Three alternatives to the Lottery - would you try them?

National Lottery stock

The changes to the National Lottery in the UK have put plenty of people off - as the odds of winning have become so remote that you've a better chance of being killed by your trousers than scooping the jackpot. Is has led plenty of people to wonder whether there may be a better alternative.

Hunting around for a different lottery to play isn't always straightforward. In some cases, other countries don't allow you to buy tickets for their lottery unless you are in the country at the time - and even then you'd have to pick the prize up in person too. In other cases, overseas players are banned altogether.

You do, however, have three other options.

1. Bet on the outcome of an overseas lottery

The most famous company in this space is It doesn't sell official lottery tickets, instead it lets you place a bet on a particular set of numbers coming up. The odds are the same as if you played the game itself, the prizes are the same, and the jackpots are the same too. Smaller prizes are paid out by the money Lottoland makes from taking the bets, while larger prizes are separately underwritten by insurance companies.

Because the company brings together so many international lotteries to bet on, it lets you compare them before you place a bet. Many of them, for example, ask you to pick 6 numbers out of 45 or out of 49, so you can compare the jackpots of each lottery with the same odds, to see which one has the best potential payout.

2. Gamble on Premium Bonds instead

This is the only gambling you can do in which you are always guaranteed to get your stake back. Your odds of winning a small prize are higher than winning one on the National Lottery (one in 26,000), although the odds of a big win are far lower. But the fact that you get your money back makes them a far better bet for most people.

If you don't win anything, the value of your investment will be eroded by inflation, but a one-time investment will get you an entry into the draw every single time, and even if you never win a penny, you'll still end up far better off than if you spent the lot on lottery tickets and lost.

3. Enter the free Postcode Lottery

Here you just have to sign up with your postcode. Then, every day, you'll get an email reminder to pop onto the site and see if you have won the main draw or any of the other smaller draws. At the moment the jackpot for the main draw is £200, but this rolls over on any day that it's not claimed, and has been as high as £800 in the past. The website founder has pledged to increase the prize as more people sign up.

Entering doesn't cost anything, because the prizes are paid for by the advertisers you see every time you check the site. As an added bonus, the site won't sell your details onto any third parties either, so there really is no cost involved in having a flutter.

But what do you think? Are you wedded to the National Lottery? Are you hunting for an alternative, or would you rather invest your time and money in something more rewarding? Let us know in the comments.

Biggest UK lottery winners
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Three alternatives to the Lottery - would you try them?

Colin and Chris Weir, from Largs in Ayrshire scooped 161 million in the EuroMillions draw after several rollovers in 2011. They are the biggest British lottery winners in history.

Adrian Bayford, who won an astonishing £148m on the Euromillions with his wife Gillian, had to shut up the music shop he owns, because people targeted it with requests for money.
One British ticket won  £113,019,926 in October 2010 but decided not to go public.
Car mechanic and racing driver Neil Trotter scooped a staggering £107.9 million jackpot on the Euromillions lottery in March 2014.
Dave and Angela Dawes won £101 million on the EuroMillions in 2011. It was only the third time the couple, from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, had played the lottery. The couple are said to have since split up.
The sum was won in May 2010 but the winner kept their identity a secret.
One lucky British ticket-holder picked up a £81million EuroMillions rollover but remained anonymous.

Nigel Page and Justine Laycock from Cirencester bagged a £56 million jackpot back in February 2011. On winning the jackpot, Page said: 'I'd already checked my National Lottery account and had seen I'd won £55 on Lotto when I decided to buy two Lucky Dips for the big EuroMillions jackpot on Friday.'

One lucky winner won shy of 50 million but chose to remain anonymous.

Les and Sam Scadding from Newport, South Wales, and a syndicate of seven Liverpudlian call-centre workers shared a staggering £91 million in November 2009. Les, an unemployed mechanic, was £68 overdrawn on the day he bought his ticket, while the Liverpool syndicate only started playing EuroMillions together four months before their win.

Carrington, 22, from Stapleford in Nottingham, banked £45 million after matching all five numbers and two Lucky Stars in a EuroMillions draw in February 2012. The Iceland supervisor said she planned to marry painter fiancee Matt Topham, 22, following the Lucky Dip win.

Husband and wife Gareth and Catherine Bull have fairly modest spending plans despite their £40.6 million jackpot win in January. Speaking about what she planned to do now that she was rich, Catherine explained that she intended to use part of their winnings to replace the carpet on her upstairs landing...

Angela Kelly became one of the biggest lottery winners in UK history back in 2007, after scooping a £35 million EuroMillions jackpot. This is estimated to earn £5,000 a day in interest alone, meaning she's unlikely to ever be short of cash.

In June 2009, 74-year-old Brian Caswell got the surprise of his life when he took his lottery ticket to his local newsagent and discovered he'd won almost £25 million.

Belfast housewife Iris Jeffrey, 58, was the lucky holder of the record 20.1 million rollover lottery winning ticket back in 2004.

Jeffrey, 58, a cancer sufferer, only realised three weeks after the draw took place that she had won the  jackpot after organisers Camelot pleaded for the person holding the prize ticket to come forward and claim the prize.

Stephen Smith and his wife Ida from Hemel Hempstead, Herts, won nearly 19 million in the National Lottery. Mr Smith said he would give up his winnings if he could have his health and the chance to live a longer life with his wife.

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