This is a tough topic to write about, but we have strong opinions about these online lottery games and “agency”.
btw, some information regarding this picture you saw in the front page:
Did you try to click or thought of clicking the “Play button” on the above image? Ofcourse you did, stop lying! We are not going to publish links to these lottery agents because we are not related to any of them. But they do look tempting, don’t they? Anyway, we received this mail from a spam, and so we can probably call it a spam lottery because it is the first time we received this one after receiving millions of spam mails.
Let’s talk about the official national or state lottery first. Most national and state lottery do not allow playing from overseas. As such, you will not see “online shopping” of state or lottery tickets from the original site themselves. It would be unwise to open up the lottery to foreigners as it would mean the increase of numbers being played and hence lower probability of winning for local people. The concern about large sum of money being transferred out of the country is normally not the key concern, as it would often be make-up by the larger pool of international buyers. If a national or state lottery is opened up to overseas customers, it would only benefit the lotto company directly but not the local people.
Now, what if someone outside a country wants to buy the national lottery? They cannot do so unless they are visiting the country physically, which means they have to spend the air tickets and hotel stay just to play a national lottery.
There are several online lottery systems that would claim that they can purchase the tickets from the respective state or national lottery, on behalf of a foreign buyer. What it does is this:
1) You will buy the ticket online and pay upfront, but will not receive the physical ticket.
2) If you win, the “lottery agent” will help to claim the prize on your behalf. Remember that a foreigner cannot claim the ticket, or he must at least prove that he was in the country during the period before the draw.
It is that simple, but is it risky? Without stating names of these agency, we can say that they are doing very little to convince the overseas buyer that he would be able to claim the prize safely. What we mean by convince, is the way and manner the actual tickets are managed. These agency are normally not endorsed by the national lottery, and hence you are actually dealing with an individual (and stranger) who claim that he will take your winning ticket and claim the prize on your behalf.
What if I say that you are the agent yourself, and now you have a winning ticket worth US$30million from an overseas customer who just paid you US$3 to play? The best thing is that the only record with that overseas customer is a “virtual” ticket that is worth nothing in the eyes of the National Lottery. But in your hand, you are holding the physical ticket that is worth US$30million, which is probably more than a thousand or million times the worth of your lottery agency. Did you get what we are trying to put across?
What we are saying is that the agent is holding a legal ticket worth US$30million, but the overseas buyer has nothing on hand that is legal (or recognised by the national lottery) to prove that he is the rightful owner of the ticket.
Nevertheless, we are not saying that you should not buy, nor stating that the above would definitely be the case after you win the lottery. In any case, the chances of winnings are still slim, and the agency would be happy to earn that little transaction fees from all the buyers. It is pure business until someone actually wins.
You will be paying daily or weekly to entertain yourself, and the real test starts only after you have actually won (out of that horrible odds) that once-in-a-lifetime draw. Then the next thing you have to worry is whether the agent will deliver the money as promised. Imagine that you have been paying for years just to wait for this day, and the next thing you have to worry is the winning ticket that is not in your hand.
Personally, I would rather buy the ticket from the local national or state lottery. In both lottery (online and offline), the chances of winning is slim and you are likely to play for a very long time. But one day, the God of Fortune decides to award the first prize to you. For the local lottery, the only thing you have to worry is losing that legal, physical ticket (before the prize is claimed), and thereafter deciding how to spend the money or live the life of your dream. If you lose that physical ticket, your chances of getting the money from who-picks-up will be worse than the agent holding your ticket. At least, you can still have some hope of integrity in that lottery agent. However, the chances of losing a winning national lottery ticket accidentally, is slimmer than a losing the ticket to a lottery agent who lives thousands of miles away.
Now, the next thing we would like to talk about is freelotto.com. They are not selling national lottery tickets and they are not agents. However, they claim that you can play for free and you will win the money earned from their advertising fees. Ever since I signed up, I have been receiving letters pestering me to play every day. And when I access the site, the webpage will keep redirecting me to pay for automatic number insertion, which is a payable service. Well, we don’t have to pay for the tickets as it is free, but filling up the table automatically is not free and you will have to pay. So I selected manual selection, but no luck. It keeps forcing me to pay for the automatic number insertion.
So if you are asked if we are playing freelotto, then the answer is no. In fact, we don’t like to play anything that promises lots of money but its free. But there is more:
Firstly, there is no risk to play for free but I will be wasting substantial time to manually insert the numbers with low chance of winning.
Secondly, if there is a need for me to pay to play, I would not play with freelotto.com due to the lack of credibility. If “google lottery” or Donald Trump lottery exists, I would probably trust them because they are well-recognised and listed in Forbes in the group of richest man on earth. Make sense? There isn’t such a thing yet, so the local lottery is good enough.
If you can win at local lottery, why should you care about buying international lottery (if they are really legal)? The prize may be huge, but the odds are worst at the international level and you are better off buying a ticket that you can see, feel and touch, and more importantly carries your finger print and is recognised by the national lottery.