Lottery Glossary

Lottery games differ from country to country, and even state to state, so it’s not surprising to encounter an unfamiliar lottery term at some point. Consult our comprehensive lottery glossary below to learn what that pesky phrase you keep seeing means.

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6/49

A common number matrix for lottery games. For this particular game, players choose six numbers out of a pool of 49 and must match a predefined amount of numbers to win.

Aa

Add-on Feature

Add-on features accompany main lottery games and are available selected by players when choosing the numbers for their ticket. There is normally a designated area on a lottery ticket for the player to indicate their desire to take part in the add-on game.

Add-on features normally cost an extra fee, and they typically enhance the amount of any prize won on the main lottery game.

Advance Bet

An advance bet provides players with the option to purchase entries for future lottery draws. The availability and comprehensiveness of advanced bets differ between lotteries, and there is usually a limit on how many advance bets you can purchase in one go.

Advertised Jackpot

The amount of money that the lottery operator guarantees the player if they should choose to take the annuity payment.

Agent

A lottery ticket retailer.

See also: Online Agent

Annuity Payment

Recurring payments made to a jackpot winner – normally annually, over a 20-30-year period – which add up to the original advertised jackpot amount.

See also: Lump Sum Payment

Bb

Ball

Used interchangeably with “number,” a ball is the numbered drawn object of a lottery game that, when accompanied by a predefined amount of other balls, goes towards revealing any game winners.

See also: Number

Bearer Instrument

A document entitling its owner the rights to the property to which it refers.

A lottery ticket acts as a bearer instrument, entitling its holder’s ownership to whatever prize it may have won, which is why signing the back of it is recommended.

Beneficiary

The recipient of any relevant lottery winnings.

Bonus Number

A number (or numbers) that gets drawn alongside a lottery’s main draw with the potential to affect a winner’s prize amount.

Bonus numbers can sometimes be drawn from the main draw’s number pool, and sometimes they can be drawn from their own unique number pool.

Also known as a “supplementary number,” “extra number,” or “Bonus Ball.”

Book

A collection of playable instant-win lottery tickets/scratch cards.

Box

A winning wager whereby the player’s selected numbers must match the drawn numbers in any order to win.

There are typically two types of Box bets:

  • 3-Way Box: two of the player's three numbers are the same but can be match the drawn numbers in any order.

    Example: A 3-Way Box selection of 6-6-2 would yield the following winning combinations: 2-6-6, 6-2-6, 6-6-2.
  • 6-Way Box: all three of the player's numbers can be different but can match a drawn number in any order.

    Example: A 6-Way Box selection of 3-1-8 would yield the following winning combinations: 1-3-8, 1-8-3, 3-1-8, 3-8-1, 8-3-1, 8-1-3.

Also known as an “Any Order” bet.

See also: ComboStraight

Bundle

An assortment of personal and syndicate entries available to those playing online through a lottery messenger service.

Cc

Capped Jackpot

A jackpot that stops growing once it has reached a certain predefined figure. Normally, when a jackpot reaches its cap, any money that would have been added to it goes to lower prize tiers instead.

Claim Form

A document that must be completed by winners in order to claim a particularly large prize.

Claim Period

The time period during which any lottery winner must claim their prize. Claim periods differ between lotteries; and missing it may mean losing out on the money.

Claim Process

The instructions outlined by a lottery operator for winners wishing to redeem a lottery prize.

Cold Number

A number that is, based on previous draw statistics, not due to make a draw appearance soon.

See also: Hot NumberOverdue

Combo

A wager in which a player combines a Box bet and a Straight bet to cover all possible number sequences.

See also: BoxStraight

Commission

The sales figures of an official lottery operator used when partnering with retailers. Not to be confused with Lottery Commission.

See also: Lottery Retailer

Concierge Service

A service that offers the chance to take part in worldwide lotteries regardless of the player’s own physical location.

Also known as a “lottery messenger service.”

Consecutive Numbers

Consecutive numbers are numbers that feature in the same draw and appear next to each other in numerical order.

A consecutive number sequence is broken when a drawn number does not immediately follow the one before it.

  • Examples of consecutive numbers: 2, 3, and 43, 44, 45.
  • Example of a break in consecutive numbers: 16, 17, 22, 18.

Dd

Daily Game

A lottery game that takes place every day and, in certain occasions, more than once a day.

Date Game

A lottery game that takes place on certain days, such as the EuroMillions, which takes place on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Draw

A draw, or drawing, is where the winning numbers are revealed, and “draw results” refers to the outcome of a specific draw.

Draws are conducted by a country’s official lottery operator and are more often than not shown live on television.

Draw Machine

The machine in which the winning lottery numbers are randomly chosen.

Ee

Electronic Funds Transfer

The process through which bank accounts transfer money between one another, and the same one used by an online lottery operator paying out on a winning ticket.

Estate

Normally used when referring to a deceased person’s assets, typically their money and owned property.

Estimated Jackpot

The approximate top prize amount for a lottery’s next draw.

The amount can fluctuate slightly depending on the number of tickets sold in a draw and the number of a draw’s winning tickets.

You can read more about how estimated jackpots work by visiting Lotto Broker’s FAQs page.

Extra Game

Also known as a “supplementary game.”

A game that operates in conjunction with a lottery’s main game.

These games often give players an extra chance to win a prize or the chance to improve an existing one; taking part in them can sometimes incur an additional fee.

To see what extra/supplementary games are offered by your favourite lotteries, check out the Games page.

Ff

Fixed Prize

A fixed prize is one that does not change in spite of a lack of recent winners or an unusually large number of players. These tend to be more commonly found in the lower prize tiers and daily games.

Gg

Game Matrix

Refers to the amount of numbers a player needs to choose and the total amount of numbers in the ball set they need to choose from.

See also: 6/49

Going Public

The act of revealing your identity as a jackpot winner, normally to the press and general public.

For certain lotteries it is mandatory that jackpot winners reveal their identities, though they are only required to disclose their name, city of residence, and the amount of money that they have won.

Good Causes

Certain non-profit organisations that receive a percentage of a lottery operator’s funds.

Recipients of such funds are usually organisations within the education, health, and charity sectors.

Hh

High Numbers

Numbers that are normally in the top half of a number set. For example, the high numbers in a number set of 40 would be 20-40.

See also: Low Numbers

Hit

A phrase that refers to the appearance of a specific number in a specific draw.

  • Example: “Number 23 is quite a strong performer, having hit the last three out of five draws.”

Hopper

A term for the cylindrical machine used to randomly reveal the winning balls of a lottery game.

Hot Number

A number that has, based on previous draw statistics, surpassed its average number of draw gaps and is overdue to make an appearance.

See also: OverdueCold Number

Ii

Inheritance Tax

Tax that must be paid by someone inheriting an estate or money.

Instant Game

A lottery ticket with a latex coating that a player must scratch in order to reveal if they have won a prize.

Instant game tickets are not attached to a specific lottery draw or date and are sometimes referred to as “scratch cards.”

See also: Scratcher

Internet Gaming

An umbrella term used to describe taking part in games that are available online, whether they are games similar to those found in casinos or online lottery games.

Internet Wager

Making wagers through websites dedicated to online play, with the options ranging from lottery games to sporting events.

Jj

Jackpot

The ultimate prize tier offered by a lottery game.

Most established lottery games incorporate a progressive jackpot system. These jackpots increase after each draw in which there was no jackpot winner. The jackpot amount will continue to grow until it is either won or, where applicable, hits its jackpot cap.

See also: Rollover

Jackpot Cap

The amount at which a jackpot stops growing. When a jackpot hits its cap, there is a designated time frame during which the jackpot must be won; otherwise, it will instead be distributed amongst the lower prize tiers.

Jackpot Fatigue

The term used to describe the slump in lottery ticket sales when the game’s jackpot amount is comparatively low. Jackpot fatigue is a lottery phenomenon that suggests players are tending to wait until their chosen game’s jackpot amount rises, and that public interest in smaller jackpots is waning.

Kk

Keep Out

A number known as a “Keep Out” is a lottery number that you refrain from using in your line, whether based on superstitions, its appearance history, or any other reason.

Keeper

The term “Keeper” refers to lottery numbers that, for one reason or another, you choose to play on your ticket.

Ll

Last Drawn

Used to refer to the last draw in which a specific lottery number made an appearance.

Lottery

A game that involves the drawing and matching of a certain amount of numbers or balls in order to win a prize.

Lottery Betting

The process in which a player places a wager on the outcome of the numbers in a lottery draw rather than participating with an official lottery ticket.

Lottery Commission

The governing body or organisation that oversees and regulates a country’s commercial gambling activities. Not to be confused with Commission.

Lottery Retailer

A store or company that sells lottery tickets.

Lottery Scam

Unlawful attempts at gathering the personal information of lottery players, with scammers typically purporting to be acting on behalf of the official lottery operator or a governmental organisation.

Lottery Tax

The taxation rules to which a lottery winner must adhere depending on where they are located and how much they have won.

Some countries do not impose a lottery tax, and some only impose tax on winnings over a certain amount.

Low Numbers

Numbers that are in the bottom half of a number set. For example, the low numbers in a number set of 40 would usually be 1-19.

See also: High Numbers

Lucky Dip

Similar to a Quick Pick, a Lucky Dip is an automatically generated ticket that can be used on the UK's Lotto, EuroMillions, or Thunderball.

See also: Quick Pick

Lump Sum Payment

Also known as the “cash option.”

The lump sum payment is one of the options available to a jackpot winner, typically in the United States. It is a one-off payment of money, and is lower than the annuity amount given that the lottery operator is not given time to accrue more funds.

See also: Annuity Payment

Mm

Match

A match is simply when a drawn number is the same as a player’s chosen number. When a lottery is phrased as a “Match Six Lottery,” the idea is that a player must match six numbers to win the top prize.

Messenger Service

A messenger service purchases lottery tickets on a player’s behalf, regardless of their physical location. It offers people who do not live in a lottery’s host country the opportunity to take part.

Multi Draw

By choosing the multi-draw option, players can purchase a certain number of tickets for future draws.

Multi-jurisdiction Lottery

A lottery that takes place in multiple US jurisdictions and states, namely Powerball and Mega Millions.

Multiplier

An extra number added to a main draw that boosts a player’s original prize if they win. Normally costs an additional fee to play.

Nn

National Lottery

The official lottery organisation of a certain country.

Number

The units picked by players and drawn by lottery operators that, when matched, entitle the winner to a certain prize.

See also: Ball

Number Checker

An online tool that lets players check their lottery numbers to see if they’ve won and how much they’ve won.

Number Generator

An online tool that can quickly create lines of numbers for players.

You can use LottoBroker’s Number Generator by visiting the homepage.

Number Range

Also known as a “number pool” or “ball set.”

The total group of numbers from which a player must populate their lottery ticket.

Number Trend

A number trend refers to the development of a pattern based on the lottery numbers that have appeared in recent previous draws.

Numbers Game

Games where a certain amount of numbers need to be picked (Pick 3, Pick 4) through a variety of different wagers or bet options, such as a Box bet or a Straight bet.

See also: BoxStraight

Numerology

The belief in a supernatural relationship between numbers and concurrent events.

Oo

Odds

Refers to the ratio between the chances of a prize being won and not being won.

Lottery games typically offer fixed odds, meaning that the chances of winning a specific prize remain the same for every draw.

By visiting the Games page, you can see the odds of winning for all games that feature on Lotto Broker.

Offline Game

A game that does not use a computer terminal to validate an entry. Scratch cards are an example of an offline game.

Online Agent

Similar to a lottery messenger service, an online agent will purchase lottery tickets on your behalf after you have deposited funds electronically.

See also: Messenger Service

Online Syndicate

Online syndicates let you play more lines for less money, as you share the total cost – and prize money – with other players.

You can choose a certain number of lines you want to play with – sometimes referred to as “shares” – and if you win, the amount you receive is proportionate to the amount of lines you purchased.

See also: Syndicate

Overdue

If a number has surpassed its average draw appearance frequency, based on previous draw statistics, it is referred to as “overdue.”

See also: Cold NumberHot Number

Pp

Pairs

Wager options that allow players to select one of the following:

  • the first two numbers of a Pick game (Front Pair)
  • the last two numbers of a Pick game (Back Pair)
  • the first and last number of a Pick game (Split Pair).

Pari-mutuel

A prize system whereby the cash figure belonging to a certain prize tier is shared between all winners of that tier.

Payout

A monetary reimbursement made by a lottery operator to a winner.

Play Slip

Also known as a “betting slip” or a “ticket.”

A play slip is the paper players use to mark their lottery number choices. A retailer processes the slip and from that gives the player their lottery ticket.

Online play slips work in a very similar way, although understandably they are not processed through a physical terminal.

Prize Percentage

Refers to each prize tier of a lottery and what their individual percentages of a draw’s total payout amounts were.

Prize Pool

Also known as a “prize fund.”

The total amount of money generated for a draw that gets distributed across all winning prize tiers.

Prize Tier

The different levels of prizes on a lottery, normally defined by the amount of numbers matched in any given draw.

Also known as a “division,” or colloquially as a “div.”

Qq

Quick Pick

An option where a lottery ticket’s numbers are randomly generated by a machine or computer, rather than picked manually by the ticket holder.

Rr

Raffle

Similar to a lottery, people purchase tickets for the chance to win prizes. Unlike major lotteries - where the estimated odds of winning are static - the odds of winning on a raffle can vary depending on how many players take part.

Result History

Refers to the historical draws of a lottery. Various websites offer players information such as the winning numbers, number of winners, and prize amounts of previous lottery draws.

Results

The number outcomes and prize breakdowns of a specific lottery draw, often accompanied by the number of winners for each prize tier.

Rollover

The continued growth of a lottery’s jackpot following on from a draw in which there were no jackpot winners.

Ss

Scanned Copy

Lottery messenger services often scan a player’s lottery tickets to provide peace of mind and a proof of purchase.

These lottery tickets are sometimes referred to as “scanned copies,” and are usually stored in a player’s online account.

Scratcher

Another term for a scratch card. A “scratcher” is an instant-win game that can be bought in store or online.

See also: Instant Game

Skip

A phrase referring to the absence of a specific number in a specific draw.

  • Example: “Number 40 has skipped the last three Powerball draws.”

Starting Jackpot

The minimum default jackpot for a lottery after its previous jackpot has been won.

Straight

A wager option where if a player’s numbers are identical to the drawn numbers and in the same order, they win.

Also known as an “Exact Order” bet.

Subscription

An option where lottery players can set up a recurring advance payment for a specific number of tickets or draw entries over an agreed period of time.

Sweepstakes

A game in which prizes are awarded to a certain number of randomly selected entrants. A sweepstake with an entry fee is considered a lottery in the UK.

Syndicate

A group of people – normally made up of work colleagues, friends, or family members – who buy more tickets for less money by pooling funds together. Any winnings are shared in proportion to each syndicate member’s individual contribution.

Also known as a “lottery pool” or “pooling.”

See also: Online Syndicate

Syndicate Manager

The person in charge of the administrative tasks of running a lottery syndicate. Such tasks will include, but are not limited to: purchasing lottery tickets, collecting participants’ payments, and reimbursing participants with any winnings.

Tt

Terminal

A device used by lottery retailers to enter, print, and pay out on lottery tickets.

Ticket

The document on which your number choices are recorded; it also acts as your proof of purchase.

See also: Bearer Instrument

Total Sum

Refers to the total number that comes as a result of adding all chosen lottery numbers together.

  • Example: “Adding my numbers 17, 20, 03, 40, and 12 together, my total sum is 92.”

Certain games offer add-on features where players can win a prize if their numbers’ total sum matches the total sum of the drawn numbers.

Triple

A three-digit number comprising the same digit repeated three times.

Uu

Unclaimed Prize

A lottery prize – usually a large sum of money – that has not been claimed. When a ticket that has won a large amount of money is nearing its expiration date, the lottery operator tends to make an energetic effort to find the winner.

Vv

Validation

The process every lottery ticket must undergo to confirm the following: that it is a winner, that it hasn’t been claimed before, and that the prize amount is correct.

Validation checks can be carried out by both lottery retailers and lottery operators, depending on the value of the prize.

Vendor

A lottery ticket seller.

See also: Lottery Retailer

Ww

Wager

A bet made on an event with an unpredictable outcome.

Wheeling

A popular lottery system in which a player selects a set of numbers before using every possible combination allowed by that number set for subsequent ticket lines.

Also known as a “Lottery Wheel.”

Winner

What everyone playing the lottery hopes to be!

Withholding

The amount of money to be deducted from a winner’s prize in order to cover tax costs.