There are many of us that do the lottery. We might buy a ticket each week for the Saturday draw, a few scratch cards occasionally or buy tickets more often, perhaps even every day or we might play online. However, is it worth doing the lottery at all?
Odds of winning
The odds of winning the National Lottery are pretty small. The odds of winning any prize are 1 in 9.3 for the lotto but one of the prizes is just a free ticket in another draw which means that you only get your money back effectively. However, if you are looking to win a big prize the odds are much smaller with a 1 in 45,057,474. You would have to buy a lot of tickets to give yourself a chance of winning the jackpot and the jackpot prize tends to be at least a million pounds but usually more depending on whether there is a roll over and there is a chance that you may need to share the prize with someone else or multiple people. With a National Lottery scratch card the odds of winning any prize are 1 in 3 but sometimes the prizes are lower than the cost of the card and the jackpots are usually a lot lower than the regular National Lottery jackpot.
There are lots of other lotteries that run as well and they will differ in the odds of winning and the prizes that they offer. All of them will have a very small chance of you winning a prize and therefore you will need to think about whether you think that it is worth it.
Value for money
One way to think about it, is to consider whether you feel that you are getting good value for money. Think about how much money you are spending on the tickets and whether you should really be spending that money on something else. If you are going without essential things or you are struggling to make ends meet or having to borrow money, then perhaps it could be wise to cutback on the tickets and use the money towards things that you need instead.
It is also wise to think about the payment for a lottery ticket as you buying some fun. Hopefully you enjoy having the ticket and checking it and the thrill of seeing whether you have won anything. It is wise to think of this as what you are paying for when you buy the ticket and any prize to be a bonus. It is not the way that we tend to be used to thinking about the lottery but it will help us to reason with ourselves as to whether we feel that it is worth spending the money on the tickets or not.
Better in a syndicate?
It can often be felt that it is better to be in a syndicate rather than just buy a ticket on your own. This means that you have a better chance of winning because each group member buys a ticket and you share the prize between you. If the syndicate has 20 members then you have a 20 times higher chance of winning a prize than if there id just one person buying a ticket on their own. However, the prizes have to be shared between the different members so you will only win a twentieth of the prize. So, you need to decide if that is worth it still. You will not increase your odds of winning the min prize by that much as the odds are tiny anyway but a smaller prize will be more likely, but by the time it is split between everyone there will be very little left.