The main difference between Lotto and EuroMillions is the odds of winning the jackpot – but it’s not the only difference that matters.
So which gives better odds – is it the UK Lotto or EuroMillions?
The EuroMillions odds have always been worse, but that’s not the whole story. They keep changing the structure of both games, which always affects the odds.
So let’s find out how this stands now.
IMPORTANT: Ticket Price Matters
Ticket price is always forgotten when people are working out game odds. But that’s wrong, because it’s CRITICAL to factor this in to know which is easier to win.
Back when the Lotto was still only £1 per line to play, it cost £2 to play EuroMillions (in the UK). That meant you could cover twice as many UK Lotto combinations for exactly the same money.
This makes a huge difference to your real chances of winning.
What Are The Odds Now?
Back in 2016 EuroMillions added an extra Lucky Star ball (going from 11 to 12 – read more in changes to EuroMillions). This made it harder to win.
The year before there were big changes to the UK Lotto, which increased the main balls from 49 up to 59. That dramatically affected the odds for all prizes.
But that’s not all. The UK Lotto used to be £1 per play, now it’s £2 (since 2013). The EuroMillions ticket price has also now increased, from £2 to £2.50 (since 2016). This changes the answer too.
So these are the current odds of winning the jackpot for both games:-
|Game||Balls Drawn||Odds||Ticket Price|
|EuroMillions||5 from 50, plus 2 from 12||1 in 139,838,160||£2.50|
|UK Lotto||6 from 59||1 in 45,057,474||£2|
So Which Is Now Better?
If we just look at the odds alone, the EuroMillions odds make it 3.1 times harder to win.
But if we take into account that extra 50p per ticket, it means that the odds of winning EuroMillions vs National Lottery are now 3.8 times worse.
Or in other words, comparing Lotto vs EuroMillions it’s now 3.8 times easier to win the National Lottery (i.e. Lotto).
It used to be 8.3 times easier. So whilst things have shifted strongly towards EuroMillions again, Lotto is still easier to win.
Of course EuroMillions has always had a much larger jackpot, particularly with rollovers. This gap has also narrowed too. Because the jackpot odds are tougher there are more rollover draws for UK Lotto, resulting in bigger rollover jackpots.
The two games have become a lot more like each other. But those tougher odds for the big Euro game have long been the reason why a lot of people play in a EuroMillions syndicate of course. With enough people it more than makes up the difference.
Not The End Of Story
But that’s not quite the end of the story. Because there is also the UK Millionaire Maker (previously called the Millionaire Raffle), which is included in your EuroMillions ticket price.
We’re all about the big prizes, so we don’t greatly care that you can win £2.70 for matching 2 balls!
But we do care that you have an extra chance to win £1 Million every draw with Millionaire Maker. So EuroMillions scores a bonus point on this one.
So Which Game Should I Play Now?
I know a lot of people are disappointed that the UK Lotto is now harder to win. But the increase in the Match 5 + Bonus prize to £1 Million does take some of the sting away.
If you want a game with a better chance of winning the jackpot, the UK Lotto is still the better game. If you want bigger jackpots then EuroMillions still wins out – although the gap is now smaller.
Both games however are also good games to play in a syndicate (for a much better chance of winning), as the jackpot prizes are big enough to share between a decent sized group. So there’s never been a better time to start one yourself, or check out our reviews of online syndicates here.
These changes have made UK Lotto a lot more like EuroMillions, but both games are still a lot of fun to play. So don’t let our ‘negativity driven’ UK media spoil that fun by stopping you from playing!
Keep dreaming big.
Got more questions? Check out our EuroMillions Questions & Answers.