While 2016 was a fantastic year for lottery fans, things are bound to be even more exciting in 2017. Along with developments in technology, and lottery formats being tweaked, anything is possible.
Here are some of the developments that we think players will be able to look forward to in the coming year:
More people will buy lottery tickets online
There are no official statistics on the number of people currently buying lottery tickets online. But given that Google’s top search term for 2016 was ‘Powerball’, it’s clear that more people are discovering online lottery ticket agents. Not only do these agents make it possible for players all over the world to access the biggest international lotteries, it offers a convenient service for local players too.
It’s no different to ordering your groceries online, with agents acting as messengers between the customer and official lottery ticket retailers. Official lottery tickets are purchased on your behalf which spares you the hassle of buying your tickets in person and keeping them safe. Another bonus is that the online lottery ticket agent keeps track of all the lottery results for you. They check each ticket after the draw and notify the winners via email. You don’t even have to claim smaller winnings in person. And jackpot winners can rely on assistance from the agent to help them travel to collect their winnings from the relevant national lottery operator.
Jackpots will get bigger
There are really two reasons why players can look forward to bigger jackpots in the coming year. And the first is closely linked to the first prediction above. The jackpot amount depends on ticket sales which means the more tickets sold, the bigger the jackpot gets. With more players being able to buy lottery tickets online, lottery operators are seeing an increase in ticket sales.
The record-breaking US Powerball jackpot that we saw in January 2016 is a perfect example of this. With each roll over, more people decided to try the luck and buy a ticket. Eventually there were queues of people lining up outside gas stations and convenience stores. That attracted the attention of the media and it wasn’t long before the biggest news networks in the world were sending out their reporters to track the story. All that media attention has encouraged more people to play the lottery.
Formats will change
Most lotteries keep the same format for years as players get used to it. But change can be good and this is the second reason why jackpots will get bigger. It was in October 2015 when the Powerball introduced some changes to its format. The number of main numbers was increased from 59 to 69, while the number of Powerball numbers was decreased from 35 to 26.
As a result of these changes, the odds of winning the jackpot increased from one in 176 000 000 to one in 293 000 000. The operators wanted to make it more difficult for players to win the jackpot so that the jackpot would have more chance of rolling over. And while many players thought this was unfair, there was a silver lining. The overall odds of winning any Powerball prize decreased from one in 31.85 to one in 24.87.
To sweeten the deal even more, the Powerball increased the prize for matching four main numbers and one Powerball from $10 000 to $50 000 and raised the starting jackpot to $40 000 000.
Most recently, in September 2016, the EuroMillions changed its format slightly. The field of Lucky Star numbers was increased from 11 to 12 and starting jackpot was increased by €2 000 000 to €17 000 000. These tweaks were made to increase the average size of EuroMillions jackpots and double the number of jackpots over €50 000 000. This is good news for players that are keen to win one of the world’s biggest jackpots.
Given the success experienced by the US Powerball and the EuroMillions, it’s only a matter of time before the other lotteries follow suit. Next year we could see changes to the format of the other popular American lottery, the Mega Millions. And in Europe, the EuroJackpot will be competing against the EuroMillions. Players will have to keep up with these changes and rethink the way they choose their lotto numbers.
One thing that won’t change for many years to come is our inability to predict the winning lotto numbers. All you can do until then is buy your EuroMillions or Powerball lottery tickets online and keep your fingers crossed.