When the Powerball jackpot reaches $1 BILLION - yes billion with a 'b' - it safe to assume the news will span the entire globe and did just that January 2015 when the Powerball reached a record $1.6 billion before being claimed by three lucky players. Prior to the lottery's embrace on the internet, this astronomical jackpot was unimaginable and the hopes of non-American's ever taking home a prize this size was non-existent.
Fortunately, the rise of online-lottery not only produced the concept of lottery syndicates, which greatly increased the jackpot pools, but also created an opportunity for international lottery lovers to enjoy country-specific lotteries outside of their own through lottery concierge services.
Lottery Concierge Services Explained
The lottery concierge service was developed to cater to internet lottery enthusiasts looking to expand their play beyond the jurisdiction in which they claim residence. So basically, lottery concierge services obtain an actual lottery ticket for the specific country lottery the non-resident prefers then holds this ticket on their behalf.
Prior to this industry development, they only way for a lottery lover in Australia to get a shot at playing the beloved Mega Millions in the United States, the native Aussie would need to up-and-move across the world, settle in the States and secure residence before eligibility was instated. Fortunately, these concierge services have all but cut down that red-tape involving international eligibility.
Some of the top operators providing this service differ in the process by which they handle the concierge industry. Any credible operator claiming to provide a lottery concierge service will obtain a ticket on the online player's behalf. The difference lies within how they charge fees and the manner in which they handle the ticket once secured.
Handling Fees vs Commission
The lottery concierge service is approached with two general schemes; 1.) obtaining the ticket on behalf of the online player but holding the ticket, checking results, then providing the winnings to those players who would have hit the jackpot had they played a ticket or 2.) obtaining the ticket on behalf of the online player then scanning that ticket and uploading to the player's account for them to check the results and claim their winnings.
An example of the 1st lottery concierge service would be the familiar GiantLottos. GiantLottos obtains the ticket on the player's behalf but handles the holding of the ticket and distribution of winnings. They make their money by charging a commission on all winnings secured through their service. So if an Australian did happen to win a US lottery jackpot using GiantLottos, they would be charged a certain percentage of their winnings as a fee for the service. If no winnings are secured, GiantLottos charges nothing.
TheLotter is a perfect example of the 2nd form of the lottery concierge service. TheLotter owns and operates local offices in all the major lottery jurisdictions to purchase physical lottery tickets on behalf of its users. Once obtained, TheLotter scans and uploads the ticket(s) to the users' accounts like 'Buy and Scan' apps. Lottery concierge services like TheLotter charge a fee for handling listed ticket prices. So unlike GiantLottos, TheLotter doesn’t take any commission from players’ prize money if they win big on a foreign draw but does charge per every ticket obtained through their service regardless of winnings.
Playing vs Betting the Lottery
Most players enjoy the lottery the traditional way, purchasing a ticket(s), checking results, and claiming the winnings. But with the expansion of lottery through its assimilation into the world of online gambling, bookies realized the lottery was simply another lucrative betting market for players to test their hand at. This new understanding led to the creation lottery betting or placing bets with a bookie based on the results of a major lottery draw.
Sites like Coral Lotto and Ladbrokes Lotto qualify as lottery betting sites as opposed to the concierge service sites like TheLotter and GiantLottos. Players place bets on fixed odds for the number of correctly chosen numbers meaning they can earn winnings by only hitting a few numbers as opposed to playing a lottery ticket that requires all numbers be matched to win any prizes.
Lottery Betting has no connection to the actual lottery, no tickets are bought and no jackpots awarded. Instead players are awarded the winnings based on the odds given for that number of correctly selected numbers. Coral Lotto might offer 500/1 odds to hit 3 of the EuroMillions draw meaning a €10 bet would total a whopping €5,000. Taking home €5,000 compared to the €0 you take home for hitting three numbers on an actual ticket is obviously ideal but pales in comparison to the massive lottery jackpots offered when you actually play a ticket.
It's important to note playing and betting the lottery is not only legal (in most jurisdictions) but recommended by some experts to greatly increase your chances of regularly winning money. This means you can play an Irish Lotto ticket thru TheLotter then place bets on the same number over at Coral Lotto. If you hit all numbers and win the lottery jackpot, you also take home the winnings from the wager with Coral. Or, at least players have a chance of winning when they miss out on one number of a lottery ticket.