The lottery has captivated fans ever since La Lotto de Firenze, the first competitive cash game, reared its head about four centuries ago. The idea of turning a few bucks into a fortune is such a common fantasy, in reality, that lotteries worldwide constitute one of the biggest and most popular gaming practices, with the US leading the charge of 177 separate lottery games and about 1,000 draws held each week.
Yet despite the game’s mass appeal, there were very few choices for lottery enthusiasts until recently when it came to what games they might play, and how often. Obstructed by location, players could typically only enter available games in their region or state, limiting the number of games they could participate in and the amounts they could win. These constraints are now a thing of the past for better or worse.
Thanks to the Internet, players now have access to a worldwide lottery range offering them a privilege that is not always readily available: variety. So, all you lotto-junkies get packed. It’s time to break out your lucky charms, and gather all those special, can’t-lose lucky numbers because we’re going to see some of the biggest lottery jackpots in the world internationally.
Internet Lottery 101
While there are many forms of lottery games and tools available on the Internet for web-savvy lotto-philes, using the Internet to wager on such games may be divided into four basic options: “Instant” lotteries, Gaming Site lotteries, Lottery syndicates, and Free Web lotteries.
Although not everywhere accessible, some local governments have recently taken an important, if incomplete, step towards the future of lottery wagering by introducing formats that integrate the Internet into conventional lottery games.
Such “e-games,” as they are generally called, are similar to traditional instant lottery tickets that can be bought by stores from lotteries. The main difference, though, is that gaming is delivered at home via the internet instead of merely scraping off the silver boxes to see if you’re a winner! The lottery commission, for example, developed many games in New Jersey, including “Tetris” and “CyberSlingo,” both of which are simple lottery cards containing Internet access codes that allow customers to play online games.
Although not technically online casino gambling, since the result of each ticket is predetermined regardless of how well the ticket holder plays the game, it shows a striking resemblance to other forms of online gambling and creates a new dimension to state-sanctioned lottery play. Visit the Lottery website of your local government to see if there are similar games available in your jurisdiction.
Gaming Site Lotteries
One of the fastest choices, but by no means the best way to make millions if you’re dreaming is to play lottery wagering through online gaming sites such as casinos and sports books.
Because casinos and sports books like to offer as much gambling as possible to satisfy their clientele’s needs, a few extensive sites have started to provide wagering on international lotteries. For example, websites such as bet365.com and easybets.com give each betting on an impressive range of lotteries including Irish Lotto, Spanish Lotto, New York Lotto, Canadian Lotto, German Lotto, Australian Lotto and Hong Kong Lotto. Members just click on the “lotto” link, select the lotto on which they wish to bet, select their numbers and make the bet. It’s about as simple and practical as it can be. But there is one catch in many instances.
For most platforms, just like you would a sporting event, your bet on the result and get paid based on the odds. So if you manage to hit all six numbers at the NY Lotto you’re not going to walk away with $50 million, but instead get paid according to the odds set by the site — say 125,000-1. Not only that, but also sites tend to limit the total amount that you can pay for any one case, usually $250,000. But even if you’ve managed to do the spectacular and pick all of the winning numbers, you’ll get far less than what you’d get paid from the actual lottery.
Now that’s not to suggest that gambling is all bad at the lottery from online gaming sites. If you are looking for a little fun or variety, then if for no other reason than their choice, they might be of interest. They are providing wagering on a multitude of foreign lotteries as I have described. But they also tend to offer wagers you won’t probably find synonymous with conventional lottery drawing. For starters, you could wager on the first number to be drawn in certain games. Others allow you to bet on the bonus ball colour, whether the first number drawn is odd or even, and each ball’s hi / lo drawn.
Free Lottery Games
While it’s great that the Internet gives lottery players the luxury of wagering on worldwide jackpot games with minimal hassle, there’s a potentially better lottery option growing in popularity within the online gambling industry — free lottery.
Due to the increasing number of online gamblers and the constant lottery fever, many websites— even those outside the gaming industry — have begun to offer free lottery games to anyone who signs up.While some of these lotteries, such as the $5 million draw from LuckySurf.com, are limited to just one entry per user, others such as Troppolotto (www.troppolotto.com) offer weekly free lottery games with top prizes ranging from $1,000 to a heavy $1 million. The only catch here is that for their admission to be legitimate, tourists must register and visit one of their sponsors.
While a free shot at a lottery jackpot can be fun, and is certainly within the price range of anyone, be warned that nothing is ever completely free. One major drawback of many of the free online lotteries is that you risk selling your contact information to affiliates who will pepper your email with “Excellent Mortgage Rates” “Awesome Deals” and other irritating deals. So unless endless SPAM does not bother you— or you don’t mind opening a “Hotmail” account for a few minutes, it’s always important to scrutinize the fine print before signing-up.
Though I address the portal subject in more depth in Chapter 15, there would be no full discussion on Internet lottery without at least briefly discussing portal availability and value.
Whereas general gambling portals aim to cover a wide range of gaming topics — often offering only limited content on specific topics such as lotteries— lottery portals operate within a very narrow framework, delivering news updates and information to their patrons that are often ignored by general portals. Although not as widespread, more than a few lottery portals still offer useful information to visitors who fancy the genre. Sites such as The Lottery Hub (www.thelotterysite.com) and the Lottery Directory (www.lotterydirectory.com) are focused in offering up-to-date, in-depth information on everything relating to the lottery, including new games, best tactics, odds and statistics — even tax advice for those lucky enough to win over chance. They are also valuable resources for both free and pay online lotteries to track the best sites and frequently give warnings about bad sites and the latest lottery scams that may appear in your email.
Lottery players have a wide range of online options available to them. While some are obviously more complicated then simply walking with a buck and a vision to your corner store, others give the same general chances for nothing more than a few minutes of your time. And when it comes to those free games, even with the odds against you being millions-to – one, as long as no harm comes from it, nothing is priced more appropriately.