The biggest lottery in the world is often considered to be the Spanish Christmas lottery that takes place in Madrid once a year. This has the biggest overall prize pool of more than €2.3 billion. However, with a first prize of €4 million, it is not the biggest lottery when it comes to how much you can win – not even close.
So, which lottery is it that pays the single biggest jackpot? It’s actually not one lottery, but two that tie for first place; the US Powerball and the Mega Millions. Both of these lotteries have a minimum jackpot prize of $20 million to the winner and have both paid a record amount of over $1.5 billion.
Let’s take a closer look at these lotteries and a few more that regularly pay life-changing amounts.
Top 10 List of the World’s Biggest Lotteries
The 10 lotteries listed below are among the world’s biggest when it comes to a minimum guaranteed jackpot prize from a weekly draw.
1. US Powerball
Created in America in 1992, the US Powerball hosts a minimum jackpot prize of $20 million USD. Along with Mega Millions, this is the biggest guaranteed prize of any lottery in the world. The minimum prize used to be $40 million, but due to Covid-19, the amount was recently reduced.
However, because of the lottery’s huge popularity and the fact that the jackpot prize is based on ticket sales, you will often find the prize pool exceeding its minimum amount by a lot. The current biggest payout, which is the world record lottery win, sits at a baffling $2.04 billion. This was won in November 2022.
With draws taking place twice a week, the odds of winning the US Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292 million.
2. US MegaMillions
With a minimum jackpot prize of $20 million, Mega Millions is a lottery similar to the US Powerball. This lottery too originates from America; had its minimum jackpot prize reduced from $40 million due to Covid-19 and has paid the world’s third largest jackpot win at $1.53 billion.
Created back in 1996, the lottery, which takes place every Tuesday and Friday, used to be known as The Big Game, but changed its name to Mega Millions in 2002. If your eyes are set on the big jackpot prize, know that the odds of winning are 1 in 258 million.
As far as we know, there is no minimum jackpot prize in EuroMillions, but according to the official lottery site, the lowest jackpot amount that has ever been recorded is €17 million. The lottery, which launched in 2004, is one of the most popular ones in Europe. Physically, lottery tickets are only available for sale in 13 countries, but thanks to independent online lottery vendors, anyone can easily participate.
Unlike many lotteries where the jackpot can grow to infinity, the maximum amount in Euro Millions is capped at €220 million. Once it reaches this amount and isn’t won, the jackpot will be paid out as a 2nd prize. Initially, the chance of winning the jackpot is 1 in 139 million, but when paid out as a 2nd prize, the odds increase to 1 in 7 million. Draws are held twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Considered to be somewhat of a son to EuroMillions, the Eurojackpot is also a European lottery. This one launched in 2012; have tickets physically sold in 18 European countries and comes with a minimum guaranteed jackpot prize of €10 million.
The odds of winning this jackpot used to be 1 in 95 million, but as of March 2022, they were matched with EuroMillions. In other words, 1 in 139 million. The jackpot is capped at €120 million and can't grow any bigger than this. Despite the cap, the jackpot is never paid out as a 2nd prize.
Draws are held once a week on Fridays and to win, you need to match 5 correct numbers out of 50, plus 2 additional numbers out of 10.
5. El Gordo de La Primitiva
El Gordo de La Primitiva is a Spanish lottery which is also known as the Sunday lotto as draws are held every Sunday. The minimum jackpot prize in this lottery is €5 million and the odds of winnings are only 1 in 35 million.
The lottery is a sister to El Gordo de Navidad (the Spanish Christmas Lotter) which is held once per year. This Christmas lottery offers remarkable odds of 1 in 100,000 for a first prize of €4 million. This is because tickets are very expensive (€200) and because as much as 70% of ticket sales contribute to the prize pool.
6. Lotto 649
Created all the way back in 1982, Lotto 649 is one of three national lottery draws in Canada. It comes with a guaranteed jackpot prize of $5 million Canadian dollars, which is approximately €3.5 million Euro and $4.3 million USD.
The record jackpot of the lottery sits at $64 million Canadian dollars and was won in October 2015. To win such a jackpot your chances are approximately 1 in 13 million, which is about as good as it gets. You can take a shot at the jackpot twice a week as draws are held every Wednesday and Saturday.
7. UK Lotto
The UK Lotto is a British lottery held twice a week, previously known as the National Lottery. Created in 1994, it has no guaranteed jackpot prize, but the jackpot amount is solely based on ticket sales. However, according to Wikipedia, the expected jackpots are £3.8 million for the Saturday draw and £2 million for the Wednesday draw. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 45 million.
Launched in Italy in 1997, this lottery comes with a guaranteed jackpot prize of €2 million. However, as SuperEnaLotto is a very popular lottery to play, the jackpot prize following a draw where the jackpot was won is usually much bigger than the minimum. The biggest jackpot paid to date is €209 million.
You may be shocked to hear that the jackpot in this lottery is the hardest to win out of all. With odds of 1 in 622 million, it’s more than twice as difficult to win this jackpot as the US Powerball’s. The longest SuperEnaLotto has gone without a jackpot winner is 67 weeks, including a total of 200 draws.
9. OZ Lotto
Oz Lotto is an Australian lottery that is held every Tuesday. It’s been running since 1994 and comes with a minimum jackpot prize of $2 million Australian dollars, which is approximately €1.30 million Euro and $1.50 million USD. The odds of winning the jackpot are in 1 in 45 million, while the biggest prize ever paid is $111 million. This prize was split between four lucky winners.
With draws held twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays, Mega-Sena is the biggest lottery in Brazil, but the smallest on our list. It comes with a guaranteed jackpot prize of 2 million Brazilian Lira, which is equivalent to €300 thousand Euro and $352 thousand USD.
The lottery can be played with anything from 6 to 15 numbers, which will affect the odds of winning the jackpot. At only 6 numbers, the odds are 1 in 50 million. With 15 numbers, they are a lot, a lot better, but such a ticket also costs approximately €2,600 in comparison to €0.7 when only playing 6 numbers.
These are 10 of the biggest lotteries in the world which regularly produce big winners and multi-millionaires. Not only within the countries where the tickets can be physically bought but these days, winners of these lotteries can be found all around the world. This is thanks to online lottery sites.
Many platforms on the web provide an insurance-backed betting service on lotteries, which means that you can play them from anywhere, including India. People from all around the world can buy a ticket and are guaranteed to receive their jackpot prize if they win.