Lotteries in Australia: Your Comprehensive Guide

Article by Lisa Cheban
Monday & Wednesday Lotto
Last Updated: Mar 1st, 2024 Share On Your Network:

Australians have enjoyed playing various lottery games for decades, drawn to the excitement, entertainment, and possibility of instantly becoming wealthy beyond their wildest dreams with a single ticket.

From long-running favourites like Saturday Lotto, which has produced over 1,500 millionaires since 1979, to massive jackpot games like Powerball offering mind-boggling nine-figure sums, there are lotteries in Australia for all tastes and budgets.

This comprehensive guide explores all facets of the different lotteries in Australia. We outline the most popular lottery games in Australia, rules and prize structures, regional variations, retail channels and digital platforms for play today, claiming procedures, as well as eligibility conditions. 

You’ll also find key statistical insights into player demographics and preferences, spending and participation rates over time, contribution to state budgets and causes, and recent growth trends. So, read on to discover the best lotteries in Australia to play this year. 

Different Lotteries in Australia

Australia boasts a diverse selection of lottery games to suit all interests these days, but a handful rank as the clear standouts in popularity, longevity, and potential prizes on offer:

Saturday Lotto

Saturday Lotto

Saturday Lotto was launched in 1979 by Tattersalls. Today, it is operated by official lottery corporations in each state and territory; it has awarded over 1,500 million dollars plus major prize winners in its four-decade lifespan and is one of the best-loved lotteries in Australia.

The gameplay involves choosing six main numbers from 1 to 45, plus two additional numbers from the same pool. Prizes start at $30 for matching just four main numbers and scale upwards, ultimately reaching millionaire status for matching all six winning numbers. The supplementary numbers expand prize divisions. Drawn every Saturday evening, the overall odds of taking home the top first-division prize sit around 1 in 8 million.  

Despite the long odds, Saturday Lotto creates several new millionaires annually, helped by the tendency for winners to take lump sum payouts. It is regarded as one of the best lotteries in Australia thanks to the low $1.10 ticket price point, national coverage, habitual weekly draw schedule, and the potential to deliver “everyday” Australians an instant fortune.  

Monday & Wednesday Lotto

Monday & Wednesday Lotto

Building on the blueprint of Saturday Lotto, this twice-weekly game emerged in the 1980s and was subsequently relaunched in more recent years as Monday & Wednesday Lotto by Lotterywest and other operators. Players again choose six numbers from a pool of 145, plus two supplementary numbers, giving more prize divisions. 

Draw nights are every Monday and Wednesday, as the name suggests, with results typically airing on telecasts after 9 pm AEST so day workers can tune in. This also gives weekend ticket buyers two extra opportunities during the week to strike it lucky.  

Despite better divisional odds of 1 in 6 million overall and fewer weeks between wins, Monday & Wednesday Lotto jackpots don’t approach Saturday heights. However, the game does create more regular millionaires through lower-tier prize divisions. 

Powerball Lotto

The undisputed king when it comes to astronomical Australian lottery prizes, Powerball captures imaginations thanks to its mammoth jackpot capabilities. Top payouts have surpassed a staggering $100 million. 

Like most Australian lotteries, the core gameplay revolves around a 6/45 matrix requiring players to match all six numbers. But Powerball also supplies an additional 7th ‘Powerball’ number between 1 and 20. Matching the red Powerball alone delivers smaller divisional prizes in the thousands or tens of thousands. 

However, landing all main numbers and the Powerball triggers breathtaking Division 1 prizes into nine figures that capture global attention. These epic jackpots accumulate over consecutive weeks with no top-tier winners thanks to unclaimed divisional pools boosting the next advertised bounty. TV broadcasts tracking the soaring paydays boost suspense and ticket sales.

In January 2019, the record-shattering $107 million jackpot produced Australia’s biggest lottery winner, a Sydney woman immediately catapulted onto global rich lists. Despite tough odds of around 1 in 134 million, the lure of such fortunes keeps Powerball interest high. Draw nights are on Thursday.

Overall, Powerball showcases how lotteries can transform everyday people into multimillionaires overnight with a single $2 line. It’s the embodiment of hope and escapism for many fans. 

Oz Lotto

Oz Lotto

A long beloved lottery game amongst Australians since its 1994 inception, Oz Lotto has awarded over $8 billion in prizes across more than 1,500 draws at the time of writing. Drawn every Tuesday night, players attempt to match 7 numbers from an expanded pool of 1 to 45 balls. 

The enlarged matrix makes scoring Division 1 alone tougher at odds of 1 in over 45 million – Powerball offers better chances, albeit with a much steeper ticket price. But Oz Lotto tempers this by guaranteeing a minimum of 4 Division 2 prize winners scoring $20,000+ every draw, with 100 winners as a common occurrence. Oz Lotto multidraw packages also let you lock in upcoming games.

While Oz Lotto doesn’t attract quite the big jackpot coverage of Powerball, it has still produced staggering highs of over $100 million and remains hugely popular thanks to the potential for millionaires minted more regularly. Lower division wins deliver nice 5-figure sums, too, keeping casual player retention healthy compared to games where only Division 1 cuts mega cheques.

Set for Life

Set for Life

Adding variety to traditional lottery formats focused purely on producing overnight millionaires, Set for Life instead provides a top prize of $20,000 deposited into your bank account every single month for 20 years upon winning Division 1. That tallies to a $4.8 million reward by the end. 


Rather than picking numbers from defined pools, Set for Life issues numbered balls randomly via machine draws, with eight balls drawn from a pool of 44 overall in each event. Players can either pick their desired numbers manually or go with quick pick random selections via retail terminals. Matching all eight clinches the lifetime payment stream rather than a traditional lump sum.


The game adds two additional prize levels beyond the top tier, with 7 number matches scoring $1,000 monthly for a full year and six correct netting $500 monthly over half a year. Set for Life holds draws daily to provide players regular chances to win, rather than being confined to a single weekly event with just one record pool. The odds of taking home the 20-year lifetime supply of $20k months check in around 1 in 38 million.

Lucky Lotteries Mega Jackpot

Lucky Lotteries Mega Jackpot

Something of a wildcard addition to major Australian lotteries, Lucky Lotteries diverges from choosing numbers or balls entirely. Instead, it issues sequential ticket numbers with no duplicates containing fixed instant prizes rather than variable score combinations. 


Ticket batches automatically contain stated Minor Prizes of gift cards or free ticket credits adding up to over $300,000 in guaranteed payouts.


Beyond these embedded micro wins, ten additional major prizes per draw worth between $100,000 and $200,000 are randomly allocated to players. Jackpot hunters can nab more chances by acquiring multiple tickets in bulk. Draws take place daily to add frequency. 


But the real thrill comes from special monthly super jackpots that frequently exceed $5 million in value, delivering truly life-altering sums. In May 2020, amid COVID lockdowns, Lucky Lotteries smashed the record for an Australian instant prize game, doling out a jaw-dropping $80 million mega jackpot to one Queensland player. 

Australian Lotteries by State

While lottery participation often focuses on big banner games like Saturday Lotto or Powerball that operate nationally, specific offerings and licenses differ quite significantly across states and territories. 

Shaped by contrasting local laws, demographics, preferences and the multiple corporations overseeing niche contests, lottery products reflect diverse regional identities. We outline key details for every state below.


Northern Territories 

Australia’s Northern Territories have three types of lottery – foreign, trade, and community. All lotteries here are regulated by the Gaming Control Act 1993 and the Gaming Control Regulations 2006.

Community gaming is particularly popular in the Northern Territories, while the Australian national lottery is marketed as Tattslotto here. 


New South Wales 

As Australia’s most populous state containing iconic cities like Sydney and Newcastle, NSW unsurprisingly records the highest per capita lottery spending. Lotto NSW enjoys exclusive retail licensing and operates an array of products catering from billion-dollar draws to charity raffles under a mandate to generate public funding from gaming.  

Alongside nationals like Saturday Lotto and Powerball, homegrown NSW games include Friday and Saturday lotteries like Lotto Strike, providing supplementary ways to win off main game tickets. Jackpot prizes often land between $310 million across these secondary draws.  

Mon & Wed Lotto alternatives are housed under the Set for Life banner detailed earlier, providing annuity prizes. Millionaire Lotteries add a luxury focus via promotions bundling tickets with prestige car prizes or VIP experiences. Entrants pick numbers and can win the promotional vehicle plus $1 million or $2 million in some variants.   

NSW Lotteries enjoy strong engagement, having awarded more than $7.3 billion to date in lottery funding to benefit key community focus areas like healthcare, jobs, infrastructure and the arts. Over $60 million yearly aids regional NSW causes via the Stronger Country Communities Fund. 



Lottery games in Queensland fall under the Queensland Government’s purview via legislated acts establishing operator LottoQld.

Games align with most other Australian states, including national products like Powerball and Oz Lotto, along with locals like Saturday Gold Lotto. Queensland players can supplement their chances of winning with add-on products trying to match Lotto numbers or score entry into prize draws. Keno’s fast-paced draws also prove popular statewide. 

Legal lottery participation requires players to be 18+. Various retail channels sell official lottery tickets to eligible consumers under licensing protocols, including newsagents, authorised supermarkets, convenience stores and takeaway food chains, alongside digitally via mobile app or online accounts through LottoQld.

Engagement remains high for lottery play here, both via retail and interactive means. Over a third of adults regularly enter either major jackpot games like Saturday Gold Lotto or instant scratchies. The average monthly spend exceeds $60. Tourism drives some lottery play in coastal regions. Pandemic retail closures accelerated already growing digital play.   


South Australia 

South Australians can enjoy a broad selection of lottery games. TatsLotto is the national game played every Saturday night, while the Monday & Wednesday Lotto draws are extremely popular in Southern Australia. 

On Tuesday night, Oz Lotto is available, while Lucky Lotteries is a jackpot-style game played in the state, with two high jackpots. 

You can also play Powerball on Thursday, Super 66 on Saturday, and Set for Life. We also love the fact that instant scratch-its are available in Southern Australia, offering instant prizes to lucky players. 



Tatts Victorian Lotteries has the exclusive right to conduct lotteries within Victoria state boundaries, operating banner games like TattsLotto providing local branding for nationally played products, along with global names like Powerball. Melbourne residents spend over $40 million on lotteries every week.  

Games align broadly with other states, including offering players additional chances to win prizes through supplementary tickets on main draws. Rapidplay Friday provides a fast alternative to Saturday TattsLotto. Syndicate group play is popular, spreading costs and winning joy wider. Interactive engagement via mobile apps or online accounts aids convenience and responsibility.

Legal Framework falls under the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation, ensuring integrity, consumer safety and responsibility. Only those over 18 can legally play lotteries in Victoria. Advertising and point-of-sale conduct follow strict standards, avoiding implications that state-run lotteries target vulnerable groups. Millions play responsibly. 



TatsLotto and Powerball are the most popular games in Tasmania, though instant scratch-it competitions are also popular. The latter are sold at approved outlets in Tasmania and can be purchased throughout the week. 

After Intralot withdrew its involvement in Tasmania, the Tatts Group has become the sole provider of lotto games in the state. As such, all Tatts Group games are available to play here. 

The Pools is also popular in Tasmania. Based on soccer matches, players pick six numbers out of 38, and if their selections win, there are huge prizes up for grabs.


Western Australia 

Under statutory arrangements established in 1932, Lotterywest holds exclusive rights to conducting lotteries in WA.  

The product range mirrors most Australian states, spanning globally recognised games like Saturday Lotto and Oz Lotto to regional draws like Cash 3, offering better odds over the east. Lotterywest provides convenient advance purchase options for upcoming lottery tickets online. 

Legal Requirements restrict WA lottery play to those 18 and over. Various retail channels sell tickets under Lotterywest licensing, including news agencies, some supermarkets and convenience/fuel stops. Ensure accredited status before purchasing tickets. Digital play occurs via the Lotterywest mobile app or website accounts after secure registration.   

Spend and participation continue growing steadily as Lotterywest expands product ranges to satisfy punters. Estimates show WA adults averaging around $50 monthly on lottery products like Saturday Lotto and scratchies, while over 40% play intermittently. Loyalty incentives aid retention. 

Supporting communities via product net profits gets channelled into various health, sports, education and environment initiatives. Close to a billion dollars has reached over 3,000 community groups so far. Events like the yearly Lotterywest Festival educate locals on causes helped. 


How to Play Lotteries in Australia 

To play lotteries in Australia, you must be 18 or older. You can buy lottery tickets at licensed outlets in every state, or you can play lotteries online by buying a ticket with a supported payment method like a debit card or e-wallet. 

As for how to play lotteries in Australia, it’s one of the easiest games to play. To enter, simply pick your numbers and pay the fee associated with the game. Then, tune into the live draw to see if your numbers come up. 


Lotteries in Australia – Statistics 

Beyond the history and operations of specific lottery corporations and products by jurisdiction, collated dataset insights can reveal national behavioural trends across states regarding preferences, spending habits and demographics. 

Popular formats across Australia see instant scratch-its and other quickplay varieties prove the most frequently purchased style, accounting for 43% of all lottery-style tickets. Their low individual prices drive mass market appeal. However, longer-term draws like Saturday Lotto variants generate greater overall industry prize revenue. Powerball retains the highest average transaction spend at over $15 per player.  

Spending levels across lottery products are forecast to exceed $4.6 billion in retail turnover value for the first time in reports, thanks to jackpot complacency and bans on most competing gambling formats during prior COVID lockdowns. On a per capita basis, NSW stays the highest spending state on lottery materials annually at 25% over national averages, thanks partly to extensive retail networks.   

Demographics reveal most of the total spending on lottery games in Australia stems from those in middle age and older brackets. The highest participation rates occurred among 50-64 year olds, who are 61% likely to play lotteries.


Lotteries in Australia – Wrap Up 

Popular lottery games are extremely popular in Australia, from New South Wales to Tasmania. You now know about the different lotteries in Australia, how to play them, and how much you can potentially win. 

The best lotteries in Australia are the Saturday night draw and Powerball, but you will also find state-specific variants and instant-win games that crank up the fun. 

If you enjoy lottery games, be sure to check out our article about keno, which is a similar, lottery-style game that is available at many of the best online casinos in Australia

Recommended for you