What is a Lottery Syndicate?

Last Update: July 1, 2018
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Written by Nicholas Christensen

The Basics

A lottery syndicate is the official term for group play games. Regular lottery games are for solo players only, whereas syndicates are designed so that tons of players can pool their tickets together. In turn, everyone’s chances of winning increases. How so, you ask?

Lottery Syndicates

You could be one of these lucky syndicate winners!

Think of it this way: if you have 1 or 2 tickets, the odds of you winning the jackpot is slim to none. But, if you have, say, around 10, 20, or more, then your chances significantly increase. In a nutshell, this is how syndicates work – and why they are quite popular among lotto players.

What Happens If You Win?

Winning in syndicates is a double-edged blade. On one hand, winning is much easier compared to solo play games. On the other, this means that whatever prize you win is split accordingly among your group. As such, don’t expect your share of the pot to be astronomical. So, for example, if the prize is $500 and you have 20 people in your group, you stand to win $25 each if the shares are equal.

The good news is that you can do something to increase your share of the prize: buy more tickets. Syndicate prizes work in such a way that if buy more tickets, your cut of the prize also increases. Another good news? Syndicate tickets are way more affordable than regular lottery games.


With much of the basics out of the way, let’s go a bit more in-depth. But, don’t fret because you need only understand 2 of the most commonly used terms for you to get a better grasp of lottery syndicates: Lines and Total Shares. Let’s examine each one:


Lottery Syndicate Lines

Lines are also referred to as blocks or tickets. These are the unique numbers that you purchase when you enter a syndicate. Unlike regular lotteries, however, lines are usually randomly chosen for you. Beyond that, lines are also indicative of how many chances of winning you have. So, for example, if a syndicate has 100 lines, that means that you have 100 chances of winning.

Total Shares

Lottery Syndicate Shares

Each syndicate is divided into equal parts called Shares. Essentially, these tell you what percentage of the pot you stand to receive when you win. For example, if a game has a listed total of 50 shares, it means that each share stands to win 2% of the prize. This is calculated by dividing 100% into the number of shares – in this case, 50. And, as I’ve mentioned previously, the more shares you buy, the bigger your slice of the pie becomes.

The Different Types

Currently, there are 4 different rule variations that you need to be aware of. The first one involves numbers being chosen at random for a fixed number of lines. This is the usual type of syndicate play you will see. The next one, while still involving randomly chosen numbers, covers all the possible number permutations of the numbers 7-14.

Next, there are syndicates that contain all the possible number combinations of the syndicate’s additional numbers. This ensures that additional numbers are matched at least once. All other numbers for this type of syndicate are randomly chosen.

Finally, there’s one type of syndicate that guarantees at least one number match. This is achieved via a dynamic number in each line that spans the entire guess range of a particular lottery. Every other number, meanwhile, is chosen randomly.

Online vs. Offline

Yes – you can play syndicate games offline, but I advise against it. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it; it’s just that you have to be sure that the people you play with can be trusted. For instance, in October of 2014, a man named Gary Baron kept the $16.6 million prize his syndicate group won all for himself. This led to a 2-year fight between him and his syndicate group.

When you play syndicates online, however, the chances of something like this happening are slim to none. Online lottery sites have systems in place to ensure that each player gets their fair share of the prize, and no one absconds with the whole lot. More than that, playing online also means that you can access lottery games that you normally don’t get to play. It’s a win-win situation, no matter how you slice it.

Bottom Line – Is It Worth It?

Absolutely. Although the prizes you get won’t always match what solo play offers, you do get a better chance of winning. Plus, you can always buy more lines to increase your share of the prize. It’s also worth noting that price of entry is usually far more affordable compared to regular lottery games. So, if you don’t mind sharing the prize with other people, you should definitely try your hand at group play games. If you don’t know where to start, you might want to go for two of the best lottery sites in the industry, TheLotter and WinTrillions.

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