The best Australian lotto games to play if you want to minimise your losses

Wouldn’t it be nice though?

An online simulator which lets you run a range of scenarios across Australian lottery games Oz Lotto, Gold Lotto and Powerball delivers one predictable result: you’re giving your money away.

“Obnubilate” posted the simulator on Reddit under “I coded a simple lottery simulator for OzLotto, GoldLotto and Powerball”. The software developer from Queensland told us he took “just over a week’s worth of lunchbreaks and other small timeslots grabbed here and there” to pull it together.

“I saw a US lottery simulator and I thought it would be a good exercise in JS to do an Aussie version,” he said. “I think we all know on a subconscious level how unlikely we are to actually win a lottery jackpot, but seeing the numbers run like this really brings it home. You get a much more definite impression of exactly how you are throwing your money away.”

But if you insist on playing, there’s some benefit to be had according to the number of games and which version of lotto you choose.

You can play with it yourself here, but we’ve done some of the hard yards for you below by running it over 10 years (520 games).

The one thing to remember is this is a purely analytical engine, so chance has been taken out of the equation. For example, don’t expect any prize with odds greater than 520:1 to have popped up, because we didn’t play any more than 520 games.

If you want the best by-the-numbers breakdown of when to buy a ticket, you should read this. (Although Sam Ro has an excellent “feel good” rationale for chipping in for big jackpots.)

In a nutshell, Obnubilate’s simulator shows you that whichever way you slice it, you’ll come out down. How much you’ll lose depends on how much you chip in, so playing more games logically equates to bigger losses.

But there is one game that stands out from the three as being kinder on your pocket – Gold Lotto won’t pay out anywhere near as much as Oz Lotto, yet the wins are bigger and therefore, you’ll lose much, much less.

Here’s the breakdown from 520 games across the five popular number combinations, which will set you back between $8.50 for eight chances to $46 for 50 chances:

  • Oz Lotto – 1707 wins, -$56,788.75
  • Powerball – 928 wins, -$48,671.80
  • Gold Lotto – 1093 wins, -$30,438.70

And here’s the results from all the games, ranked from what you’ll lose most on to what you’ll lose least on:

Oz Lotto, 50 games

Net gain: -$20,810.30

Powerball, 50 games

Net gain: -$17,278.75

Oz Lotto, 36 games

Net gain: -$13,649.90

Powerball, 36 games

Net gain: -$12,474.50

Gold Lotto, 50 games

Net gain: -$10,931.85

Oz Lotto, 24 games

Net gain: -$9897.55

Powerball, 24 games

Net gain: -$8858.70

Gold Lotto, 36 games

Net gain: -$7876.05

Oz Lotto, 18 games

Net gain: $-7626.20

Powerball, 18 games

Net gain: -$6116.65

Gold Lotto, 24 games

Net gain: -$5248.10

Oz Lotto, 12 games

Net gain: -$4804.80

Powerball, 12 games

Net gain: -$3943.20

Gold Lotto, 18 games

Net gain: -$3905.40

Gold Lotto, 12 games

Net gain: -$2477.30

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