Lotteries have been played for generations across the globe. It has taken different forms (like Keno, a lottery-like game originating in Ancient China), shapes and titles, but the premise has generally stayed the same.
A lottery involves purchasing a ticket before a series of numbers (typically on a ball) are picked at random from a draw to decide the winner of the selected prize (nowadays these prizes usually amount to a fortune of cash). Present day lotteries, though, have found a new world to influence and be influenced by, the world wide web.
The lottery's embrace of the internet has not only expanded the game's popularity but has altered the way the game is played, won, and experienced. With great change comes new innovation and therefore new features and products.
Lottery features have grown from the days of adding additional balls to implementing bulk buying discounts for those looking to buy tickets in mass. Now players get to enjoy a wealth of features those playing Keno couldn't fathom.
The expansion of the internet has afforded industries the opportunity to reach a global audience while simultaneously connecting people from all across the globe. Prior to its move online, lotteries were limited to players in that particular lottery's country of operation. So basically, if you wanted to play the largest lottery in the world - the US Powerball - you would need to live in the United States. Embracing online lottery play created the ability for lotteries to be played by players outside their respective countries through the invention of lottery concierge services.
Companies like GiantLottos and TheLotter are lottery concierges, with each uniquely approaching the concierge service industry. GiantLottos doesn't actually sell or resell lottery tickets, rather, they buy and hold lottery tickets on behalf of players, then distribute winnings to those whose proxy lines would have won had they purchased in person.
TheLotter has over 20 local offices worldwide, and uses these bases to purchase physical lottery tickets from official retailers on behalf of its users – these tickets are then scanned and uploaded to users' accounts (similiar to 'Buy and Scan' apps). TheLotter, and lottery concierge services like it, include a handling fee in listed ticket prices, meaning that unlike sites such as GiantLottos, TheLotter doesn’t take any commission from players’ prize money if they win big on a foreign draw.
Most consider playing the lottery a gamble in itself but punters and bookies have taken it a step further with the introduction of betting on the lottery. Traditional bookies, like Coral Sports and Paddy Power Sports, offer players the opportunity to place bets on the winning numbers of a lottery.
So players can place bets with set odds on what the winning numbers of the Mega Millions will be. Then, when the numbers are announced, the bookies, not the lottery, award the players who correctly predicted the winning combination.
Immediately, most would wonder why a punter would bet on the winning numbers when they can just play those numbers and actually win the massive prize. Well first off, you can do both. Players can play their favorite numbers on their lottery of choice then bet those same numbers to increase the potential winnings.
But aside from just increasing the potential total winnings, some bookies also offer the option to win by only predicting a particular amount of numbers as opposed to the entire combo.
Here's an example: A punter plays the German Lotto (Lotto 6 aus 49) with his favorite numbers while also betting those numbers with Coral Lotto on the same German Lotto drawing. The player then checks the results and realizes he missed the jackpot by ONE SINGLE NUMBER! - a feeling many have felt.
This player would normally spend the next week pondering the 'what ifs' of winning a mind-blowing amount of money but instead gets the pleasure of enjoying a healthy prize of cash winnings because although he/she didn't correctly choose all the winning numbers, he/she did bet Coral Lotto he could guess all but one number at generous odds like 50,000/1.
Potential players have avoided playing lotteries for as long as they have been around because of all the forms of gambling, lotteries have the longest odds of all, sometimes amounting to 200,000,000/1 or more. Well at those odds, lotteries aren't for everyone. But for those players weary of the long odds but still interested in playing, hope has emerged in the form of lottery syndicates.
A lottery syndicate is a group of people collectively buying tickets, with the agreement that any prizes won will be split evenly, greatly increasing the chances of winning. Clearly this means the prizes you can win personally are typically lower but at the cost of greatly decreased odds.
The syndicate groups are typically formed between families, friends or co-workers but can be pooled together between strangers using an online lottery service as well. You can either enter online syndicates on a one-off basis or with a monthly subscription. There are normally different bundles available, whereby the more you pay, the more entries you get.
Mobile betting has taken the gambling industry by storm and lottery is no different. Aside from mobile access for most lottery products, players can also enjoy a few new mobile lottery features, like 'Buy and Scan' apps.
With all the events and distractions of everyday life, many punters struggle to remember important things. When you've enjoyed a bet every few hours for a whole year, some of the specifics tend to blur together. Lottery players experience this from time to time as well, especially when the drawing is delayed for a few days. Punters pick their numbers on a wealth of lotteries then occasionally forget a few. Fortunately, there is a solution.
'Buy and Scan' apps are capable of scanning lottery tickets, storing the numbers and then notifying you when you're entitled to a win – saving you the effort of checking and ensuring you still have plenty of time to claim. Missing out on a potential prize is eliminated and the need to search the internet for lottery results is gone forever.