Australia is a country who loves a punt. From horseracing to pokies and AFL betting. Australians happily pay their money and take their chances. And that includes playing lotteries.

Due to the size of the country, and its division into different states. Lotteries tend to be conducted at the state level or occasionally across several states, rather than at national level with one big draw.

The biggest player in Australia when it comes to lotteries is the Tatts Group Limited. An official Government-licensed Operator who manages lotteries in all states bar Western Australia. Where it’s the company Lotterywest who conduct operations over there. A couple of other corporations run lotteries as well, including the publicly listed Jumbo Interactive and Netlotto, a privately-owned company.

Over the last few years, the vast majority of these operations have gone online. And since 2003, the Lottery Office has allowed Australians to buy tickets in the biggest overseas draws, as well.

lottery balls with Australian flag on them

Australian Lotto Laws

Although most lotteries are now run by private companies or not-for-profit organisations, the States still retain legal ownership of the lotteries themselves.

The rules and regulations vary from one state to another. For example, in Western Australia, you can buy lottery tickets at age 16, whereas for all the other States, it’s 18.

The Lottery Office is the only organisation that allows you to buy tickets in overseas lotteries. Generally, it’s illegal for Australians to just go out and buy tickets in those themselves. Acting as a sort of middle-man, you put forward a request to buy as many tickets as you wish in whatever lottery you wish. Also include the numbers that you want, and the Lottery Office will buy those tickets for you. They keep them safe and pay you out whatever it is that you won. You don’t pay commission on any winnings; rather the Lottery Office charges you a small fee at the time of your purchase.

All organisations that run lotteries are closely monitored. That includes undertaking financial and operational audits, making sure customer orders match. What was purchased on their behalf and that under-age gambling is not taking place. There are also responsible gambling measures in place such as helplines and self-exclusion measures.

lottery balls of assorted colours

Major Lottery Games in Australia

There’s no shortage of lotteries for you to choose from if you’re based in Australia and we’re talking at state, national and international level. Here are a few of the most popular.

The Lotto

Run by Tattersall’s since 1972, the Lotto draws take place on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays. The big difference between them is that the Saturday one follows the pari-mutuel format. Where the prizes on offer, including the top prize, are proportional to the number of entries.

The Monday and Wednesday draw, in contrast, guarantee a prize of 1 million AUD to anyone getting all six numbers, up to four people. Should more than four people get all six, that 4 million AUD is shared equally among them.

In all three draws, players need to select six numbers from 45. After the six numbers, an additional two known as the ‘supplementary balls’ are drawn. There are six tiers of prizes depending on the number of regular balls and supplementary balls you get.

Oz Lotto

In 1994 it became the first fully national lottery game because up until then, they were just done at State level.

Originally it was a case of picking six numbers from 45 but then an extra number was added to make it harder to win the top prize. Although in the process they also created two extra tiers of prizes to make up for it.

Draws take place at 8.30 pm AEST. And if no-one gets all seven numbers, the Jackpot rolls over to the following week and that will continue until it’s finally won. That explains why the amount on offer can sometimes exceed the 100 million AUD. The game offers a guaranteed prize of 2 million AUD, though the actual amount is almost always superior to that.

Powerball

Two years after the Oz Lotto began. Tattersall’s started the Australian Powerball. This was specifically designed to give Aussie players a chance to win prizes far greater than what else was up for grabs.

The format is quite different from most of the others. Players must select seven numbers from 1 to 35, plus an additional number from 1 to 20, known as the Powerball.

There are nine tiers of prizes. These depend on how many of the seven numbers you got right and whether they also included getting the Powerball number.

The Jackpot can roll over up to 25 times but after that 25th time, any additional money goes towards those who won at the second-highest tier. It takes place every Thursday at 7.30 pm AEST.

Super 66

This plays in all Australian states, bar New South Wales.

It takes place immediately after the main Saturday Lotto draw at 7.30 pm AEST and there are two ways that players can take part.

The first is to just buy a separate ticket for it which costs 1.10AUD (1.00 AUD in Western Australia). The second is to just tick the ‘Super 66’ box on any of the tickets for Saturday Lotto, Powerball or Oz Lotto.

A Super 66 ticket consists of six numbers between 0 and 9. If you get the first or last numbers in the correct order, you win the minimum prize. After that, the more numbers you get in the right order, the more you win, with prizes spread across five different tiers. The guaranteed prize for matching all six balls is 16,666 AUD.

Lottery Betting Strategies

It’s not very easy to talk about lottery betting strategies when the whole point of a lottery is that it’s all completely random. And the chances of a first-time player winning for that draw are the same as someone who has been at it for twenty years. Equally, you’re statistically no better off mulling over which numbers to choose for hours than you are picking your favourite numbers or the first ones that come into your head.

Having said that, it’s worth players being discerning about which lotteries they play. If they’re after mind-boggling amounts of money, then they should play the ones with huge prizes, but which are extremely hard to win, like Powerball. If they prefer smaller and more regular prizes, they should go for something like the Super 66 one.

Betting Syndicates

Playing as part of a betting syndicate rather than just for yourself is a strategy in its own right. You get together with friends, family or work colleagues and all pay a certain amount every week or month into a pool. Which is then used to buy tickets in the lottery of your choice.

The upside is huge. You get to have a lot more tickets going for you. And get to receive a share of any wins through the syndicate. With your payout being proportional to your share in the syndicate.

The downside is the same: any wins secured are shared so rather than pocketing 10million AUD yourself, you might have to split it 20 ways. But then again, you probably wouldn’t have won the Jackpot if you were playing for yourself anyway!

excited Australian lottery player with flag

Playing Lotto Games on Mobile

You can buy tickets to all the lotteries we’ve mentioned online and in almost all cases, also via your mobile.

Whether it’s a smartphone or a tablet, Apple or Android in terms of an operating system. You can choose your numbers, check the results and pay for your tickets using your mobile, meaning you never miss out.

Banking Options

Tickets are available through several different operators on many different lottery websites. In addition to being able to do so in brick-and-mortar shops.

When buying lotto tickets online, you can choose from several payment options including Visa, Mastercard, Skrill and PayPal, plus a couple of other E-Wallets like Neosurf that are unique to Australia.

Frequently Asked Questions about Australian Lotteries

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