Types of Lotto Games and How They Work

Types of Lotto Games and How They Work

Here’s a small challenge for you. Think of a person in your friendship group who’s never dreamed of winning the lottery.

Anyone! If your friends are like everyone else, they would get thrilled at the thought of winning a million dollars. Heck, even Jeff Bezos would probably love to win the power jackpot.

Unfortunately, most lotto jackpots have such low odds that the majority of players will never win them. It makes sense. One of the fun parts of playing lotto is realizing that only a few people win the big bucks. Speaking of winning money, here are five variants of lotto to play.

Little Lotto Games

Little lotto jackpots challenge you to find five winning numbers from 1 to 36 or 1 to 39. Their odds seldom exceed 1 in 500,000, which makes them easier to beat than regular lotteries. In the US, nearly every state with legal gambling laws has a department that provides little lotto jackpots.

In Illinois, the state’s little lotto pot involves picking five numbers from 1 to 39. In Florida, the Fantasy 5 lotto consists of a field of 36 numbers. What’s more, the state has little lotto jackpots held daily.

To participate in little lotto games, decide whether you want to play online or through lottery agents. The online process is straightforward as you only need to join a lotto website and purchase a ticket. Your ticket number is emailed to your inbox, and that's it.

To play state little lotto games, however, you must take your marked lotto slip to a recognized agent. After that, you wait for the draw to be announced. In many states, you can win prize money by matching three or four numbers. But if you find all five correct numbers; the bigger the prize you will receive.


Keno is mostly offered at traditional casinos and online gambling sites. But at its core, the game shares the same principles as regular lotto games. Players bet they can find 10, 12, 15 or 20 winning numbers from a field of 1 to 80 numbers.

But because the odds of hitting 20 Keno numbers are virtually impossible, the objective is to find as many winning numbers as possible. To make playing exciting, casinos also have “catch’ numbers which if you hit increases your payout.

So, if a casino selects numbers 5, 10 and 20 as its catch numbers and you luckily find them, you get a bigger payout than other players. Luckily for you, some experts can teach you how to pick winning Keno numbers by Planet 7 Casino. It involves a little bit of strategy and math. So, if you learn the proper formula and understand all strategies involved, you could increase your odds of winning.

The Standard Lotto

The standard lotto challenges you to find six winning numbers from a range of 1 to 42, 46, 48 or 54. Of course, the higher the range of numbers you must choose from means the lower the odds of winning the grand prize.

With some lotteries, you have better odds of being struck by lightning that predicting the correct six numbers. In the national lotteries, the odds of winning are much lower than you becoming the next US president.

Regardless, the standard lotto promises jaw-dropping jackpots in many countries. In the US, a lucky winner won a staggering $1.53 billion in October 2018. In the UK, the biggest lotto jackpot record was shattered in October this year after a lucky player won £170m ($217 million).

Participating in most lotteries is pretty straightforward. You purchase a play slip and mark the six numbers you believe will win. You must then deliver your slip to a lotto agent. For online lotteries, you purchase your ticket, mark and give out your contact details on the Internet. Regardless, the cost of buying a lotto ticket is usually $1 in the US and £2 in the UK.

Scratch Off Games

Scratch cards are colourful games you can play online or at physical lotto retail shops. There's no choosing numbers or waiting for a draw. When you buy scratch-off tickets, the computer or retailer tells you the winning numbers or symbols beforehand. So, when you scratch off the games, you know whether you've won or lost instantly.

The best part of playing scratch cards, though, is that the odds of winning are much higher than those of the standard lotto. Obviously, that means the games' prize pools are also small. You can win minimal amounts like $1 or decent cash like $200.

Similar to most lotto games, whether you win or lose is all based on how lucky you are. Also, there’s no indication that the more expensive instant cards always produce bigger sums of cash. As proof, the biggest scratch-off win in the UK was a £4 million win from a £10 game.


Raffles are a type of lotteries that assigns you a preselected number instead of allowing you to choose winning numbers. But similarly to traditional lotto games, you know whether you've won or lost once a draw is held.

Surprisingly, raffles tickets can be expensive. In Spain, it’s not unusual for people to pay up to €200 for a ticket for major raffle jackpots. In the UK, on the other hand, raffles are so popular that people buy and give them away as holiday gifts.

Daily Lotto Pots

The final major lotto game to try out is the daily jackpot held in many US states. Typically, you pick three or four winning numbers from a selection of 36 or 39 numbers. If your numbers win when the daily draw is done, you win.

Predictably, daily lotto jackpots won't win you $1 billion, but you can win $5,000 or $100,000 if you are fortunate. You win more money if you predict the winning numbers in the exact numbers they are drawn. But then again, the odds of such a win are significantly higher than predicting all winning numbers in no correct order.

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