Thanks to the advent of web lottery portals and their widespread accessibility throughout South Africa, lottery enthusiasts based in South Africa are no longer restricted to South African lottery games. Suppose you live in South Africa and like playing the lottery with the hopes of one day winning the jackpot and retiring in style. In that case, you can cast a wider net to catch the elusive jackpot by playing top international lotteries from all around the world.
On this page, we are glad to offer insight into how you can play international lotteries while based in South Africa. We will look at some of the best online lottery websites for South African players and ways in which you can purchase tickets for international lottery games. In addition, we will touch upon some of the most frequently asked questions with regard to playing international lottery games. To start with, let us first look briefly at the 12 top international lotteries open to South African players.
The Best Lotto Websites to Play International Lotteries
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The US Powerball is considered the King of international lotteries. The reason for this title is that this is the number 1 lottery anywhere in the world in terms of the value of the highest jackpot prize. The US Powerball is also famous for having paid out the biggest-ever lottery jackpot prize in history till date.
The US Powerball was launched in 1992 and is open to Americans as well as players from other countries. The US Powerball is run by the Multi-State Lottery Association, which is a merger of various state-level lottery commissions.
Participants need to pick five main numbers from 1 – 69 and 1 special number called the Powerball from a range of 1 – 26. The main numbers are drawn from one drum, while the PowerBall is drawn from a separate drum. To win the top prize, the winning ticket needs to match all five main numbers and the Powerball number.
The draw takes place twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The draw is telecasted live from the venue, which is Universal Studios in Orlando. The odds of winning the grand prize in the US Powerball are 1 in 292,201,338.
The EuroMillions, as the name suggests, is a pan-European lottery. It has shot to fame worldwide despite being one of the newer lotteries launched in 2004. The lottery was first drafted as a result of a merger between the national lottery associations of France, Spain and the United Kingdom. Eventually, other European nations such as Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland also jumped on board.
Participants can buy tickets to play the EuroMillions in any of these countries, and South African players can buy EuroMillions tickets online. One of the main reasons that the EuroMillions lottery is the choice of many players around the world is because it offers the best odds of winning the jackpot prize while still offering a jackpot value comparable to other big hitters such as US Powerball and Mega Millions. Spain EuroMillions is among the most popular internationally recognized lotteries worldwide.
Players need to choose 5 main numbers from 1 – 50 and one lucky star number from 1 – 12. The draw takes place twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays in Paris. The odds of winning the top prize are 1 in 139,838,160.
The Mega Millions lottery is the world’s second-biggest lottery in terms of jackpot value offered and is second only to the US Powerball. Like the US Powerball, the Mega Millions is also an American lottery which is open to players from other parts of the world as well, including South Africa.
The Mega Millions has a history that dates back to 1996 when it was called ‘The Big Game’. Currently, the Mega Millions lottery is available in 45 states of the US and is one of the most popular lottery games not only in the US, but the world. The Mega Millions draw takes place two times a week on Tuesdays and Fridays and it is telecasted live from the studios of WSB – TV in Atlanta, Georgia.
Players need to pick five main numbers from 1 – 70 and one special number called the gold mega ball number from a range of 1 – 25. The ticket that matches all main numbers and the special number wins the top-tier jackpot prize. The odds of winning the jackpot prize when playing the Mega Millions is 1 in 302,575,350.
One might mistake the Italian SuperEnalotto for being an Irish lotto due to its four-leaf clover logo that symbolizes good luck. The Italian SuperEnalotto is easily one of the world’s highest-paying lottery games, and also one of the biggest in terms of the number of participants it attracts every draw.
The Italian Lotto offers a minimum guaranteed jackpot of €2 million. The jackpot can grow as high as €100 million depending on how many tickets are purchased. This is one of the oldest lottery games in the world, which dates back to the 1950s. If the jackpot is not won, the jackpot money is rolled over to the next draw.
Participants need to choose 6 main numbers from a range of 1 to 90. They can choose to enable the SuperStar option if they wish to. The SuperStar entry comes at an added cost but offers much better odds of winning a high-value prize. The SuperStar number is also picked from a range of 1 – 90.
This lottery also offers an instant prize which you may win as soon as you purchase the ticket, you don’t need to wait for the draw. The draw takes place in Rome and it happens thrice a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The odds of winning the SuperEnalotto jackpot are 1 in 622,614,630.
The French Lotto is the flagship lottery game in France and is popular in other parts of the world too. South African players interested in playing the French Lotto can do so via online lottery purchasing websites. The French Lotto is said to attract over 15 million players every week. Currently, the official website is only available in French, but third-party English lottery sites offer French Lotto tickets to South African players. The French Lotto is really popular for its simplicity and the fact that the draw takes place thrice a week. Players are to pick five main numbers from 1 – 49 and one main number from 1 – 10. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 19,068,840.
For those interested in playing the German Lotto, you must know that in Germany Lotto is known as Lotto 6 aus 49, which translates to 6 out of 49. In this game, players must pick 6 numbers ranging from 1-49. In addition, they will also need to pick an additional number known as the Super Number from 0-9. The 6 aus 49 is without a doubt the most popular lottery game in Germany and for foreign players from South Africa.
Australian Oz Lotto
The OZ Lotto is one of Australia's two main lottery games, the other being the Australian Powerball. The draw for the OZ Lotto takes place every Tuesday. Players can pick seven numbers from 1 – 45 in order to wait prizes depending on how many numbers they match. Apart from the top jackpot prize, there are six other prize divisions. The jackpot is won if you match all seven numbers and it is a guaranteed minimum of $2 million, which can grow as large as $100 million.
Powerball is Australia’s biggest national lottery game in terms of the prize pool and participants playing every week. Playing the Australian Powerball is easy. You need to pick seven numbers from a range of 1 to 53 and one Powerball number from a range of 1 – 20. The top division prize is awarded to tickets that match all seven main numbers and the Powerball number. The minimum guaranteed jackpot is $3 million, but it can grow as large as $150 million or even higher. The draw takes place once a week on Thursdays. There is a total of 9 prize divisions up for grabs, the jackpot being the Division 1 prize.
Canada Lotto 649
The flagship lottery game in Canada is known as Lotto 6/49. The lotto is named so as to indicate that players need to choose 6 numbers from 1 – 49. The Lotto 6/49 first occurred in 1982. In the early days, the tickets would already have preprinted numbers, but the later renditions changed it to allow players to pick their own 6 lucky numbers. The draw happens twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The ticket which matches all 6 numbers is guaranteed a minimum jackpot prize of $5 million. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 13,983,816. South African players are welcome to play the Canada Lotto 649.
New Zealand’s national operator is Lotto NZ. It includes multiple games such as the Lotto, Powerball, Strike, Keno, Bullseye and Instant Kiwi. The flagship game is the Lotto and also offers the biggest wins of the lot. Participants need to pick six numbers from 1 to 40 to make one line on the ticket. A minimum of 4 lines are required to enter a draw. If all 6 numbers are matched, the division 1 top prize is awarded. The games of Strike and Powerball are add-on games that can be enabled at extra cost to the player and offers bigger wins. Play the New Zealand Powerball if you are looking to cash in on bigger wins.
Lotto India is popular amongst players from around the world, especially in South Africa, because tickets are quite inexpensive compared to European or American lottery games, but the jackpot prizes are still quite large being as there are so many players participating in each draw. The odds of winning the jackpot prize of 4 crore Indian Rupees (ZAR 7,571,036). Your overall odds of winning any prize is 1 in 3 and the overall odds of winning a free bet bonus is 1 in 5.
Lotto Namibia is all set to become the next biggest thing in the world of international lotteries, thanks to the passing of the Lotteries Act of 2012. The Namibian government has sanctioned a lottery game with which they want to raise funds for charities. The two main existing games to Lotto Namibia are both scratch card games. These are called Lotto + and Treasure Island. A more traditional lucky number-styled lottery is said to be in the pipeline and is expected to be launched sooner rather than later.
How to Purchase International Lottery Tickets from South Africa
South African players can play all of the above-mentioned global international lottery games and more without leaving South Africa, or even their own homes. If you are interested in taking part in international lotteries, follow these steps:
- Setup a payment method: Since you are playing online, you will need to have a payment method setup in order to pay for your tickets online. For this purpose, we recommend that you use a Visa debit card with international usage enabled. The reason we recommend Visa is because virtually every online lottery website will support it.
- Go to top lottery sites: Now that you have the payment method setup, you can visit leading lottery websites which offer services to South African players. Some examples are – The Lotter, Lotto Send, Agent Lotto, Win Trillions and Giant Lottos. You can check out our lottery site reviews to decide which option most suits your needs.
- Pick which lottery you want to play and choose your numbers: Choose the lottery game that you are interested in playing and proceed to pick your lottery numbers on the ticket. You can choose lucky numbers manually or you can use the quick pick option where the website will randomly pick your numbers for you.
- Sign up for an account: After you pick your numbers, and before you checkout and pay for your ticket, the website will ask you to register for an account. Fill out the registration form and sign up for an account, it is an easy process and takes only a couple of minutes to complete. Once your account is created, you can proceed to checkout and confirm your entry to the lottery game.
These top lottery sites will also offer lottery syndicates which is a great way for players to boost their odds of winning a prize. When you play a lottery syndicate, you basically play as part of a larger team of players in an agreement that if any of the players win, the win is split amongst everyone in the syndicate.
The lottery agent websites will also offer bundle options where players can either enter multiple lottery games or multiple consecutive draws of the same lottery all at once by picking their numbers in advance. Such bundles are usually available at a lesser cost than what it would cost to buy each entry individually.
Top Sites to Purchase International Lotto Tickets
This is arguably the number 1 lottery site available for South African players at this time. It was launched in 2002 and has paid out more than $100 million in prizes to over 6 million winners so far. It offers all the top international lotteries, scratch cards and even raffles.
Lotto Send is another popular and trusted online lottery service that offers top lotteries to South African players along with some great bonus offers. New members who buy a ticket are eligible to get another one free. Apart from playing the best lotteries around the world, players can easily pull up international lottery results using the Lotto Send dashboard.
Agent Lotto is a favourite among several South African players for its low commission charges. To date, Agent Lotto has created some 7,477,020 winners worldwide through their platform. The Agent Lotto customer support is impressive in terms of how quickly they respond to the efficacy of their resolutions.
The drawback with Win Trillions is that they charge some of the highest fees compared to other lottery agent websites. On the plus side, they have some of the best promotions and offers. When you play at Win Trillions, you can only play as part of a syndicate.
Giant Lottos has one of the easiest to use user-interfaces. Picking numbers, making payments and entering lotteries are easy and quick. Giant Lottos is an overall great choice for purchasing lottery tickets. Players can use a variety of payment options, including Visa, Mastercard, Skrill, Neteller and EasyEFT.
Jackpot.com is a lottery betting site and not a lottery agent. This essentially means that participants will bet on the outcome of a lottery game instead of directly participating in the lottery game by purchasing a ticket. Jackpot.com will effectively play the role of a bookmaker in this context.
What Payment Methods Can I use to Purchase International Lottery Tickets?
The payment methods you may use to purchase international lottery tickets will depend on which lottery agent or lottery betting website you use. Different websites will support different payment methods. We recommend using a Visa debit card as this is the most widely supported across virtually all international lottery purchasing websites. Some of the other commonly supported payment methods include – Mastercard, Maestro, Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, EasyEFT, Bank Wire Transfer and in some cases, even cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoins, Litecoins, Ethereum, etc.
Taxation of International Lottery Winnings in South Africa
When you play international lotteries through South Africa, the question of whether you will be taxed on your winnings or not will depend on which international lottery game you are playing. In South Africa, lotto prizes are not taxed since these winnings are considered capital in nature which is exempted from income tax. However, if you are playing a lottery game from a country where lottery winnings are taxed, then you will be taxed accordingly. Therefore, you will need to check the laws of the country in which the lottery game is being hosted to understand whether you will be taxed on winnings and if so, how much. If you are looking for a national lottery check out our guide to lotto & lotto plus national lotteries as well as the South African daily lotto.
Pros and Cons of Playing the International Lottery
- The top international lotteries offer much bigger prizes and jackpots than SA Lotto and local lottery games
- Online lottery agents and lottery betting sites allow SA players to buy tickets from the comfort of their own homes
- If you win, the lottery website will usually notify you so that you don’t miss out on cashing in a winning ticket
- The lottery website will also assist you in the process of claiming your winnings
- You can play many international lotteries together using bundles options
- You can increase your chances of winning dramatically by using syndicate features
- Most lottery website offering international lottery games will offer special promotions and bonuses that you can profit from
- You can view lottery results on the website for the latest draws as well as past draws
- Lottery websites will charge you an extra commission to buy the tickets for international lottery games on your behalf
- If you win a high-value prize, you may have to travel to the origin country of the lottery to claim the prize in person
- The odds of winning any lottery game are stacked against you
- You cannot pay with cash for your ticket
How will I find out if I win the international lottery?
When you play an international lottery game, you will do so through an online lottery agent website. If you have the winning numbers, the lottery website will generally notify you via email and SMS. You can also manually check the draw results and see the winning numbers on the lottery agent website right after the results are announced.
What is the best site to buy international lottery tickets?
There are various online lottery websites that offer players international lottery tickets. The best site would depend on certain individual requirements and factors such as the lottery game they wish to play, what sort of promotions they like, the payment methods available, etc. Therefore, the best lottery site for one person may not necessarily be the best lottery site for another. We recommend lottery agent websites such as The Lotter, Lotto Agent and Giant Lottos.
How can I buy international lottery tickets?
The best option for South African players looking to buy tickets to international lottery games without actually visiting the country which hosts the lottery game is online lottery purchasing websites. You can buy tickets online through lottery agent websites who will purchase the ticket on your behalf at a convenience fee and send you a scanned copy of the ticket as confirmation. You can pick your numbers as you wish. Payments for the tickets can be made via online payment options such as credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets, bank transfer and EasyEFT, depending on which payment methods the website supports.
What are my odds of winning the international lottery?
The odds of winning an international lottery game will depend on which lottery game you are playing. The odds of winning the jackpot in some of the worlds most popular international lotteries are as below:
US Powerball: 1 in 292,201,338
Mega Millions: 1 in 302,575,350
EuroMillions: 1 in 139,838,160
Italy SuperEnalotto: 1 in 622,614,630
Canada Lotto 6/49: 1 in 13,983,816
French Lotto: 1 in 19,068,840
Which international lotteries can I play from South Africa?
Most international lottery games are open to players from anywhere in the world. Using online lottery websites, you can play any of the international lottery games we have listed above in this article. This includes the top lotteries in the world such as US Powerball, EuroMillions, Mega Millions, ItaltySuperEnalotto, Canada Lotto 6/49, French Lotto, NZ Lotto, Australian Powerball, etc.
Are international lottery winnings taxed?
South Africa does not tax international lottery winnings since such income is considered capital in nature and therefore exempt from income tax. However, some other countries do tax lottery winnings. Ergo, whether or not you will be taxed on your lottery winnings will depend on which international lottery game you are playing. Furthermore, even in countries that tax lottery winnings, only winnings above a certain specified value are subject to taxation. A few examples of countries that DO NOT tax lottery winnings are – UK, Australia, Italy, New Zealand, Canada, Finland, Germany and South Africa.
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