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Showing results for tags 'lottery'.

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  1. Gambling is a global pastime and as such comes with its own vast library of myths, legends, facts and loads of fiction. We’ve delved into these stories to bring you twelve gambling and casino facts that sound stranger than fiction. ✓Blackjack Saved FedEx from Going Under The 70s were a tough time for a struggling freight and delivery company named Federal Express. Failing to secure the $24,000 he needed to pay the company’s outstanding fuel bill Fred Smith, FedEx founder, gambled the last $5000 in the company account and won. After a successful run of luck playing blackjack Smith turned his $5000 bankroll into $27,000 saving the company. Today FedEx has an annual turnover of more than $60 billion, making it one of the biggest paydays in gambling history. ✓Card Counting is Actually Legal Despite Hollywood’s portrayal of card counting as a dubious practise the reality is that it is nothing more than an intelligence-based method for keeping track of cards. Where the confusion comes into play is that casinos will do whatever they can to maintain the house edge, especially where low margin games like blackjack are concerned, and as such remove card counters from the casino. They do so by invoking their “right of admission reserved” clause, not by citing any law or legal precedent. ✓The Playing Card Roots of Slot Machines It is not only FedEx which has a deck of cards to thank for its existence, so does the slot machine, video slot and fruit machine industry. Prior to 1890 gambling consisted primarily of dice and card-based games. Looking to spice things up a mechanic built a drum wheel and populated it with paying cards. Winning lines on this first slot machine was based on winning poker hands. The stronger the hand the higher the prize the bar would offer which included sweets, free drinks and even cigars. ✓Early Las Vegas Supported Feminism The 1920s was a powerful time for women in America, not only would they receive the right to vote but a woman would lead the charge in legalised casino ownership. The Northern Club was opened on September 5, 1920, by Mayme Stocker. Her venue offered patrons refreshments and access to the only casino games that were legal at the time, these being stud, draw and lowball poker. When Las Vegas officially began offering gambling licenses in 1931 her standing in the community saw Stocker receive the first one. ✓Las Vegas Does Not Rule the Gambling World While Las Vegas dominates popular culture and media as the epicentre of gambling the real king of the hill lies more than seven thousand miles to the East. Macau is the worlds largest gambling centre and generates more than three times the amount of revenue annually that Las Vegas does. Vegas generates annual Gross Gaming Revenues (GGR) in excess of $6 billion while Macau’s GGR can exceed $28 billion. ✓Pachinko Rolls Around Japanese Gambling Laws Japanese residents are avid gamblers however access to local land-based casinos is strictly regulated. Gambling fans are only allowed to visit a licensed casino once a week and must pay a hefty entrance fee for the privilege. However, Pachinko machines are legal as patrons purchase trays of silver balls to play with but cannot win cash from the machines, only more silver balls which can be traded in for a variety of items or prizes. On an interesting but totally unrelated note, there are always curio shops not far from the Pachinko parlours willing to buy these trinkets from lucky players for cash. What a fortunate coincidence. ✓The Great Wall of Keno While modern gambling companies are seen to donate large sums of money to local charities, programs to support the prevention of problem gambling and other honourable causes, however, this is far from being something new. Keno was invented in China during the 2nd century BC and soon became a favoured game with nobles and peasants alike. So much so that when the Great Wall of China was being built the Emperor used taxes on Keno as a way to supplement the project. ✓The Rise and Fall of Archie Karas While it is true that what goes up must come down the story of Greek gambler Archie Karas is one of the dangers of chasing wins and losses while gambling. The 1950s saw Karas go on what has become known simply as The Run, a gambling streak that saw him turn $50 into more than $40 million in less than three years. Unfortunately, his streak of luck turned sour and Karas lost it all in less than three weeks. The moral of the story is to know when to cash in your chips and enjoy your success. ✓Playing the Long Game We have all heard the tales of how skilled poker players can face off against one another over extended periods of time, however, the truth, in this case, will sound stranger than fiction. The longest recorded poker game in history was played in Arizona and began in 1881 when all was said and done more than $10 million had changed hands over a period of nearly eight and a half years! ✓A Million Dollar Lotto Lesson NN ran the story of Glenda Blackwell, who protested her husband's ongoing fascination with the lottery by buying a ticket of her own. Intended to be a lesson in the pointlessness of playing the lottery Glenda had to eat her words when her $10 Carolina Millions Scratchcard paid out a staggering $1 million! If ever there was a lesson worth learning this was one of them. ✓Craps Hall of Fame When it comes to gamblers who have defied the odds and carved out a niche for themselves in the gambling hall of fame nothing compares to tales told at the Las Vegas Desert Inn of an anonymous sailor from the 50s. As the legend goes this lone sailor made 27 consecutive winning passes while playing Craps, the odds of this astounding feat are 12,467,890 to 1. In honour of his amazing streak, the dice are on display in a glass case at the Desert Inn till today. ✓Gambling on the Go The term ‘gambling on the go’ is most often associated with mobile gambling today given the burgeoning mobile casino market, however, it is a label that perfectly fits the world’s smallest casino. Birmingham’s Grosvenor Casino unveiled their smallest gambling location in 2016, a converted local taxicab. The casino-cab features a gambling table, its own dealer, a bar, television screens for sporting events and access to online casino games. What is your favourite tall tale or unbelievable gambling fact? Create a free GamblersPick account today and share your stranger than fiction factoids in the comments section below.
  2. With 19 live casinos and thousands of regular gamblers, Illinois is sometimes referred to as the gambling capital of the midwest. This makes sense- after all, the state is home to one of the most heavily populated cities in the nation and is filled with nightlife and adrenaline-seeking spirit. If you're interested in trying your luck with Illinois Lottery games, you're in luck- you have six awesome options to choose from! Here, we're going to discuss how the Illinois Lottery works and how to play at each of the most popular games. Read on if you want a fun new way to gamble in the Land of Lincoln! How Does the Illinois Lottery Work? Asking how the Illinois Lottery works is like asking what food tastes like- the answer varies a lot depending on which kind we're talking about. Generally, there are six different Illinois Lotto games, which we'll discuss in detail below. For all these games, you choose the numbers that you want to play, have them printed on a ticket, and wait excitedly for your numbers to be drawn. In order to play the Illinois Lottery, you must: Be 18 years of age or over Be physically located in Illinois when you purchase a ticket Have a registered Illinois Lottery account NOT be a member of the Lottery control board (or any worker contracted to them) NOT work with the Lottery's management or direction in any way NOT be a member of the household of anyone working with the Lottery. If you meet these qualifications, then you can play! Of course, when you play the lottery, you're playing to win. But you may be interested to know that even when you don't, your money goes to a good cause. The Illinois Lottery donates all of its profits to support public education and other special causes. This is a legal requirement that has raised over $20 billion for these public services in IL! What's the Latest in the Illinois Lottery? The Illinois Lottery started in 1974 on July 1. During its first years, drawings only took place weekly. Now, it's expanded to have drawings multiple times a day! While people win small payouts on a daily basis, the last person to win an enormous payout bought their ticket at a convenience store in Vernon Hills. They played the Lotto game and won $16 million on December 30th, 2019. All six numbers on her ticket matched with the numbers that were drawn, giving her a jackpot. You could be next! A Breakdown of Illinois Lottery Games Generally, there are six games that you can choose from when playing the Illinois Lottery, and each one has different rules, regulations, and payouts. Read on for an in-depth guide on how to play these Illinois Lottery Games so that you can decide which one is for you! Mega Millions Each Mega Millions game that you play costs $2, but that's a pretty great price considering that the jackpot is 200 million dollars. When you buy a Mega Millions card, you'll need to pick five numbers between 1-70. If you just want to randomize the numbers, you can also do this by selecting the 'Quick Pick' option on any online card or telling the person you're buying the ticket from to randomize your numbers. In addition to these five numbers, you'll also need to pick a Mega Ball between 1-25. If you match all of the six numbers on your ticket, that's when you win a jackpot. However, betting on a Mega Ball also increases your chances of winning because you can get some money if it matches the drawn Mega Ball (and you have at least one other matching number.) Then, select the option to add a Megaplier to your card for an extra dollar to multiply your non-jackpot winnings. Powerball If you want to aim for the $51 million Powerball jackpot, awesome! It'll cost you $2 to buy a ticket. You'll get to pick five numbers between 1 and 69 that you want to bet on. After that, you can add a Powerball to your ticket. This is simply one number between 1 and 26 that you want to bet on for the jackpot. This is similar to a Mega Ball- it's just a different lottery and the numbers that you have to choose from are a bit different. Once that's done, you're going to need to add Power Play to your ticket. Without it, you won't be able to multiply non-jackpot winning prizes. This is definitely something that you don't want to miss out on since you can multiply your winnings by ten! It costs you an additional dollar, but it's totally worth it. Lotto With Lotto, each game played only costs $1. You'll get the opportunity to choose 6 numbers between 1 and 52. As with all the other games on this list, choosing 'Quick Pick' is an option here if you want to leave the selection of numbers up to random chance. After that, you'll want to add an extra shot to your ticket. This add-on feature allows you to get an extra number added randomly onto your ticket for only an extra $1. This number will be between 1-25 and will be printed on your ticket after purchase. Jackpots for this game start at $2 million and drawings happen 3 times a week rather than only 2. These are likely a few factors in making it such a popular option for Illinois Lottery players! The biggest jackpot is at around $10.5 million right now, so this is definitely a game to keep an eye out for! Additionally, Lotto is the game that the last big winner won $16 million dollars at just a few months ago, so you can buy a ticket and hope to get in on that lucky streak. Lucky Day Lotto The Lucky Day Lotto is the game that has the highest odds of winning (besides Pick 3 or 4), so it's perfect for new players. The $150,000 jackpot is nothing to sneeze at, either, despite the fact that it's a bit lower than some other Illinois Lotto jackpots. In any case, you're going to pick five numbers between 1 and 45. After that, it's pretty simple! All you need to do is select the time that you want to draw for your ticket. The Lucky Day Lotto is a twice-a-day phenomenon, so you can pick whichever time you feel the luckiest at. Pick 3/Pick 4 Lotto The Pick 3 Lotto is a game that's only available in Illinois, so you can just consider it a perk of living among the cornfields! It offers two daily draws and a lot of opportunities to win. Before selecting any numbers, you'll need to choose a type of play: Box (match all numbers in the exact order) Combo (match all numbers in any order) Straight (play all straight combinations of all numbers AND match in any order) Straight/Box (match all numbers in either exact OR any order) This determines the way that you'll need to match the numbers up in order to win. Then, you get to choose three numbers between 0 and 9, which are the numbers that you're betting on. After that, you'll place your bet. Unlike other Illinois Lottery games, you have a choice on how much you want to purchase a ticket for. For just 50 cents, you can win up to $250. If you want to be a bit more daring, you can bet $1 for a chance at $500 in winnings! For both the Pick 3 Lotto and the Pick 4 one (that we'll talk about in a second,) there's something called Plus Fireball. Choosing this option gives you a higher chance of winning because you'll have an extra number to draw. As for price, it just doubles the wager amount for the game that you're playing, so you still won't be spending a lot on a ticket. The Pick 4 Lotto is pretty much exactly the same as Pick 3, but you get to pick an additional number. How to Get Tickets The time that ticket sales begin and end depends entirely on which one of the Illinois Lottery games you choose: Mega Millions games are on Tuesday and Friday. Ticket sales end at 9:45 PM, drawings are at 10 PM. Powerball games are on Wednesday and Saturday. Ticket sales stop at 9 PM and drawings are ar 9:59 PM. Lotto games are on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, Ticket sales stop at 8:30 PM and drawings are at 9:38 PM. Lucky Day Lotto, Pick 3, and Pick 4 games all take place twice daily. For all ticket types, the ticket sales stop at 12:35 PM and 9:15 PM. The drawings then take place a 12:40 PM and 9:22 PM, respectively. There are a few ways that you can get tickets for the Illinois Lottery. The first is to head to your local drugstore and ask the clerk for the ticket that you want. The other one is to simply head to the Illinois Lottery website, select the game that you want to play, and purchase a ticket from home. If you're ordering the ticket online, you can choose to select multiple drawings on the website before paying. This is the equivalent of buying multiple tickets at the store. This option exists for all Illinois Lottery tickets, so you don't need to worry about having to leave the comfort of your home to play the lotto. What's the Payout Like? How you receive a payout for a winning lottery ticket depends on the amount of money that you won. For prizes that are under $600, the money that you won will all come to you within a few days. If you played a ticket that you bought online, the cash will be deposited into your account directly. If you bought a ticket at a third-party retailer (gas station, 7-11, etc.) then you can just take the ticket back to the store and cash it. If you won a prize that falls between $600 and $1 million, you'll need to do one of two things. The first option is to fill out a claim form and questionnaire and mail it with your signed winning ticket to the Central Lottery Office in Springfield. The alternative is to visit a Lottery Claims Center and get any prizes that are $25,000 or under right away. If the prize is over this limit but is still less than $1 million, this Claims Center will take your claim and ticket to Springfield's Central Lottery Office. If your winnings are over $1 million, the way that you'll receive payout depends on your situation. Contact- you guessed it!- the Central Lottery Office in Springfield and ask them how to redeem your prize. You may have the option to receive the payout in monthly or yearly intervals rather than in a bulk amount if you prefer to do that! As you may have already been aware, you will be taxed on your lottery winnings. This tax can be anywhere between 24% and 37% of your winnings. Make sure that you plan ahead and hold onto that money so that you don't encounter a big problem come tax season. Test Your Luck Today While there are a lot of aspects that go into playing the Illinois Lottery, it's an incredibly fun and exciting way to test your luck and get the adrenaline pumping. Now that you know all about the main six Illinois Lottery games and how to win at them, it's time to flex your gambling skills in online casinos while you wait for your numbers to be drawn. Check out the 'casinos' tab on our homepage to see some of the places that you can place bets from the comfort of your own home.
  3. While we may not all be as lucky as the player who won the lottery in NC twice, you've got no chance at all unless you take part. If you're keen to take a chance on the NC lottery, read on to find out more about how you could take a shot at winning a million or more. A General Overview of the NC Lottery The North Carolina Education Lottery is better-known as the NCEL. At this point, you may be wondering what a lottery has to do with education. By law, all the profits from the NCEL go toward construction of schools, a portion of salary payments for K-3 grade teachers for k-3 grades, pre-kindergarten, and need-based financial aid to colleges. Over the years, the lottery has contributed substantially to education in North Carolina, contributing around 350 million dollars to the cause within 2 years. What Percentage of the NC Lottery Goes To Education? The legislature offers a guideline of 35% with regard to how much of the funds generated should go to education. They calculate this amount on whatever's leftover after payment of the lottery running costs. These expenses include retailer compensation, prize money, and operational expenses. Administrators allocate at least 50% of the total for prize money. A Brief History of the North Carolina Lottery The NC Lottery is one of the youngest in the USA, established in 2005. Under the North Carolina State Lottery Act, a Lottery Commission comprising nine members conducts all the operations regarding the Lottery. Legislation for setting up a lottery in North Carolina came to light as early as 1983, but repeated opposition meant that it never came to light until much later. As neighboring states started to implement lotteries of their own, support for the NC lottery increased. This resulted in a controversial debate in 2005, which ended in favor of the lottery. Interested parties conducted extensive research into the feasibility of the process before the bill finally passed the Senate in 2005. These studies successfully allayed the fears that the Lottery would contribute little to the welfare of learners while preying on the poor. How to Play the NC Lottery When you play the NC Lottery, it's a win-win situation. Not only do you stand a chance of winning a considerable sum of money, but you're helping education in the State of North Carolina. So how do you play the NC lottery? Here are your options when it comes to taking your chances on the NCEL: The NC Powerball Lottery The Powerball Lottery concept is a winning formula around the world, and it’s easy to play too. Here’s the process: Choose five numbers between 1 and 69 Then choose one extra number between 1 and 26 If you don’t have any lucky numbers in mind, you can opt for a Quick Pick, which randomly chooses numbers on your behalf. You can play up to five sets of numbers per slip and enter the same numbers in up to 26 draws by selecting the Multidraw option. Each ticket costs just $2 and you can increase your chances of winning on most tickets by paying an extra dollar for the Power Play advantage. This increases your winnings by up to ten times. Organizers draw the Power Play multiplier just before the start of the draw. This benefit doesn't apply if you win the jackpot. How to Win the NC Powerball Lottery There are several ways to win with this type of lottery ticket. If five of your numbers match five of the white balls and one of the red balls that come out of the machine, you win the jackpot. If your numbers match five balls but not the red power ball, you win the second-level Match-Five prize of $1 million. The fewer balls you match, the less you win. The NC Mega Millions Lottery When you play the NC Mega Millions Lottery, the same process applies. This time you get to choose five numbers between 1 and 70, as well as a Mega Ball number between 1 and 25. You can also choose the Quick Pick option for a set of randomly generated numbers. The tickets cost $2 each plus an extra dollar if you want to add a Magaplier number. The Megaplier works the same way as the Multiplier in Power ball. You can play up to five sets of numbers per slip and select Multidraw if you want to play the same numbers in 26 consecutive draws. How to Win the Mega Millions Lottery On the big night, if your numbers match five of the white balls and no yellow mega ball, you win the jackpot. The second-level prize of $1 million goes to anyone with five matching white balls, but no yellow ball. You can still win if you match fewer balls, but your earnings decrease proportionately. The Keno NC Lottery For fast-paced fun, play Carolina Keno. This rapid-fire lottery-draw-style game is on the go every 4 minutes. It’s flexible, fast, and available at all lottery outlets. There's no waiting around wondering what time the lotto draw is tonight. With Keno, you get almost instant gratification. Each Keno drawing chooses 20 winning numbers out of a possible eighty. You can pick however many numbers you want to play up to a maximum of ten. Plus you can opt for the multiplier to increase your winnings even more. You can win up to $1 million dollars with Carolina Keno. How To Play Keno NC Lottery It's easy to play and win with NC Keno. Just follow these simple steps: Decide how much to play per draw. The minimum bet is $1, and the maximum is $10. The more you put down, the more money you stand to win. Choose how many consecutive draws you’d like to play up to a maximum of 20. Select how many numbers, called ‘’spots’’, you’d like to choose. The number of spots vs the amount you play will determine your winnings. For each spot you’ve chosen, you can pick a number between 1 and 80. Alternatively, opt for a Quick Pick and the terminal will choose numbers for you. When you add the Multiplier, you can increase your prizes up to 10 times. You pay double the original price of your ticket when you add the Multiplier. The NC Lucky for Life Lottery When you play Lucky for Life, you choose 5 numbers between 1 and 48 plus 1 bonus number between 1 and 18. Each ticket costs $2. The Mulitdraw and Quick Pick options are also available on each ticket. When you play this lottery, you stand a chance to win the grand prize of $100 a day for life if you choose 5 winning numbers plus the power ball number. To come in second place and win $25,000 a year for life, you need 5 winning numbers excluding the gold power ball. North Carolina Cash 5 Lottery In this game, you pick five numbers from 1 to 43 or choose the Quick Pick option to have numbers assigned to you. To play for up to 28 consecutive drawings, tick the Multidraw box. You can play up to five sets of numbers per slip. How To Win the Cash 5 Lottery NC If your numbers are a match during the draw, you win the grand prize. Those who match two, three or four numbers also win smaller prizes. Carolina Pick 3 and Pick 4 These games allow you to pick 3 or 4 numbers from 0 to 9 respectively. Next, you choose how to play.Ticket prices start at 0.50c for these games. For more chances to win you can also Play Sum it Up on these cards. This means you can win if the sum of the numbers drawn equals the sum of the numbers you chose. How To Play NC Lottery Scratch Off Tickets NC Lotter Scratch-off tickets are pre-printed cards with a silver or colored veneer printed over a winning board. Each ticket consists of between 3 and 6 lucky numbers or symbols as well as a selection of random numbers and symbols with a prize value. You simply buy your ticket and scratch off the silver lining to reveal your winning numbers as well as the list of prizes. If your lucky numbers or symbols appear, you can win cash equal to the associated value. There are currently four different types of NC Lottery Scratch-Off tickets available: Win $50 or $100! You’re assigned 6 lucky numbers and can win up to $100 for an initial outlay of just $10! Your odds of winning are pretty good with these scratch cards at about 1 in 10 or more! Loose Change When you buy a Loose Change scratch card for just $1, you stand a 1 in 4.8 chance of winning. The top prize is $5,000. 007™ These scratch cards cost only $5 and you could win up to $200,000 from one of the four lucky numbers on these pre-printed cards. Triple Dynamite Triple Dynamite is a slots-themed card with prizes assigned to certain symbols. If your lucky symbols match up to a prize, you could win up to $25,000. The card costs just $2 dollars and offers around 1 in 4.6 odds. The North Carolina Lottery scratch-off cards offer some of the best odds in the business and they're available at over 7,000 retail stores across the state. Look out for the 'PLAY HERE' signs in store. Does NC Have Second Chance Lottery? Yes, you do get a second chance to win with the NC Lottery. You can make your instant and draw tickets go further by entering them in your Lucke-Rewards account. It's totally free and all you need to do is register in advance. How to Play NC Second Chance Lottery Once you've registered, it's a simple click-through process on the NC lottery website. You have several options to choose from like: JAMES BOND Lottery Challenge Second-Chance Promotion 2020 Multiply the Cash Second-Chance Promotion MGM Casino Cash Second-Chance Promotion $300,000,000 Supreme Riches Second-Chance Promotion Colossal Cash Second-Chance Promotion These promotions vary, so keep tabs on the Lottery website for the latest offers. You stand a chance to win awesome prizes like cash, cars, and paid vacations, depending on the ticket you choose. Where To Buy NC Lottery Tickets There are thousands of places where you can buy NC Lottery tickets in North Carolina. You can get them at places like Sheetz, Walmart, and most gas stations. You'll find convenient lotto vending machines at many of these venues too. If you like you can even buy a whole roll of lottery slips for $300 and play to your heart's content. Can You Buy NC Lottery Tickets Online? You can also buy Lottery Tickets online in North Carolina by means of Online Play. You'll need to set up an NC Education Lottery account first though. After that, you simply follow the onscreen prompts and you're in the game. What Time is the NC Lottery Drawing? The Powerball draw takes place every Wednesday and Saturday at 11:59 pm EST and you can watch the Mega Millions draw on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11 pm EST. The Lucky for Life draw is on the telly every Monday and Thursday at 10:35 pm EST. You can watch the lottery draws live on KDKA Channel 2 (CBS), WTAE Channel 4, and WPXI Channel 11. How Late Can You Buy Lottery Tickets In NC? You can buy lottery tickets up until the minute the lottery starts. Sales stop during the draw but you can buy your next tickets a few minutes after it's completed. You can buy lottery tickets during the opening hours of your preferred retailer, or 24/7 online. You can also visit these outlets to scan your ticket to check an check your winnings. Lottery vending machines also have this facility for ticketholders. Otherwise, you can check the NC Lottery website to see the latest winning numbers. Although everyone has an equal chance to win big, small retail stores generally sell the most winning lottery tickets in NC. How to Claim Your NC Lottery Winnings If you win less than $500 in the NC Lottery, you can claim your earnings at the same place you bought your ticket. Should you win more than that, you need to contact one of the Regional Claims Centers or NCEL Headquarters and forward your winning ticket to them via registered post. If you win really big, i.e. more than 1K, you must send your ticket to NCEL headquarters. To claim your winnings over $600, all you need is a photo ID with proof to verify your age, signature, and name, social security card, and a completed NCEL Winner Claim Form. You can claim most lottery winnings anonymously unless you go over the $600 limit too. According to state law, your name is a public record if you win more than that. The state won't publish any of your other details though. It's important to ensure that your ticket and your details arrive at the NCEL headquarters or regional office within 180 days of the relevant draw. You must claim scratch-off game prizes within 30 days of buying your card. Who Won The NC Lottery Most Recently? Some of the most recent winners of the Powerball Lottery include a player from Ruffin who bagged $1 million during March and a player from Sanford who won $1 million in January. Join the Winners You can't join the ranks of these lucky folk without buying a ticket, so sign up for an account and start to play and win with the NC lottery. Sign up to become a member of the GamblersPick community where you can learn about other players' experiences as well as the best way to make great choices when gambling.
  4. Did you know that people who play the lottery in American spend about $86 a month on lottery tickets, including scratch cards and Powerball? Resulting in a single consumer's yearly expenditure on lotto tickets to be around $1,038. The odds of winning the lottery are quick slim, but that doesn't stop people from playing a range of lotto competitions with the hope of getting the winning numbers. After all, statistically, someone has to win it and you have to be in it to win it. Keep reading to discover how some lottery players managed to cheat the lotto system and win the big bucks. Who Has Cheated the Lottery Before? There's a 1 in 292.2 million chance of winning the Powerball and a 1 in 302.6 million chance of winning the Mega Millions. In fact, you're more likely to die in a car crash (103 to one), plane crash (11 million to one), or to even be struck by lightning (2 million to one). The odds of winning the lottery are low, but if you don't depend on luck and make your own fate then the chances of winning increase, as these winners found out for themselves. 1. Stefan Mandel: The Man Who Won 14 Lotteries Stefan Mandel was a young Romanian economist who was struggling to make ends meet, in the 1960s. Living off a salary of 360 lei (10 US dollars) a month, he was really struggling. The country was all struggling, with many turning to a life of crime, but Mandel decided to find his solution in the lottery. Mandel didn't just hope that he would win. He was a mathematician that spent a lot of time studying theoretical probability and coming up with a number-picking algorithm. The odds of winning, for 6 numbers in a 49-ball lottery, were 1 in 13,983,816. By choosing 15 numbers of each possible combination (which meant purchasing 5,005 games) his odds of winning were 1 in 2,974. Using his algorithm, Mandel believed he could reduce 5,005 combinations to 569. If the 6 winning numbers were among his 15 picks he would win 2nd prize and several smaller prizes, at least. The chances of him winning the jackpot were 1 in 10. With his four friends, who all purchased 228 tickets per draw, Mandel managed to win the first prize of 72,783 lei (about 2,000 US dollars). Onto Bigger and Even Better Things With this money, he managed to flee Romania and make a new life for himself, as well as go onto winning larger jackpots. He settled in Australia, where he convinced hundreds of investors to combine their money into a lotto syndicate pool. They went onto win 12 lotteries, resulting in receiving $400,000 of smaller prizes and $1.1 million. After this, the Australian authorities changed the law and prevented a single person from covering the lotteries every possible combination. Leaving Mandel to head onto bigger jackpots in America. Setting up an agency with an insurance company, Mandel convinced over 2,500 people to buy a 10-year life insurance policy, with a $4,000 annual premium. Using this money, Mandel bought each person a stake in the lottery (which was all legal). His operation was major, he had 30 computers, 12 laser printers, and 16 full-time employees in Melbourne, who were printing millions of tickets. It all paid off when on February 15, 1992, the Virginia lottery was won by Mandel and his investors. 2. Jerry and Marge Selbee: The Retired Couple Who Won $26 Million Retired couple, Jerry and Marge Selbee, managed to win $26 million by winning various state lottery games multiple times. After spotting a new lottery game, called Winfall, in 2003, Jerry put his maths skills to use and realized he could win big. Jerry spotted an opportunity with a feature on the Winfall called Rolldown. Once a jackpot of $5 million was reached and nobody won, Rolldown would happen, where all the money rolled down to the lower-tier prize winners. This meant that there were bigger payments for those who matched five, four, or three numbers. Jerry worked out that if he played $1,100 he would have one 4-number winner. When Winfall announced a Rolldown, Jerry bought $3,600 tickets and won $6,300. After that, he bet $8,000 and almost doubled it. Jerry and Marge soon started playing on a regular basis and started to win hundreds of thousands of dollars. Jerry set up a corporation called G.S. Investment Strategies and the retired couple, with other investors went onto win hefty sums of money. During the nine years of playing the lottery, the company grossed over $26 million. Money which Jerry and Marge spent on helping their six children, giving money to their grandchildren and paying for their education, as well as renovating their home. 3. James Harvey: Massachusetts College Student Who Made Big Bucks A student from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) also found that there was big money to make in Winfall, thanks to the Rolldown loophole. James was finishing his mathematics degree at the time and was looking for a final project during his final semester. Little did he know that his project would lead to winning hundreds of thousands of dollars. James studied Winfall and found that during a Rolldown, there was at least $2.30 waiting in prize money for every $2.00 ticket sold. In 2005, James formed a betting group with other MIT students. For the first batch of tickets, he recruited around 50 people to chip in, raising $1,000. Their initial investment money was tripled when their numbers came up in the Winfall lottery. James pursued a full-time job in playing the lottery and opened his own business, which resulted in winning thousands of dollars. In just one week, James and his team managed to win around $700,000 from tickets that were placed for a $1.6 million jackpot prize. Nothing lasts forever though and as the light was shed on those winning so much money due to the loophole in Winfall, the game was eventually phased out. Learn From These Masterminds and Try Winning the Lottery There's a lot you can learn from these masterminds. They've shown that you don't always need good luck to win the lottery, but instead, you can put your maths to the test and work out how to win. If you've been inspired by these clever people who have won hundreds of thousands of dollars, then why not try winning big on the lottery yourself?
  5. Here in America, we love our lotteries. About half of Americans play state lotteries—including, of course, the FL lotto. In 2017, the total sales came out to an astounding $71 billion. That comes down to about $86 a month of lottery tickets, which includes everything from scratch-offs to Powerball and Mega Millions entries. This $86 a month then translates to about $1,038 per year. Americans who make about $30,000 a year even admit to spending around 13 percent of their paychecks on the lottery! We're just a bunch of optimistic citizens hoping to cash in and become the next big winner. What's wrong with staying positive? Well, before you spend all your money on a bunch of losses, consult this guide. We cover the "Sunshine stakes" and tell you what you can expect when playing the Florida lottery—from how to play, to how to win, and everything between. Let's gamble! The History of the FL Lotto The Florida lotto is much more modern than you may think. In fact, its humble beginnings started in 1986. Through a constitutional amendment, Florida citizens voted to authorize a lottery in their state. The margin was substantial: two-to-one. Thanks to Florida Legislature and then-Governer Bob Martinez, the Florida lottery was established. The goal? To maximize revenues for enhancing public education—which ultimately allowed the people of Florida to benefit from significant money wins. Since then, both goals have been accomplished, earning this movement's success! The first tickets, after a tumultuous beginning (no one said it would be easy putting a lottery together), were sold on January 12, 1988. Keep in mind this date is six days before its scheduled release date of the 18th! What was the first Florida lottery game ever played? A $1 scratch-off, called MILLIONAIRE, which sold over $95 million in sales on that first day in January. Floridians were so excited to play their odds, they contributed to a lottery industry record. MILLIONAIRE's success didn't stop there. Within seventeen days of borrowing $15.5 million from the state's General Revenue Fund, the lottery was able to pay back their start-up fees with interest to boot. This success didn't blind the lottery from its original mission, which was to enhance public education. As an industry leader, the FL lotto contributes to the education system consecutively, with more than $1 billion in proceeds benefiting Florida students and schools around the state. This contribution represents a whopping 6 percent of the state's entire education budget. How Have Scratch-Offs Grown Since Then? If you're wondering where to buy lottery tickets in Florida, don't worry—there's no lack of options. That one measly scratch-off game took off, and lottery fever helped fuel the industry's growth. By August of 1988, the FL lotto had already introduced its first two Draw games: FLORIDA LOTTO® and CASH 3™. But what about the scratch-off? It all began there, so it's interesting to trace its expansion over time. Now, scratch-offs range in price from $1 to $25 and include about sixty different scratch-off games at any one time. According to the FL lotto, this provides "better games and more winning moments." It also offers people a variety that allows them to choose something fun or relatable to them. Scratch-off prizes range from free merch and free tickets to more substantial offerings, such as cash prizes and, oh yeah, $10 million. So while scratch-offs aren't exactly the jackpot, they're no small thing, either. The opportunity for big money is there. Tickets are sold at more than 13,000 retailers across the state. So, the next time you're pumping gas, the odds are high (pun intended) that the establishment will be selling FL lottery tickets. The Florida Lotto and the Florida Public Education System There's an inextricable link between the FL lotto and the state's education system—even beyond what we've mentioned so far already. Every day, thousands of students from pre-kindergarten to high school reap the benefits of the FL lotto's dollars. The FL lotto contributes significantly to Florida's Bright Futures Scholarship Program as well as other forms of financial aid. More than $6.3 billion from the FL lotto has been used to benefit students, making schools more affordable and keeping them running. It's not just the money, either. The FL lottery has helped build or renovate nearly 800 schools in the state. All this combined? The FL lottery has given more than $36 billion in profits to the school systems. So, if you've even gotten an education in the state of Florida, you can tip your hat to the Florida lotto! Let's Talk About the Big Bucks Scratch-offs are fantastic and all, but what about the jackpot!? When you hear about the Florida Lotto, you're probably thinking of the millions, the aptly-named FLORIDA LOTTO. This game showed up mere months after the scratch-off was born, its birthday being August 31, 1988. At the time, they produced a $52 million jackpot that really amped up the excitement and water cooler conversations. At the time of this writing, the next jackpot is set at $3.5 million. The week before, there were zero 6-of-6 winners, but eleven 5-of-6 winners (ringing in a hefty, albeit lesser sum, of $5,401.00). But how does the FLORIDA LOTTO work, exactly? Is it always $3.5 million? What are the rules? Well, for just $1, you have the chance to win big. Jackpots always begin at $2 million with room to grow from there—they roll until there's a winner. Drawings are held twice every week, providing ample time for you to play this week still (hurry, buy your ticket!). Don't think it's worth your hard-earned cash? It helps to know that 1,000 people have already been jackpot winners. You could be next. There's always the option to add an EZMATCH™ ticket to your order, which ups your chances of winning instant cash. You can also consider XTRA, which multiplies any of your non-jackpot winnings by two, three, four, or five times. For context, at the time of this writing, 7,555 people won the EZMATCH™, which was a $24,097.00 prize! Now that you have a bit of an idea of how the lotto works, let's discuss how to play (and how to win). How to Play (And Hopefully Win!) the Florida Lotto First, head to your local ticket retailer and buy a ticket from the clerk or pick up a FLORIDA LOTTO playslip. Each lotto playslip has ten panels, A through J, in which you will select your numbers (1 to 53). Each player selects six numbers from 1 to 53. If you don't want the pressure of choosing your own numbers, that's what the QP box (or Quick Play box) is for. Selecting this option allows the terminal to choose your numbers for you randomly. Once you've entirely filled out your playslip, the rest is up to chance! Turn your ticket into the retailer, who will then give you a printed slip of your numbers, as well as the draw date. You are responsible for the accuracy of your tickets, so if you're skeptical, always check them before leaving the store. And there you have it! The rest is a waiting game. Tune in to see if you've won in one of four ways: Visting flalottery.com Checking at authorized Florida Lottery retailers Calling (850)-921-PLAY (7529) And perhaps the most exciting, nail-biting way: watching it live online Drawings are held twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday nights at 11:15 PM EST. How late can you buy lottery tickets in Florida to play for any drawing? You can buy a ticket until 10:40 PM EST on the day of the draw. Anything bought after 10:40 PM will be carried over onto the next draw. The overall odds of winning the Florida lotto come out to a ratio of 1:67.36. If you win: make sure to claim your winnings within 180 days of the draw date. Of course, we doubt this will be an issue for winners! Still, there's almost nothing worse than winning the lotto and then letting your winning ticket expire (it's happened!). Two Ways to Increase Your Earnings Each lottery ticket has two options for winning bigger: EXmatch and XTRA. For $1 more per play, you can consider selecting the EZmatch box on your panel, which, as mentioned earlier, allows you to win cash instantly instead of having to wait for the winning lotto numbers. If you want the chance to multiply any non-jackpot winnings, you'd also select the XTRA box (for another additional $1 charge). XTRA players who win three of six lotto numbers will receive a $25 bonus minimum, as well as the 3-of-6 prize multiplied by five—regardless of the multiplier selected in that drawing. So, if you choose the EZmatch and XTRA options with your ticket, it'd come out to $3 per play. The overall odds with EZmatch come out to a ratio of 1:4.71. The overall odds with XTRA come out to a ratio of 1:7.61. Of course, when it comes to strategy, there are some things you can do to up your chances. However, as with all gambling, there's only so much you can do. At a certain point, your winning or losing is not in your hands, but in the hands of chance, the house, the odds, etc. Let's discuss strategy next. How to Strategize When Picking Your Lotto Numbers Strategies, at the very least, keep you motivated and organized. At best, however, they can help you choose winning lotto numbers. First, you can analyze previous lottery results of the lottery you want to play. Which numbers have been selected, and which have not? Knowing this gives you an idea of which numbers are "hot," which are "cold," and which are overdue. "Hot" numbers are those that have been picked most frequently. "Cold" numbers are those that are drawn less frequently. And overdue numbers are those that have not shown up at all in recent weeks. You can also consider the odds and evens strategy. This strategy entails not looking at individual numbers, but rather, the probability of a specific group of numbers being drawn. It's highly unlikely that the numbers chosen will be all even, or all odd—statistically, it's a nice even split of the two. FAQ About the FL Lotto Q: Can I buy Florida lottery tickets with a debit card? A: Some retailers will accept debit cards (read: not credit cards). However, most retailers only accept cash, so that's your best bet. Q: Can a convicted felon win the lottery in Florida? A: Florida state law does not prohibit convicted felons from playing or pocketing. In fact, convicted felons have won the FL lotto before. Q: Which Florida lottery game has the best odds of winning? A: Your best odds of winning lie in the game Florida Fantasy 5. In this game, the odds of winning the first prize jackpot are one in 376,992, while the odds of winning four numbers are even less—one in 2,432. Q: Who won the big lottery in Florida? A: So far this year, one Bonita Springs resident has won the Florida jackpot. With six matching numbers, her earnings came out to $396.9 million! Five players won various lottos in 2019, with one player cashing in a check of $15.5 million thanks to the jackpot. Play Your Odds We hope you've found this information about the FL lotto exciting, entertaining, and motivating. Perhaps you couldn't even finish reading before you got in your car and drove to the nearest gas station with some cash on-hand. As they say in the Hunger Games: May the odds be ever in your favor! Don't start and stop with the Florida lotto, though—there's more where it comes from. Keep browsing our site to learn all things gambling. We discuss games, news, casinos, bonuses, and more. Consider us your go-to resource for all things gambling, lotto, and fun!
  6. The roots of poker go back hundreds of years, but would you like to know which game is older? Believe it or not, the game of keno has its roots in one of the most notable and ancient lotteries in the world. You might not usually think about these origins when you sit down to play, but it's worth learning about one of the most popular casino games on earth. Read on for a quick (and fascinating) history of keno games. What Is Keno? In case you're not familiar with keno, here's a quick rundown. Keno is played with cards or tickets that have numbers in squares, generally between 1-80. Players mark as many numbers as they wish, up to the maximum allowed, and registers his selection before a drawing. Twenty numbered balls are selected at a time, usually once daily. Prizes are given based on how many of each player's chosen numbers are drawn. Where Did Keno Start? That's how we play keno today, but where did this popular casino game begin? For the answer, we have to travel back over 2,000 years to the Han Dynasty in China. Its ruler, Cheung Leung, needed more money to fund an ongoing war. To get his subjects to willingly provide the money, he devised what many consider the first government-run "lottery" in history. The name of the game was baige piao or "white pigeon ticket," named for the bird that appeared on the card. It also featured the first 80 characters from Qianziwen, the Book of a Thousand Characters. Cheung Ling promised the chance of a huge return on a small investment, so the game was an instant success. It provided enough income not only to finance the war but also the rebuilding of the Great Wall. How Did Keno Spread? When the first Chinese immigrants arrived in the US in the 1800s, they brought their favorite game with them. Despite the fact that gambling was illegal, it thrived during the era of westward expansion. The US government legalized gambling in 1931, and the first keno-based games arrived in Reno, Nevada, in 1933. It was first called Race Horse Keno, showing names of horses instead of numbers so it didn't conflict with existing lottery laws. When the laws changed again in 1951, the number-based keno games we know today were reintroduced. Today you'll find keno games in every casino in America, as well as gambling facilities in Australia, South Africa, and eastern Asia. Many online casinos also offer versions of keno so players can enjoy the game from anywhere. Keno Casino Games: Here to Stay online casino games may be a modern invention, but the game of keno is just the opposite. With roots stretching back thousands of years to ancient China, it's one of the oldest numbers games on earth. As it spread across the world, it gradually evolved into the game we know and love today. So the next time you're hanging out at the casino with your friends, mention a few of these fun facts about keno. Everyone is sure to be impressed with your knowledge of the game! Ready to learn more about all things gambling? Browse our blog for more great information.
  7. In January of 2016, the biggest lottery jackpot ever was won. Those three Powerball winners received a combined $1.586 billion. And in its nearly 50-year history, the Massachusetts lottery has given out over $88 billion in prizes. Playing the lotto is one of the most exciting and lucrative ways to get rich quick. If you're interested in trying your hand at the Massachusetts lottery, it's important that you first know exactly how to play. While some people have figured out how to "beat" the Massachusetts lottery system by buying enough tickets, most of us can't afford to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get those favorable odds. For the rest of us, we just have to know the right way to play so that we can give ourselves the best chances at winning. So continue reading and we'll walk you through the Mega Millions, Lucky for Life, and Powerball rules. Powerball Powerball is an American lottery game that's played in the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and 45 US states. The game is managed by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL). MUSL is a nonprofit group that was created by an agreement with multiple US lotteries. The minimum jackpot you can expect to win from Powerball is $40 million. You can choose to have that money disbursed to you in thirty graduated installments or opt to receive a lump sum payment instead. The lump sum payment will be worth less than the thirty payments. There are two reasons for this. First, the lump sum you receive will be less valuable over time due to inflation. And second, you'll be taxed at a higher rate for the one large payment of cash instead of thirty smaller payment. The drawings for the game are held every Saturday and Wednesday evening at 10:59 pm Eastern Time. Powerball has used a 1/26 (Powerballs) + 5/69 (white balls) matrix from which the winning numbers are chosen, since October of 2015. This means that each time you play, your odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 out of 292,201,338. To play Powerball, you pay $2 or $3 with the Power Play option. 10:00 pm Eastern Time is the official cutoff time for ticket sales. The drawings for Powerball are usually held in Tallahassee, FL at the Florida Lottery's studio. Powerball produced the largest lottery jackpot ever on January 13, 2016. The total jackpot was $1.586 billion jackpot and it was split by three tickets that were sold in Melbourne Beach, Florida, in Munford, Tennessee, and in Chino Hills, California. Powerball Rules The lowest you can bet in Powerball is $2. For each Powerball game, players choose five numbers from a set of 69 white balls and then one number from 26 red Powerballs. The red ball number is allowed to be the same as one of the white ball numbers. The drawing order for the five white balls doesn't matter. All of the tickets show the white ball numbers from lowest to highest. Players aren't allowed to use the drawn Powerball to match two of their white numbers or vice versa. Players can let the machine randomly choose the numbers (referred to as "easy pick" or "quick pick") or they can select the numbers themselves. For each Powerball drawing, the winning numbers are chosen by using two ball machines. One of the machines contains the red Powerballs and the other machine contains the white balls. From the first machine, five white balls are drawn. Then, a red ball is drawn from the second machine. If you match the red Powerball or at least three white balls, then you have a winning card. Power Play You can activate the Power Play option by paying an additional dollar per game. By activating Power Play, you multiply your lower-tier winnings when the jackpot is under $150 million. Power Play is drawn apart from the six numbers. How to Claim Prizes If you have a winning ticket, you must claim it in the jurisdiction where you purchased it, no matter where you live. You must be at least 18 to play Powerball, except in Nebraska where you need to be at least 19. You need to be 21 if you're in Mississippi, Louisiana, Iowa, and Arizona. In Massachusetts, if you have a winning ticket, make sure that you sign the back of the ticket in order to establish your ownership of it. If your signature isn't on the back, then your ticket will be viewed as a "bearer ticket." This means that anyone who presents that ticket can claim its prize. You also need to bring a signed photo ID card and proof of your Social Security Number. Payment Options When you win the Powerball jackpot, you'll have two options for receiving your payment. First, you can choose to be paid in 30 graduated annual installments. Each payment will increase by 5% in order to adjust for inflation. If you don't want to wait, you can also take the lump sum cash prize. This is paid in two installments. The first installment will come from the winning jurisdiction and the second one will come from the combined funds of the other members. The advertised jackpot number is only for people who choose to be paid in annual installments. If the jackpot isn't won, then the prize pool is rolled over to the next drawing and continues to increase until a winning ticket is claimed. MUSL is contractually liable and obligated to make all scheduled payments to the winners who choose the annual installments. Each time the Powerball jackpot is won, the next jackpot automatically becomes $40 million. Each time the jackpot isn't won, it needs to increase by at least $10 million. If the ticket sale revenue isn't enough to raise the jackpot pool, then additional funds will have to be contributed by game members so that they can cover the shortage. This usually happens when the jackpot is won in back to back drawings. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a drop in lottery ticket sales. Because of this, the minimum starting jackpot for the Powerball has been reduced to $20 million. And when the jackpot isn't won, it now only needs to increase by $2 million. Mega Millions Mega Millions is a lottery game that's played in the US Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia, and 45 states. The first Mega Millions game was drawn in 2002 and was only offered in six states. Mega Millions is drawn on Friday and Tuesday evenings at 11 pm Eastern Time, including holidays. The drawings are supervised by the Georgia Lottery and held in Atlanta, Georgia at the studios of WSB-TV. As with Powerball, the minimum jackpot is $40 million. If you win the jackpot, you can choose to be paid in thirty graduated annual installments. Those installments will increase in value by 5% each year. When there's no jackpot winner, the prize is increased. With Mega Millions, players need to match 5 of 70 white balls as well as a gold "MegaBall" from a different field of 25 numbers. Each game costs $2 to play. If you live in Massachusetts, you can also add Megaplier. For an extra dollar, the Megaplier will multiply your non-jackpot prizes. In 2018, one ticket in South Carolina claimed a Mega Millions jackpot of $1.537 billion. This was the largest jackpot ever for Mega Millions and the largest lottery jackpot win ever for a single ticket. Mega Millions Rules The easiest way to play Mega Millions is with Quick Pick. Ask your clerk for a Quick Pick and the machine will randomly select numbers for you. If you want, you can grab a Mega Millions play slip and pick your own numbers. Either way, it will cost you $2 to play. If you pick the numbers yourself, then you want to choose five numbers between 1 and 70. Find those numbers in the pink section of the slip and fill them in with a blue or black pen. You can use a pencil too if you want. Then, select your Mega Ball number. This will be a number between 1 and 25. Fill in the number on the white section of your slip. When you're done, give your completed play slip back to the clerk and receive your Mega Millions ticket in return. Lucky for Life Lucky for Life is a lottery game that is available in the District of Columbia as well as 25 states. The game started in Connecticut in 2009 and then expanded to the rest of New England before adding many more jurisdictions. The drawings for Lucky for Life are held in Connecticut. The drawings are done at 10:40 pm Eastern Time on Thursdays and Mondays. They use numbered balls and two drawing machines. Like the other games in this article, it costs $2 to play Lucky for Life. Lucky for Life Rules There are two easy ways to play Lucky for Life. The first way is to let the lottery machine pick the numbers for you. All you have to do is ask the clerk for a Lucky for Life Easy Pick and your numbers will be selected at random. If you want, you can also choose your own numbers. In order to do that, you'll need a Lucky for Life play slip. Now, you have to pick five numbers from 1 to 48. Just use a pencil and fill in your numbers. Next, mark one Lucky Ball number between 1 and 18. If you want, you can play the same numbers for more than one drawing, up to ten consecutive drawings. This is known as multi-draw and it works for Easy Picks as well as when you pick your own numbers. All you have to do is tell the clerk how many draws you'd like or just mark it on your play slip. Remember, it will cost you $2 per play. So one set of numbers for the next ten drawings will cost you $20. Now that your play slip is ready, just hand it back to the clerk and receive your Lucky for Life ticket in return. Lucky for Life Winnings If you match all five numbers and the Lucky Ball number, you'll win $1,000 a day for life. There are other cash prizes too. If you match five numbers without the Lucky Ball, you'll win $25,000 a year for life. You can also win cash by matching four numbers plus the Lucky Ball, only matching four numbers, matching only three numbers, and so on. You'll even win money just for matching the Lucky Ball number by itself. As with other lottery games, you want to make sure that you sign the back of the lottery ticket so that everyone knows it's yours. Keep that ticket in a safe place since you'll need it in order to claim any prizes you might win - no exceptions. The Importance of Knowing the Mega Millions, Lucky for Life, and Powerball Rules for Massachusetts Lottery Playing the lottery can be a lot of fun. For most people, it's a daily or weekly activity that they play for years on end. The hope that the Massachusetts lottery gives to people is sometimes enough to help them get through tough times. But in the end, we all dream about winning. Of course, there's nothing worse than having a nearly perfect lottery ticket and then realizing that you messed up somewhere along the way. But by knowing Mega Millions, Lucky for Life, and Powerball Rules, you can make sure that you'll know exactly what you're doing. Are you interested in playing the best jackpot games on the web? Check out the rest of our site and see which games pique your interest!
  8. Lotteries have been around for centuries. There's evidence that the ancient Chinese, ancient Romans and ancient Egyptians all had some kind of game. People love to take chances, and they love the idea of becoming an instant millionaire sitting on a pile of cold, hard cash. Every country has its own legal gambling games including lotto, drawings, bingo and number picks. Here are some fascinating facts about lotteries around the world. Europe's Lotteries Are Big, Multiplayer Affairs There are big lotteries with big prizes in America, but it's hard to top the massive, multiplayer jackpots of some European lotteries. Italy has its famous SuperEnaLotto, which is a simple game that pays off hugely if you hit it. Each player only has to pick six numbers from a group of 90. Does that sound easy? It might, but the odds are high on ever hitting just those six. That's why the payoffs on the SuperEnaLotto can be mind-boggling. The ease of playing and low entry price has made it attractive to people across Italy and Europe. Spain's Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad (Extraordinary Christmas Game) is the biggest game in the world in terms of payout. It's so big it goes by the nickname “El Gordo,” meaning the Fat One. In 2012, it paid out the equivalent of $941.8 million. The game involves a series of tickets with preprinted, five-digit numbers. The government issues each set of numbers several times in a number of runs called series. As a result, the winning prize gets divided among all the holders of the winning numbers in each series. In Spain, El Gordo is more than just a drawing. It's held on December 22 every year, and it's considered a national pastime that families and groups of friends participate in together. You won't mind sharing your winnings when you see how huge they are. In 2016, El Gordo paid over $2 billion to its lucky winners. Powerball Has the Highest Starting Jackpot It's no wonder the Powerball is a favorite for most players. Its high starting jackpot of $40 million makes it attractive to millions of gamblers despite the low odds of winning. In 2016, it hit a record-breaking payout of over $1 billion. The French Lottery Is Tax Free and Gives You Two Shots to Win France has had a national game, called the Loto, since 1505. The modern version of their game gives you two chances to win. Each slip doubles as a raffle entry with the chance to win 20,0000 Euros or about $40,000. Best of all, prize winnings on the Loto are never taxed. Speaking of France, one of the earliest people to win the big game there was the famed writer Voltaire. He and a group of friends figured out a way to rig the game. Voltaire enjoyed winnings in the millions that allowed him to quit working and devote himself to writing, philosophy and other pursuits that don't generally pay that well. We're pretty sure the French closed those loopholes, so don't try to repeat his trick. Powerball Was Once a Power Cookie In 2005, 110 people ended up splitting the winning Powerball payoff of $20 million. Eighty-nine people got $100,000 each and 21 players got $500,000 each. This was nicknamed the “Fortune Cookie Powerball.” Powerball remains the most popular game in the USA. In total, people in America spend more than $70 million on games of chance including drawings, quick picks, bingo and lotto. The UK Game Has Funded Famous Films The UK's national game has raised money for many important cultural events. During the Elizabethan period, it raised money for libraries and theaters. In modern times, it has funded the production of movies like The King's Speech and The Last King of Scotland. Maryland's Keno Game Pays Off Every Three Minutes If you don't feel like waiting around for a big drawing, try a Keno game. Maryland is one of a handful of states that offer continuous Keno games with quick payoffs. Others are Arizona, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia. It Could Happen to You and It Did In the movie It Could Happen to You, a cop promises half his game winnings as a tip to a diner waitress. This movie was based on a true story. It happened again in Oregon, when a bar customer left a winning lotto ticket as a tip for a bartender. It was worth more than $17,000. Germany Only Has One Lottery Unlike most countries that have several smaller lotteries, gambling games and jackpots in addition to their big national one, Germany has only one state-run game. It draws every Wednesday and Saturday night. EuroMillions Is Bigger Than Mega Millions The enormous EuroMillions game has twice-weekly drawings and involves players from all over Europe including the UK, Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland. Mega Millions is no slouch, either, as it's the second biggest USA game after Powerball. It creates a new millionaire almost every week. Japan's Lottery Has No Age Limits The Japanese Year End Jumbo, called Jumo Takarakuji, is the biggest game in Asia. It's held only once a year with a New Year's Eve drawing. In one recent drawing, there were 68 winners who received 400 million yen each, which is the equivalent of almost $4 million. By law, half the money collected for every game must go to organizations that serve the greater good. Japan's gambling games have no age limit. Even children can buy a ticket. Best of all, you don't pay any taxes on your winnings. Unfortunately, you can only take part if you live in Japan. You Can Buy Into Some of These Can you buy a chance at these foreign games in Asia, Europe or Australia? It depends on the country. For instance, you can play Oz Lotto, the national game of Australia, online. A recent Oz Lotto payout was $5 million. For other countries, check gambling websites that specialize in these games. Read the fine print to make sure you can collect your winnings as a foreigner. You might have to travel in person to collect them. Some countries don't allow anyone to take part unless they're in the country. Before you fork over your cash, be sure it's legal.
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