Sunday, November 6, 2011

What Are The Biggest Lotteries Today?

If you are not a lottery player, you wouldn’t know that there is one in your city or in the country where you live. But if you do play the lottery, you would know how much the jackpot for the last draw was and if somebody won it. What you wouldn’t know perhaps is that there are lotteries in other parts of the world with much bigger prizes than the one in your city.  You would be just so much happy if you win a million dollar or very much happier if you win 2 million.  But what about several million euros instead of dollars?  How much do you think is the biggest lottery prize today and where can you buy the tickets?

The biggest single lottery jackpot ever in the world was won in the United States. It was drawn on February 3, 2006.  The Powerball prize at that time was $365 million won by a Nebraska man. By order of jackpot prize amount, here is the rest of the list:

·         Mega Millions jackpot of $390 million won on March 2007 by 2 tickets in Georgia and New Jersey.
·         Mega Millions jackpot prize of $380 million won on January 2011 by 2 tickets in Washington and Idaho.
·         EuroMillions jackpot prize of €183 million won on February 2006 by 3 tickets,  2 in France and 1 in Portugal.
·         EuroMillions jackpot prize of €185 million won in Scotland by Colin and Chris Weir on July 2011.
·         SuperEnalotto jackpot prize of 147,807,299 euros in Bagnone, Italy on August 2009.

But when it comes to the total prizes to be given in a single lottery, the biggest in the world is the El Gordo or the Fat One in Spain.  The total prize payout is calculated to reach 2 billion euros with a jackpot prize of 3 million euros. The jackpot prize may seem small but if you consider the total payout, the amount is quite staggering. The El Gordo is drawn on the 22nd of December of each year, with tickets being sold starting summer. You can buy tickets online and you don’t have to be in Spain to buy. Playing the El Gordo can be done in several ways but you have to know that a whole ticket costs 200 euros! However, a single ticket is divided into 10 shares called “decimo.”  You can buy the whole ticket or just a part or several decimos. The common practice in Spanish towns is for a group or a family to buy whole tickets, with members of the group or family sharing the cost. You can also go into a bar and see if the regulars are participating. If they are, you are welcome to join and put in your money to buy part of the ticket. Lately, joining a syndicate where several people join together and pool their money to buy tickets has become widespread. And being held during the Christmas season, it is a common practice to give El Gordo tickets as a Christmas gift.

The EuroMilliions lottery is played in several European countries. Included in the lottery draw are Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxemburg, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.  Except in Switzerland, the lottery prize is given in one tax-free lump sum. The EuroMillions draw is held every Friday and you can usually catch the televised event on BBC 1. You can check the winning numbers with the retailer from which you bought the ticket or go to their Euromillions official website. If there are no winners, the prizes are rolled over to the next draws and on the eleventh week with no winners, funds from tickets sales are distributed to the lesser jackpots to increase their amounts.

The SuperEnalotto is Italy’s local version of the popular lottery game. It was started in 1997 with only Italians as qualified players.  It has been recently opened to international players so anyone from around the world can participate.You need to correctly pick 6 numbers from 1 to 90 in order to win the jackpot that could reach up to 68 million euros.  It is possible to buy SuperEnalotto tickets online from a global ticketing store if you are outside of the country. You can place two bets for only one euro. One of the biggest ever payout that SuperEnalotto has given as jackpot prize was that of 177,800,000 euros on October 2010 won by a syndicate with about 70 members.

These big lotteries around the world are manifestations of the global fascination with this numbers game. The amounts given as jackpots could have been easily surpassed as of now, and the new records would surely be beaten in a few months time. With the growing popularity and use of the internet, lotteries around the world are sure to grow.  Even those that are held locally in any country may eventually be opened to players from around the globe.


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