What Is a Line in Lottery?

In number-based lotteries, you must choose a certain set of numbers available on the ticket to enter a draw. If one or more of these numbers match the ones that are drawn, you win a prize. Each set of numbers is known as a line.

In any lottery, a line can be a set of any number depending on the format of the game. The most common is the 6/49 format where players have to choose a line of 6 numbers out of 49 to participate.

Please note that you need to choose at least one line to play the lottery. But, you can choose multiple lines to increase your chances of winning. However, during the draw, the matched numbers must always belong to the same line and not different ones.

Moreover, while buying a ticket to an international lottery, you will be charged on the whole line and not the individual numbers you pick. Each line is treated as a single entry into a single draw.

Let’s understand this with an example citing the European lottery game EuroJackpot. This is what the playslip looks like on Lottoland:

empty Lottery line

Each of the 6 columns represents a single ticket (single entry) to EuroJackpot. The lottery follows a 5+2 numbers format where the first 5 numbers need to be picked from a pool of 50 main numbers and the last 2 numbers from a list of 12 supplementary numbers. The 7 numbers in total form a line in the EuroJackpot lottery.

This is what the playslip looks like when you select the first 7 numbers in the first column:

Lotto payslip with 1 line selected

Therefore, the first line would read as 5-19-22-26-29-5-7. You can select the same combination for the draw due on Wednesday or Saturday or both days. You can even choose to play the same line for 1, 2, 4, 8, 26, or 52 weeks straight.

Moreover, you can pick up to 16 main numbers on the same column to activate different system bets (extra lines) to increase the combination of lines as well as your chances of winning. The number of supplementary numbers, however, must remain 2.

This is what a single entry looks like with all system bets activated:

Payslip-with-all-systems-activated

Furthermore, this is how the playslip looks like with all the 6 single entries filled and all system bets activated:

full payslip with all systems-covered

Please note that the price of the entries would increase if you activate system bets and pick multiple lines. The system bet would create all possible unique lines that exist out of the numbers you select.

How Many Lines Are Possible on a Lottery Ticket?

The total number of lines (combination of numbers) possible on a lottery ticket depends on the lottery format itself. For instance, if you play the US Powerball, you would need to pick 5 main numbers from a pool of 69 and 1 Powerball number from a pool of 26.

The math of combinations tells us there are 11,238,513 possible combinations of the 5 main numbers without taking into account their order of arrangement.

If you add in the Powerball number by multiplying this figure by 26, you would get 292,201,338 possible combinations of numbers in Powerball. In other words, 292,201,338 lines are possible in a lottery ticket to the US Powerball.

lottery line math and probability

Is there Any Rule to Choosing a Lottery Line?

There is no rule whatsoever to choosing a lottery line. Lottery being a game of luck, the selection has to be random. Some people base the numbers on birthdays and other important dates.

However, this is a personal choice and doesn’t define a rule. When playing lotteries online, you can manually choose a line or take the help of the site’s Quick Pick option to automate the selection.

How Many Numbers on a Line Do I Need to Match to Hit the Jackpot?

The rule for hitting the jackpot depends on the lottery you are playing. In most lotteries, you must match all the numbers in the line to win the top prize. However, some lotteries give you the liberty to choose more numbers and match fewer to win it.

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