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Slots or Lotteries?

Slots have long been the most popular game in a casino and are the most popular form of online gambling. However two of the main attractions of slots games are also the main attractions of Lotteries.

What are the two attractions I am talking about? Firstly the simplicity of slots and in particular classic slots games are very simple to play. Anyone can quickly understand how to play and thus anyone has a chance of winning. Which brings me to the second attraction large jackpot payout's. For all that the blackjack and poker players may look down their noses at the slots players, it remains a fact that slots games in casinos around the world payout more in winnings to players than all the winnings of all the table games added together. It is possible to bet just 1 dollar on a slots machine and win a jackpot of over $30,000 or even amounts over $3 million (I'm not aware of anyone with just a dollar bet winning any where near those amounts playing blackjack or poker and I don't think it is even possible).

Of course it is possible to win very large amounts on a lottery with a small stake, in just the same way as on slots games.

For the sake of this example I am going to use the example of the UK National Lottery (which is one of the largest and most profitable in the world) yet it was only founded on 19th November 1994. The breakdown of where the money goes is as follows;

From a £1 ticket ($1.90)

'The Operator' currently Camelot receives 4.5 pence (p) to cover operating costs and 0.5p profit.

50p ($0.95) goes to the prize fund.

28p ($0.53) to good causes (charity's and sporting facilities).

12p ($0.23) to UK Government (a kind of stealth tax).

5p ($0.095) to retailers as commission.

As you can see the prize fund for each draw is just 50% of the total money paid in. This is a terrible payout rate, when compared to land based casino slots let alone when compared to the 89% to 99.5% payout rates offered at online slots.

Just going on the payout rates it is clear to see that an online slots game offers you a much better chance of winning than a lottery. There are of course lotteries that pay out much better than the UK national lottery and others that pay out much worse. But none that I am aware of pay out any where near as high amounts as online slots in terms of payout rates.

The odds of winning are also not so good in a lottery again using the UK National Lottery as an example the payouts and odds are as follows;

3 numbers pay £10 1: 57
4 numbers pay 22% of remaining fund 1: 1,033
5 numbers pay 10% of remaining fund 1: 55,492
5 numbers and bonus ball pay 16% of remaining fund 1: 2,330,636
6 numbers pay 52% of remaining fund 1: 13,983,816

The high percentage paid out and split between people who get 6 correct numbers makes for a massive jackpot. This makes even the largest online progressive slots jackpots look small by comparison. However when you see that your chances of winning the lottery top jackpot is almost 14 million to 1, you have more chance of being struck by lightening. The chances of being struck by lightening are 600,000 to 1 and Ray "Dooms" Sullivan, a park ranger from Virginia was struck by lightning 7 different times! As far as I am aware no one has ever got 6 numbers on the UK National lottery more than once.

The odds on winning a big slots Jackpot are however much better, depending on the jackpot and exact game they range from 2000 to 1 (for the smaller jackpots) to 60,000 to 1 for larger jackpots. And this does not take into account the many smaller wins you would have on a slot machine which are even better odds than the smaller lottery pay outs.

Not wanting to labour a point but I think when you look at these figures it is clear to see that if you want a chance to win some money and are happy to spend a set amount on a lottery every week, you would be better off and be more likely to win more money if you spent that money on a couple of spins of a slot machine. Oh and just one last thing, you know if you've won on a slot game straight away you don't have to wait until the draw is held, you spin and get your result.

You might also find these pages helpful FAQs and Jargon Buster.


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