Best Lottery ‘Buy and Scan’ Apps

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What to Consider When Choosing a Lottery 'Buy and Scan' App

Nowadays, there are often multiple weekly draws in lottery-playing countries. In the UK, for example, players can enter the Lotto, Thunderball, Lotto Hotpicks, EuroMillions (and Millionaire Maker) draws each week. Lottery 'buy and scan' apps are designed to make life easier by enabling players to check lottery ticket results using their smartphone or tablet devices.

These apps are particularly useful for players who enter multiple weekly draws and prefer to buy tickets in-store (as opposed to online), as it removes the hassle of manually checking paper tickets against results numbers online, or watching draws on television. Instead, players can simply pull out their smartphone and scan tickets instantly.

Likewise, lottery syndicate managers also stand to benefit from using a scanning app. Syndicate managers typically purchase big batches of tickets for each draw (accounting for each member of the syndicate), which means that taking the time to manually check each line can be very painstaking indeed. A 'buy and scan' app dramatically cuts down the leg-work – here are a few things to consider before choosing an app.


'Buy and scan' apps work similarly to applications which use QR codes, in that your smartphone or tablet's camera function is usually utilised in the scanning process. However, there is some variation in how the scanning feature works, from app to app. For example, the Lotto Monkey Classic app for iPhone and iPad (developed by 5LottoMonkeys) works by directly scanning and digitising the numbers from a paper ticket, while the Lotto Scanner app from Skediatech (also for iPhone and iPad) allows Australian lotto players to scan a ticket's barcode to process the numbers.

Over on the Android platform, the YooLotto app allows US lotto players to take a single snapshot of their Mega Millions or Power Ball lottery tickets (rather than holding their mobile device for the duration of a scan), which is then processed and digitised. Of course, in order for these apps to work effectively, it does require a fully-functioning camera that can create photos of a decent quality – so players with faulty cameras or similar issues with their device should consider this before investing in an app.

Device Compatibility

As with any app purchase, another important factor to consider is compatibility. At present, the Android operating system continues to dominate the market, with an 82.8% share in Q2 2015, compared to a 13.9% share for Apple's iOS platform. As a result, it's not surprising that many software developers tend to prioritise Android offerings when it comes to app creation – the same is true of lottery buy and scan apps, where players will find a wider selection of apps on the Google Play store (Android) than on Apple's App Store.

Before purchasing any app, you should always check that it is compatible with your device's operating system and model type: some apps will only be compatible with later iPhone and iPad models, for example.

Quality and Reputation

Reputation is another big consideration when browsing buy and scan apps. Before hitting download, take a moment to explore the app's credentials. Key things to look out for include:

Types of Lotteries

The most important thing to consider when choosing a buy and scan app is that it features your chosen lotteries. Always read the app description carefully to ensure that it covers the relevant lotteries in your country (or state) of residence. The buy and scan market is still relatively young, so there isn't a massive selection of apps out there yet.

However, in the US, players will find that they can scan Mega Millions and Powerball tickets with the Lotto Monkey app, while the YooLotto app also supports tickets from these draws, as well as a number of local Texas state lotteries, including TX Lotto, TX Pick 3 and TX Daily 4.

In the UK, the UK Lottery Ticket Checker app (developed by BE Soft and available for Android), allows players to scan tickets for the Euromillions, Lotto, Lotto Hotpicks and Thunderball draws, as well as a number of German and Polish lottery games.

At present, buy and scan apps are most useful for checking tickets against the more prominent draws in the US and Europe, with less coverage available at state and regional levels. However, developers are working to improve their coverage, so expect more apps (supporting a broader range of lottery tickets) to launch in the future.