Where your chances are good
As with every other purchase, before you decide to spend money on a lottery ticket, you should take a close look and determine which lottery has the best winning chances. We will try to answer that question for you, although it is not an easy decision, and there are a few variables.
How to calculate the winning chances for a lottery?
Let's clear up a few things first. When we talk about winning chances in the lottery, what are we actually talking about? The amount we can win, the odds to win the jackpot, or what is the decisive factor? Well, from a mathematical point of view, the best definition would be what is called the winning expectation, or "expected value" of your investment. The specific discipline in math dealing with such calculation is called statistics.
Expected value means that on one hand, you have your investment. On the other hand, you have the possible prizes you can win. Now with a lotto ticket, you can win not just a jackpot, but there are several tiers of price you can win. As an example let's look at Megamillions Lotto, where you pick 5 out of 70 main numbers lottery with one extra number between 1 and 25, and the tier three prize is what you get for having two main numbers right plus the extra number.
Here we need to calculate the odds (probability) of having those two numbers correctly. To do that, you have to use an equation with faculties ... well that is really complicated stuff, so we just take that number from the Megamillions website. It's 1 in 693, or, as a percentage its 0.001443 %.
Now you take the prize you win for this tier which is $10, then multiply it with that percentage and then divide by $2 (the expenses for one ticket). The result is 0.007215 %. That is the expected value of your ticket for tier 3.
Now you would have to do the same calculation for all the other tiers, and the end results for each tier have to be added. What you get then is the total expected value. It now becomes obvious that the higher the prize is, the higher the expected value or EV is. The total EV depends very much on the jackpot amount - the top-tier price. This one tier has the strongest influence on your EV.
So, the higher the jackpot, the higher my expected value (and winning chances)
That is correct - assuming all other factors are equal. The details of the draw (how many numbered balls does the lottery have, how many numbers do I have to pick, one or two extra numbers etc) are important as well. But here's the important fact: if the "odds" of getting all the numbers right are extremely "bad" for you as a player, then the lottery has a tendency to generate higher jackpots.
The reason is simple: bad odds means that the jackpot will probably not be won over a longer period of time. The odds for 1st prize in Megamillions are app. 1 in 302 Million, which means that statistically 302 Million tickets (or lines) have to be sold before the someone hits the jackpot. So, the higher that number, the higher the jackpot will go (unless the jackpot amount is capped).
In consequence, when you are looking for the lottery with the best winning chances, the simple solution is to always play for the jackpot that is currently the highest. Does that mean you have to wait until the jackpot for your local lottery has reached a certain amount? No - although it used to be like that, nowadays you can choose from a multitude of lotteries from all over the World. A company named RedFoxLotto makes it possible for you by offering you an online service where you can order online tickets for 20+ of the biggest and most lucrative international lotto jackpots. One click on this link is enough and you will be presented with a number of jackpots on their site. This is how you can really improve your winning chances at the lottery!