Your guide to global lotteries

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Additional numbers - Additional number allows lottery players to win additional prizes.

Any Order - This bet style allows players to match the winning lotto numbers in any order just like box bet.

Adjacent Numbers - are those numbers next to each other. 13 and 14 are adjacent numbers.

Annuity - When you win, you collect your jackpot in installments over several years instead of in one lump sum. Lotteries sometimes use annuities to create higher jackpots than their immediate cash holdings would allow.


Bet - A bet is the transaction that takes place when a lottery player chooses numbers or a quick pick in exchange for the chance to win the lottery.

Bonus Number - After the regular numbers are drawn, an additional number is drawn from those remaining. This is a Bonus Number and is used by lottery players to win additional prizes.

Box - is a reference to a wager on a particular group or combination of numbers.

Boxed - A way of betting a three or four digit number that pays off if those digits are drawn in any order.

Boxing - allows to play more digits than you could normally play in a three or four digit number game.


Cash Lotto - a lottery game where winners are paid in one lump sum payment as opposed to annuity payments which are paid out over the course of many years.

Cash Payoff - The opposite of annuity. When a lottery prize is paid out at one time, instead of spread over several years of installments.

Cold Numbers - numbers that have the fewest wins during a particular period of time. Cold numbers will vary in different periods of time.

Combo - A way of betting a three-digit number that covers all possible sequence combinations.


Daily Game - a lottery with at least one drawing per day.

Draw/Drawing - The lottery results. A drawing is when the winning lottery numbers are chosen.

Double - A three-or-four digit number that contains two numbers of the same digit, i.e. 122. Many of the three and four number lottery games payout larger prizes for winning numbers that contain a double.

Double-Double - A four-digit number made up of two doubles, i.e. 1221. wins is generally larger than other winning combinations in the same lotto game.


Exact Order (also Straight) - When numbers are drawn in the same order as played.

Exotic Numbers - Number combinations that very rarely happen like four of a kind in the four number lottery games are referred to as exotic numbers.

Elapse Times - This indicates how many drawings have taken place since each number was last drawn. The longer the Elapse Time, the more outstanding the number.


Fixed payout - A lottery cash prize amount that does not alter with the number of lottery players that are playing at that time.


Handle - a lottery reference to the amount of money bet when playing a video loto terminal.

Hit Frequency - The number of times each number has been drawn during a particular period of time - the higher the hit frequency, the hotter the number.

Hot Numbers - numbers drawn the most frequently during a particular period of time. The hot numbers will vary in different time periods.


Instant Game - lottery games that can be played, won and redeemed at the time of purchase. There are several kinds of instant win games the most common being instant win scratch tickets and instant win pull tabs.


Jackpot - The jackpot is the highest prize in a lottery game. Jackpots are paid either in annuity payments or in one lump sum.


Keno - The most popular form of lottery games played whereby one to ten numbered balls are drawn at random and players cover the corresponding numbers on their cards. The more numbers you play, the more money you could win!


Lottery - A lottery is a game of chance whereby winners are chosen by randomly choosing a set of winning numbers and corresponded to number combinations purchased by lottery players.

Lottery Agent - A lottery agent is where lottery tickets are purchased retail.

Lucky Dip - like a quick pick in which the players lottery numbers are randomly generated by a computer.

Lottery rollover - The accumulative carryover of prize money to the following draw.

Lottery roll down - When jackpot funds aren’t won and are distributed to the highest prize tier that does have a winner.

Lotto Pool - Also called a Lotto Club, this is a group of people who join together to purchase lottery tickets and share in the winnings. A lotto pool can be composed of several, dozens or hundreds of people.

Lottery ticket - A printed slip of paper that is given to the lotto player with their lottery numbers printed on it. This ticket must be presented in order to claim winnings.


Mega Ball - Mega Ball is another additional feature in a lottery game where for an extra fee players will have an additional number they can match for additional prizes.

Multi-Draw - Players who purchase a multi draw lotto ticket purchase lotto tickets for more than one drawing.

Multi State Lottery - lottery that is available in more than one state in the United States. Usually have a much larger jackpot.


National Lottery - A national lottery is like a multi state lottery in that it is made available to more than one state and/or services the whole of a country.

Natural Selection - A selection of numbers made by the player as opposed to a computer-generated "Quick Pick" selection.

Net Machine Income - is a reference used by video lottery players describing the amount of money played at a particular machine minus all the money won.

No-Match Numbers - A three-or-four digit number that contains no double digits, unlike a Double or a Double-Double.


Odds - The odds are the chances of a lotto player winning the lottery.

Off-Line Game - lottery game that can be purchased and played without the use of a lottery computer terminal.

Online Game - lottery game that is part of a network of lottery computer terminals that are all linked to a central computer that keeps track of the lotto activity.

Online ticket services - These are established messenger services for lottery fans which make it possible to play international lottery games. This means that they act as an intermediary for buying tickets for international games and assist in claiming the winnings.

Outstanding Numbers / Overdue Numbers - numbers that have not been drawn for a long period of time. The longer the elapse time, the more outstanding the number. (see also Hot Numbers, Cold Numbers).


Pairs - When a three-digit number is bet, and the drawn number includes any one pair of the first two digits, the last two digits and, in some cases, the first and last digit of the player's three-digit selection.

Pari-mutuel - A common method of payoffs in which the total available money is split between all winners at a particular prize level.

Passive Game - A lottery ticket with numbers already printed on it.

Powerball - Powerball is a multi-state lottery game. The powerball is also the extra number feature of the game where players can win extra cash prizes by purhchasing the powerball feature.

Prize - the cash that lottery players win when they match the winning lotto numbers.

Prize Pool - total amount of money that is available to be divided among the winners in a lottery game or drawing.

Prize Levels - Prize levels are determined based on the number of matches between a bet and the lottery numbers drawn. The actual amounts at each prize level are determined using a totalizer principle, which are then split amongst all players in a particular income class.


Quad - A four-digit number consisting of the same number repeated four times, like 1111.In a four digit lotto game, quads are quite rare, according to probability, appearing only once every 3 years.

Quick Pick - A random selection of numbers made by computer.


Recall - When a problem or a mistake has been made on a lottery game, sometimes the game will be removed from the retailers and recalled.

Reversals - Reversals is a term for scratch tickets that have mistakenly been printed on the back two times. One time in each direction.

Rollover - Many lotto jackpots, when not won, will carry over to the next drawing making the jackpot amount larger. This is referred to as a jackpot rollover.


Sample Void - A sample ticket is a lottery ticket that is given to lottery retailers so that it can be introduced to the players.

Sports Lottery - Throughout the world a popular form of lottery game is played around sporting events and the results are determined by the outcomes of the sporting events. Football pools, Jai Alai and Toto are popular examples of sports lotteries.

Straight - A bet of three or four numbers that must be drawn in the exact order.

Syndicate - A syndicate is a group of lottery players who play together as a team, sharing both the cost of playing as well as the prizes.

State Lottery - A national lottery is like a multi state lottery in that it is made available to more than one state and/or services the whole of a country.

Skip and Hit Pattern - Information about a particular number's pattern of appearances and absences during the drawing history of the lottery.

Sweepstake - A form of playing whereby all stakes are divided among the winners as the prize.


Terminal - The lottery terminal is the computer that online lottery game tickets are printed from as well as redeemed. Scratch tickets must be validated thru them as well. All of the lottery terminals for a particular lottery organization are linked together to a central computer that stores and analyzes all the data.

Ticket - The ticket is the official printed slip of paper given to the lotto player with their lottery numbers printed on it. This ticket must be presented in order to claim winnings.

Toto - Toto is a form of lottery game where the results are determined by the results of sporting events. Football pools and Jai Alai are also forms of lotteries like this.

Tree System - Similar to a Wheeling System, a system for organizing numbers to play for a straight win so that potential combinations are not missed.

Triple - A three-digit number consisting of the same number repeated three times, i.e. 111.


Video Lottery Terminal - A video lottery terminal is similar to a video slot machine except the calculations are cone differently and the payouts are usually a printed voucher that can be redeemed for prizes from the retailer.

Virgin - A colloquial term referring to a number or number combination that has never been drawn.


Wheeling System - A system for organizing and playing a set of numbers to improve the chances of winning multiple prizes.

Withholding - The anticipated tax amount deducted from prize payments.

Winnings - The ratio indicates the amount of money that is available for each division of winnings for a lottery. This figure is recalculated for each draw and depends on the total contribution from all players.