Playing Foreign Lotteries from the US Online

November 28, 2019 Jessica Whitehouse

The online lottery is gaining in popularity, as folks in the US can quickly and easily purchase lotto tickets from safe and secure websites from any device connected to the internet. But the options go beyond local lotteries, with many foreign lotto tickets available for online purchase as well. Combined with the benefits offered exclusively by online lottery websites, like comp points and discounts on buying multiple tickets, avid lotto bettors can bet more for less. That’s not offered by any local convenience stores or gas stations, which are the traditional retailers of lottery tickets.

The numbers for the EuroMillions lottery checked online by someone with two physical tickets.

It’s easy to play EuroMillions and other foreign lotteries online © Wikimedia Commons

However, playing the foreign lotto requires a bigger fee than buying a US online lottery ticket. Further, buying in-person from a local retailer means skipping those fees altogether. Here’s everything to know about playing a foreign lottery online, and which have the biggest payouts or the best chances of winning.

How to Play a Foreign Lottery Online

When deciding between the different foreign lottery ticket buying websites, it’s a good idea to think of them like online casinos. Research public testimonials from past customers. Browse expert reviews. Do as much as possible to make sure the company is legitimate and among the best options. Look for third-party regulations and licenses, low purchasing fees, and a strong reputation for paying out wins without disputes.

Once the strongest foreign lottery services are identified, browse the offers, like loyalty points; special promotions; and buy X number of tickets, get X more for free; and so on. It’s also important to see what lotteries they offer. For example, one site might have the EuroMillions and the UK Lottery, while others will have practically every lottery on earth both foreign and domestic.

What’s more, additional real-money betting games might also be available, like scratch-offs, prize raffles, Keno, and more. These days, the competition is fierce among online betting websites, and one way to stand out is to provide as many options as possible. All should be considered when deciding on where to risk your money for a potential payday.

Foreign Lotteries with the Biggest Jackpots

No place on earth has bigger jackpot lotteries than the United States. If the goal is to play for the highest win possible no matter the odds, there’s no reason to play a foreign lottery online. This is largely due to the fact that European lotteries have maximum jackpots, like the €190 million cap on EuroMillions.

However, lottery wins across the pond are pretty much tax-free, meaning the ticket-holder gets to keep nearly every cent of the winnings. If the ticket is purchased in the US, however, the website will likely take a portion of the winnings as stipulated in their terms and conditions.

With that being said, the world record biggest lottery win was over $1.5 billion, which came down to $983.5 million after taxes. That take-home amount is nearly 5x larger than the biggest possible Euro jackpot. In fact, the biggest jackpot win outside of the US was $208.2 million, which is lower than the 37th biggest after-taxes jackpot win in the US.

To reiterate, if the sole reason to buy a lottery ticket is to win the largest jackpot, buy American.

Foreign Lotteries with the Best Odds to Win

There are two things to consider when choosing an online lottery ticket for its odds:

  • The likelihood of winning the jackpot.
  • The chances of winning any prize at all.

Various websites will display a list of the best odds and biggest jackpots. It’s tough to give specific recommendations, as the odds change day-to-day. However, here are some popular choices: El Gordo, the biggest jackpot lottery of Spain, offers a total jackpot of over $2 billion. However, it’s split between several winners, and the drawing is once per year. Specific numbers are also only available at specific retailers, an odd concept (compared to other lotteries) that has many players located in Spain buying tickets online rather than traveling across the country to play their numbers. But the chances of getting a life-changing payout in the tens of thousands (all the way up to hundreds of millions) are likely the best in the world.

On the flip side, the EuroMillions can boast odds as low as 1 in 13 for receiving at least some sort of payout. While it may be just a few Euros, it can result in a profit on the ticket purchase. In some cases, the lowest prize is simply a refund of your ticket. Since an American player would need to pay a fee for a foreign ticket, that would simply mean minimizing the loss. It’s worth it in the long-run to spend the time weighing the odds against the purpose of buying a lottery ticket. The options are what truly set foreign online lottery websites apart from the convenience store, after all.

Back to top