely as being a big winner in the UK.

Now, with figures like these, it can be hard to grasp just how unlikely an event is likely to be, so it can be useful to compare the statistics with some other very unusual occurrences. For instance, a classic comparison for the unexpected is being struck by lightning. In the US, where they have some pretty big storms, the chance of this happening to you in any one year is 1: 700,000 and over a lifetime it’s 1: 3000. Now think whether you personally know anyone who’s been a victim and the answer is probably that you don’t.

Or, to look at a more positive example, for an average golfer, the chances of hitting a hole in one are 1: 12,000. So assuming you play on an 18 hole course weekly, on average you should achieve this once every 13 years.

While these may look like very off-putting figures, it’s important to remember that we’re only talking about the really big wins here. There are far better chances of winning one of the smaller prizes and it’s this knowledge that keeps people playing week in and week out, not to mention some handy, if unspectacular, windfalls along the way.

So don’t be disheartened by the overwhelming odds. Just remember that you have to be in it to win it in the first place.

Categories: Gaming