Lotteries Around the World: Which Countries Have the Best Ones?

Lotteries Around the World: Which Countries Have the Best Ones?

They’re slips of paper that could change your life forever. Since the days of the Han Dynasty in Ancient China, lotteries have captured our imaginations. The idea is this – spend a dollar or two, and you might not have to worry about money again.

In the modern era, these prizes have become legendary, as they offer payouts that can soar into the nine figures. And thanks to the miracles of the internet, you can now participate in the richest lotteries in the world.

So which national lotteries allow players from abroad? In today’s post, we’ll highlight the places with some of the world’s biggest prize pools. Let’s get started.

United States

We can’t discuss global lotteries without addressing the elephant in the room – America. The United States does everything BIG, lotto jackpots included. This country’s mega lotteries – Mega Millions, Powerball, and others – dominate the top prize pool standings.

But out of all the records American lottos own, the largest single win in world history is their most impressive. On October 23, 2018, a single winner took down an after-tax win of 877.8 million USD – that’s nearly a billion dollars!    

As you can see, American lottery tickets offer jackpots that are absolutely massive. Because of this, you’ll find countless sites selling them. So, before diving in, take a look at review sites like Lotto Analyst first. This way, you’ll be able to sort out the trustworthy sites from the shady ones.


While American lottos hold many lottery-related records, they don’t own the title of “biggest jackpot ever”. That honor belongs to Spain’s El Gordo (officially Lotería de Navidad) – in 2019, the lottery had a prize pool of 2.38 billion EUR, or 2.87 billion USD.

However, El Gordo is run far differently than your average American lottery. For starters, El Gordo is a special draw, run once during the holiday season. Secondly, the national lottery sells these tickets in series of five numbers. Each combo has an issue of 170 tickets each. So, on El Gordo draw night, when  the presenters draw a number, a single person doesn’t win – many do.

Draw night happens a few nights before Christmas. And it is a spectacle, in every sense of the world. Schoolchildren read out the numbers from a cage containing thousands of balls. In addition to a single number winning the El Gordo (the top prize), twelve other number share sizable prizes (thousands to millions of EUR). La Pedrea, the consolation prize with the greatest chance of winning (1:56), offers a 5x return-on-investment – not bad!

And on top of all this, you can also play EuroMillions in Spain. In this lottery, jackpots can climb into the hundreds of millions of Euros.    


Outside America and the EU, prize pools get tamer. But in Canada, their national lotteries still offer some pretty big jackpots. In 2020, several people were lucky enough to each win the top Lotto Max prize of 70 million CAD – their biggest payouts ever.

So, keep your eye on these jackpots (and others) – and jump on them when things get crazy!

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