Just like almost everywhere else in the world, the lottery is a very common form of entertainment in South Africa. It generates billions of rands for the country every year and results in jackpots reaching well above R10 million and in one instance in 2010, even as high as R232 million only earlier this year.

Like most other forms of entertainment, from shopping to listening to music, and dating, the lottery has been revolutionised by the emergence of easily accessible internet. It is true that national lottery retailers are still widely available throughout the country, however, reliable internet access has diversified how lottery can be played and changed lottery gambling in three fundamental ways.

1. Accessibility

If you want to win, you have to play. By making it possible to play without buying an actual lottery ticket or, through websites or a variety of fun apps, the lottery is now more accessible than ever, as ever players who live far from retailers can play South African lotteries as long as they have internet access.

Whats especially fun and user-friendly, is the appearance of apps made specifically for lottery players. They might for example list all play options and different lottery games available. The apps can also generate a random selection of numbers. Not only that, some apps actually track the numbers which come up most often and offer stats.

2. Collective play

Traditionally, playing as part of a syndicate always increases the chances of winning as all individual tickets are pooled together so instead of one in a million chance of winning, the odds could increase to 10 or 50 in a million, depending on the size of the group of players. Syndicates have traditionally been reserved to the offline world, where the group would consist of family members and friends.

With the emergence of online platforms with forums where lottery players can communicate with one another, its now very common to form syndicate communities of even hundreds of people. This, of course, reduces the winnings, which have to be divided between everyone whos taking part in the lottery, but with a greater chance of grabbing the big win, the excitement rises too.

Apart from granting better access to other players, the internet makes the process of setting up a syndicate, signing agreements, and dividing the winnings among all players more straightforward than it is in real life. This way of enjoying the game also reduces the chances of being deceived by other members of the syndicate.

Because joining a syndicate online is a fully automated process, any issues that might emerge while setting one up in real life such as having to purchase tickets and the distribution of winnings are practically completely avoided.

3. More fun!

Lastly, the internet makes lotto games more fun than buying a ticket could ever be. Instant-win games are available to players any time, and because they can be accessed from a device they can be played in the comfort of the players home.

Whats more, lotto games now come in the form of other classic games. One great example is Monopoly, where instead of playing with fake money on a game board, players can play online for real winnings.

Making games more fun and appealing to players is somewhat of a requirement for lotteries these days, as they have to compete with increasingly engaging games being created almost every day.