You get an idea above of how South African lotteries compare to others from around the world but we’ve broken it down into even more detail. Remember that even though these lotteries are in different countries, you can still play all of them by buying your tickets online.
Jackpots are what generates the excitement and inspires the headlines so it seems like the best place to start. Once a jackpot is won, rather than start from zero it is reset at a starting amount. This amount has been saved up by the lottery operators because they’d struggle to sell tickets for a lottery where the jackpot was not much more than zero!
Compared to others the South African lotteries do not compare too favourably when it comes to jackpot size. The US Powerball jackpot starts at 200 times more than the South African Lotto does – and once it starts rolling over it has been known to reach more than $600,000,000.
|Lottery draw||Country||Starting jackpot amount|
|Mega Millions||United States||$15,000,000|
|El Gordo de la Primitiva||Spain||€5,000,000|
|Lotto||United Kingdom||£2,500,000 / £5,000,000|
|PowerBall||South Africa||R 3,000,000|
|Lotto||South Africa||R 2,000,000|
Odds of winning the jackpot
The odds of winning the all-important jackpot. You hear all sorts of quips about it being more likely to be struck by lightning and the like but when the jackpots on offer are so big it’s no surprise that they’re this hard to win. It’s worth noting that the odds for all of the other prizes in each lottery are much shorter, with some as low as 1 in 10 (odds for matching the key number in El Gordo).
You’ll notice the table below is listed in ascending order rather than descending order like the other tables. The reason for this is that you want the lowest odds possible. Basically, lower odds means that it’s easier to win.
|Lottery draw||Country||Odds of winning the jackpot|
|La Primitiva||Spain||1 in 13,983,816|
|Lotto||South Africa||1 in 14,000,000|
|PowerBall||South Africa||1 in 24,435,180|
|El Gordo de la Primitiva||Spain||1 in 31,625,100|
|Lotto||United Kingdom||1 in 45,057,474|
|EuroJackpot||Europe||1 in 95,344,200|
|EuroMillions||Europe||1 in 139,838,160|
|Powerball||United States||1 in 292,201,338|
|Mega Millions||United States||1 in 258,890,850|
|SuperEnalotto||Italy||1 in 622,614,630|
1 The La Primitiva game also includes a special jackpot with odds of 1 in 139,838,160.
Average winners per draw
While the odds of winning determine your chances of getting a lottery prize, the number of winners per draw provides an interesting look at how many people get lucky. Of course, it’s all relative to the number of tickets that are sold.
The fact that EuroMillions hands out the most prizes per draw is no real surprise when you consider that the lottery serves almost an entire continent. La Primitiva’s slightly surprising position in this table is explained by the fact that more than 80% of the prizes handed out are refunds for matching the Reintegro number – which is automatically assigned to a ticket.
|Lottery draw||Country||Average winners per draw|
|Mega Millions||United States||518,839|
|El Gordo de la Primitiva||Spain||434,401|
Ways to win
The ways to win, also called prize divisions, are the different combinations that can be matched to win a prize. In SA Lotto you have seven ways to win that range from the easiest – matching three balls – up to the jackpot winning combination of matching all six.
You might think that having more ways to win makes it easier to win the lottery but unfortunately that is not the case. Take the UK Lotto and SuperEnalotto for example. Both offer just six ways to win but in terms of odds are miles apart with UK Lotto having some of the best odds and SuperEnalotto having some of the worst.