Lottery in India has a long history, with the first modern paper lottery introduced in the 1960s in the State of Kerala. However, Indian online lottery is yet to materialize, although the demand for it only seems to be rising.
While the wait is still on for domestic options, players can still try their luck in international online lotteries that are organized outside India.
The legal status of playing these lotteries is a bit of a gray area. Nonetheless, it is a safe option since the organizers are not subject to Indian lottery laws.
So, let’s discuss how one can play online lottery from India legally and safely.
7 Steps To Play the Lotto Online
Choose a Reputable Online Lottery Platform
To play the lottery online, the initial step is to select a reputable platform that is authorized to provide global lottery games to Indian players. The world wide web brims with options; the challenge is to find the right lottery site – one that is reliable and has a strong reputation.
Of course, extensive homework is required to compare and contrast the available sites to identify the best ones. But if time is a constraint, you can rely on lottery site comparers such as OnlineLottoBaba which test and review them, thus saving you time and effort.
Create and Verify your Lotto Account
Once you have chosen a platform, you will need to create an account on the international lotto site and provide your personal details, such as your name, date of birth, email, and contact information.
You will also need to verify your identity by providing a government-issued ID, such as a passport or driving license. This step is important to ensure that you are of legal age to play the lottery and to prevent fraud.
Choose a Lottery Game To Play
After you have created an account and verified your identity, you can browse through the available lottery games and choose one to play. Some of the most popular international lotteries include US Powerball, Mega Millions, and EuroMillions.
Depending on the lottery site you choose, you can bet on the outcome of the official draw or purchase an official ticket. The former is possible if you choose a lottery betting site and the latter is feasible through lottery sites that act as online concierge service providers.
Your choice has zero effect on the size of the prizes, which remain the same. However, a lottery betting site would pay out using third-party insurance services while a concierge service provider would play no role in paying you out because the official organizers of the draw will do it.
Select Your Numbers
Once you have chosen a lottery game and how you want to play it, you will need to select your lucky numbers. Some players pick numbers that are meaningful to them, such as birthdays or anniversaries, while others go for numbers that are considered lucky for their zodiac. To each his own, so choose whatever floats your boat!
Buy the Ticket or Entry
After you have selected your lucky numbers, you will need to buy a ticket or entry to the lottery game. You can do this by using an Indian payment method, such as an e-wallet (Skrill or Neteller) or UPI.
These payment methods are convenient because they can bypass the FEMA restrictions on the purchase of foreign lottery tickets (a major reason payments with credit and debit cards often fail).
Also, note that the price of tickets to the same lottery might vary from one lotto site to another. This is because some lottery sites impose a commission on the winnings, which makes their tickets cheaper, while others let you cash out commission-free winnings, which makes their tickets costlier.
Always check with the lottery site and read their terms and conditions before purchasing tickets to international lotteries online.
Check the Results
Once the lottery draw has taken place, keep your fingers crossed and come back to check the results to see if you have won. You can do this by logging into your account on the online lottery platform or by checking the official lottery website.
Remember that the lottery site you choose isn’t obliged to notify you about results. However, if you happen to win a prize, it will surely notify you about the same and ask you to either claim your winnings or get in touch for further verification.
Claim Your Winnings
If you happen to win a prize, you can claim your winnings. If you choose to bet on the outcome of the official draw, small wins will be credited directly to your bank account, while big wins (jackpots) might need further verification.
In case you bought a ticket via a lotto concierge and won, you will be notified about your win and invited to claim your prize in person. You might need to travel to the country where the draw took place to claim your winnings from a claim center. Flight tickets are almost always on the lotto site operators.
It is important to remember that lottery jackpots can be cashed out as an annuity or in a lump sum. An annuity is a recurring payment done at regular intervals until the prize money is exhausted while a lump sum is a one-time payment. Both payments will incur taxes.
Also, note that lottery winnings in India exceeding ₹10,000 are taxed at a flat 31.2% rate, regardless of whether you’ve won in a domestic or international draw. The deducted tax is non-refundable and no exemptions are allowed.
5 Tips for Playing International Lottery Online in India
Check the Legality in Your State
Before playing an international lottery online in India, it is important to check if the activity is legal in your State. For instance, West Bengal has a total ban on foreign online lotteries.
However, this might not be a big issue because players from the State have played and won at world lotto sites in the past. One such player is Partho Mondal from Malda, who won ₹5,286,953.34 from a ticket worth ₹40 in Lottoland’s exclusive lottery, Malamaal Daily.
Set a Budget and Stick To It
Before playing an international lottery, it is important to set a budget and stick to it. This will help ensure that you do not overspend or become too invested in a game. Sticking to a budget will also prevent you from chasing losses, which is a mistake players often make.
Avoid Using Bank Cards for Transactions
When playing an international lottery from India, it is best to avoid using bank cards for transactions as payments will almost always be declined to meet FEMA’s guidelines. The best alternatives, as already mentioned are e-wallets and UPI.
Play in a Syndicate To Increase Your Chances of Winning
It is possible to increase your chances of winning in a lottery draw by playing in a syndicate. It is a group of players who pool their money and buy multiple tickets, thus increasing the odds of landing a prize. Of course, this also means that you’d need to share that prize.
Be Cautious About Lottery Scams
Unfortunately, there’s no lack of fraudsters and scammers trying to take advantage of unsuspecting lottery players in India.
Be sure to do your due diligence and research any lottery you plan on playing to ensure that it is legitimate. Do not trust unsolicited emails or phone calls offering lottery winnings, and only buy tickets from reputable websites.
Long story short, an online domestic lottery in India is yet to exist, but Indians can participate in global lotteries online legally and safely. All they need to do is choose a reputable and reliable platform, bear in mind that lottery is a game of pure luck, and then, get going!