Interesting jackpot facts to ponder next time you wager: Part One - Lottery

Millions of people everyday buy lottery tickets, bet long odds on multi-bets and parlays, and gamble on jackpot slots like the Mega Moolah

Do you have more chance of winning the National Lottery or Euromillions draw? What are the odds of you landing a massive sporting bet, compared to winning the next big progressive jackpot prize?

The opportunity to win a huge amount of money, a life-changing sum, is something that few of us will ever get to appreciate, however it remains one of the goals for millions of people around the globe every week who will play some form of progressive slot, lottery, or perhaps place a sports or horse racing bet such as a Quaddie (selecting winners of four horse races) in the hope of winning money that will set them up for a few years or perhaps for life.

Often though, people may not fully appreciate the chances that they have of winning a game, especially when comparing it to other forms of gambling. They may also not know some interesting facts about the games that you play every week.

So in this article, we are going to present to you a smorgasbord of lottery and progressive jackpot facts and figures. Some will surprise you, others may not but hopefully a little knowledge of these facts can help you go a long way towards achieving that big win your dreaming of.

Let's begin this week by looking at some lottery-based facts and figures and in our next article, we'll bring you details of some surprising progressive jackpot based facts for you to get your head around

Lottery facts

The first Lottery Draw - For UK punters, the first lottery draw came on November 19th 1994, when Camelot ran the first draw in its new National Lottery game. However, the game was operating in other countries long before then.

In Canada for example, the first lottery was Quebec's Inter-Loto which started in 1970, that even predates the first US multi-jurisdictional lottery, which was founded in 1985 in the states of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, although many illegal lotteries were unofficially in existence before then.

However in France, lottery gaming was first created around 1505 by King Francis I, although after just one attempt, the practice was forbidden for a further two centuries! However near the end of the 17th Century Paris was the home of both a public (for the general public) and private (for religious orders) lottery.

How many countries operate lotteries?

While your first lottery draw depends very much on where you live in the world, there is no denying that it is a hugely popular pastime though. A look at all the countries who enjoy lottery gaming is a real eye opener with 34 European Countries, plus the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man running their own lottery, 16 Asian countries, both Australia and New Zealand, plus 15 countries in the Americas and seven African countries all running their own lottery.

The European count is swelled further by three more cross-border lottery games:

  • Euro Millions (played in Austria, Belgium, Ireland, France, Luxumbourg, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the UK),
  • Euro Jackpot (played in Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Serbia, Spain and Sweden)
  • Viking Lotto (played for in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia).

The biggest ever Lottery win - When it comes to the world's biggest lottery wins, the United States holds nine of the top ten positions in the chart thanks to two of its lotteries, Powerball and Mega Millions (formerly known as "The Big Game").

The largest ever win came in the Powerball slot on the 18th May 2013, when one ticket holder from Florida, 84-year old Gloria MacKenzie collected $590.5m in winnings after her ticket came up trumps. However, Gloria didn't see all that money as the Inland Revenue Service taxes lottery wins, meaning that she actually collected a lump sum of $371m.

All of the nine places in the top ten occupied by US lottery winners sees prizes of over $310m, but Europe occupies the tenth spot thanks to the biggest ever European jackpot win in 2006. Three tickets, two from France and one for Portugal, shared the biggest ever Euromillions jackpot of €183.5m.

In contrast, in Asia, the largest jackpot winner took home the equivalent of €13m in the Grand Lotto 6/55 in the Philippines in November 2010, while in Australia, their biggest ever lottery prize of A$112m was shared by four tickets in November 2012.

Most millionaires created in a single night!

The Euro Millions Millionaire Maker draw holds the record for creating the most millionaires in a single night. To commemorate the start of the London 2012 Olympics, which had been partly funded with lottery cash, Camelot put aside £100m and drew out 100 numbers to create 100 millionaires in an instant on the night of Friday 27th July 2012. Of the 100 numbers drawn, 97 came forward to collect their prize.

A year later, Camelot tried to repeat the exercise with another night of 100 Millionaires, but this time only 92 of the 100 awarded prizes came forward to collect their cash.

What are the most and least popular numbers drawn in the lottery?

Wouldn't it be good to know which numbers are the ones most likely to come out of the machine every week? Of course, each number has the same statistical probability of being selected, but thanks to the vagaries of variance and chance, sometimes one number appears more often than others. Sometimes markedly so.

To investigate this, let's take a look at the popular Euromillions lottery ever since the bonus balls 11 and 12 were added to the selection in May 2011.

From then, here's a summary of the most popular numbers and bonus numbers selected in all of the following Euro Millions lottery draws.

Most Popular Balls

  1. Number 44 - Drawn 63 times
  2. Numbers 10, 23 and 28 - Drawn 57 times each.
  3. Number 30 - Drawn 56 times.
  4. Number 25 - Drawn 55 times.
  5. Numbers 23 and 42 - Drawn 53 times each.

Most Popular Bonus Balls

  1. Number 8 - Drawn 100 times.
  2. Number 10 - Drawn 99 Times.
  3. Number 2- Drawn 96 times.
  4. Number 9 - Drawn 94 times.
  5. Number 3 - Drawn 87 times.

Least Popular Balls

  1. Number 9 - Drawn 30 times.
  2. Number 46 - Drawn 31 times.
  3. Number 41 - Drawn 33 times.
  4. Number 2- Drawn 34 times.
  5. Number 32 - Drawn 37 times.

Least Popular Bonus Balls

  1. Number 6 - Drawn 59 times.
  2. Number 4 - Drawn 70 times.
  3. Number 7 - Drawn 76 times.
  4. Number 11 & Number 1 - Drawn 83 times each.
  5. Number 5 - Drawn 85 times.

Ever since the first Euro Millions draw began only two general numbers (i.e. not the bonus balls) have been drawn more than 100 times each. They are 50 (106 times) and 44 (101 times), though number four has been drawn 99 times at present and on the next draw will become the third number to reach that milestone.

Read Part TwoPart Three of this article.

Byline: This article was published by Mega Moolah expert Henry. Media and other enquiries.

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