FAQs

Find the answers to all your lottery questions here! There are two sections on this page – one addressing general lottery questions and the other answering the questions that pertain to playing online.

General Lottery FAQs

How do I win a lottery jackpot?

Match all the numbers! While lottery games are different from one another in terms of how many balls feature in their draw, in order to lay claim to any kind of jackpot, you’ll need to make sure that all of your numbers match the ones that get drawn.

Do lottery tickets expire?

Yes. What makes it all the more interesting is that the prize claim periods of multi-state and multi-national lotteries – like Powerball and EuroMillions respectively – differ from state to state or country to country.

How many lotteries are mentioned on this site?

12. These lotteries are some of the biggest in the world – both in terms of number of players and jackpot amounts - and you can find comprehensive insight into each and every one on this site.

Learn more about the lotteries that feature on Lotto Broker.

How old do I need to be to play?

If you’re in Europe, it’s 18. Although 16-year-olds can take part in certain countries’ games - like Lotto in the UK - you need to be 18 or over to set up and play with an online account.

If you’re in the USA, most states require players to be 18 or over, although you need to be 19 or over in Nebraska and 21 or over in Arizona, Iowa, and Louisiana.

Do I get taxed if I win?

It depends on how much you win and where you live.

For example, if you were to win the multi-state US Powerball game you would be subject to 25% Federal tax as well as a jurisdictional/state tax. On the other hand, winning a EuroMillions jackpot in the UK would be completely tax free.

If you win a large prize while playing online through a lottery messenger online, your winnings will be subject to similar tax regulations established in the country where your ticket was bought.

What is a syndicate?

Lottery syndicates are groups of friends, family members and/or work colleagues who pool their funds together and share the tickets as well as the total cost. In the event of a win, the syndicate members will share the prize too.

Online syndicates operate similarly, although you do not meet the other players. You simply purchase ticket shares (the total amount of which is predefined by the operator) and if you win, the prize money you receive will be proportionate to the number of shares you bought.

Read more about online syndicates on the How to Play page.

What is a rollover?

Rollovers happen when a lottery jackpot is not won and, as a result, accumulates more money in time for its next draw.

Certain lotteries have fixed prize tiers, which means that even if a draw does not feature a jackpot winner, the top prize amount (or any prize amount) will remain the same.

Other lotteries – like the EuroMillions – have jackpot caps. These caps are put in place to prevent a jackpot from rolling over too many times. In the case of the EuroMillions game, the jackpot cap is €190 million. The jackpot will remain at this amount for the following four draws, at which point, if there is still no winner, it will be dispersed and shared between the other prize tiers.

Some lotteries, such as the USA’s Mega Millions, do not have jackpot caps, so jackpot prizes can continue rising until they are won.

How do I know the lottery isn’t a fix?

With the comprehensive procedures in place – internally and externally – it is theoretically impossible to rig a lottery or for the lottery to be rigged. There are countless security divisions and access controls set up, and even after all of that there are numerous audits and system checks to somehow bypass.

The reality is that winning a jackpot is no easy feat, and though people label it ‘rigged,’ it’s an unfair accusation because there is no evidence to support it.

What happens if my lottery ticket is stolen or gets lost?

Not much, unfortunately. You can try to explain to and reason with the relevant lottery operator, but they aren’t under any obligation to pay out on a damaged, stolen, or lost ticket.

If you play in a lottery online, you won’t have to face this problem - any ticket of yours will be stored in your online account.

I received a text message/phone call/email telling me I’ve won the lottery – is it real?

Probably not. Unsolicited text messages and phone calls are usually attempted lottery scams. Feel free to ignore the correspondences and block and report the number if you so wish. The bottom line is: if you haven’t paid for a lottery ticket, you cannot win a prize.

Email correspondences can be a little trickier to discern. If you create an online account with either an official lottery operator or a licensed online messenger or betting service, you will receive email notifications from them when verifying your email or if you win a prize. As such, always remain vigilant when dealing with emails and remember the following tips:

  • Look to see if the email is asking you to provide any personal information, including your bank details. As you will have already provided these details when signing up to a legitimate lottery service, you should not be asked for them again in an email (unless you have requested a password reset or something similar, in which case the email is solicited). If you are still unsure, contact the operator you play with for further clarification.
  • Check the sender’s email address. If it comes from a free account like “@hotmail.com” or “@gmail.com,” it’s most likely a scam. Email addresses that are sent by official operators will be appended with the official website’s address.
  • See if there’s a time limit in which you have to claim your prize, or the suggestion to keep things confidential. The time limit adds urgency and pressure to stop you from thinking things through, and the request for confidentiality is in place to stop you mentioning the email to family or friends, who may advise you that it is a scam.
  • Check to see if they have specified a winning amount. If they have, it’s likely a scam. Why? Because lottery operators don’t tend to disclose specific amounts in emails. You’ll have to log in to your account to see the exact amount you’ve won.
  • If the email is littered with poor spelling and grammar, you can be fairly confident it’s an attempted scam. Most professional bodies and businesses take pride in their well-written copy and so if an email falls short on this point, be wary.
  • If you are asked to pay an up-front fee, for whatever reason, be cautious. You will not be asked by an official lottery operator or online lottery service provider to make any payments via email. If you are still not sure, contact your provider before taking any other action.
I think I’ve been scammed. What do I do?

If you have replied to a scam message and provided payment or personal details, make your bank aware of it immediately so they can look out for any unusual activity on your account. Report the incident to your local cyber-crime help organisation, too. You could also contact the official lottery operator with whom you play for further clarification and advice.

If you have received correspondence that looks like a scam attempt, but have not responded – good. Do not respond to it. If it is a phone call or text, ignore it or delete it and block the number. If it is an email, block the sender and delete the email. Before deleting the email, you could mark it as spam so that the email host will not trust future messages coming from the same sender.

Can I win a lottery game through social media?

No. Games through social media are usually one of the following:

  • Scam attempts.
  • Promotional events administered by the lottery operator.

You cannot win a lottery jackpot through social media. The only way you can win a lottery jackpot is by buying a valid ticket for the draw.

I bought a lottery ticket from another country and it won a prize. What do I do?

Congrats! Pack your bags. You’ll have to return to the country where you bought the winning lottery ticket.

If you play the lottery online, you can avoid this issue altogether as all prize transactions are done electronically through your online account.

If you win a large jackpot online, you may have to travel to the country where you won it but would that be such a hindrance if you had a few million waiting for you?

Can I play other lottery games from different countries?

Yes. You can play through a lottery messenger service and have lottery tickets bought on your behalf, or you can play through a lottery betting service and place wagers on the outcome of a lottery’s winning numbers.

For more information about the two methods, check out the How to Play page.

Can those with a U.S. visa play in the Powerball and Mega Millions games?

Yes. Anyone visiting the USA can purchase a Powerball or Mega Millions ticket, as long as they are of legal age. If they win a prize on either, they’ll be subject to similar tax rates as American players.

Can I remain anonymous if I win a jackpot?

It depends. While any winner of a EuroMillions jackpot can choose to remain anonymous or go public, American lotteries require most of their jackpot winners to reveal their identities.

To see whether your favourite lottery allows its winners to remain anonymous, visit the Games page.

Can I buy multiple tickets at one time?

You can. There’s not really a restriction on how many lottery tickets you buy other than the restrictions you set for yourself, and it’s important to make sure that you are always playing responsibly.

Bear in mind that every ticket you do buy will be for the next upcoming draw. You cannot buy tickets for draws that occur after the forthcoming draw with lottery messenger services.

With that said, certain lottery betting operators allow you to choose the particular draw you want to bet on. This can be done in a number of ways, such as starting a bet when a jackpot has reached a certain amount or starting a bet on a specified date. They also have the flexibility to let players choose whether to bet on multiple draw days or just the one. For example, by playing through a lottery betting service, you could bet on the EuroMillions’ Tuesday draw or Friday draw, or both of them!

How do I claim my money if I win?

It’s your responsibility to keep track of your lottery tickets and make a claim if you win.

While most lottery operators introduce different stipulations that depend on the amount you have won, you will always be required to make contact first. This is one of the main reasons unclaimed lottery prizes are so common.

This is another reason playing lottery games online can be to your benefit. If you win a prize with your ticket – no matter how small or large it may be – you will receive timely email notifications reminding you to check your online account.

When is the best time to play the lottery (when the jackpot is bigger or smaller)?

There isn’t really a best time - or worst time for that matter - to play most lotteries, as all of the odds of winning are fixed, meaning that they do not change to reflect the number of tickets or players.

With that being said, certain games – like the UK Millionaire Maker or Spain’s El Millón – operate using a raffle format, and so the chances of winning are arguably better on these games when there are fewer players taking part.

What was the biggest lottery jackpot in history?

$1.586/€1.469/£1.264 billion. The US Powerball jackpot – won on January 13th, 2016 – was shared by three very lucky winners who each received $528/€489/£421 million.

How are starting jackpots determined?

Most lotteries ensure that, regardless of how big a jackpot may become, there is always a certain amount reserved in order to make sure that the game’s established minimum jackpot can be won in a draw following a large jackpot win, too.

For example, the countries taking part in EuroMillions operate what is known as the ‘EuroMillions Reserve Fund’. This fund gathers and reserves a certain percentage of money from each draw to ensure that the minimum jackpot can always be paid out.

Should I play the same numbers or different ones?

Do what you feel like! Contrary to popular belief, playing with the same numbers week in, week out is no more or less lucky than playing with different numbers.

Although certain numbers seem to crop up more often than others, it’s not a reason to hedge your bets with them – the lottery is, after all, an odds-based game.

What happens to unclaimed prizes?

Depends on the lottery. Most of the prizes that do not get claimed are put towards good causes or reinvested back into the lottery’s prize fund.

What is the difference between lump sum payments and annuity payments?

Lump sum means you receive your prize in one single payment, and the annuity option means you receive multiple, smaller payments at regular intervals.

Large jackpots tend to be advertised at the annuity amount, meaning that the lump sum jackpot is quite a bit lower than expected. The lump sum jackpot is the money available to be claimed at the time of the winning draw whereas the annuity jackpot is equivalent to the value of the available lump sum amount after its years of investment.

Why don’t Powerball and Mega Millions have jackpot caps?

A few reasons. Because the two lotteries both offer potential winners the annuity option – which is where the money gets paid out in annual instalments – they are able to advertise the draw’s jackpot as the total amount of those payments; this is known as the “advertised jackpot.” If the player was to take the lump sum, however, they would receive a considerably smaller jackpot.

If the Powerball and Mega Millions games suddenly only started offering the lump sum amount, it is likely both games would introduce a jackpot cap.

Games like EuroMillions have jackpot caps because they only offer the lump sum amount. If they were to remove these caps and allow the jackpot to roll over endlessly, it would reach a point where they could not pay out the winner’s full amount.

There are other reasons as to why the lotteries do not feature jackpot caps. A lot of the money generated in the lottery games goes towards further education and other community-funding projects. In addition, the larger a jackpot gets, the more publicity it gets, which in turn means that there will likely be more players than usual taking part.

What does “pari-mutuel” mean?

In terms of lotteries, it means you could end up sharing the prize money with other winners, because the amount of money will depend on the number of tickets sold for that draw.

If a game features a pari-mutuel jackpot and two or more players win it, the prize amount will be shared equally between them.

I think I might have a gambling addiction. How can I tell and what should I do?

If you think you have a gambling problem, the first thing to be aware of is that there is help available.

If possible, we recommend discussing your situation with close friends and/or family members first, as these are the people who – other than yourself – are most likely to be affected if your addiction gets worse.

After that, we suggest contacting your local gambling help organisation to find out what other kinds of help may be available to you. Additionally, you can contact various professional, specialist counsellors or psychiatrists who are able to treat addiction problems.

Play Online Lottery FAQs

Can I play the lottery online?

You can! There are a couple of ways you can do it too, either through a lottery messenger service or a lottery betting service.

How do I play lottery online?

When playing online, you’ll need to create an account and verify it and then add your personal details and some funds.

Once you’ve done all that, you can choose the lottery you want to play in, the numbers you want to play with, and – depending on the service operator – whether you want to play more than once, on a certain day and so on.

Is it legal to play lottery online?

Yes, it’s no less legal than playing the lottery in person. You’ll need to be over 18 though, or 19 if you’re playing from Nebraska, or 21 if you’re playing from Arizona, Iowa, or Louisiana.

Lottery messenger services and lottery betting services are approved and regulated by official gambling commissions so you can be sure that what they claim to offer is true.

How will I know if I win a prize?

By email. You’ll receive an email notification from the operator with whom you are playing, so you remember to check your online account!

Why aren’t the jackpots updated in real time?

Every so often, certain lottery jackpots will increase before a draw takes place. This was especially common in January 2016, when the record-breaking Powerball jackpot jumped in value a few times in the run up to its winning draw.

The reason this happens is because each state operator taking part in the multistate lotteries records their sales throughout the day before sending the figures and data to the main Powerball and Mega Millions operators.

So, with that in mind, if you imagine 47 independently operating systems monitoring and reporting sales throughout the day - each following their own protocols - you’ll start to see the complications behind the idea of real-time reporting.

As such, the estimated jackpot amounts - regardless of when or how frequently they change - are very close to what the actual jackpot will be.

What happens if I win the jackpot with an online ticket?

You will receive an immediate notification informing you of a win, and will oftentimes be contacted by the customer service agents working for the operator through which you are playing to coordinate the collection of your prize.

The company itself might offer to foot the bill for any travelling you’re required to do in order to claim your prize, and you will first collect the winning ticket from a local operator office before you head off to the official lottery headquarters and become a millionaire!

How can I be sure I’ll receive my prize?

All legitimate online lottery messenger and betting services are regularly audited and checked to ensure that they are who they say they are and that their offers are practical. They will be fully licensed by their respective gambling authorities too, so you can rest assured that you are not dealing with a suspicious website or organisation.

It pays, quite literally, to remain vigilant when browsing and choosing an operator through which to play online, so make sure to keep an eye out for verifiable trust signals and legal statements when assessing a website.

What is a lottery subscription?

A lottery-specific direct debit essentially. By signing up to a lottery subscription, you will be entered into every draw of your chosen lottery until you decide to cancel it. Usually, lottery subscriptions bring with them a few loyalty perks, such as getting the tenth lottery ticket of a batch for free.

What are the benefits of playing online?

Quite a few, actually! The main benefits are as follows:

  • Easy: you can purchase a ticket anywhere at any time, providing you have access to the internet. You no longer need to rush to a shop to buy a ticket!
  • Convenient: Similar to the above point, but not the same. With lottery betting services, you can choose the date of when to start playing, rather than having to play on the most imminent draw. You also receive email reminders when you win, so you don’t forget to claim (and potentially miss out on) a prize!
  • Secure: Official lottery operators aren’t obligated to pay out on a lost, damaged, or stolen lottery ticket. By playing online, you avoid this problem completely, as your tickets are secured safely in your online account.
  • Potentially cheaper: Lottery betting services can set the price of entry as they are independent operators. This means you could win the same amount of money (as if you were entering the lottery draw itself) for less!
  • Potential anonymity: In the past, online winners have managed to remain anonymous despite winning on lotteries where anonymity is not allowed. This is normally due to mitigating circumstances – such as the winner’s own safety – so while not strictly a benefit, it is still quite interesting to know.
What payment methods are accepted?

There are numerous ways of paying and playing online – whether it’s with a credit or debit card, or an e-commerce company like Skrill. Check out the list of common banking providers below:

  • VISA
  • MasterCard
  • Neteller
  • Skrill
  • WebMoney
  • PaySafe
  • iDeal
  • SoFort

This list is not exhaustive, and payment options will vary between providers, so make sure to check first!

Does this website sell lottery tickets?

No – we simply provide in-depth information to eager lottery players. We also offer advice on how to get involved in playing online should you want to, and recommendations and tips for when it comes to choosing a lottery messenger or lottery betting service.

You can learn more about Lotto Broker’s mission statement by visiting the About Us page.

If I play through a lottery messenger service, where are my tickets kept?

Your tickets are usually kept in an area of your online account, accessible through your player’s interface.

If you are playing through a lottery messenger service, a copy of the physical lottery ticket(s) bought on your behalf will be scanned and uploaded on to your account for you to keep an eye on.

If you are playing through a lottery betting service, you will have a copy of the numbers you are betting on along with general draw information and a proof of purchase.

Obviously, different providers offer different views and features but these are the most common things you will see on your account.

Which state lotteries allow you to buy tickets/play online?

Playing online is still quite a novel concept, and this is reflected in the number of state-operated lotteries that allow players to do so.

Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, and Michigan are currently the only four states where players can buy their lottery tickets through the websites of their respective official lotteries.

Various other states offer subscriptions, where players complete a form and select a predetermined number of lottery games, having paid up front.

While these subscription options are mentioned online, they are not, strictly speaking, the same as playing online, because the form is sent off to the lottery operator and then approved.