Why Different Lotteries Have Different Winning Numbers

Do you know there are quite literally hundreds of different lottery games around the world? No matter what country you look at, there’s likely some kind of lottery system they have and even if they don’t, they can still play the lottery online thanks to the internet.

Each lottery needs to be based on some kind of statistics. For instance, if you need to match 10 numbers between 1 and 100 to win a prize, the chances of people playing are low because the odds are low. Similarly, if you have a lottery where you need to match 2 numbers out of 10 numbers, then the chance of winning is much higher and the prize money you get simply won’t be worth it.

That’s why each lottery game you play has to have some kind of statistics backing it up to make it fun. As more people play, numbers might change or increase, and in some cases, an additional pool of numbers might be added. Take a look at EuroMillions as an example, You only need to match 7 balls which might seem simple, but you have to remember that 2 of the numbers are drawn from a separate pool meaning that it does affect your chances of winning.

So let’s take a more in-depth look at why different games have different winning lottery numbers.

Lottery with 7 numbers - Euromillions

EuroMillions is one of the most popular games in Europe thanks to the large prizes. However, people have a 1 in 116 million chance of actually winning the jackpot – those are pretty tough odds but it’s certainly not impossible!

Let’s focus on the important thing here; the 7 numbers. We first need to realize that it’s actually two sets of numbers; 5 main numbers from 1 to 50 and 2 lucky star numbers from 1 to 12. This was actually changed once on September 24th, 2016, where the number of lucky star numbers actually increased to 12.

To see how this affects your winning rates, let’s take a look at the prizes for 2 main numbers and 1 lucky star, and 1 main number and 2 lucky stars.


  • If you match 2 main numbers and 1 lucky star, then you win the 2nd-lowest prize of around £6.00, but there’s a 2.03% chance of actually winning.
  • If you match 1 main number and 2 lucky stars, then you win the 3rd lowest prize of around £7.60, but the chances are drastically reduced to 0.53%.

Why Different Lotteries Have Different Winning Numbers

As you can see, both of these winnings involve 3 numbers, but because of the low probability of getting both of the lucky stars correct, your chances will drop. Let’s take a look at the probability of winning a large prize to illustrate this even more:


  • 5 main numbers and 0 lucky stars - 1 in 3,107,515
  • 5 main numbers and 1 lucky star - 1 in 6,991,908
  • 5 main numbers and 2 lucky stars - 1 in 139,838,160


Getting all 5 numbers in itself is already quite difficult, but the probability of winning with additional lucky stars along with it is even tougher.

So even though it’s just 7 numbers, the additional pool of lucky stars and the mixed number requirements actually makes it very tough to win the EuroMillions. Despite that, it’s still fun to try your luck and see if you can win those huge prizes. However, if you’d like more action instead of waiting several days for a draw, then you have the option of Keno.

Lottery with 4 or 5 numbers - Keno Play

Keno Play is all about speed. You have a large pool of numbers but the number of “balls” drawn is actually double what you pick. This gives you a much higher chance of winning even though the prizes are a bit lower.

One of the great things about Keno Play is that you can pick how many numbers you want to play for, but the balls drawn is always 20. This means that you could play with all 70 numbers, but only pick two. If you get 2, then you hit the maximum prize. If you get one number, then you get your stake back and if you lose, you still get a bit of money back.

In fact, if you played 5-number Keno Play, you have a 1 in 780 chance to actually win – those are great odds for the money you could win!

Lottery with 10 numbers - Keno

Why Different Lotteries Have Different Winning Numbers

Of course, you could go with all 10 numbers if you really wanted to!

The chance of winning 10-number Keno is 1 in 2,147,180 – that’s a lot better than most of the odds you get from EuroMillions and also drastically increases the prize money from 4 to 5-number Keno!

While the odds might look high, it is very possible for you to win with any of the above lotteries. Remember, someone has to win the jackpot, and that someone could be you.

This post was written by
Jason L - who has written 199 articles
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