Types of Lottery Games

lottery games types
Thursday November 29, 2018 12:57 pm

The Lottery Lab Staff

Lotteries have been played for centuries and their popularity is only growing with states regularly introducing new types of lottery games. But the basics of lotteries remain largely unchanged.  In this article, we are going to focus on the different drawing formats that are used for lotteries.  A drawing format establishes the number of machines in a drawing, the number of balls in each machine, and the number of balls drawn from each machine.  In later articles, we will discuss the different bets that can be played.

Digit Games

In a digit game, there are usually 3 or 4 machines (although some lottery commissions extend this format to 5 machines).  Each machine has ten balls numbered from 0-9 and only one ball is drawn each machine.  Digit games go by a variety of names such as Pick 3, Daily 4, and so on.

Typically, digit games only offer fixed payouts for picking the winning numbers.  The prizes tend to be relatively small.  But digit games offer many more wagers than other games.

Digit games usually pay every player with a winning ticket the same and don’t require winners to split winnings.  To avoid getting more winners than they can afford to pay, digit games typically limit the number of tickets that can be purchased with the same numbers.  For instance, if an unusually large number of people were playing 1-2-3, the lottery commission would stop selling that set of numbers.

Lotto Games

Almost all states offering lotteries run some type of small jackpot game.  In a lotto game, there is only one machine with anywhere from 20-80 balls.  All the numbers in the game are drawn from this single machine.  Typically, 5 or 6 balls are drawn.

One of the most distinguishing features of a lotto game is that there are fewer wagers that can be made.

Instead, lotto games focus on a single large jackpot that is big enough to be life-changing.  This jackpot can be progressive or fixed.  A progressive jackpot starts at some minimum level and increases until someone wins the jackpot.  If there are multiple winners in a progressive jackpot game, the jackpot is split between people who hold winning tickets.  A fixed jackpot usually offers a promotional prize like “$1,000 a week for life” that remains the same regardless if anyone wins.  Fixed jackpot games also usually award the full prize to all winners although some limits may apply.

Bonus Lotto Games

Bonus lotto games are very similar to lotto games, but rather than one machine, they use two machines.  The first machine is much like a single machine in a jackpot game.  It has 20-80 balls and 5-6 of these balls are drawn.  The second machine in a bonus jackpot game has 10-50 balls, but only one ball is drawn.

Like lotto games, the number of wagers on a bonus lotto game is limited and the payout table is focused a single LARGE jackpot.  The key feature of the bonus lotto game, the bonus ball, significantly decreases the odds that any individual ticket will be a winner.  This, combined with the fact that bonus lotto games are almost always progressive, allows for astronomical jackpots.

Because the odds of a winning ticket are so low, bonus lotto games tend to be played in large states and across state lines.

Now that you are familiar with the different type of lottery games played across the states, choose the right game and win!