If you were to go by name alone, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Thunderball and the Powerball were similar. After all, the former could have been named after the latter. But once you dig beneath the surface these two lotteries are completely different and the Powerball is by far the better option.
Powerball: The Biggest Lottery in the World
The Powerball is a US Lottery that was founded in 1992 and is currently the biggest lottery in the world, with a minimum jackpot amount of $40 million and a record jackpot payout of more than $1.5 billion. It doesn’t just make millionaires, it makes multi-millionaires, and it does this twice a week.
You spend just €3.00 per ticket and you can play all over the world, including in countries across Europe. The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are considerable, at 1 in 292 million, but for a once-in-a-lifetime win it’s the sort of odds you would expect and the sort of odds that most players are happy to tackle.
There is no maximum jackpot on the Powerball, which is unique in major lotteries. This means that the jackpot can keep rolling over and growing at an exponential rate, much like it did in 2016 when three ticket holders shared the record prize of $1.586 billion and became the envy of gamblers in all four corners of the world.
Thunderball: A Weak Comparison
The Thunderball is not a bad lottery. As an addition to the UK Lotto it’s actually a decent game to play. You pay £1 per play and you pick a total of 6 numbers, 5 numbers from 1 to 39 and 1 number from 1 to 14. The solitary number is the “Thunderball”, and it’s the only ball you need to win the minimum prize of £3.
For every number that you get with the Thunderball you unlock bigger prizes, and if you get all 5 and the Thunderball then you win the jackpot. But this jackpot is capped at £500,000 and while your odds of winning are much better (1 in 8 million) than the Powerball the amount of money is not that immediate, life-changing sum.
Thunderball players are typically UK National Lottery players who have a few extra coins in their pocket or some extra digits in their online account.
The UK National Lottery draw used to be a big event. The organizers, Camelot, arranged quizzes and entertainment around it, culminating with the draw and creating a show that millions of players and non-players watched. When the viewership began to decline, they introduced the Thunderball as a way of enticing more to play and watch.
But while it did help to bump-up the sales and the overall income, it didn't quite serve as the drastic turnaround that Camelot had hoped it would. These days the Thunderball is taking a back-seat to big shows like the Euromillions, but even that doesn’t attract the amount of purchases that the Powerball does.
£500,000 is a lot of money. There is no mistaking that and we’re sure that all of you would be happy to win that money. Anyone would. But if you had a chance of winning £500,000 or over $1.5 billion, we’re sure you wouldn’t opt for the former.
£500,000 is enough to buy you a relatively small house in London, after which you’d have no money left to enjoy your win. It’s still a life changing sum if you have struggled with debt, but it’s by no means the sort of money that you can retire on and use to pay off mortgages and debts for friends and family.
$1.5 billion, on the other hand, is the sort of money that would set you up for life. It could buy you a entire town, never mind a single house, and it would be more than enough to pay off every mortgage from every friend and family member you have.
Powerball vs Thunderball
Both of these lotteries are cheap. A single ticket to both of them costs about the same as a single ticket to the EuroMillions. So you don’t have to choose between them and can play them both.
The Powerball is the long-shot, the one that probably won’t happen but will be life changing if it does. The Thunderball is the one that could very easily happen, either securing you the value of a brand new family home, or giving you a few extra coins in your pocket which you can then use to buy more tickets to the UK Thunderball and to the US Powerball, also known as the biggest lottery in the world.
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