How to cut your lottery losses

So, Victoria’s Spring Racing Carnival is over and if you are not a serious punter, like me, it doesn’t really matter. I am happy to wait until next year’s Melbourne Cup for another flutter.

But an increasing number of people are taking betting and other types of gambling more seriously.

The psychology behind compulsive gambling – whether it’s a flutter at the TAB, pokies addiction, online wagering or unwavering devotion to lottery tickets – has been well-studied and the advice for addicts is usually ‘get some help and don’t waste your money because the odds are stacked against you’.

But what if there was statistical evidence to explain when a punt might work?

A while back, Business Insider looked into the best Australian lotto games to play if you wanted to minimise your losses. It surmised that if you play Oz Lotto, Gold Lotto and Powerball, you are pretty much throwing your money down the drain.

However, for the diehard lottery aficionado it did suggest ways of minimising losses while feeding addiction. Click here for the analysis on playing the highly lucrative Powerball.

“And there is one game that stands out from the three majors as being kinder on your pocket – Gold Lotto won’t pay out anywhere near as often as Oz Lotto, but the wins are bigger and, therefore, you’ll lose much, much less,” according to Business Insider analysis.

Business Insider’s investigation models 520 games using five popular number combinations, and costing between $8.50 for eight chances to $46 for 50 chances. The results, once you deduct the winnings from the initial amount spent, were:

  • Oz Lotto – 1707 wins, $56,788.75 loss
  • Powerball – 928 wins, $48,671.80 loss
  • Gold Lotto – 1093 wins, $30,438.70 loss


Read more about how all the combinations fared at Business Insider.

But why limit yourself to Australian lotteries when there are easier prizes to win overseas? According to Lottoland, the easy jackpots are won in Polish, Swedish, Austrian and Irish lotteries.

Wonderlist’s Top 10 Best Lottery Games of the World lists even more competitions where savvy punters can make a safer quid.

If you are strategic, you might be able to scoop the lotteries pool over time. But if you are just winging it, remember to gamble responsibly. Consider the losses and if you suspect you have a gambling problem there are many organisations ready and willing to help. As a first port of call, contact gamblinghelponline.

This article is for information only and does not endorse any type of gambling.

Have you ever been addicted to gambling? If so, what helped you break the habit? Has buying lottery tickets ever delivered a windfall for you? Which lottery have you found delivers the best returns?

Related articles:
Unlucky lotteries
Gambling harms society
Centrelink and gambling

YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.
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