Simple Lottery Alternative’s that are quick, easy and that you actually stand a chance of winning.

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.

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11 Responses to Simple Lottery Alternative’s that are quick, easy and that you actually stand a chance of winning.

  1. Slaps73 says:

    I would just like to say that when i do my Scoop 6 bet i always do a 10p e/w lucky 63 along with it then if those 5 winners pop up and the 6th loses i still know im in for a nice return…….takes a little bit of the pressure off. I have to say mind in all my years of doing the scoop 6 iv only had 5 and 1 place once and the funny bit about it was the scoop place paid about £30 but my lucky 63 paid over a grand. Also the benifit of the lucky 63 means i can watch all the races that are not shown on channel 4…………

  2. Murray says:

    Hi Paul I am impressed with your weekend football picks, can you please tell me how you pick your selections, or is there some sort of system,thanks

  3. richard firth says:

    we know its pie in the sky but so long as you do not over do it then its fine I hate the scoop 6 I have had 5 winners and a second about six times and more than that on the jackpot and allow you get a few quid back on the scoop I prefer the jackpot, say your last selection is beaten a short head its hard luck you do not get the £250,000 you get £250 pounds place that’s crap I had 8 places one time my selection in the derby went a bit lame and finished second I have won the jackpot 3 times and that now defunct super seven tote bet that’s the one I would back forget places do the placepot if you want but not me, I had nearly £18,000 for 5 out of 7 with 16 attempts on the super seven could not believe it I thought I would get £2,500 tops they should have made it a little bit more easy to pick selections on acca bets I had over £500 pounds going on man utd against man city they were completely outplayed but look at the state of man city since its a funny old game saint and that goes for everything

  4. Steve says:

    I actually won the scoop 6 way back in April 2000 when Paris Pike won the Scottish Grand National. Unfortunately so did 72 other people that day and all I got was just under £4500 including the place part. Mind you the last race was won by the 2nd Fav which I had done but there was around 200 people were on the Fav to win. Needless to say though I keep doing the Scoop 6 but have come no where near getting it up again. The nearest I’ve got is 5 placers. It’s like winning the lottery, probably only get it once. The following week’s bonus race I picked the 4th out of I think it only 10 runners and it was a long distant flat race and Nicky Henderson ran 2 horses in it and one was the outsider of the race and that one won and only one person picked it and won £380,000.00p. That’s my luck.
    Anyway getting on to football bets. Last season towards the end and now this season there are a few coupons about what I call fun coupons. I won £350 and £150 for a couple of quid last season on W Hills goal after 71 mins coupon. Also lately apart from the Both to Score coupons I do their Team to win and both to score coupon. You can get good odds for doing only four or five games and you can win a few hundred for just a £1. I’ve tried Ladbrokes last team to score as well but that seems more difficult. Although these bets are hard to predict you get a good spectrum over the 90 mins and it’s fun watching the bets take you on a roller coaster ride which is better than the 2 mins it takes for the lottery numbers to disappoint.

  5. Just to provide a bit of further clarification…

    Edge on accumulators actually multiplies up.

    eg say there is a bookie edge on a single of 10%
    if you put two such selections in a double
    then the bookie edge does not remain at 10%
    … it increases.

    In that example one would multiply 1.1 * 1.1
    to give 1.21
    or a 21% bookie edge.

    For a five fold the calc would would be
    1.1*1.1*1.1*1.1*1.1 =1.61

    That’s the simple maths that kills most mug punters in the shops.
    That’s why bookies love accumulators.
    Not really a strike rate issue..more so compounded bookmakers edge.

    The maths does work the other way of course as well
    ie if you have a 10% positive edge on each team in a five fold
    then punter edge multiplies up.

    But if restricting yourself to one single bookmaker as you must do in an accumulator,
    then finding such value selections is much easier said than done.

    A feasible line of attack is to identify several slightly ricky prices offered by a single bookmaker. Accumulator them and edge to you goes up if indeed they were a bit ricky.

    Most punters of course fill their accumulators based on teams not prices.
    Into the lottery zone then of possible big returns to small stake but with long term negative expectation of long term profit.

    Lottery style stuff..guess that is what Paul clearly stated this post is all about 🙂


    • paulr says:

      Thanks Mick,
      Using a odds comparison is a necessity for that reason.
      The actual edge is very difficult to quantify on bookmaker accas, and as you point out even when using the best combined odds, a few prices are likely to be not that great value. And of course you can’t bet them all at the best odds unless one firm is best price on all of them.
      What you can be sure about is that you’re relying on judgement as oppose to blind luck!

  6. will Freeman says:

    Hi Paul,

    I agree with what you say most weeks I will do acca’s on both teams to score between 6 and 8 matches can win anything between £40 and £160 have won a couple off times I am just as happy if I win the odd £70- £80 every now and again it still pays a bill off or 1 or 2 nights out. Yes I would love to win a big one but for most off us it doesn’t happen.
    Regards Will

  7. Graham says:

    Can you cope with the tension of a scoop 6 on horse racing – what can be worse than seeing the first 5 come up and then watch the last fail? Unless, of course, you can use a cash-out option. I prefer to place my scoop 6 or accumulators and then wait till all the races/matches are over before looking to see whether I’ve lost my £2.

  8. Dave says:

    All good in theory, but you’ve probably as much chance of winning the lottery as getting six selections in the Scoop or even one correct score guess! There’s a reason why bookmakers love people who do big accumulators.

    • paulr says:

      No the chances of a lottery number coming up are far less than either getting a winner in a scoop 6 race or picking a correct score. Rudimentary logic I know, but getting a number up is about a 1 in 50 (technically depending on if its the first ball or last, in which case its one in 45) chance, getting a winner in a horse race is about a 1 in 16 chance (or however many runners there are), as is a correct score (there are roughly around 16 scores that cover 99% of results) . Bottom line is there are far, far less outcomes in racing and correct scores, so the chances of getting 6 right is greater.

    • paulr says:

      Yep Bookies love accas, that is true. As they very often lose of course.
      However my point is that the edge the bookmakers have is typically around 15-20%, so you lose on average that amount. With the Lottery 55% is not returned to players.

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