Are you confused about all the different terms related to Lottery and Lotto games? Me too. So I put together a list of key terminology that I thought would be useful to understand. Here’s a glossary of lottery and lotto words with a brief definition of each. Hope this helps you out.
Agent – A location where you can buy lottery tickets. In the U.S. this is through retail stores.
Annuity Payout – This is one way you can decide to receive your winnings or may be your only option. The way this works is that rather than receiving one lump sum of money, you receive annual payments over a specified number of years.
Bonus or Power Ball – this is the extra number that is pulled that you have to match, in addition to the specified number of matches. So you may have to match 5 winning numbers PLUS the bonus ball.
Box Bet – Some lotteries allow you to pick a certain amount of numbers, but they must be pulled in the exact order that you specify.
Breakopen or Pulltabs – This is an instant win game, similar to scratch offs. Instead of scratching off to see if you won, you pull a tab down to reveal your prize.
Cash Option or Cash Payout – a jackpot where the winner has the option of receiving all money in one lump sum right away (see Lump Sum Payout below). Many winners decide to receive their prize this way, rather than as an Annuity Payout.
Cold Number – a number that has not been picked frequently over time. Some people use statistics to track winning lotto numbers and figure out which numbers are hot or cold.
Commission – When you purchase a ticket, the store where you purchased it gets a percentage of the sales.
Daily Game – lottery games that are played once or more a day. Most states have a Pick 3, Pick 4 and/or Pick 5 drawing at least once a day.
Draw – the results of the lottery or a list of the winning numbers.
Exact Order – games that award prizes or bonuses if you select the winning numbers in the exact order in which they were pulled.
Exotic Numbers – strange or unusual numbers that get pulled.
Fixed Payouts – lotteries where the prize amount does not change based on the number of players or amount of money played.
Handle – the total amount of money wagered for a video lottery terminal.
Hopper – the machine that circulates the lottery balls and pulls the winning numbers..
Hot Number – a number that has been picked frequently over time. Some people use statistics to track winning lotto numbers and figure out which numbers are hot or cold.
Instant Game – any lottery game where you find out immediately if you are a winner. The most common are Scratch Off Games and Pulltabs.
Jackpot – this is why you are entering! The jackpot is the top winning prize in a Lotto or Lottery game.
Keno – a lotto type game, often in Las Vegas casinos and sometimes offered throughout the day in many states. Players usually select a bunch of numbers from a much larger pool (sometimes as much as 80). Prizes are usually awarded based on how many winning numbers a player selects.
Lotto or Lottery – a random draw game, where players select a fixed amount of numbers from a larger pool. There are many different formats. In the U.S., the most popular lotteries like MegaMillions and Powerball, winners are awarded prizes based on how many winning numbers they select.
Lucky Dip – A random selection of numbers made by computer. (Also, Quick Pick)
Lump Sum Payout – winners may choose to collect their prize in one lump sum, rather than getting paid out over time (see Annuity Payout for more information)
Online Game – games that are played by purchasing tickets through a computer terminal at a store or entering online at sites such as RewardIt. Most U.S. lottery games are played online.
Overdrawn – See ‘Hot’ above.
Parimutuel or Pari-mutuel – when the winning prize is awarded and split up among all winning players. Many modern day lotto games pay out this way.
Passive Game – A lottery game similar to a raffle where a player buys a ticket with preprinted numbers. The lottery later randomly draws numbers that are compared to the players’ tickets to determine the winners.
Pulltabs or Pull Tabs – see “Breakopen”
Quick Pick – using the computer to randomly select numbers to play. Many players prefer to have the computer select their numbers. This is especially useful if your are purchasing a large number of tickets.
Repeat – a number that has been picked two days in a row.
Rollover – when there is no winner, the jackpot pool carries over to the next drawing. Also known as a Progressive Draw, many of the major prize lotteries such as Powerball and MegaMillions use this system, enabling prizes to grow really large. Recent jackpots have been as high as $600 Million.
Scratch-off Game – Instant prize games where the player scratches off a special coating to reveal whether they have won. You can actually increase your odds of winning these games
Terminal – the computer that is used to select numbers and purchase tickets, located at retail stores..
Virgin – slang for a number combination that hasn’t been pulled yet. See “Cold Number”
Wheeling System – this is a number selection strategy that helps players cover many possible numbers and combinations. It is usually used to help players win smaller prizes that require less matching numbers. With a Wheeling system, it is possible to cover every possible combination (but you would have to buy every ticket), as well as increase chances for lower prize amounts.
Withholding Taxes– the amount of money that you will need to pay out in taxes from your winnings. Hopefully you win big enough that even when the taxes are deducted, you hit the jackpot!
These are they key terms related to lottery and lotto. If you liked this blog, be sure to check out our great Sweepstakes Glossary and Dictionary written by Chris.