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The history of the Australian Oz Lotto

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Australia's most popular lottery, the Oz Lotto was first organized in the early months of 1994. It was the first original national lottery game of Australia, and it still is the one game that comes into the mind of most Aussies first when they think about raffle games and lottery.

The history of the Australian Oz Lotto

Photo: By Cyron from Brisbane (-27.470963,153.026505), Australia - P2040021Uploaded by Marcus Cyron, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30136387

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The OZ Lotto was launched in 1994, as the first fully national lottery game. The players originally choose six numbers out of 45, but later on, the organizers added a seventh number, which lowered the chances of winning the jackpot. In some regions, the change of format led to changes in the name - in Queensland, for example, they called it Oz 7 Lotto. This went on until 2012, then the game's name changed back to the regular Oz Lotto.

The OZ Lotto has a regular pattern of the jackpots. The minimum jackpot is 2 million dollars, which, if nobody wins the jackpot, grows to 5 million dollars on the next week. Then it will continue to grow (until there's a jackpot-winning ticket) like this: $10 million, $15 million, $20 million, $30 million, $40 million, $50 million, $60 million, $70million, $80 million, $90 million, and $100 million. There might occasionally be some changes if the lottery officials choose to change the estimated jackpot prizes.

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Even though the odds of winning Division 1 are quite low, the prize pool is always at least 2 million dollars, making it constantly appealing to players who like to fantasize of winning such huge prizes.

Right now, the OZ Lotto holds the record of the biggest Australian lotto jackpot prize, but the more than 100 million dollar prize won on the 6th of November in 2012 was divided between the four winners.

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There are currently seven prize divisions, and a to win some money, the player needs at least 3 main numbers matching, with a right supplementary number. Yet, the more matches there are, the bigger are the prizes, of course. The draw starts on Tuesday at 8:30pm AEST/9:30pm AEDT every week, and the opportunity to buy tickets closes at 7pm AEST/8pm AEDT on the same day.

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The odds of winning Division 1 are 1 : 45,379,620, which is quite low, but still a lot more likely than winning, for example, the jackpot of the US Powerball. To win the 7. Division prize, the odds are 1:85. Then again, the prizes are quite low in this prize level, they mainly just cover the price of the lottery ticket that you bought, IF you're lucky. But usually, you loose more than you win by the time you finally win, and this tendency goes on like this - just as in the case of most lotteries.

Anita Diós