At the risk of causing confusion, we’re in no way against lotteries. In fact, playing lotteries you can legally take part in is something we recommend.
However, there’s a difference between playing lotteries and overplaying lotteries. The latter of which we recommend against, for reasons which should be relatively obvious.
A Surprisingly Common Compulsion
In the United Kingdom and United States in particular, a surprising proportion of people purchase lottery tickets in vast quantities. They attempt to improve their odds of winning by taking part in dozens of lotteries, buying countless tickets for each and spending a packet in the process.
On one hand, the answer is yes – playing the lottery can be enjoyable and you have to be in it to win it. Likewise, you can statistically improve your likelihood of winning by buying more tickets.
But does this really mean that buying a ton of lottery tickets on a regular basis is a good idea?
If you ask us, the answer is no – and here’s why:
1 – Scratch Cards Are Better (Sometimes)
First up, scratch cards can be preferable to traditional lottery tickets in some cases. There’s a wide range of price options to choose from, you don’t have to wait for the numbers to be drawn and the odds of winning a prize are much better.
Admittedly, it’s not very likely you’ll walk away with a fortune after buying a couple of scratch cards. But when it comes to the odds of winning a token prize, you’ll often be looking at odds of say 1 in 3. Far better than the odds attached to most lotteries – even where the smallest of prizes are concerned.
An occasional scratch card can be great for a quick fix, though again is something that should be enjoyed in strict and careful moderation.
2 – Misleading Marketing
This is something of a personal gripe, but one that’s worth raising, nonetheless. The way most lotteries are advertised would have you think that everyone taking part is guaranteed a life-changing cash prize. Or at least, enough money to make a real difference to their bank roll.
A formal advertising policy prevents any direct claims (or even suggestions) of guaranteed wins being made in marketing materials like these. Nevertheless, lottery ads aren’t exactly subtle with the way they market their various tickets and products.
Casinos can also be guilty of glamorising the whole thing, but casino gaming is more about experience and enjoyment than prizes alone. Lotteries being the exact opposite, as there’s literally no gameplay involved after buying your ticket.
3 – The Worst Odds of Winning
Lottery tickets have, by far, just about the worst odds on the entire gambling landscape. In the UK, the odds of matching six numbers on the weekly lottery draw are 1 in 45,057,474. If you try your hand at the EuroMillions jackpot, your likelihood of picking the right numbers is 1 in 139,838,160.
From a purely mathematical perspective, this is as close to impossible as makes no difference at all. Even when it comes to matching just three numbers on the lottery, you’re looking at odds of 1 in 97. Now ask yourself – if these were the odds attached to a game of roulette or blackjack, would you bother?
Though again, this doesn’t mean avoiding lottery tickets altogether is the way to go. It’s more a case of approaching them with care and caution, perhaps allocating more of your gambling bankroll to activities with better odds.
4 – Total Temptation
Also a bit of a personal peeve, but the fact that you simply cannot get away from lottery ads (and availability) can be an irritation. Heavy restrictions are placed on where, when and how casinos and bookmakers can advertise their products and services. With lotteries, you can barely turn a corner anywhere without being bombarded with all manner of ads.
Frankly, it’s an irresistible prospect and one the vast majority of laws are powerless against. Even those of us who know exactly how unlikely it is we’ll win are guilty of splurging on tickets from time to time.
5 – There Are Better Options Available Online
Last up, one of the main arguments against buying lottery tickets in the conventional sense is that there are far better options on the web. Specialist online lottery sites provide access to dozens, sometimes even hundreds of regular draws from around the world. Draws which in some instances have exponentially better odds than those at home.
Prior to taking part, it’s essential to ensure that players from your jurisdiction are permitted. You’ll also want to examine the terms and conditions in full, as not all international lotteries work in the same way.
Nevertheless, you’ll find a ton of interesting and affordable options to choose from – occasionally with odds that are less astronomical. You’ll also find plenty of customer reviews and recommendations online, making it easier to know where to spend your money and what to avoid.
What’s interesting is how when polled, most people who take part in the lottery don’t consider themselves to be gamblers. Surprising, given how lotteries are technically among the riskiest forms of gambling in the world.
Hence, the best way to approach lotteries is as you would any other gambling activity with the same epic odds. Keep tabs on your spending, don’t get carried away and allocate more of your gambling bankroll to more enjoyable and satisfying activities!
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