Online Lotteries

Learn about playing on international lotteries with RightCasino.

Lotteries remain the most popular form of gambling in the world, with many countries running national prize pools. Now you can gamble on international lotteries draws using our recommended lottery clients!

Lotteries guide

Novices should start from the beginning, but feel free to jump in to any of our lessons.

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About lotteries

Lotteries have always been one of the most popular forms of gambling throughout history. They require zero skill to play, and offer the chance of landing a sizeable, life-changing jackpot for a relatively small outlay.

Lotteries have been around for well over 2,000 years. Keno (a type of lottery game – see our keno section) tickets have been found in China dating back to around 200 BC. It’s thought lotteries were used to help fund the building of the Great Wall of China.

At the end of the 1800s, lotteries fell into disrepute as they became an easy target for corruption and money-laundering. They experienced a revival from the 1960s onwards and now most countries around the world have state-sponsored lotteries that have changed the lives of countless hundreds – if not thousands – of people.

Playing a lottery could not be simpler. You choose a selection of ‘lucky’ numbers from the range on offer, and then await the drawing of the numbers. The more numbers you match, the bigger the prize you win. Match all of your numbers and you could win a staggering prize. The current lottery jackpot is $656 million shared between three lucky ticket holders in the USA.

Thanks to the internet, you no longer have to be a resident of the country in which you purchase a lottery ticket. You can buy a ticket online for the US’s Powerball lottery even if you live in the UK.

Several online casinos will also now allow you to play lotteries via their sites. You are not actually buying a lottery ticket if you do this, but instead you are wagering on the numbers you choose coming up in the draw, which is virtually the same thing.

The casino will offer fixed odds for your success, and of course they then cover any potential losses by buying a ticket with your numbers online for the lottery itself.

Learn how to play online lotteries

Discover how to purchase tickets for international lotteries with RightCasino.

Lotteries are the world’s most popular form of gambling. Many countries run national lotteries, even those with generally strict laws regarding gambling, and you can participate in the world’s biggest official lotteries via the internet.

How to play

There are a few different ways to gamble on lotteries, all of which are given a brief overview below …

Live lotteries

The traditional way to play! Simply purchase a ticket for your local lottery, pick your numbers and wait for a national broadcast to reveal winning combinations. Most national lotteries will allow you to buy tickets online, and you can set things up so you play with the same set of numbers for as many weeks as you want.

Note that for some lotteries, such as the UK’s National Lottery, you physically must be in an accepted geographical zone when you purchase the ticket, even if you do it online. If you’re a UK national on holiday in Spain and you want to buy a lottery ticket for the UK Lotto, then you’re out of luck!

Lottery-style games

A number of casinos will provide games which are either lotteries themselves, or play like a lottery-style game. By far the most popular type of lottery-style game is keno which is also very similar to bingo and is popular in Asian casinos, both real-world and online. In the traditional game, 20 numbered balls are drawn from the 80 available. You can choose how many balls you want to predict will pop out. The fewer you attempt, the more you stand to win if all or a high percentage of the chosen balls fall within your selection.

Online lottos

Many casinos run their own lotteries where players pick tickets and contribute to a prize pool which is won by the winning ticket. Obviously, this is a much lower prize than a national lottery but also represents far shorter odds.

Betting on live numbers

Online casinos will sometimes allow players to gamble on the outcome of international lotteries. Punters put up a stake and pick which numbers they think will appear, receiving a higher return based on how many they get right. The odds for picking the right numbers are fixed by the casino, and casinos and sports books cover their bets by buying tickets themselves with the same numbers, pocketing the difference between what the lottery pays and what they themselves pay should the right numbers come up.

Online lottery syndicates

An online syndicate is just like joining a syndicate at work, except of course you don’t know the people you are buying a lottery ticket with. You pay a certain amount ‘per share’, which is the fee set for contributing to the syndicate. The more people who join the syndicate, the more tickets the online company is able to buy, meaning you have more chances to win.

When the lottery numbers are announced, all the tickets are checked, and all the prize money is shared out on the ‘per share’ basis among those who played. You’re unlikely to win a life-changing jackpot via an online lottery syndicate, but you are much more likely to win a tidy sum than purchasing tickets on your own.

Online lottery agents

These are sites that for a small fee will go and buy lottery tickets for you in many of the world’s biggest lotteries, such as the Mega Millions in the US, the SuperEnlatto in Italy and the Spanish Super Draws. Such lotteries have rules that state that tickets have to be purchased in the country where the lottery is run, but they have no barriers that prevent non-nationals from winning.

Many of these lotteries have staggering jackpots – the world record for the Mega Millions lottery is $656 million, which is around £400 million. You can buy as many tickets as you want for these hyper-jackpot lotteries via online lottery agents.

Mobile lotteries

Play lotteries on your mobile device – it could be you!

If you gamble on international lotteries, you can now pick your numbers from the convenience of your mobile device! Think you’ve got a lucky number?

Playing mobile lotteries

Lotteries remain the most popular form of gambling on Earth, with many countries providing national games. You can participate in many of these draws, regardless of your location, by picking up tickets on your mobile or tablet device.

Lotteries on mobile devices

There are two ways you can play lotteries on mobile devices. The first is to participate in a real-world lottery via an app on your smart-phone or tablet. There are only a very limited number of sites which will allow you to do this though. Your best chance of being able to buy a lottery ticket on your device (aside from dealing directly with the lottery’s own site) is to try a casino that’s provided by a company that’s also involved in sports-betting, such as Ladbrokes, William Hill or Paddy Power.

The second method is to download and install a lottery-style casino game. The best thing about this option is that you can partake in a lottery without having to wait until the balls are drawn, as you would when buying a ticket for a real-world lottery. The worse thing about this is that the prizes you are in line to win by playing an online lottery casino game are not likely to come close to the kind of life-changing prizes available via lotteries such as the EuroMillions, or the USA’s MegaMillions or Powerball lotteries.

If you enjoy lotteries then the second option will allow you to play them more often than the weekly or twice-weekly draws of all the major, world-wide lotteries. If you really do enjoy lottery-style games, then you might want to consider taking a look at keno, which is a sort of hybrid of lotteries and bingo, and is very popular in Asian and US casinos.

How to play lotteries on your mobile device

If you do manage to find a mobile app which allows you to play on lotteries, then participating in the game is as simple as buying a lottery ticket itself. You pick the offered lottery that you want to play and choose the amount of numbers that you are required to pick. If you are successful when the numbers are drawn, then you will be informed of your good fortune.

Remember, when you play on a lottery via a mobile casino app, you are not actually buying a ticket for the lottery in question, but are instead betting on the outcome of the numbers drawn. Most casinos will offer you fixed odds against you picking the right numbers, and what you win will not be the same as what you would have won if you had bought the tickets direct. This may seem like a downside, but playing lotteries in this way allows you to partake in worldwide lotteries that otherwise you would not be able to enjoy.

Some of the big world-wide lotteries you could look out for are the MegaMillions and Powerball in the USA, the monthly superdraws in Spain, the ‘super enalotto’ in Italy and the daily and weekly draws in the Irish lottery. Just make sure you do your homework before you hand over your lottery cash, as some draws (and hence some prizes) are much more ‘cash-advantageous’ than others.

As for lottery-style casino games, each game comes with its own theme and own set of rules, but they all follow the same basic lottery-style pattern. You select a few numbers, a draw is made, and the more numbers that you get right, the bigger the prize. Make sure you consult the pay table before you hand over your cash, so you have an idea of the amount of cash you are likely to win should the balls drop right for you.

  • Duck Shoot

  • Udder Madness

  • Pull The Other One

The history of lotteries

As revealed above, lotteries have been around for some time – since the Chinese Han Dynasty in fact, well over 2,200 years ago now. There’s also some evidence that lotteries were around in Roman times as a means to secure funds for building repairs, although only the very rich were allowed to play them.

Lotteries were very common in Europe from around 1400 onwards. In the UK, the first state lottery was held in 1566, although it took three years before all the tickets were sold and the draw actually took place. The final UK state lottery was held in 1826, and it wasn’t until 1994 that one was re-established.

During the early years of American colonisation lotteries were often held in order to raise funds for development purposes, but they swiftly gained a terrible reputation for corruption and were outlawed. There came a revival in the 1860s, but the US government eventually completely banned lotteries in 1895.

The lottery re-emerged in the US in 1964, when the state of New Hampshire was granted permission to establish a state-run lottery. More and more states followed suit and fifty years later all but six states (Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah) hold state lotteries.

The modern lottery craze gathered momentum in the 1990s, when prizes for winning began to spiral into unbelievable amounts. States began to join forces and lotteries to create mega-jackpots that could snowball into the hundreds of millions. The biggest ever single jackpot winner in US history is Gloria C. MacKenzie of Zephyrhills, Florida who took home $371 million in May, 2013.

The UK entered the lottery craze in 1994 when it created its first national lottery for nearly 170 years. Europe now has several combined lotteries, including the EuroMillions. The top EuroMillions jackpot is €190 million (£148 million or $250 million) won by Adrian and Gillian Bayford in August 2012.

Lotteries in popular culture

  • The US sitcom My Name is Earl was based around a $100,000 lottery win. Petty thief and con artist Earl Hickey wins that amount on a lottery ticket but is instantly hit by a car and loses his ticket. Earl decides to embrace ‘karma’ and begins to right every wrong he had performed throughout his life – and is reunited with his winning ticket after completing his first good deed. Earl carried on righting bad karma for all three series.
  • In the final season of the classic US comedy Roseanne the blue-collar Connor family headed by comedian Roseanne Barr wins $108 million on the state lottery. They are catapulted into a bizarre fantasy world which was a complete turn-about from the previous eight seasons of the popular series. In the final episode it’s revealed that the entire season (and indeed much of the previous eight) had been a fantasy concocted by fierce matriarch Roseanne in order to cope with the death of her husband Dan, played by John Goodman.
  • In the 1998 movie Waking Ned a mystery member of an Irish village wins the National Lottery. Two friends take it upon themselves to find the winner, and discover it to be Ned Devine, who unfortunately suffered a fatal heart attack just as his winning numbers were revealed. The whole village concoct a falsehood to persuade lottery officials to award the winnings to the deceased Ned, so that they may then share the loot.

The world of lotteries

MegaMillions (USA) – The first major cross-state lottery was created in 1996 across Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and Virginia under the name ‘The Big Game’. The MegaMillions lottery is now available across 44 different states. Players choose five numbers from 1 to 75, and a ‘MegaBall’ from 1 to 15. The jackpot is won by matching all six numbers, but rolls over often. The MegaMillions holds the world record jackpot payout at $656 million, won in March 2012.

PowerBall (USA) – The Powerball began lottery life as Lotto*America as a joint venture between 14 different US states. It’s now the second-most popular US lottery and is played all across the country except in Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. Players must choose five numbers from the range 1 to 59, and a ‘PowerBall’ from the range 1 to 35. The jackpot is won for matching all six. The record prize for the PowerBall lottery is the $590.5 million won by Gloria MacKenzie, as mentioned above.

EuroMillions (Europe) – Originally a joint venture between the UK, France and Spain, the EuroMillions draw is now the combined effort of a dozen European countries and principalities. It began in 2004 and has been creating multi-millionaires ever since. Players choose five main numbers from 1 to 50, and two lucky stars from 1 to 11. Match all seven to win the jackpot. The EuroMillions record is €190 million, or £148 million, won by couple Adrian and Gillian Bayford in August 2012.

Super Enalotto (Italy) – First drawn in December 1997, the Super Enalotto is organised by SISAL who have been running the Football Pools in Italy since 1946. It replaced the Enalotto which has been running since the 1950s. For the draw, players must choose six numbers between 1 and 90 plus a ‘SuperStar’ number. To win the jackpot, all six plus the ‘SuperStar’ must be matched. Because there are so many numbers, jackpot wins are rare which means the jackpot can rollover into amazing amounts. The biggest ever Super Enalotto prize is €177,800,000 which was by a Tuscan husband and wife in October, 2010.

Spanish Superdraw (Spain) – Spain holds a monthly lottery and has been doing since 1763. The biggest prizes are for the ‘El Niño Draw’ in January and the ‘El Gordo Draw’ in December which is also known as the Christmas Lottery. Spain grinds to a halt for the El Gordo draw which is a television spectacular where the numbers are sung by children from the San Ildefonso school. Tickets for the draw have five numbers on them and are drawn for each available prize. The Christmas lottery has a prize fund of €2.5 million.

UK Lotto (UK) – In 1993, the UK Prime Minister John Major announced the creation of the UK’s first state-sanctioned lottery for 170 years. The initial draw took place with much fanfare on 19 November 1994, with £6 million being shared by seven lucky winners. For the main lottery (now called ‘Lotto’) players must choose six numbers from the 49 available, and matching all six via the draw wins the jackpot. The largest Lotto jackpot stands at £42 million, drawn in January 1996.

Irish Lotto (Ireland) – Ireland created a National Lottery in March 1997, but it wasn’t until a year later that the first draw took place. Originally, players had to match six balls from 36, but this was eventually raised to six from 45. The Irish lottery jackpot record is €19 million won by a sixteen-strong syndicate in June 2008.