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Slottery! Slots or Lottery, which is more likely to pay out?

So you’re looking to land a jackpot and playing it safe with games like Blackjack or Poker just isn’t doing it for you any more: if your goal is to make the most money possible then you only really have two options, you either take up a pew at a slot (ideally a progressive for maximum pay out or you could play slots at Betfair online) or you buy a lottery ticket and cross your fingers. Neither of these are super-likely to make you some money but the amount you can win is what’s going to draw you in. Provided you do hit the jackpot, your return on investment can be life-changing, but what are the odds of that happening? Or even of winning one of the lower pay outs? Let’s have a look at the numbers and draw some conclusions.

Advantages of Slots

Slots cost less to play on with a fairly low bet-max and the option to spin literally for pennies whilst still having the chance to make some major bucks. The sheer selection of games on offer means you can play just about any type of slot you want, from classics like Wheel of Fortune to games themed on leprechauns, Norse gods or current world leaders. There’s also the fact you can play slots online at just about any hour of the day in an online casino, so if you feel like having a quick game in the middle of the night then that’s totally possible!

Advantages of Lottery Games

One of the advantages of the lottery is that you have a certain level of control over what you want to put your money on by choosing the numbers ahead of time. You can set it up so you consistently bet on the same numbers week after week until they turn up, which might not enhance the odds of you winning but does mean you can be consistent in your choices. Additionally, claiming the money is simple as long as you have the ticket - all you have to do is phone up the lottery company and present the ticket to get your money. Not only that, but the game is simple and analogue, you can scribble off your numbers with a pen and hand it in to the distributor without needing to open an account or collect a bucket full of coins.

Which pays the most?

This is a tricky one as there are multiple ways to win on both games,: slots tend to have multiple pay-lines for victory but you can claim a lottery ticket with just a few numbers lined up. However, assuming you get incredibly lucky and manage to hit the jackpot, then the winner is obvious. The jackpots for slot machines will usually float around the couple million pound mark, the record holder is a megamillions slot that cashed out $ 30 odd million in Las Vegas back in 2003. By contrast, the record holder for a lottery jackpot is $1.6 billion and that was in 2016. If you’re guaranteed a jackpot win, it’s clear that you’d want it to be the lottery, but since they’re always accumulated, make sure you check before you play that the game you’re playig has a big one on the cards.

Which has the best odds?

This is another tricky metric as the odds will vary greatly depending on what you play and the winning combination you need. The easiest way to look at it is to identify what you need and the number of ways you can make it. If you’re going for a jackpot in a three reel slot, and the reels each have 20 symbols on then you need 1/20, 1/20, 1/20 to occur three times in order to win, which is a 1/8000 chance. If it’s five reels, then it’s 1/3,200,000 which is incredibly unlikely. For lottery tickets, you need to correctly guess six plus numbers from a range which is usually about 1/49. This means the odds are usually around the 1/14,000,000,000 mark and makes them pretty significantly unlikely as a chance to win. The maths scales down simply too, with a slot machine there tends to be significantly more ways to win thanks to the multiple pay-lines with different chances to win something, so you can have multiple win options regardless of the spin. With a lottery ticket, even the smaller prizes require a narrow band of probability which makes success a less likely outcome than the slot machine.

The Verdict

Put simply, the slot machine is a better bet for seeing a solid return than the lottery. You can win more playing the lottery but, by and large, you’ll see a better return on your gambling if you play the slots.


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