Lottoland has taken the gambling world by storm over the last year, and the Gibraltar-based company has its sights set on the Bitcoin boom for 2018 and beyond.
In a press release issued on December 18, Lottoland announced the launch of what it calls the “world’s first officially licensed Bitcoin lotto jackpot.”
Beginning that same day, the Lottoland website began accepting wagers on its new Bitcoin Lotto, which was seeded with a jackpot of 1,000 BTC.
Lottoland’s founder and chief executive officer Nigel Birrell issued a statement celebrating the impending Bitcoin integration:
“We’re pleased to be able to announce the launch of this world exclusive Bitcoin jackpot.
Today, 1,000 Bitcoins are worth over $20 million and might be worth even more by tomorrow.
Bitcoin is a worldwide phenomenon, and Lottoland is giving our customers the opportunity to get involved.”
Birrell mentioned a jackpot equivalent to over $20 million, but the cryptocurrency craze has seen Bitcoin’s value fluctuate wildly in recent weeks. At the current exchange rate, Lottoland’s jackpot would be worth USD$15,849,995 as of December 20.
The business model pioneered by Lottoland is based on allowing bettors access to international lottery draws. Because most state-supervised lottery programs prohibit foreign players from entering, Lottoland doesn’t sell actual lotto tickets. Instead, the site allows players to place wagers on the results of lotto draws like the U.S. Powerball, the EuroMillions, and Germany’s Lotto 6 aus 49.
When a winner matches their numbers to the numbers pulled in the actual draw, Lottoland pays out the corresponding jackpot on its own, using a €100 million (AUD $118 million) policy underwritten by Insurance-Linked Security.
Thus far, Lottoland has paid out more than $1.25 billion to winning players while serving 13 international markets, including Canada, Australia, and the U.K.
Lottoland’s newly launched Bitcoin Lotto relies on the Spanish lottery Sorteos de BonoLoto to produce its winning numbers. Sorteos de BonoLoto – operated by the Spanish government since 1988 – utilizes the standard “6 from 49” lotto system, in which players select six numbers from a set of 1-49 in hopes of matching all six to trigger the jackpot.
The Sorteos de Bonoloto holds drawings every day of the week except Sundays, so Lottoland players will have six opportunities per week to participate in the Bitcoin Lotto.
The Lottoland website’s Bitcoin page describes the setup as follows:
“When you bet on Bitcoin Lotto at Lottoland, you are betting on the outcome of the six main numbers drawn from the Bonoloto (the “Complementario” and “Reintegro” numbers do not affect the Bitcoin Lotto).
This incredible Bitcoin jackpot is the first of its kind and you won’t find anything like it anywhere else.
Furthermore, Lottoland will be increasing the Bitcoin jackpot from time to time, so you can continually play for bigger and bolder Bitcoin bonanzas.”
The cost of a single entry in the Bitcoin lotto is set at £3, and the odds of matching all six numbers on a single ticket stand at 1 in 13,983,816.
That’s certainly a longshot, but as Lottoland makes clear in its FAQ section, players face odds up to 10 times worse when playing EuroMillions. And indeed, the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot stand at 1 in 292,201,338 – or more than 20 times worse than the Bitcoin lotto.
Players aren’t obligated to match all six numbers either, as Lottoland uses a tiered payout system to dispense supplementary prizes. Tier 1 is the primary 1,000 BTC jackpot for landing a six-number sweep, but matching five numbers correctly (1 in 55,492 odds) is good enough for the Tier 2 prize of 1 BTC.
From there, players matching two, three, or four numbers will receive standard prizes of £1, £5, and £50, respectively.