Make Money from the Lottery, Lotto Betting and Avoiding Lottery Scams

Are you a lottery user? Been scammed by a fake lottery? I try to keep politics and current events out of the things that I write about and that will continue to be my mantra. I am here to inform, not to tell you how to think.

Recently however, there have been a few events that have come together at the right time to make me think that maybe there is an article on the subject of lotteries and more importantly to you as a user, lottery scams.

I’ve sat down at my desk today following a beautiful day spent lounging about the garden and catching up with a few chores I needed to do (the bags in my shed weren’t going to take themselves to the tip). I have caught up with the news and one of the bigger stories is that the Euro Millions jackpot is likely to exceed £100,000,000.

It has been said many times, that playing the lottery is a tax on the stupid

We’ll dissect that though, and see if it is really of a benefit to the average person, or if it really is just a ‘tax on the stupid’. By the way, I have played the lottery a few times, epsecially in the early years when we all though we had a chance 🙂

The National lottery

Now I could turn this article into a fantasy about what I would spend that kind of money on (I’ll start by definitively stating that I wouldn’t be taking my own bags to the tip!), but that isn’t what I want to talk about. I was recently linked to a product and I was asked by an associate what I thought of it. I ended up looking at the product which was being marketed as Free Money Plus and LottoSpring. It was crap.

My detailed review on LottoSpring was here.

With the jackpot getting as high as it is through official marketing channels however, I thought back to LottoSpring. More specifically, I thought about the number of people who are drawn into questionable arrangements on the back of very real opportunities. Now I should preface all of this article really by saying that I don’t generally play any sort of lottery.

I’ll talk about the why’s behind that a little later, but I will have an occasional punt when the numbers get crazy big (I’ll be out to have a fiver on tonight for example).

What I will do to have a go on the lottery is to head to a licensed lottery seller here in the UK, and purchase tickets from them (actually, I’ll probably buy them online, but the point is that my entrance ticket is coming from the organisational body).

That way, if my numbers come in, I know that I can claim my £100 million and never be heard from again. What I wouldn’t do is head online to the multitude of stores offering discounted and cut rate lottery tickets.

What Is So Bad About Cut Rate Lottery Tickets?

I, like many reading this, can remember when Lotto first started, or as it was called back then, The National Lottery. It was a pound a ticket and being a millionaire really meant something. Times however have changed. It is now £2 per ticket, or £2.50 for the EuroMillions and yet, there are resellers online claiming to sell tickets for much cheaper.

Some are sold through clever affiliate and multi level marketing schemes, however I have increasingly seen these sites appearing on services such as Groupon. Like anybody who is browsing Groupon, I like to save a few quid here and there, but I have also been stung before now (restaurant vouchers that could only be used on a weekday Afternoon and on a fixed menu or a clear Chinese knock off immediately spring to mind). However you hear about them you should exercise caution.

The big problem with a lot of these companies that claim to provide subscribers with cheap cut rate lottery tickets is that you are very rarely buying tickets. Going back to my point in the introduction, I said that I would only ever purchase a ticket through an authorised dealer or through the lottery website. Truthfully, almost all of the bargain lottery service that you see use something called Lotto Betting.

What Is Lotto Betting?

Fundamentally, lotto betting is exactly what it says. Rather than entering a lottery, you are betting on the final outcome. This doesn’t seem like much of a distinction to make however it is an absolutely massive one. When you enter a lottery, your agreement is with the lottery company and your payment, should you win, is essentially already paid for by everybody else who has bought a ticket.

When you buy a ticket through Lotto Betting, you are buying a ticket directly from the company in question. If you win through them, then you receive the same jackpot as the lottery is offering. In and of itself, this sounds relatively straight forward with the companies simply piggy backing on the better known lotteries. By this I mean that they will use the numbers from actual lotto draws.

The problem with piggy backing like this for you as a consumer is that there is often a lot of overlap. Especially in terms of what it is implied you are getting and what you aren’t. Take for example a TV advert by Lottoland, one of the larger companies that operate this kind of service (and also one of the more trustworthy in my opinion). You have Chris Tarrant talking about how you can bet on the outcome of lotteries. Something that is only mentioned once and never explained, despite it being massively important.

UK Lottery Millionaires

Immediately after saying this, there are images showing giant lottery balls for various lotteries from across the world including the US Powerball, the Australian Lottery and EuroMillions. All of this makes it look like you are partaking in those lotteries. Once again, I have to stress that you aren’t in fact entering lotteries.

So how does lottery betting pay out if they match the same jackpots that have been accumulating over weeks and even months? The short answer s through very well measured insurance policies. If a lotto betting company ever actually has a big winner (which has monumentally smaller odds, arguably more so than a lottery, something that I will go into a little later), then it will ultimately be an insurance policy that pays out the jackpot rather than the company themselves.

So Is Lotto Betting a Scam?

Lotto betting is no more or less of a scam than lotteries are in and of themselves. For example, using the EuroMillions as an example, the odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 139,838,160. To put this into context, there is supposedly a 1 in 10,000,000 chance that you will be hit by a falling plane part. What is interesting is that these odds are also supposedly the same as being fatally struck by lightning.

Some people call the lottery a scam but the truth is that it is an entirely random event and as such, it is probably one of the fairest methods of gambling that you can employ. Unfortunately, something being fair doesn’t necessarily equate to something that is winnable. In fact, the number of large scale rollovers only shows how few people really win.

In actuality, between 1994 when it launched, and 2014 which was its 20th anniversary, the British National Lottery claims to have made more than 4,400 millionaires. Keeping in mind that this is across things like scratch cards etc. and you can see that the actual number of jackpot winners really isn’t that high.

Moving back onto lotto betting specifically, if you are using a reputable company then I can’t see any reason why you would expect the service to be a scam. I can find no examples of bigger companies not paying out and I have little reason to believe that they would. Unfortunately, these aren’t what you have to look out for.

Unfortunately, as with any market where there is a legitimate operation, there will be shadier examples copying the same model, without the regard for a customer. Using the EuroMillions as an example again, the odds of winning are around 1 in 140 million. You as a lotto betting operator are privy to 25% of the number of people who actually play the lottery (I am working with entirely hypothetical numbers here to demonstrate a point), however your ability to charge less per ticket means that the 25% of users buy twice as many tickets.

This puts you at half of the users, which means that in real terms, you are half as likely to have to pay out. Less tickets means less combinations covered, less combinations covered means less chance of there being a match.

An unscrupulous person could very easily set up a lotto betting company on those odds of not having to pay out and enjoy a decent income every month from it. Again, I have to highlight the fact that this isn’t the case for a lot of companies, however I have looked at some smaller ones researching this article and I would not be surprised to find that it happens.

Syndicates and Lotto Betting

One of the main selling points that I see from lotto betting websites is that they are somehow a better thing as you can sign up to a larger syndicate. There is some truth to this as bringing together large numbers of people together into a syndicate from around the world clearly means more tickets and more chances to win.

There is also the managed aspect of syndicates which supposedly enhances the syndicate experience for users. Lotto betting companies will tell you that you can buy as many tickets as you want on recurring payments and that pay outs are automatically spread out amongst those in a syndicate. Truth be told, the only aspect of this that real lotteries don’t offer is paying out to all syndicate members.

Also, if you do join a lottery syndicate then make sure that you have a signed agreement between all the players, as there have been many reported instances of major fallouts between syndicates who thought that ‘good will’ would last after they have come into the spondoolies, money changes people you see 😉

Here is how a lottery syndicate works:


So What Should You Look out For?

It is easy to say that a healthy dose of common sense will help you to no end in this kind of thing but truth be told, it is easy to be led astray online. Many of the more questionable lotto betting operations that I have looked at have been operated through social media. Think about Facebook groups, promotions taking you to very basic websites etc.

Another thing to look for is to ensure that the company in question is registered with a gambling commission. Certain conditions have to be met in order for a company to get a license and key to this is they have to demonstrate the ability to pay out in the event of a win. This means that if you do happen to have won on a draw, the company has to have the funding and ultimately, they have to pay out to you.

If there is one piece of advice that I would offer to anybody who is looking into lotto betting, it is to look out for any product or service that requests more of you than buying tickets. I say this with things like LottoSpring in mind which had a large multi level marketing aspect. In fact the lotto betting aspect of the service appeared to take a back seat to the multi level marketing. This meant paying an expensive monthly subscription and dedicating a lot of your time to recruitment rather than the core product.

Are There Other Lottery Scams?

There are more types of scams built around lotteries than I know what to do with, however there are a few ones that are worth exploring.

If at any point you receive a notification that you have been deemed a winner in a lottery, draw or competition that you don’t remember entering, somebody is trying to scam you. This kind of scam is very crude and involves you getting to pay a fee in order to release your prize, usually under the guise of an administration fee.

Of course, where big money is concerned people also start to get greedy. Just watch this lottery scam which I thought was quite amusing during my research for this article:

So What Are My Final Thoughts on Lotto Betting?

Personally, I don’t see why lotto betting exists as a concept. I understand that for a small minority of people, mostly large scale syndicates, it may work out easier or better. Truth be told though, the National Lottery website now allows you to run everything online which means that creating a syndicate is just as quick and easy through official channels.

Despite my opinions and thoughts, lotto betting companies continue to grow and for legitimate operations, I don’t think this is of any consequence. The problems come with the numbers of fraudulent services that use very similar marketing methods.

If I hold up my hands however, they may not be as common as they appear to me. After all, I spend a very fair amount of my time immersed in the world of making money online and as such, see more than the average person.

Once again, I do feel that I must reiterate if you are going to use a lotto betting site rather than an official lottery, make sure that this is all that they do. Anything that talks about other ways of making money or even talks about buying tickets for you is highly suspect and I would recommend avoiding them, for obvious reasons.

Are Lotteries a Viable Method of Gambling?

The odds of winning anything on a lottery is inherently very low. Using the Lotto (which has arguably the “best” odds of winning), even the odds of winning a free entry into another draw stand at 1 in 10. That means that for every £20 that you were to invest, mathematically, you would receive a free £2 go on next weeks lottery. The lowest cash prize is £25 however just 1 in 97 tickets wins this. This would mean investment of £194 and a loss of £169.

All of that having been said, there is the potential for a truly life altering amount of money and if you are lucky enough, it may well be you. I have always been of the mentality that when it comes to the lottery, you have to be in it to win it. Statistically, you will never win and over 30 years, playing £4.50 per week (a Lotto and a EuroMillions), you would have spent over £7,000.  That having been said, the actual amount spent is negligible.

So in answer to the question of the viability of lotteries, they are statistically a very bad bet. That having been said, your actual real world outlay is quite small, around the cost of a large coffee at most high street chains. It is a very personal decision to make and one that I don’t generally partake in, however I can also very easily see why people would.

Can You Improve Your Odds of Winning The Lottery?

I have looked at a few products before now that have explored this very question. The short answer is no, and whilst it is rather dry, I will explain why. None the less, you should be wary of anything that claims to be able to increase your chances of winning the lottery. Some of the methods that I have seen before now have ranged from looking for the most common numbers (presuming some kind of bias), avoiding sequences and not choosing numbers that have been drawn in the last month.

The thing about a random number generator is that it is entirely random, and that is what the machines that choose the balls are. If there were an algorithm or edge to be had, I feel like somebody would have spotted this by now. Honestly, a lot of products that claim to improve your odds are reliant on a gambler’s fallacy rather than any genuine pattern that has been discovered.

To answer the question of why the odds can’t be changed on a lottery draw, consider the following.

Let us presume that there are 49 balls and 6 numbers must be matched in order to “win”. Each ball has a 1 in 49 chance of being selected. The inherently random nature of lottery machines means that they should be fair and so this is a reasonable statement to make. The second ball has a 1 in 48 chance of being chosen, the third 1 in 47 and so on and so forth.

What this demonstrates is that each time a ball is selected, the probability resets on each subsequent turn. In the grand scheme of things, this means that 1,2,3,4,5,6 has as much chance as winning as 3,9,14,23, 31, 45 (1 in 13,983,816). But if someone were to tell you one of those numbers were the winning lottery numbers for next week, which sounds more likely?

Let’s see what somebody in the know thinks about the odds of winning the Lottery:

So there you have it. Your chances of winning the National lottery are:

1 in 45,000,000 (1 in 45 million)

Despite knowing that mathematically, both outcomes have the same chance, we favour those that look “right”. Any product that claims to help you to win on the lottery will only give you patterns that appear to have some truth to them.

The Lottery Compared to Other Methods of Gambling

The big difference between the lottery and other methods of gambling in my opinion are the numbers. Put simply, they are astronomical. A rank outsider in horse racing may have odds of 500/1 and unless there is something that you know that other people don’t, these odds will not often be taken up. Even when Leicester City won the Premier League their odds were 5000/1. The lottery is miles away from even this.

There is one simple reason that people prefer other methods of gambling too and that is because it is much easier to predict outcomes. The fact that lotteries are entirely random is one of the biggest factors in deciding whether or not they are a good investment. On the one hand, you genuinely have the same chance as anybody else of winning. On the other, you can gain an edge when looking at other gambling methods.

The traditional gambling approach, that is sports betting or horse racing is all about a more balanced approach. It is about winning some weeks and losing others and, it has to be said, investing significantly more capital than your average lottery player would. For example, the £7,000 figure I mentioned earlier in this article, some professional bettors will easily clear in a matter of months. Their wins will also not be as high as the lottery jackpot, but the important bit to focus on there is that there will be wins.

Conclusion on Using Lotteries

I’m actually settling down to write my conclusion on Saturday morning, post breakfast. The fact that I am doing so tells you that my few tickets were not lucky. I am fortunately just a fiver down though and as I have already said, I won’t miss it.

Lotteries are a difficult thing to judge from the position of somebody who wants to make money as they are a terrible idea on paper. But as has often been said, you have to be in it to win it.

This brings me onto the concept of luck. I don’t want to wax philosophical about luck and whether it is or isn’t a real thing. Honestly, I’m not really sure what I think (although we’ve all felt lucky some days more than others). If you subscribe to the concept of luck then seeing a lottery as a method of making money is something worthwhile. If you are a pure numbers man (which I tend to be), you won’t. Even if I do still throw caution to the wind and have the odd bet.

I think that the best way that I can possibly describe the in order to justify it being a part of any business strategy would be to see it as an incredibly high yielding and high risk investment that requires minimal capital. Put that way, it certainly sounds better however the reality doesn’t change.

Of course, joining a syndicate is one way of increasing your chances of winning however the odds remain astronomically against you. Even if your syndicate has 100 tickets, each with different numbers, your odds are still well outside the boundaries of what you will find in other methods of gambling. Furthermore, when in a syndicate the prizes are also watered down as well.

With all of this in mind, I maintain my stance that the lottery is not a viable method of gambling at all. I can however see the appeal.  I know that I have said this multiple times throughout this article, but for my money, the lottery is only worth entering if you don’t mind losing the money, and in fact, many people don’t.

Moving away from the concept of lotteries and onto lotto betting, this is a very curious niche. As I have said before now, I don’t really see the point in it when there are actual lotteries that you can enter, and yet there is a clear interest in the products and the concept. I can also see this sector growing as people become disillusioned with paying out as much as actual lotteries are charging.

The biggest concern for me in this regard is that consumers are going to end up worse off in the long run. Not because the business model is in any way illegitimate, but because there is so much room for illegitimate business to be founded on the model. I have already seen questionable multi level marketing operations (one of which has been examined in detail in the shape of LottoSpring.

There is also massive scope for out and out scamming people as the lotto betting model grows into the public conscience, something that at this point seems inevitable. It is clear from the odds that wins aren’t going to happen often and with this high profit business model, I can see people exploiting it for quick and easy cash.

All things considered, I don’t see anything inherently wrong with playing the lottery. I might doubt the rationale behind it but there is clear appeal. If there is one thing that I want people to take away from this article however, it isn’t so much whether or not you can make money through lotteries or not (although I am all for a debate on the subject).

My concern is that I can see this being an area in which there will be increased questionable activity. With this in mind, I feel like it is my duty to notify and inform with a view to helping people protect themselves in the long term.




  • Si says:

    hit the nail firmly on the head there a good read i have been playing the lottery for years since it started and have only ever won £10 twice must have spent 1,000’s on it must be a tax on the stupid then because we are all stupid for playing it lol

    • Daniel says:

      Hello Simon,

      Thanks for the reply. I agree, I think we all did the lottery for a couple of years, enticed by the first couple of multi-millionaires who were splattered all over the papers.

      I too have won a couple of tenners in those early days before I cancelled it as a waste of time.

      Sure, some people win it, but some people also get struck by lightening, don’t they 🙂

      The odds are just silly really, but I suppose people don’t really miss £1 a week so to them it is like a habit to keep wasting the small amount.

      Best Wishes,


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