Lotteries ‘Down Under’
Most people when they think of Australia have visions of kangaroos, dingoes, the platypus and many exotic animals indigenous to the country. Founded by British convicts the former British colony is a diverse society and many of the oldest families proudly trace their ancestry directly to a convict deported to Australia hundreds of years ago. Australians are a friendly outgoing people who are fond of a good time and love their beer. Australians are some of the most democratic people in the world and have a limited tolerance for snobbery and arrogance. They are also fond of lotteries and millions play regularly. The nation is home to several state and territorial lotteries.
Probably the most well known lottery in Australia is the ‘Oz’ lotto. Oz lotto is a national lottery and drawings are held each Tuesday. It is Australia’s first national lottery and was launched in 1994. Oz lotto holds the country’s record for the largest lottery jackpot ever won in Australia. On June 30th 2009 two lucky Oz Lotto winners shared a $106,549,984.76 jackpot. Players must select seven numbers from 1 through 45 and tickets for each game cost $1.
Powerball is a popular game modeled after the American lottery game of the same name. Australian Powerball was launched in 1996 and draws take place on Thursday nights. Players select five numbers from 1 through 45 and a Powerball number from the same numerical range. To date Powerball’s largest jackpot was $80 million dollars won on July 30th 2009.
Keno games are run by two private lottery administrators, South Australian Lotteries and Intralot. SA Lottery’s Keno games take place every 3.5 minutes and draws are closed 40 seconds before each draw. For lucky players who match all 10 numbers the jackpot is $1 million dollars. The Intralot keno games take place in Victoria and Tasmania and draws take place every evening at 8:00pm (Melbourne time). Minimum jackpots are $1 million dollars.
Saturday Lotto is a national game played in all States and Territories. Draws take place every Saturday night. Depending on the state or territory the Saturday games are known as Tattslotto, Gold Lotto, X Lotto, and Lotto and Saturday Lotto. This is one of the oldest lottery games anywhere and the first draw took place on June 24th 1972. The top prize of $4 million is typically shared by multiple players and ‘superdraws’ take place about seven times a year and have jackpots range in the $20 to 30 million dollar range.
Monday & Wednesday Lotto are played everywhere except Queensland and the first draw was way back in 1979. Jackpots range between $1 and $5 million. Australian lottery players may purchase online lottery tickets for any of the lotteries and can also check current lottery results on the official lottery websites. In addition players ‘down under’ can purchase lotto tickets for foreign lotteries such as El Gordo, Euromillions, the UK National Lottery and many others. Aussies love their lotteries and play often. Players in the remote outback with an internet connection can buy their lotto tickets online without have to drive great distances to the nearest lottery retailer. It would appear that Australians love lotteries as much as their famous beer!
By Anthony Wayne
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