How to Buy a Lottery Ticket Online

How to Buy a Lottery Ticket Online

Two main factors contributed to the rise of online lottery ticket purchases: necessity and technology. From a business standpoint, lottery operators were almost forced to make their games available online in order to survive.

For example, in the late nineties and early noughties, the UK's National Lottery suffered a downswing. Financial results in 2002 saw the game's operator, Camelot, suffer a 3% drop in takings. This trend was mirrored in other countries around the world, as those with a love for battling with the odds found new, more convenient, ways to play online. Needing to move with the times, lottery operators soon joined the digital revolution and made it possible for players to ante-up with a few simple clicks – here's a quick guide to how it works.

How to Play Online

The process of playing the lottery online is usually very simple, however there are now more ways to play than in previous years. These are:

  • By playing a local national lottery online (for example, if you live in the UK, this could be the Lotto, Thunderball or Hotpicks draw).
  • By using an online concierge service to participate in lotteries from around the world (like TheLotter).
  • By joining an online syndicate to boost your chances of winning (this would be like Coral Lotto).

To Play a Local National Lottery Online:

Playing your local lottery online is usually a quick and easy process.

  1. Go to the lottery site (for example, National-Lottery.co.uk).
  2. Create an account (you must meet the minimum age requirements).
  3. Choose which draw you want to play.
  4. Select your numbers (or choose automatic quick picks).
  5. Confirm your numbers, pay the necessary fee and wait for the draw to take place.
  6. Return to the website to check results, or use an app (if available) – the UK's National Lottery has dedicated apps for Apple iOS and Android devices.
  7. Collect your winnings – smaller prizes will usually be paid into your online account, while larger sums can be collected either from lottery retailers, sent out as a cheque, or collected in-person from lottery HQ (if a jackpot sum).

To Use an Online Concierge Service:

Online lotteries now allow you to play a wide variety of games. In the first instance, it's possible to play lotteries in the US, UK, Spain, Italy and beyond, regardless of where you live. This is made possible by concierge services, which operate by either:

  • Allowing you to bet on the outcome of a wide range of lottery draws from around the world (in which case, although you do select lines of numbers, you're not actually purchasing a ticket for the lottery – you are simply placing a bet with the provider, for example LottoLand).
  • Allowing you to select your lottery of choice from around the world, pick your numbers and buy online – a member of staff based in the local country will then go to a store to purchase the physical ticket for you (for example, TheLotter).

In Both Instances the Process is Quite Similar:

  1. Go to the concierge site.
  2. Create an account (you must meet the minimum age requirements).
  3. Choose which lottery you want to participate in.
  4. Select your numbers (or choose automatic quick picks).
  5. Confirm your numbers, pay the necessary fee and wait for the draw to take place.
  6. In the instance of sites which purchase tickets for you: a scanned image of your physical ticket will be uploaded to the site for reference. You'll then receive an email and/or SMS notification if you win a prize.
  7. In the instance of sites where you bet on the lottery outcome: you'll be notified by email whether your bet has been successful or unsuccessful.
  8. Collect your winnings – prizes will usually be transferred direct to your online account. In the case of a jackpot win, you may need to travel to the country where the winning ticket was purchased to collect your prize in-person.

To Play Through an Online Syndicate:

The benefit of online syndicates is that they give players improved odds of hitting the jackpot through collective purchasing power. Online providers typically create syndicates for the top lotteries and pre-purchase huge batches of tickets for each draw. To take part:

  1. Choose your syndicate provider site (for example, TheLotter).
  2. Choose which lottery you want to participate in.
  3. Choose how many shares you would like to purchase (each syndicate is divided into equal portions, which players can purchase as 'shares'. A player's share determines the percentage of the syndicate's prizes that they stand to win. For example, in a syndicate with 50 total shares, each share is worth 2% of the syndicate's winnings – so purchasing a greater proportion of the shares will mean receiving a bigger slice of any winnings).
  4. Confirm your share, pay the necessary fee and wait for the draw to take place.
  5. If your syndicate wins the jackpot, a member of the site's customer service team will contact each share-holder to arrange prize claims and payment, in accordance with local laws.

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