Which International Lotteries have the Best Odds of Winning?

Everyone dreams of retiring and quitting their jobs after a lottery win. No more financial pressure, and all the more time for leisure than ever before. For most people, well, dreams remain dreams. But as winner stories keep on inspiring, lotteries will remain sought after and it’s easy to see why: prizes go up to millions of New Zealand Dollars while the average ticket price is affordable for most people.

In any country, the national lottery will always be popular thanks to its enormous, life-changing sums of money that can be won and its ease of play. It requires little strategy and one lottery ticket is all it takes to compete for the prizes. Lotteries have been around for a while in New Zealand as well and thanks to the growth of online play alongside the lottery betting, players from NZ are no longer restricted by their location. Today, it can be very lucrative to choose from lottery games in different countries across the world.

When choosing where to buy your next lottery ticket, one of the first things you’ll want to know is what are the odds of winning? KiwiGambler looks at some of the most popular lottery games in both NZ and abroad and analyses the chance you have of winning top prizes. With this information you’ll know exactly where to go for your next ticket.

1. Irish Lotto (Ireland)

In 2015, the Irish Lotto went through a complete format change and we’re happy to say this was for the better as it resulted in both higher prizes and jackpot odds. This change also explains why the Irish Lotto’s jackpot odds of winning are very favourable when compared to other international lotteries — including the NZ one. The relatively high jackpots on offer are yet another reason why the Irish Lotto is a great all-rounder and why it’s our absolute number one in our top list of international lotteries.

Prize Odds of winning
Jackpot (6 Numbers) 1 in 10,737,573
2nd Prize (5 Numbers + bonus) 1 in 1,789,596
3rd Prize (5 Numbers) 1 in 44,740
4thPrize (4 numbers + bonus) 1 in 17,896
5th Prize (4 numbers) 1 in 918
6th Prize (3 numbers + bonus) 1 in 688
7th Prize (3 numbers) 1 in 54
8th Prize (2 numbers + bonus) 1 in 72
Any Prize 1 in 29

1.New Zealand Powerball (NZ)

New Zealand Powerball is the lottery most people in the country are familiar with and it serves as a useful standard comparison with other international lotteries. This also clearly shows the contrast between lotteries organised in NZ, Ireland, and the US for instance.

Lotto NZ explains on its official website that if you purchase a NZD 7 ticket your odds of winning first division are set at 1 in 383,838. To play New Zealand Powerball, you’ll need to add a Powerball number somewhere between 1 and 10 to each line of your ticket. If a winning Lotto line turns out to have the correct Powerball number too, your prize gets even larger. If you want to keep it local, New Zealand Powerball is definitely your best option.

Prize Odds of winning
Lotto Division 1 + Powerball 1 in 38,383,800
Lotto Division 2 + Powerball 1 in 6,397,300
Lotto Division 3 + Powerball 1 in 193,858
Lotto Division 4 + Powerball 1 in 77,543
Lotto Division 5 + Powerball 1 in 4,846
Lotto Division 6 + Powerball 1 in 3,635
Lotto Division 7 + Powerball 1 in 352

3. Euromillions (EU)

EuroMillions’ is especially popular around Europe, but thanks to its consistently high jackpots it has also gained attention in other regions. This includes countries like Australia and New Zealand, although technically a European lottery. The odds of winning? 1 in 139,838,160 for a Jackpot (5 Numbers + 2 Stars). This Euromillions jackpot is capped at a maximum prize of €190 million (about NZD 331 million) and tends to generate a lot of thrills when it passes the €100 million mark, approximately NZD 166 million.

Prize Odds of winning
Jackpot (5 Numbers + 2 Stars) 1 in 139,838,160
2nd Prize (5 Numbers + 1 Star) 1 in 6,473,989
3rd Prize (5 Numbers) 1 in 3,236,995
4th Prize (4 Numbers + 2 Stars) 1 in 517,920
5th Prize (4 Numbers + 1 Star) 1 in 28,774
6th Prize (3 Numbers + 2 Stars) 1 in 14,487
7th Prize (3 Numbers + 2 Stars) 1 in 13,812
8th Prize (2 Numbers + 2 Stars) 1in 882
9th Prize (3 Numbers + 1 Star) 1 in 654
10th Prize (3 Numbers) 1 in 327
11th Prize (1 Number + 2 Stars) 1 in 157
12th Prize (2 Numbers + 1 Star) 1 in 46
13th Prize (2 Numbers) 1 in 23
Any Prize 1 in 13

4. Powerball (United States)

As with the previously mentioned Irish lottery, US’ PowerBall also went through a significant format change, which occured back in 2015. These changes made sure the jackpot odds increased significantly, but also allowed for bigger prizes and more rollovers. This led to a record-breaking jackpot in January 2016, the biggest lottery jackpot of all time, worth a staggering $ 1,586 billion, or approximately NZD 2,26 billion. This jackpot still tops the all-time jackpot list several years later and it is not expected to make place for new entries any time soon. Please note that there were multiple prize winners and the total prize pot was divided between three lucky winners.

Prize Odds of winning
Jackpot (5 Numbers + Powerball) 1 in 292,201,338
2nd Prize (5 Numbers) 1 in 11,688,053
3rd Prize (4 Numbers + Powerball) 1 in 913,129
4th Prize (4 Numbers) 1 in 36,525
5th Prize (3 Numbers + Powerball) 1 in 14,494
6th Prize (3 Numbers) 1 in 579
7th Prize (2 Numbers + Powerball) 1 in 701
8th Prize (1 main number + Powerball) 1 in 91
9th Prize (Powerball) 1 in 38
Any Prize 1 in 25

5. Megamillions (United States)

Nike vs Adidas, McDonald’s vs. Burger King, Apple vs Samsung, there has been a fair share of brand rivalries over the last decades. In the lottery industry the most notable rivalry is found between two US based lotteries and Megamillions is our last listed lottery. One of PowerBall’s main goals is to unseat MegaMillions who continues to deliver the biggest jackpot titles, together with Mega Millions. In recent years, MegaMillions have managed to strike back with format changes which have made them compete with Powerball. When it comes to the odds of winning it is still Powerball delivering the best numbers. Nonetheless, if you’re not American you might as well stick to the other options.

Prize Odds of winning
Jackpot (5 Numbers+ Megaball) 1 in 302,575,350
2nd Prize (5 Numbers) 1 in 12,607,306
3rd Prize (4 Numbers + Mega Ball) 1 in 931,001
4th Prize (4 Numbers) 1 in 38,792
5th Prize (3 Numbers + Mega Ball) 1 in 14,547
6th Prize (3 Numbers) 1 in 606
7th Prize (2 Numbers + Mega Ball) 1 in 693
8th Prize (1 Main Number + Mega Ball) 1 in 89
9th Prize (Megaball) 1 in 37
Any Prize 1 in 24

Alternative Game of Chance

People looking for alternative games of chance will also want to check out real money online casinos that are also widely available for New Zealand users. Online casinos offer large selections online pokies that typically have a Return to Player of around 96% and 98% on average, significantly higher than most lotteries mentioned in our top list. And when it comes to the thrills and action, live casino games and pokies do give you the same excitement as good old lotteries. KiwiGambler helps you find the best online casinos for New Zealanders.

Gabrielle Hills

I'm Gabrielle Hills and I have more than 3 years of experience in the gambling industry, As a senior editor, I aspire hard to analyze different online gambling clubs and rewards and distinguish the best ones for the players. I would like to show you, how new players begin their journey with online gambling very easily without prior knowledge. Regarding this context, you can find out which online casino bonuses and NZ casinos are worthwhile for novices as well as experienced players. I believe in constructive criticism so readers can approach me anytime to provide their feedback.

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