You might think that the lottery has designed the odds of winning extremely low so that hitting any prize would be quite difficult to do and would be the hardest type of gambling top award jackpot to hit due to the large size of the prize. You would be sort of right.
Lottery odds make it difficult to win a prize. And you might think that something like a slot machine would have better odds because the top jackpots are nowhere near the jackpots of lotteries. And in that case you would be totally wrong.
The odds of winning a draw-based lottery game are based on two separate factors; the size of the number pool (the total amount of numbers available to match such as 45, 49, 70) and the amount of numbers that need to matched (6, 7.) For instance, in a 6 by 49 draw, six numbers are drawn from a total of 49 numbers, and to win the jackpot you have to match the 6 drawn numbers plus a seventh bonus number. Since the odds are based on the amount of numbers available to be drawn and the amount of numbers needed to match to win a prize, adding or subtracting numbers to or from one or both of the number sets is how operators can change the odds of winning a prize to produce new games.
Although the odds of winning a particular prize may be quite low, the odds of winning any prize can be as high as 1 in 5, which are excellent odds. The odds for individual prizes are set high so that it is very difficult to match the numbers for the higher prizes, therefore bringing in more income through ticket sales. But did you know that another type of gaming sometimes has even harder odds for you to hit? Slot machines!
The odds of winning a slot machine game or spin are based on the number of possible winning symbol combinations versus the number of non-winning symbol combinations. By adding or removing winning or non-winning combinations, slot machine designers can change the odds of winning for any type of combination. But all slot prizes can be extremely hard to hit.
Slot machine top awards can be in the thousands, tens of thousands, or even one hundred thousand dollars or more. Yet many jurisdictions allow the top award odds to be as high as 17 million to one or more. Most 6 by 49 lotteries odds are a maximum of 13 – 14 million to one. And if you think that’s high for a slot machine, some jurisdictions allow any other awards other than the top award to be as high as 34 million to one. Wide area progressive can be up to 50 million to one.
As you can see, even if you think that hitting a prize on a lottery is very slim, many times the odds are even slimmer on slot machines. And just because lotteries have high top awards, doesn’t mean they are harder to hit than slot machine top awards. Generally, slot machine prizes are much harder to hit than lottery prizes. This may seem surprising but lotteries are only drawn once or twice per week, whereas slot machine game spins can occur as fast as every 3-5 seconds.
So next time a friend or family member complains about not winning the lottery, tell them about the odds of hitting a prize on a slot machine. That should help them realize that winning on the lottery is really not all impossible.