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Lottery Betting Sites

Here we list sites which offer online lottery betting alongside slot and casino games and other products.  Players can bet on lottery draws from all over the world which they would not be allowed to enter directly, including the US Powerball and Irish Lotto.

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Lottery Betting Sites

Lottery Betting Sites

As well as sites which position themselves as primarily lottery betting sites, there are a number of UK slot sites and sportsbooks that offer it – all are listed on this page regardless of whether or not they have a lottery welcome offer.

The appeal of lotteries

When you enter a lottery you are essentially paying a small amount of money for an absolutely minuscule chance of winning a large amount of money; although most lotteries have many smaller prizes as well, it’s the big prizes people are generally attracted by when they decide to buy a ticket.  And who hasn’t, after buying a lottery ticket and/or prior to watching the live draw, indulged in a few minutes (or more) daydreaming about how they would spend the money?

Bingo players get much the same out of buying a few tickets for a big money game; most know they have very little chance of winning but it’s fun to fantasise about how they’d spend the money if they did.  And the sheer popularity of games of this type (and for that matter, progressive jackpot slots) shows that players are not put off by the remoteness of their chance of winning.

What does this mean?  It means people are primarily playing lotteries for entertainment, not money; they understand that they almost certainly won’t win but they enjoy thinking (and talking) about how they’d spend the money and they also like the thrill of the live draw.  For anyone with even a bit of imagination, this is a form of entertainment that never gets old.

Lottery betting vs direct play

Lotto Balls

When you buy a lottery ticket, some of the cost of your ticket goes into the prize pool (as it does in a bingo game).  The rest partly goes to cover the lottery operator’s overheads and partly goes to whatever organisation or organisations the lottery is supporting. As this is often a good cause of some kind, it gives players a further incentive to buy lottery tickets that’s over and above the entertainment value.

You choose your numbers when you buy the ticket.  When the lottery is drawn, a fixed number of balls are drawn and if enough of your numbers match those balls you will win a prize.  In the UK Lotto, 6 balls are drawn from 59.  Other lotteries can have different formats; in the 49s, for example, 6 or 7 balls are drawn from 49.

The chance of a ticket with just one line on it winning one of the big prizes is vanishingly tiny, and many players like to increase their chances by joining a syndicate.  Here, a number of players band together to buy a ticket with many lines on it and if any of the lines win, they split the proceeds. This usually needs to be set up formally with specific paperwork to ensure that it is above board; for example, if you plan to run a syndicate for the UK Lotto you need to register with them as a syndicate manager.

You can’t just buy a ticket for any lottery you like though; you normally have to be a resident of the country where the lottery is being run.  And here is where lottery betting comes in.

When you bet on a lottery, no ticket is actually bought for the lottery in question.  Instead you are placing a bet on which numbers will win, and in the event that those numbers win it is the betting site that pays out, not the lottery organisation.

On a straightforward bet, a lottery betting site will pay out whatever the lottery itself pays out for the same numbers (but net of any taxes etc). In the case of a substantial win, the payout will come from an insurance policy that the operator takes out to cover just such an eventuality.

Some lottery betting sites also offer other types of bet, including

  • Special bets, for example on the colour of the first ball or on whether it’s odd or even
  • Betting on synthetic lotteries, for example offering the same prizes as the UK Lotto but based on the numbers drawn in a different lottery somewhere else in the world
  • Scratchcards

Sites with online lottery betting give you information about and access to lotteries worldwide with one wallet you can use to pay for them all (and often for bingo, slots, live casino and/or sportsbook betting as well).  There may also be bonus offers and special features.

Can I bet on the UK Lotto?

You can’t place a bet on the UK Lotto (or the UK EuroMillions) because operators are prohibited under the terms of their Gambling Commission licence from offering any such bets.

If you see the UK Lotto on a lottery betting site, it will either be a synthetic lottery (Lottomart for example use the numbers from a Swiss lottery with the prizes from the UK Lotto) or an opportunity to join a syndicate and actually buy tickets (as seen at jackpot.com).  As to why they can’t offer bets on the UK Lotto, there’s a very good reason why the Gambling Commission don’t allow it:

  1. If you buy a ticket for the UK Lotto and don’t win, a chunk of the profit (25% of the ticket price, in fact) goes to support good causes.
  2. If you could place a bet on it instead of actually buying a ticket that profit would go to the lottery betting site instead of the good causes.

That’s why instead of the UK Lotto, bets are offered on a selection of worldwide lotteries that players would otherwise be unable to enter – such as the Irish Lottery.  To buy a ticket for this you must be a resident of and physically located in the Republic of Ireland, so the ONLY way a UK player can participate is via a lottery bet. Therefore, no money is being diverted away from any good causes.

Which lotteries can I bet on?

A very common lottery for UK players to be able to bet on is the 49s.  The really interesting thing about the 49s is that it isn’t really a lottery in the normal sense of the word, as you can’t actually buy a ticket, it’s not fundraising for anything and there are no fixed prizes.  The draw takes place just like a real lottery, but there’s no prize pool and no tickets – all you can do is bet on it and it was created for just that purpose. Most of the big bookies including Betfred and Paddy Power offer bets on the 49s (and not just to UK players either) as it’s a simple and easy way for them to give their players a lotto betting experience.

The 49s also has much more frequent draws than most lotteries, which is popular with players as they never have to wait very long for the next draw. UK 49s draws take place twice a day every day, at 49 minutes past the hour lunchtime and teatime.  Each time, 6 numbered balls plus a 7th bonus ball are drawn out of 49.  You can bet on up to 5 numbers coming up in the 6 balls, or on up to 5 numbers coming up in the 7 balls including the bonus ball. Note that if you bet on two numbers, you are betting on them BOTH coming up and if only one of them does, you lose.  Because there aren’t any fixed prizes in the 49s, you may get slightly different odds at different bookies so it can be worth shopping around.

Other lotteries that UK players can place bets on include draws from Europe (Irish Lotto, Spanish Primitiva and many others), the USA (Powerball, Mega Millions and various state lotteries) and Australia.  Not only do different operators offer bets on different lotteries, they may also offer different bets on the SAME lottery, for example if one operator has special bets (e.g. on whether the highest ball drawn is odd or even) and another doesn’t.  So again, you may need to shop around a bit or even open multiple accounts with different operators to find all of the lottery bets you are interested in.

Where can I bet on lotteries?

Operators who offer lottery betting to UK players vary dramatically in terms of how much prominence they give it, ranging from extremely lottery focused sites with a lottery welcome offer at one extreme to tucking it away in a subsection of the sportsbook at the other.  We’ve included them all on this page (showing the casino welcome offer if there’s no lottery offer).

Be careful not to confuse lottery betting with lottery messenger services.  In the latter case, players transfer money to an organisation that buys a physical lottery ticket on their behalf. We recommend that you DO NOT use these services as

  1. they are not regulated in the UK (giving customers no redress)
  2. they breach the terms of the lotteries in question (becuase of not being resident in that country) which would likely result in the ticket being invalidated if it did win.

What else do I need to know about lottery betting?

Gambling wins are not taxable in the UK, but in many other countries they are. When you bet on a lottery, the payout for winning numbers will be based not on the headline figure but on what the winner actually receives after tax, which may be considerably less.

Another thing you need to know about lottery betting is that the return to player on lotteries is comparatively poor due to the extent to which they support good causes.  On the UK Lotto, for example, it’s just 53%.  Since lottery betting mirrors what happens in the actual lottery in terms of chances of winnings, your return to player on that is not going to be great either.

Nevertheless, for those who find it entertaining to place a small bet with a tiny chance of a huge return, you can’t beat lottery betting.

Last updated: March 13, 2024
Sue Dawson
Head of Content

Sue Dawson has been writing about (and playing) online bingo and slots since 2013, putting her unique spin on everything.  She has written pieces for iGaming industry news sites, appeared on panels at industry events and on podcasts, helped to judge industry awards and is a member of industry think tank Ampersand Plus.

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