Lotteries and Raffles and Jackpots, Oh My! | theLotter

Lotteries and Raffles and Jackpots, Oh My!

14 Apr 2016

Lottery raffle enthusiasm is growing and increasing all around the world, leaving some people who are new or yet unfamiliar with the difference between the two, wondering what it’s all about. How do you choose between a lottery and a raffle? How are they different? Or perhaps you already know the answer to these questions, but can’t decide which to choose? Here is the guide to the five main differences between raffles and lotteries, as well as a list of various options to choose from and help you pick what to play!

What is a Raffle?

According to Wikipedia, “A raffle is a [...] competition in which people obtain numbered tickets, each ticket having the chance of winning a prize. At a set time, the winners are drawn from a container holding a copy of every number. The drawn tickets are checked against a collection of prizes with numbers attached to them, and the holder of the ticket wins the prize. The raffle is a popular game in numerous countries and is often held to raise funds for a specific charity or event.”

The raffles we will be discussing in this article come in two forms:

Independent raffles – these games do not include number guessing, but the purchasing of tickets with codes. Examples include Loteria Nacional, Loteria de Navidad, and Loteria del Nino.

Raffles that accompany lotteries – these are raffles whose numbers are automatically printed on lottery tickets. Examples include Canada Lotto 6/49, EuroMillions & UK Millionaire Maker, and France EuroMillions & My Million.

5 Main Differences between a Lottery and a Raffle

Raffles often accompany ‘regular’ lotteries, though sometimes they offer better prizes than secondary prizes or even jackpots. Players love the idea of getting an extra shot at winning, especially when they don’t have to share the prize! So should you favour a raffle over a lottery, or a lottery over a raffle? Before you decide, here are five key differences to keep in mind.

1. Timeframe

Not all raffles are created equal. Some raffles, such as the Loteria de Navidad and Loteria del Nino, happen annually. Other raffles, such as the Loteria Nacional, happens one to twice a month. Raffles that accompany lotteries have a schedule that depends on their lotteries’ draws. In the chart below, you will find the list of independent raffles as well as their schedule.



Loteria Nacional

1-2 times a month

Loteria de Navidad

Every December

Loteria del Nino

Every January

2. Number of Tickets

Lotteries are never restricted by the ticket sales – people can buy millions of them if they wish to. Some raffles, however, are limited. A prime example of this is the Loteria Nacional Extra, who releases only 100,000 tickets. Granted, each ticket is copied 10 times and then split into 10 pieces, so 10 million tickets are available, but it’s still a finite amount.

3. Selecting Your Numbers

When you play the lottery, your number selection options are generally split into two; choose your own, or use the Quick Pick tool and have the machine pick for you. In raffles, however, you can’t choose – you play with the number you’re given.

Some games offer both of these options together, combining lottery playability with raffle randomimity. For example, Canada Lotto 6/49, EuroMillions & UK Millionaire Maker, and France, all fit both the “lottery” and the “raffle” category. Players pick the numbers they want to play, and receive a raffle number on their ticket on top of that.

4. Jackpot Growth

Most people don’t let it get to them if they don’t win the jackpot because rollovers are common, prizes grow, and they can always buy a ticket for the next draw. Raffles, however, do not offer such opportunities. Every ticket sold has a number printed on it, and the lucky owner of the correct ticket will be the one to win the raffle prize. Raffles and lotteries also often work together. A prime example of this is EuroMillions & UK Millionaire Maker, the British extension of EuroMillions. Every EuroMillions lottery ticket automatically carries a raffle number on it, and every draw produces a single £1 million winning number that can be won together with any lottery division prizes, including the jackpot!

When no player selects the winning numbers to get a jackpot, most lotteries allow the first prize to rollover and grow in size. The biggest jackpots in the history of mankind were created by long rollovers that let prize grow from a few million to over half a billion dollars! The number of people playing plays a factor as well; the more that play, the bigger the jackpot is, which is why long rollovers create bigger jackpot jumps – more people are interested. Raffle prizes, on the other hand, are always fixed. There is no rollover, and the amount of participants has no effect on the size of the jackpot. However, the odds of winning a raffle are significantly higher, which balances the pros and cons for both lotteries and raffles.

5. Raffles Always have a Jackpot Winner

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, lottery draws don’t always result in a jackpot winner, so there never is a guarantee that someone will be eligible to take the big prize home. The long rollovers create huge jackpots, such as in the case of the Italian SuperEnalotto. It took 7 months before someone correctly guessed all the numbers, making the first prize grow to a colossal €177.8 million before someone won! Such a thing is impossible when it comes to raffles, because raffles always have a guaranteed winner – the ticket that has the winning code printed on it.

One thing that both raffles and lotteries do have in common through is that multiple participants can “break” the jackpot. In lotteries, this happens when more than one person correctly guesses the numbers. In raffles, it occurs when the code appears on more than one ticket. The Christmas lottery, Loteria de Navidad, can assign the El Gordo jackpot to up to 10 different players, who then share it, each getting an equal part of the big prize. Sometimes people split it even more, such as the case of the Loteria de Navidad draw in 2011, when 10 prizes worth of shares ended up being split among the 1,800 residents of Grand Prix.

Billions of Reasons to Play Spanish Lotteries

The best know raffle around the world is the previously mentioned Spanish lottery – the Loteria de Navidad, which offers a prize pool of a whopping €2.24 billion! The second most popular lottery is the Loteria del Nino, which draws in the first week of every new year. Most recently, on 6 January 2016, Loteria del Nino had a prize pool of a whopping €630 million! As if the prize pool itself is not enough, the raffle itself is impressive in size, offers much diversity and a multitude of winners – did you know that one in every seven players is a winner?

While these lotteries do offer many great advantages, there is one disadvantage to take into account – their frequency. Loteria de Navidad is drawn only once a year, on Christmas. Loteria del Nino is a January draw. The rest of the year, neither of these lotteries offer any additional chances of winning prizes. Those wishing to have the opportunity to participate in mega raffles and win big prizes can do so in the Loteria Nacional. The Loteria Nacional draws once to twice a month, and every draw includes a different theme, different ticket colors, and different color schemes that please the eyes!

More Raffles!

In addition to the Spanish raffles, different local lotteries around the world offer different raffle prizes alongside the announcement of the winning number results. These raffle wins are granted on top of jackpot or secondary wins. View the chart below to see some of the most enticing raffle prizes in lottery games that are available on theLotter!


Next Draw



Spain EuroMillions


€1 million


EuroMillions & UK Millionaire Maker


£1 million

Tuesday, Friday

France EuroMillions & My Million


€1 million

Tuesday, Friday

Canada Lotto 6/49


CAD$1 million

Wednesday, Saturday

UK Lotto



Wednesday, Saturday

Super Raffles!

Every now and then, the world of lotteries and raffles has something special to offer – the super raffles! Players around the world participate in these, competing for not one, but several guaranteed prizes!

For example, EuroMillions & UK Millionaire Maker offers a super raffle on the last Friday of every month. Winners get the usual £1 million, and on top of that, prizes that include cars, cruises, around-the-world trips, and diamonds!

Canada Lotto 6/49 usually offers a CAD$1 million raffle prize with every draw, but during March 2015, a super raffle was held, and players could win prizes of CAD$100,000 and CAD$10,000 as well!

Play Lotteries and Raffles Online!

Now that you know what the main differences are between the two most common formats of lottery playing – lotteries and raffles – the only thing that’s left for you to choose is how you want to play! Don’t waste any time - play the Spanish lottery La Primitiva, EuroMillions, Powerball or any of your favourite lotteries now for your chance of celebrating the rest of your life as a lottery winner!

What is the best lottery game to play? Try a number of them and good luck!