Singapore is very liberal when it comes to gambling be it gambling at retail outlets or online. The country warmed up to gambling back in 1968 with the formation of Singapore Pools, a state entity tasked with running and overseeing all gambling activities in the country. Singapore Pools oversees three main gambling products which are, sports betting, remote gambling (with a major focus on horse racing) and lotteries.
When it comes to lotteries, there are three main lotto games offered by Singapore Pools. Namely, these are 4 Digits (affectionally known as 4D), TOTO and Singapore Sweep lotto. All three or the lotto games are distinct and their beauty emanates from their distinctness. In this article, we will explore every lotto game by looking at its playing style, odds and differences in relation to other games. To start with, we are going to look at TOTO.
TOTO is the first lottery game to be launched by Singapore Pools. The history of TOTO is as long as the history of Singapore Pools as the manual version of TOTO was launched on 9 June 1968, the same year when Singapore Pools was founded.
From 1968 to 1981, TOTO used the manual version which came with pari-mutuel fixed odds. Players knew beforehand the prizes they stood a chance of winning once their lucky numbers were picked during the draw. In 1981, TOTO changed as the ‘snowballing’ concept was introduced. This in essence meant instead of coming with pari-mutuel fixed odds, the top prize rolled over to the next draw in the process the prize increased depending on the number of participants who bought tickets.
The first computerised online version of TOTO was introduced in 1986 using a 5/49 format. The format changed a few years later in 1988 to a 6/42. In 1997, the format changed once again into a 6/45 format. The format changed once more into the current 6/49 format in 2014. Two years later, TOTO became a fully online game.
As the TOTO is currently a 6/49 game, it means players pick six lucky numbers from a ticket with 49 numbers. There is also an option of picking a 7th lucky number. The 7th lucky number significantly increases the payout if it’s correct.
When placing TOTO bets, players choose among the following:
- Quickpick: computer randomly picks the lucky numbers
- Ordinary Bet: player picks his number
- System Bet: players pick 7 to 12 numbers. If any of the picked numbers gets picked during the draw, the player wins
- System Roll: player picks 5 numbers and the outstanding number is a guaranteed winning number picked by the computer
The odds of winning when playing TOTO are as follows:
|Jackpot||1 in 13,983,816|
|2nd||1 in 2,330,636|
|3rd||1 in 55,491|
|4th||1 in 22,197|
|5th||1 in 1,083|
|6th||1 in 812|
|7th||1 in 61|
|Any Prize||1 in 54|
4D lottery just like TOTO has a long history. The lottery was enjoyed by Singaporeans since the early 1900s. However, during that time, it was enjoyed underground illegally. In 1966, the Singapore Turf Club took the first steps in legalizing the 4D lottery. The authorities took a liberal stance on Singapore Turf Club’s desire to run the 4D lotto legally as it neither banned nor explicitly permit the lottery. It was only in May 1986 that the 4D lottery became legal in Singapore as it was at that time that Singapore Pools started regulating the lottery.
In the early years, the results of the 4D lottery were tied to horse racing results. However, in 1991 Singapore Pools changed that and started to draw winning numbers for the draw electronically using four drawing cylinders and numbered balls. By disassociating the results of the 4D lotto with horse racing results, it meant that the lottery now had 23 prizes (three top prizes, 10 starter and 10 consolation prizes).
4D lotto is still popular to this day and it still uses the electronic draw mechanism. When playing the game, players choose four lucky numbers from 0000 to 9999. The odds for winning the 4D lotto game are exposed below:
|1st||1 in 10,000|
|2nd||1 in 10,000|
|3rd||1 in 10,000|
|Starter||1 in 1,000|
|Consolation||1 in 1,000|
|Any Prize||1 in 435|
Singapore Sweep Lotto
Singapore Sweep is the newest of all the lotto games run by Singapore Pools. Well, the ‘new’ in this instance is in relation to the long history of other lotto games namely TOTO and 4D lotto. Singapore Sweep started as the Big Sweep in 1969. The first sweep was done to raise funds for the construction of the National Stadium.
Since its inception up to this day, Singapore Sweep is a raffle style lotto game. Before each monthly draw, Singapore Pools distributes 3.5 million tickets. Players buy each ticket for $3. Players are free to buy multiple tickets to enhance their chances of winning.
When playing the game, players pick 7 lucky numbers between 1000000 to 4499999. When playing online, players have the option of utilising the quick-pick option. The quick-pick option necessitates the computer to pick lucky numbers at random.
Unlike 4D lotto and TOTO which have multiple draws every week, Singapore Sweep has one draw a month which takes place on the first Wednesday of each month. The odds of winning when playing Singapore Sweep are displayed below.
|1st Prize||1 in 3,500,000|
|2nd Prize||1 in 3,500,000|
|3rd Prize||1 in 3,500,000|
|Jackpot Prize||1 in 350,000|
|Lucky Prize||1 in 350,000|
|Gift Prize||1 in 116,667|
|Consolation Prize||1 in 116,667|
|Participation Prize||1 in 70,000|
|Any Prize||1 in 11|
Thanks to the stellar work of Singapore Pools, all lottery lovers in Singapore get the chance of playing three different but equally exciting and entertaining lotto games. Two of the games that is, 4D lotto and TOTO have multiple draws weekly something which means players can play the games with much frequency. Singapore Sweep lotto has one monthly draw but it’s down to this monthly draw that makes the game highly appealing. For all lotto games, players stand a chance of winning millions of dollars in jackpot prizes. Worry not if you fall short of winning the jackpot as all games offer enterprising consolation prizes.