This morning I was woken to the breakfast news that £1 million Lottery players play the lottery by direct debit. The price is doubling and hence their direct debits will be ending unless they agree to the new price. As far as I’m concerned playing the lottery is the straight up equivalent of throwing your money down the drain – I consider 1 in 14 Million – which is the chance of getting all 6 numbers – to be as close to zero it may as well be zero.
So to me this represents a good opportunity for those 1 million players on direct debits and the umpteen million others to re-evaluate their gambling.
And moreover so little of the betting pool actually goes back to players in winnings (45%) that it actually makes it the WORST from of gambling – value wise, that there is in the UK.
So without further ado, I’m looking at some alternatives to playing the lottery, that are actually fun, involve a level of skill (although can still be played without it) , that represent FAR greater value than the lottery, AND that you actually stand a chance of winning.
Tote Scoop 6
With the price of the lottery now £2 – its now the same price as the Scoop 6, and I think this is a great opportunity for horse racing to gain some Scoop players and hopefully horse racing fans. The Scoop 6 is racing’s equivalent to the National Lottery (or Lotto).
Instead of 6 random numbers you simply try and pick the winner of 6 horse races, and you can do this using a lottery style slip as shown here.
If you compare what you’re actually trying to do with the lottery in terms of horse racing you’d be trying to pick the winner of 6 races that had 50,49,48,47,46, or 45 runners and where all horses were equal – no wonder the chances are 14 million to 1!!
The most runners you’re likely to get in a Scoop 6 race is around 16 and being a real horse race some will have much better chances of winning and you can apply some skill (should you choose to) to pick your six selections. What’s more if they run well and finish placed then your bet is still alive as there’s a place fund to be won also.
So here is a bet that involves skill as oppose to random luck, costs the same as the lottery, that will provide up to a whole afternoon’s worth of suspense watching the races involved unfold (usually races shown live on Channel 4), yet still provides life changing wins.
The average win payout for all 6 winners is £86000, but the biggest payouts were over 2 Million for the win fund and over 3.5M for the win and bonus. (The bonus is awarded if getting all 6 then picking the winner again in a nominated race the following weekend).
70% of the funds are returned to players with the Scoop 6, making it far better value than the lottery – and for me a very worthy alternative.
This is my own personal favourite. With accumulators you simply pick a number of selections be it horses, football teams, correct scores or whatever, and roll them together in one big acca. They all have to come in for you to win. Doing this gives you the ultimate control over the odds you bet at the chances of it happening and your potential return.
A simple method I like to use to to just go through all of the Premier League matches each weekend and pick what team I think will win (or the draw) for each match. This normally doesn’t actually equate to odds that are anything like the Scoop 6 or Lottery, but I still stand to win a handsome sum, and in contrast to the two mentioned I actually think that I stand a good chance of winning this one day.
So here’s what I do.
I go to oddschecker and load up the weekend Premier League games:
All I’m now going to do is pick the result of each match – home win, draw or away win for al of the weekends matches by clicking the “add to basket” button as shown.
Once thats done you click Bet Basket to bring up the combined odds of your selections with the range of bookmakers – this is great because it ensures you’ll be betting at the best odds available, and hence the best value.
There tends to be at least one shock result in the Premier League each week and I tend to try and find it and this increases my overall odds, above I went through all matches (without much thought it has to be said!) to show the combined odds which in this case were just over 4000/1, so a win to a £2 stake would net me 8 grand. To place the bet you simply click the quick bet function or use the coupons within the bookmaker sites directly, its quite a straightforward thing to do and of course you can also do this over the counter in any high street bookies – although be aware that the prices are worse in the high street, even within the same firm.
£8000 is not a lottery win but still I’d be happy. Moreover picking a result from three possible outcomes is much more realistic than finding the winner of 6 consecutive horse races, it’ll give you a bit of excitement over the weekend and as I said I reckon a skilled individual stands a decent chance of landing this bet if they stick at it.
If you still cant get your head around betting to win a few thousand as oppose to a sum that would pay off your mortgage then instead of picking teams, pick correct scores.
If you do correct scores though dont try and pick ten results – I did this as an example with WillHill:
I’ve got 10 correct scores in this accumulator and the odds are astronomical.
I think the long number is twenty-one Billion something. But before you get notions of buying land on the moon, consider bookmaker payout restrictions – I’m pretty sure Hills for example limit payouts at £500k, others may be more/less. So dont taylor your bets so that you’d stand to win more than that otherwise you’re wasting you’re stakes.
Below I’ve trimmed the bet to just 5 correct scores:
Now you can see my £2 stake would net me a tasty £127k.
Ok so that’s all on the Lottery.
I hope you can see that not only can you give yourself a much more realistic chance of landing a big win by ditching the lottery but you’ll also be able to call upon a little skill or knowledge and get much more fun out of the process.
ps. What’s your “lottery alternative”? Feel free to post your comments, advice or weekend bets below.