The odds of winning the EuroMillions lottery jackpot are 1 in 116,531,800. The odds of winning the smallest possible prize are 1 in 23. And the odds of winning any of the prizes available are 1 in 13. Theoretically, this means that we could expect to win a prize twice a year if we play one ticket each week. Play two, three or more tickets each week and we could well win even more often. This is why EuroMillions syndicates are so popular – because sharing an interest in lots of tickets makes winning more likely.
Of course, there is no guarantee that playing one ticket each week will give you two wins a year, and there is no guarantee that if you join or form your own syndicate you will win more often than an individual. Guarantees simply aren’t possible when you play games of chance, and that’s exactly what EuroMillions (and any other lottery) is.
It is important to remember this, because some players make the mistake of thinking that the law of averages is unbreakable, and that if they haven’t won a prize for 23 weeks then they must definitely win on the 24th week. This is incorrect, because the odds of winning one lottery draw are entirely independent and therefore in no way influenced by the numbers drawn in previous weeks.
Odds only tell us what our chances of winning are in any given scenario. They cannot be relied upon to produce the goods. For example, we know that the odds of tossing a coin and getting heads are 1 in 2. But these odds only tell us that we have one chance in two of being successful. It is still perfectly possible to toss the coin ten times and to get heads every single time, or to get tails every single time, because the odds are not any kind of guarantee.
The unpredictability of lotteries is what makes them so incredibly exciting. Although the odds of winning a EuroMillions jackpot are 1 in 116,531,800, it is perfectly possible for someone buying a ticket for the very first time to win straight away. And if you have been playing for years and failed to win anything, the odds of you getting lucky this week or next are exactly the same as they are for anyone else. Good luck!
7th January 2013