The most popular lottery format worldwide is the 6-49 lotto format. But there are many others, including 7-49. If you play Lotto 649, you know how hard it is to win the jackpot. Now, try adding one more number to match, and you get the Lotto 749 format. That’s even harder. But what exactly are the odds of winning a 7-49 lottery game?
It is actually quite easy to figure out. The first step is to multiply seven consecutive numbers from the top, 49x48x47x46x45x44x43. The next step is to multiply seven consecutive numbers from the bottom, 1x2x3x4x5x6x7. Then, you divide the two numbers to get your answer. Don’t worry about getting your calculators out because the answer is 85,900,584. That means that the odds of winning a 7-49 lottery jackpot is exactly 1-in-85,900,584. Compare that to 649, which has odds of winning of 1-in-13,983,816, and you could see how much difference just one extra number to match is for the odds of the game.
Why would lotteries use a 7-49 format when the odds of winning it are so bad? It’s because, with higher odds, they can offer bigger jackpots. And, bigger jackpots means higher ticket sales.
One example of a 7-49 lottery game is Canada’s new Lotto Max game. To win Lotto Max, you must match 7 numbers, out of a possible 49. Now, for each Lotto Max ticket buy, the odds are better than 1-in-85,900,584. That’s because you get three plays for every ticket you buy. So, that would change the odds to 1-in-28,633,528 per ticket bought, which makes it a little easier to win.
Sure, the odds of winning a 7-49 lottery game may be bad, but the concept is growing, so you might want to get used to it!