Above and beyond every casino both online and in the real world, lotteries are the single most popular type of gambling on the face of the earth. So many countries now operate their own national lotteries – most offering any number of different lotteries available at different times of the week, month or year. And while the casinos of Las Vegas may throw out quite incredible jackpots on a daily basis, few can even remotely close to some of the massive national lottery jackpots available.
No New Concept
While the United Kingdom joined the party comparatively late, lotteries have existed in one form or another for a minimum of 2,000 years. Archaeological digs found Keno tickets in China that were purchased somewhere around 220 BC and it is believed that the great wall of China was partially funded by lottery proceeds.
Toward the end of the 19th century, extensive money-laundering and corruption saw lotteries in general begin earning something of a bad name. In fact it really wasn’t until the 1960s that much of the world began once again showing an interest in lotteries, slowly but surely building toward the global obsession the state-funded lottery is today.
Easy as Pie
There are two primary draws to lotteries that make them absolutely irresistible for hundreds of millions of people. First of all, there’s the fact that it is just about the easiest example of gambling in the world. You pick some numbers (or allow the machine to pick them for you) and if they match the prize numbers, you win something. Secondly, there is the fact that it is perfectly possible (if extremely unlikely) to win absolutely ridiculous sums of money. The world record for a single jackpot currently stands at $656 million.
Unsurprisingly, the Internet has made it easier than ever before for anyone wishing to do so to get involved in largely any lottery currently up and running. A change of the rules has made it possible for non-residents to take part in some of the biggest lotteries in the world – including the famed US Powerball. There are also some casinos online that offer their own lottery games, in which you do not enter the actual lottery itself but still play in accordance with the numbers drawn.
It was as recent as 1994 that the United Kingdom first stepped into national lottery territory – the first time a lottery had been created in the country in 170 years.
Lotteries Around the World
USA – MegaMillions
This was the first lottery in the United States to combine players and resources from across multiple states. Originally only available in across Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and Virginia, MegaMillions now extends to no less than 44 states and is known for its ridiculously high jackpots. Players pick five numbers between 1 and 75, along with a sixth ‘MegaBall’ between 1 and 15. The $656 million jackpot paid out in 2012 remains the single biggest lottery payout in history.
USA – Powerball
Another example of one of the world’s most famous lotteries is the PowerBall draw from the United States. It is available across the entire country with the exception of a handful of states and can also be entered internationally via the Internet. Players select five numbers between 1 and 59, along with a ‘PowerBall’ between 1 and 35. This particular lottery is also known for its incredible prizes, with the highest ever win reaching a whopping $590 million.
Europe – Euromillions
To date, around a dozen countries from all across Europe have joined forces on the EuroMillions game. In this instance, players are required to select five numbers between 1 and 50 along with two ‘Lucky Stars’ between 1 and 11. Jackpots are payable only when all seven numbers are matched, with the record payout to date standing at £148 million.
Italy – Super Enalotto
One of the most incredibly difficult lotteries to win, Italy’s Super Enalotto has a habit of rolling over time after time to build some truly incredible jackpots. Players are first required to select six numbers from 1 to 90, along with a seventh ‘SuperStar’ number. All seven of the numbers must be matched in order to win the jackpot – the current record payout stands at just under €178 million.
Spain – Spanish Superdraw
This monthly lottery has been around for hundreds of years and is famed worldwide for the December ‘El Gordo Draw’ and the January ‘El Niño Draw’. These two festive lotteries have become nothing less than national institutions all over the country and are celebrated almost to the extent of a public holiday!
Ireland – Irish Lotto
The Irish lottery has always been incredibly popular with international players – primarily due to the fact that in the past, the values of the balls drawn went from 1 to 36. This has since been increased to 45, but the odds of scooping the top prize are still much better than they are with most other examples of national lotteries.