Online lottery sites allow normal people like you to buy real tickets to lottery drawings held around the world. Just because you live halfway around the globe from the biggest jackpot of the week, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun. The best lottery sites will get you in on the action so you too can test your luck and take a shot at winning the payout of a lifetime.
Best Online Lottery Sites
Whether you’ve come here looking for basic information on getting started or if all you need are a few recommendations as to where to buy lottery tickets online safely, we have you covered. We like to keep things simple, straightforward and honest at all times so you can play the lottery armed with the knowledge you need.
Our approach with BestLotterySites.com is to keep things casual and simple but completely dedicated to always giving you the full story. We’re not fans of vague promises and confusing information. You may have already seen it for yourself, but there is a lot of confusing and contradictory information out there when it comes to online lottery tickets.
Some of our basic topics of discussion include explaining the difference between actually buying tickets online and merely betting on the lottery – as well as recommendations for each. We also candidly discuss the pros and cons of playing online, how to protect yourself and how to find legitimate lottery sites of all types.
You can see our quick picks above, but read on for a general introduction to buying tickets online and how we find the best lottery sites. We will be adding detailed articles as months go by, but for now our homepage will get you started with all the basics.
How to Buy Lottery Tickets Online
Lottery sites essentially act as couriers whose job it is to deliver tickets from major lotteries to people who would like to participate but are unable to for one reason or another. For example, someone living in the UK wanting to participate in a US Powerball drawing would find a lottery site extremely useful.
How It Works
The best lottery sites actually buy real tickets on your behalf from official retailers. They send real people located in the same country as where the lottery is being held to buy tickets, which are then scanned and uploaded to your account for verification. You can then check your real tickets from the comfort of home when the real numbers are called.
If your ticket is a winner, you get paid. Smaller prize amounts can be transferred straight to your online account. You may withdraw any winnings straight to your bank account or leave some online to participate in additional drawings. Some lottery sites pay all winnings up to €1,000 straight to your lotto account and make special arrangement for larger prizes, but this can vary from site to site and lottery to lottery.
The process for claiming a large payout is managed on a case by case basis depending on the original lottery’s process for paying winners. In some cases, the lottery site may fly you out to one of the lottery operator’s locations to claim your prize in person. In any case, the best lottery sites always ensure they have a process in place to get you paid if you win the big one.
You can buy one ticket at a time if you wish or purchase automatically recurring subscriptions to ensure you never miss a drawing for your lottery of choice. You can even join forces with other lotto players and form syndicates to purchase tickets in bulk. There are a handful of ways to play, so here’s a quick rundown of your options.
One at a Time: You can buy lottery tickets online one at a time if you’re not a frequent player. Just choose the lottery of your choice, pick your numbers and wait for your ticket to be scanned and uploaded. You keep the entire prize amount all for yourself.
Syndicates: Syndicates allow you and a group of other people to combine your resources and purchase a larger number of tickets for a lottery drawing. Thus, you can cover a broad range of number combinations without spending a lot of money. The downside is you split all winnings with other syndicate members. The upside is you get a share of their winnings, too.
Bundles: Bundles combine personal entries with syndicate play to give you the best of both worlds. A bundle includes at least one personal entry ticket as well as one or more syndicate entries all in one package, usually with a steep discount.
Security and Trust Considerations
Security and trust obviously play important roles in online lottery tickets when we consider the amounts of money potentially involved. Just imagining picking the correct numbers for a massive jackpot only to find out you were swindled by a fake lottery site is enough to give one a good case of heartburn.
Finding safe lottery sites is of utmost importance even if you only play occasionally. Even if the odds of winning a £1,000,000+ jackpot are tiny, why take the risk? Plus, there are all those small-to-medium payouts that are not nearly as rare that you would like to claim without any trouble. And finally, it’s a matter of principle. Giving your money to a low quality lottery site only serves to reward those who clutter the internet with their scams.
The best lottery sites have been in business for years and each has an easily-verifiable history that you can check to see how they have operated in the past. For example, here’s a news article describing how one lottery site actually helped a man from Iraq claim his $6.4 million prize from the Oregon lottery in the United States.
Generally, the largest and most successful lottery ticket sites are the best because they are financially stable and experienced in this business. We also prefer lottery ticket sites that scan a copy of every ticket purchased and upload it so you can verify for yourself that the ticket is real.
Betting on Lottery Results
There are different types of lottery sites and it is important to understand the differences. Some buy tickets on your behalf and then transfer ownership to you if any are winners. Those are the kind we have discussed up to this point. Now, we’ll discuss lottery sites in which you bet on the outcome, but do not purchase actual tickets.
The difference between actually playing the lottery online and simply betting on the results of the next drawing often confuse people, especially if the websites themselves do not properly explain which they’re offering.
To further complicate things, there are two sub-types of lottery betting sites. Some lotto betting sites offer fixed-odds style payouts that are set by the lotto site according to however much it wants to pay. Other sites offer payouts that match the real lottery’s payouts exactly, including even the largest jackpots.
Betting on the lottery is more like sports betting than participating in a lottery the old-fashioned way. Rather than playing the game yourself, you are instead betting on the outcome of the game. In this case, you are betting on which numbers will be drawn.
Fixed Odds Lottery Betting
Fixed odds lotto betting is something you’re more likely to see at a sports betting site than at a fully-dedicated lottery website. Certain online bookmakers offer a small selection of lotto betting markets in which you can see ahead of time exactly how much money you stand to win if you correctly predict the winning numbers.
In a way, fixed odds lottery betting resembles keno. The more numbers you pick, the higher the potential payout. In a six-number drawing, for example, you can pick one number and receive a small payout if at least one of the drawn numbers matches your prediction. If you make a six-number pick, you might win as much as 150,000/1 if your predictions are all correct.
Fixed odds lottery betting is probably not something that would appeal as much to lottery purists. This is more of something you might play on the side while betting on other sports. Even if a betting site offers as much as 150,000/1 for getting all six numbers correct, you likely would have won more had you just bought the ticket through an actual lottery ticket sales website.
However, fixed odds lottery betting does have its advantages. Most importantly, betting sites usually offer better payout odds compared to the actual lottery. Real-world lotteries tend to keep a significant chunk of all money paid in for their own purposes. Betting sites operate on a smaller margin and (usually) offer a better return for your money, but at the cost of not offering huge jackpots.
Secondly, it can be cheaper to participate. Most betting sites accept as little as £/€ 1.00 for a single wager. Lottery tickets purchased online tend to be more expensive due to their own commission charges and minimum purchase amounts.
Hybrid Lottery Betting
Hybrid lottery betting is very close to the real thing. You choose your lottery drawing, make your picks and then buy your tickets. If your numbers are called, you are paid according to the lottery’s actual payouts. This includes smaller prizes as well as multi-million pound jackpots. The difference is that you never actually buy the tickets; the lottery site pays you using its own funds.
The lottery organization itself is never involved in the process beyond hosting public drawings. Whether you win a small payout or a huge prize, it is the lottery site who pays you. They can afford to do this by using their own funds to pay smaller prizes and then backing up the biggest lotto jackpots with specialty insurance providers who pay up if someone wins a massive prize.
When you bet on lotteries in this manner, the odds of winning and the payouts are exactly the same as they would be if you would have bought an actual ticket in person. The best lottery betting sites of this type are licensed as online gambling sites by the UK Gambling Commission and are therefore the safest places to play online.
Hybrid lottery betting sites offer several advantages over standard sites that purchase actual tickets. For one, they can offer special promotions such as “enhanced jackpots” and “double jackpots,” that you don’t usually find elsewhere.
Secondly, it is easier to claim your prizes because the betting site itself pays all winnings. If you win a big jackpot online, they can just send the money to your bank account rather than making arrangements to fly you out to the lottery’s headquarters to claim your prize. Not only is this more convenient, but it is less complicated from a legal perspective compared to claiming a prize in a lottery drawing that occurred in a foreign country.
Lottery Site Reviews
The best lottery sites stand far above all the rest in terms of safety, reputation, variety of jackpots, payout speeds, and just about every other measure there is by which sites can be rated. Lottery site reviews play a key role in our mission here, which is to give players honest information and recommend safe places to play online.
Whether you follow our recommendations or not, it is vital that you take a little time to vet any potential lottery site before you play online. A big part of the lottery industry’s success is based on the thrill and hope of big money payouts, and sadly there are some people out there who see that as a prime target to prey on those who get caught up in the moment and fail to do their research before paying for lottery tickets.
Our reviews discuss all the biggest lottery sites that you’re likely to run across as you explore online. We only review major and reputable lottery sites that are proven. We do not maintain a blacklist of poor sites other than if we haven’t reviewed it, you should proceed with caution and do your due diligence.
Any lottery site that you see reviewed here is a place we are comfortable recommending. However, all lottery sites are unique and some are clearly better than others. Our reviews are designed to help you find the one that works best for you.
Some of the things we examine when writing lottery site reviews include:
Safety and Reputation: We discuss how long the site has been online, what sort of reputation it has online and how transparent its operation is. We also discuss internal security standards such as whether or not the site scans copies of tickets purchased on your behalf, if the site is insured and if it is capable of paying large jackptos.
Headquarters, Location and Licensing: Basic details such as headquarters, areas of operation and licensing paint a picture of the site’s overall quality. Licenses from the UK Gambling Commission, for example, hold more weight than sites licensed out of lesser-known jurisdictions.
Lottery Coverage: We strive to maintain an up-to-date list of all lotteries covered by each lottery site so you can find specific jackpots or just the lottery sites with the greatest variety.
Are tickets scanned and uploaded? This is something we cover in safety and reputation, but it is a key point for every site that buys physical tickets on your behalf. Lottery sites that scan every ticket purchased for you offer greater transparency and a sense of confidence that you’re actually in the game.
Commission: The best lottery sites take NO commission from prizes. Instead, they charge a delivery fee up front. We check the commission structure for every lottery website and it explain how it works in each review. Sites that take a commission from prizes should be avoided.
Purchasing Options: Is it easy to fund your lottery account? Are payments processed instantly? Do you incur charges for certain deposit methods? We ask all these questions in addition to listing every deposit option along with its minimums, maximums and speed.
How Winnings are Paid: What happens after you win? The top lottery sites pay small wins shortly after the real-world lottery results are revealed and contact you quickly to make arrangements for paying large jackpots. We also look at the various options you have for withdrawing funds from your online lotto account.
Playing the Biggest Lotteries in the World Online
Undoubtedly, the number one selling point of real money lottery sites is the fact that they put an entire world of jackpots at your fingertips. No longer do you have to wait for the next UK lottery drawing or hope this Powerball is the next “big one.” Instead, you can play in lotteries all around the world to pick and choose the biggest and the best that are available at any given time.
All national lotteries can grow to breathtaking amounts, but the world’s biggest lotteries are quite reliable when it comes to paying out millions on a regular basis. The following examples are just a taste of some of the biggest lotteries you can play online from the privacy of home.
El Gordo: Spain’s annual Christmas lottery is the biggest lottery in the world when it comes to total prizes. Total prizes each year exceed €2.5 billion as roughly 75% of Spain’s population plays every Christmas.
SuperEnalotto: SuperEnalotto is an Italian drawing that got its start in 1997 and ranks as one of the biggest jackpots in the world due to a no-cap policy. This lottery has no maximum; it simply grows and grows until someone claims the top prize. In 2010, one lucky player took home the biggest SuperEnalotto payday of all time: €177,800,000.
SuperEna Max: As the name hints, SuperEna Max was inspired by the popularity of SuperEnalotto. SuperEna Max is also based out of Italy, but this one guarantees even bigger payouts on a regular basis with a starting jackpot of at least €76 million. Jackpots in this one can easily surpass €100 million.
EuroMillions: EuroMillions is noteworthy because not only does it offer huge jackpots, but it also occurs quite frequently. Drawings are heled twice a week with a starting jackpot of at least €17 million that can roll up to as much as €190 million.
EuroJackpot: EuroJackpot was devised as the answer to EuroMillions for countries that do not participate in EuroMillions. EuroJackpot has expanded to additional countries since the first drawing was held in 2016 and is now played in 16 countries. Jackpots start at €10 million with the top prize topping out at €90 million. If nobody wins after rollovers bring the top jackpot to €90 million, secondary prizes begin swelling until they too reach €90 million. This continues on down through the various prize levels until someone finally wins.
La Primitiva: La Primitiva is another Spanish lottery capable of paying out significant prizes. The jackpot starts at just €3 million but it grows quickly with two drawings a week and can reach high levels very quickly. Payouts in excess of €72 million and €98 million have been logged in recent years.
Buy Powerball Tickets Online
Powerball is the biggest lottery in the United States and pays out the single largest jackpot in the world. While El Gordo may swell to massive levels, the prize money is split among thousands of winners. The Powerball jackpot is paid all to one winner (or several if multiple people happened to pick the same numbers by random luck) and it is the single biggest payout of all the lotteries in the world.
Naturally, online Powerball tickets are popular among gamblers living elsewhere and all of the top lottery sites cover all Powerball drawings. You can buy Powerball tickets online at every major lottery site recommended here.
The biggest Powerball jackpot of all time topped out at $1.6 billion in January of 2016. The final jackpot was split three ways and each winner opted for the $327.8 million lump sum payment. You can visit any of our top-rated lottery sites to take your own shot at the next Powerball jackpot.
Other Major US Lotteries
Powerball definitely holds the mantle as the lottery with the single biggest payout in the world, but it is hardly the only major lottery in the United States. A massive economy and millions of lottery lovers spread across the country make the USA prime breeding ground for big jackpots.
Mega Millions: Mega Millions is played in 44 states plus D.C. and the Virgin Islands. Such widespread availability makes this a popular game with jackpots that never seem to stop growing. Jackpots start at $15 million with drawings held twice a week. Occasionally, the jackpot grows to exceed $150 million. Some of the biggest winners have cashed in for $319 million, $326 million, $393 million and a whopping $536 million.
State Lotteries: State lotteries in the US should not be overlooked just because they comprise only one state. Several states have populations bigger than the majority of European countries. California’s SuperLotto Plus, for example, has paid jackpots as high as $193 million in past cases. Individual state lotteries are always worth considering if your lottery site offers them.