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What Kind of Lotto Games Are There?

Jul 15, 2008
While there are new kinds of lottery games popping up all over the place, there are still five basic lottery games: lottos, smaller lottos, daily lottery games, multi-state lottery games, and instant lottery games. But what is the difference between lottos and smaller lottos, or between daily lottery games and instant games? Let's examine these 5 basic lottery games, beginning with the most popular of the 5, lottos.

Lottos

In lotto games, six numbers are generally drawn from a range of numbers. Common ranges are from 1 to 42, from 1-49 and from 1-54, though other ranges are sometimes used. For example, Michigan, has a lotto game that requires you to choose 6 numbers from a range of 1 to 47 game. Florida's lotto, on the other hand, is a 6/53, meaning that to play, you choose six numbers from a possible 53.

To play most lotto games, you simply indicate your 6 numbers by marking the numbered squares on your play slip. You can also choose the Quick Pick option and let the computer choose your numbers for you. When your numbers have been chosen, take the play slip to your local lottery retailer. The retailer then enters your selection into the on-line terminal, which produces your game ticket. The ticket is your official receipt and, if you win, must be presented and validated. Before you leave the lottery retailer, make sure that the correct date and numbers are on the game ticket. To find out where your closest lottery terminal is, simply log onto your official state lottery website. In most states, the cost to play lotto is still only $1! Drawings for lotto games are typically held twice a week, usually on Wednesdays and Saturdays at night.

Smaller Lottos

Smaller lotto games have better odds than regular lottos and are played more often. Playing smaller lotto is similar to playing regular lotto, but there are less numbers to choose from. For example, in Florida's Fantasy 5, which is a 5/36, the player tries to correctly pick the five numbers drawn from a field of 36. In the Georgia Fantasy 5, which is a 5/39, you must correctly pick the five numbers drawn from a field of 39.

To play a smaller lotto game, you simply select 5 numbers from the designated field of numbers. After you choose your numbers, or let the computer choose your numbers for you with the Quick Pick option, you must take your play slip to a lottery retailer who will give you your game ticket. If all of your numbers exactly match the numbers drawn, you win the jackpot! Just like when you play regular lotto games, you numbers do not have to be in the same order as the numbers drawn. Smaller lotto drawings are generally held more often than regular lotto drawings - up to six or seven times a week. While these prizes are generally smaller than regular lotto games, the odds of winning is greater.

Daily Lottery Games

Daily lottery games, as you would expect, are drawn every day and have better odds of winning than lottos and smaller lottos. Daily games are generally Pick 3 and Pick 4 games, and almost every state has at least one if not both of these games. In most states, these games can be played twice a day, six days a week, and once on Sunday. To play the Pick 3 lotto games, you simply choose three numbers from 0 to 9. For Pick 4 lottery games, you simply choose four numbers from 0 to 9. These daily lottery games offer better odds of winning and more chances of playing. Like both kinds of lotto games, you must choose your numbers on a play slip and submit that play slip to the lottery terminal to receive your ticket. These daily games also offer the option to choose whether you want to play straight, box, or straight/box options. Pick 3 and Pick 4 games have fixed prize amounts that are not affected by how many people are playing.

Multi-State Lottery Games

Multi-state games began, initially, because states with small populations joined together to created games with larger jackpots. Now, multi-state games include states with large and small populations. The two most popular multi-state games are Mega Millions and Powerball. Mega Millions, which was originally called The Big Game, is now playing in California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. Powerball is played in 29 states, the District of Columbus, and the US Virgin Islands. These games have huge jackpots that grow at rapid rates because they roll over when they are not won.

Buy Lottery Tickets

If you wish to play your own state lottery or any other lotteries simply log onto your official state website. These sites explain how to purchase tickets, and often times tickets can be purchased online so you can play most state lotteries from the comfort of your own home. You can also refer to official state websites for custom lottery news. Many sites offer lottery number generators to help make your lottery number picking easier for you. If you would like to purchase your tickets in person, you can also visit a local lottery terminal. No matter how you choose to purchase your tickets, or which tickets you choose to buy, you're bound to have some fun!
About the Author
Anthony Wayne works in the marketing department of online lottery site LuckyLotto in Pennsylvania. He is also editor of the Internet Bingo Blog a great source of internet bingo information.
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