This page is a growing and evolving list dedicated to lottery terminology.
Additional Number (also called “Powerball or Thunderball”)
Allows lottery players to win additional prizes and is essential to complete the Jackpot winning numbers selection.
The Additional Number is picked from a new set of numbers, different and usually smaller amount from the initial set.
In the context of lottery, an agent is one who retails lottery. For example, the Agent for the U.K National Lottery is Camelot ltd.
When the jackpot is paid out in several installments instead of one lump sum. Different Lotteries have different rules with regards to payouts. Australian Powerball for example, offers a cash up front payment option as well as the annuity option.
When it comes to the lottery, a beneficiary would be the one who actually receives the proceeds of a lottery. This is the winner of the lottery in question.
When the lottery numbers match the drawn numbers with no special order.
Bonus Ball / Bonus Number
An additional number drawn after the main number’s in some lotteries, and helps winning lower tier prizes. See Additional Number for more information.
A cashing agent would essentially be an agent as mentioned above, with the added privilege of being able to cash winning lottery tickets.
The time & date by which all lottery claims for a particular lottery draw must be made. If you miss the claims deadline you lose any rights to your lottery prize. The usual deadline to claim your lottery prize is 180 days, however be sure to check with each lottery before you decide to wait and sit on your winnings.
Easy Pick is a scenario where the lottery machine by itself picks out lotto numbers on behalf of the player. This is randomized protocol and is often known as a ‘lucky dip’.
These are lotteries where the payouts as well as the winning criteria are clearly set. With any lottery with a fixed payout there will be no changes draw-to-draw in the winnings and payouts.
Incentives (relevant for retailers)
Incentives are rewards, almost entirely in the form of cash, which are given to lottery retailers for being a part of the system and assisting in generating sales, and as a result, profits. This incentive program works well as a way to ensure the correct people are paid. No retailer will receive their incentive for selling a winning ticket until that ticket has been claimed without dispute.
Jackpot is typically the top prize in any lottery. The jackpot amount of any lottery is usually the advertised sum.
A lotto game in which several numbers (typically 20) are drawn from a large field of numbers (typically 80).
Players select a set of numbers from the main field (usually a minimum of 3 numbers up to a maximum of 10 numbers) and are awarded prizes based on how many of their numbers match those in the drawn set.
Each lottery form has lines, in which the player fills in the chosen numbers. A single completed line gives the player the option to take part in the lottery. Most lotteries will require 5-6 numbers to be chosen to complete a line. The bonus/additional ball is part of every line.
This is also called a Lotto Club/Syndicate. This is a group of people who join together to purchase lottery tickets and share in the winnings. A lotto pool can be composed of several, dozens or hundreds of people. The most common types of Lotto pools are work colleagues, families and friends.
Randomly selected lottery numbers generated by a machine, also known as a Quick Pick in some games.
One of two additional numbers used in the Euro Millions lottery game. both of these numbers must be matched in addition to the main numbers in order to win the jackpot.
A multiplier is a number by which the drawn number is multiplied, in case it is among the chosen numbers for the lottery. So, if you choose 10 that proves to be the drawn lucky number in the lottery, which had a prize money of $1,000 if drawn; if your multiplier in this case was 16, your lottery winnings would in fact end up being $16,000.
The chances of winning a lottery game. Lottery odds are usually given in ‘ratio terminology’ such as 1:4500 would equate to odds of 1 out of every 4500. The odds for playing the lottery and winning the top jackpot in the UK National Lottery for example are 1:13,983,816 which is often referred to as 1 in 14 million.
Off Shore Wagering
Typically, this refers to wagers from US citizens, illegally accepted by wagering services located outside of the US.
The slip of paper you need to fill-in in order to buy tickets from a traditional lottery retailer. These aren’t required when you buy Lotto tickets online. For online lotteries the pay slip is digital.
RNG (random number generator)
This is a piece of software that is designed to generate random numbers.
These are numbers selected during an official lottery draw.
Rollover refers to a situation where the jackpot money remains uncollected, without any jackpot winners. In a situation where there are no jackpot winners for a lottery, the jackpot amount is “rolled over” and gets added to the jackpot amount of the next upcoming draw.
While it may seem like a mystical lottery term, Slingo is in fact nothing but a combination of slots and bingo.
A terminal is typically where lottery players can choose their game specific numbers, print out their tickets and also pay for their ticket, either directly through the terminal or in cash to the agent. Before you could play the lottery online, a terminal would be the place you go to pick and buy your desired lottery numbers.
Vault is the lottery distribution center from where lotteries are distributed ahead.
Withholding refers to the amount of money “withheld” from revenue generated by a specific lottery. This withheld money has been clearly earmarked and is usually an agreed upon figure determined before the Agent has been given a license to operate. This is meant for various social causes, or simply to be collected as tax.
These lottery terms are by no means complete, we are constantly adding more terms so be sure to check back in. We hope that they at least convey a good picture in terms of the general awareness that one needs to have about jargon relevant to the lottery industry.
If there are any terms that you feel we should include or, are not sufficiently explained, please get in touch with us via email firstname.lastname@example.org