How Many Lottery Tickets Are Sold Each Year?
In 2016, a survey was done by LendEDU in America to try and determine how popular playing in the lottery really was. This task was undertaken after the annual revenue generated by lottery sales soared past the $70 billion mark. Astoundingly, after taking into consideration the number of people playing the lottery and the total amount spent on lotteries in the year, the study found that the average American spends around $233.04 on lottery tickets every year.
It is needless for us to say that this amount has almost certainly increased since then. After all, even in 2017—just one year after the study—lottery sales increased yet again to over $73.5 billion. With these massive numbers being thrown around, you may wonder exactly how many lottery tickets are sold each year. In this article, we will answer that exact question by looking at four of the most popular international lotteries available today—two from America and two from Europe.
If you know anything about the lottery at all, then you know about the US Powerball. Originally named Lotto America, the game changed formats and was renamed Powerball in 1992. Since then, the lottery has grown to be a global phenomenon and created 384 jackpot winners who have had their lives changed by earth-shattering amounts.
With a record jackpot of $1.586 billion, it is no wonder that this lottery must sell a ridiculously large amount of ticket for each draw. However, you may be shocked to realise just how many tickets are sold in a single year. On the other hand, you may expect the number to be a lot higher.
Either way, from the data that we were able to collect, it appears that the number of Powerball tickets sold in a single year (2019 in the case of the information we collected) is 1,877,666,511 (or 1.8 billion). As we said, this may seem like a rather small amount. However, when you consider the fact that this equates to 3,572 tickets every minute of every day for 365 days of the year, then you realise how many tickets this actually is. You realise this, even more, when you see that this means 59 tickets were sold every second of the year leading to $3.75 billion in sales (at $2 per ticket).
As with the Powerball, Mega Millions has been around for a number of years and was first started back in 1996. Since then, the lottery has been responsible for 206 jackpot winners, including two jackpot winners that became millionaires within just the first three draws ever held by the lottery!
Also, like the Powerball, Mega Millions has had some rather spectacular jackpots—including a record jackpot of $1.537 billion. Amazingly, however, the sale of Mega Millions tickets does not quite equal those of the Powerball lottery. While the difference in the number of sales between the two lotteries is rather slight, Mega Millions is still a strong competitor in terms of lottery ticket sales.
Looking at the year 2019 again, Mega Millions managed to sell 1,480,538,245 (or 1.48 billion) tickets. This is around 2,817 tickets every minute or about 47 tickets every second—of the whole year! This massive amount of tickets relates to $2.96 billion worth of sales when considering that a single ticket costs $2.
EuroMillions began in 2004 when the lottery operators from the UK, France, and Spain joined forces to offer a great new lottery game. Less than ten months later, another six countries noticed the popularity of the game and joined in the party. With a record jackpot of €190 million (that in February 2020 was increased to an even sweeter €200 million), the game soon became a global phenomenon and is now played internationally. In total, the game has had 494 jackpot winners, four of whom won the full €190 amount.
What is more astounding than the rapid pace in which this lottery game grew, however, is the massive number of tickets that they manage to sell each year. EuroMillions far surpasses both the US Powerball and Mega Millions in terms of ticket sales and then goes even further. In 2019 alone, EuroMillions sold 10,809,487,394 (or 10.8 billion) tickets.
This staggering number of tickets means that almost 342 EuroMillions tickets were sold every single second of 2019—or 20,566 tickets a minute! At €2.50 per ticket, these sales amount to over €27 billion per year. It is no wonder then that EuroMillions can easily afford a jackpot of €190 million. What these sales do not explain, however, is why the jackpot is capped at this amount—especially when the American games do not have such arbitrary limits in place.
The UK Lotto is yet another excellent example of a lottery that grew massively to become a crowd favourite. The lottery as you know it now began in 1994 and only received its current name years later—in 2002. The lottery has run successfully since it opened and was thrust into the spotlight when all eyes turned to Europe with the advent of EuroMillions.
The largest jackpot on record for the UK Lotto is £66 million—a decent amount no matter how you look at it. Unlike EuroMillions, the annual ticket sales for this lottery are more in line with its American counterparts. However, the number of ticket sales for 2019 is still almost double those of the American lotteries—finishing at 3,850,058,120 (or 3.8 billion) tickets.
Using the same calculations as the other lotteries, this means that this lottery sold 122 lottery tickets for every one of the 31,536,000 seconds in 2019. At £2 per ticket, this means that the lottery made £7.7 billion worth of sales in the year.
When looking at just the four lotteries mentioned above, it is easy to see that there is a staggering amount of money that goes into lotteries on a daily basis. In fact, every second, there is a ridiculous number of lottery tickets that are purchased. This, however, is what keeps massive international lotteries alive and allows us all the chance to change our lives by buying a ticket that we hope will make us the next big jackpot winner.
All figures and statistics contained in this article are based on research conducted by using multiple sources that all came to the same general number of sales for the 2019 lottery year. However, all figures and statistics are estimates only, as the only exact figures are held by the lottery operator of each lottery and are not publicly available.