People dream of being financially well-off so as not to worry about the money they spend. These dreams encourage them to try their luck.

Every year, Americans spend over $1,000 on lottery tickets. If you're one of them and regularly check lottery results, planning your future purchases, investments, and vacations, you're also probably wondering how to hit the jackpot.

The answer is not that simple; otherwise, we'd all be millionaires. However, there are some factors you should take into account while buying a lottery ticket.

If you want to increase your chances and hopefully join the club of lucky lottery winners one day, keep on reading!

The Biggest Jackpots

Many people are tempted to play the lottery due to the size of a jackpot. That's what creates the disparity, though—the bigger the jackpot, the lower the odds of winning it, as there are many hopeful players wanting to snatch the grand prize.

Nevertheless, it doesn't deter them from trying their luck.

That being said, the top 10 lottery jackpots of all time have been set by two American lotteries, Powerball and Mega Millions, with $1.586 billion and $1.537 billion as the first and second place, respectively.

When the record Powerball jackpot fell, over 600 million tickets were sold—and the US population in 2020 is around 331 million. The competition was huge, and there was more than one winner (the winning tickets were sold in California, Florida, and Tennessee).

When it comes to prize pool size, the Spanish Loteria de Navidad - El Gordo tops the list. Winners of this annual Christmas raffle claim up to €2.38 billion in prizes. The odds are attractive, too: 1-in-7.

Best Lottery Odds vs. Best Jackpot Odds

To put it simply, lottery odds are the chances of winning any prize, while jackpot odds refer to your winning the grand prize. The odds of winning the lottery prize are a bit complicated and differ depending on the game.

For instance, they take into account how many numbers there are in total, how many get selected in each draw, and if the draw includes an additional "Powerball."

The organizers, wanting to attract many players, have to find the balance between favorable lottery odds and unfavorable jackpot odds so that people will have a good chance of winning any prize, with the chances of hitting the jackpot being relatively low, which would spike the ticket sales.

Keep that in mind, and you'll realize you'd sooner win a smaller state lottery than a national one. The jackpot size won't be even close to any record sums, but the odds are definitely attractive.

Most notably, Mexico Chispazo and Japan Mini Loto have tempting jackpot odds: 1-in-98,280 and 1-in-169,911, respectively. You can win up to $25,000 in Texas Cash Five, but you'll have 1-in-324,632 chances of doing so.

In contrast, the odds of winning US Powerball and US Mega Millions are at 1-in-292,201,338 and 1-in-302,575,350, respectively. And if you consider the Millionaire Lottery, the chances are 1-in-299,000, but you'll have to pay $100 for two tickets.

Special Features

Even if the chances of winning are slim, some lotteries have special features that may encourage others to play. Your lottery experience doesn't have to revolve around picking the right numbers and end with the announcement of winners.

Lotteries like Mega Millions, Powerball, or Texas Lotto offer multipliers, allowing you to increase or even double your winning in certain prize categories.

Others, like Ireland Lotto or Japan Loto 7, utilize bonus balls and create second-chance divisions. Some Spanish lotteries and Portugal's Totoloto also offer ticket refunds.

While these advantages are often overlooked, they can make you feel like winning the lottery without hitting the jackpot.


If you think you can hit the jackpot and get all the money for yourself, that would be too beautiful to be true. Sure, there are many lottery games worldwide tax-free at source, like in the UK, Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, or South Africa.

However, winners may have to follow local taxation rules based on their country of residence. Unfortunately, if you win a huge jackpot lottery, you'll have to give a significant portion of your winnings to the state.

In case you wanted to base your decision on which lottery to play on the amount of taxes you'd have to pay after you win, it would be best if you discussed these matters with a tax professional.

Final Thoughts

If you're trying to find out which lottery game is worth playing, there are a couple of factors you need to take into consideration, from jackpot to prize pool size, taxes, other features, and odds in general.

As such, you're more likely to make an educated guess rather than an informed decision. Then again, the bigger the jackpot, the bigger the profit, but the competition may be too huge to make it worth your while.

Nevertheless, someone always wins. If you play the lotteries that are most appealing to you, maybe you'll be the next lucky winner!


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