Swiss Lotto – creating and dashing dreams for half a century
Lottery fever bit this young man in 1990 (although to buy a ticket one has to be 16) Keystone
Exactly 50 years ago the first national lottery draw took place in Switzerland, with players of Swiss Lotto having to choose six correct numbers out of 40 to win a top prize of CHF200,000. Since then 962 millionaires have been made.
This content was published on January 10, 2020 – 11:30 January 10, 2020 – 11:30 Thomas Stephens
Born in London, Thomas was a journalist at The Independent before moving to Bern in 2005. He speaks all three official Swiss languages and enjoys travelling the country and practising them, above all in pubs, restaurants and gelaterias.
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Of course there have many, many more non-winners, but their losses have gone towards good causes: over the past 50 years around CHF6 billion ($6.2 billion) has been invested in charitable projects in the areas of culture, sport, nature and society, lottery company Swisslos said on Thursday.
What got the lottery ball rolling in Switzerland was the fact that more and more Swiss were nipping over the border to try their luck on the German lottery.
To ensure that the first official draw went off without a hitch on January 10, 1970, various test runs were held at the television studio in Zurich.
The dress rehearsal for the first Swiss lottery draw was held on January 6, 1970. The real thing appeared on television screens four days later Keystone
The “6 out of 40” formula (to win the top prize) lasted for nine years, changing in April 1979 to “6 out of 42” and a jackpot. Various tweaks and additional games, such as Joker and EuroMillions, followed.
The first lottery millionaire was created on April 28, 1979, with the lucky winner pocketing just under CHF1.7 million. The record individual prize is CHF48.6 million in 2014. A total of CHF10 billion has been paid out as winnings over the past 50 years.
Since January 10, 1970, a total of 3,804 lottery draws have been made and 25,892 numbers determined. The “luckiest” ball? 18. This popped out 654 times.
The odds of winning the Swiss Lotto are about 31 million to 1.
Will being left-handed turn out to be lucky for these two players? Keystone
Not without criticism
Swiss Lotto is not without criticism, however. A video by Swiss public television, SRF, explains how the public spends around CHF500 million a year on lottery tickets, of which CHF300 million goes towards the lottery fund, which is then divided up among Switzerland’s 26 cantons.
Data for the past five years for 11 cantons shows how only 5% of the total goes towards small associations (sums of less than CHF10,000). A third of the money is paid out in amounts of at least CHF1 million, to institutions such as theatres, museums and concert halls.
According to the data, gathered by news programme Rundschau, CHF30 million alone was spent on building work for Zurich’s museum of fine art. In Aargau, the state-owned Postauto (PostBus) company received CHF1.5 million for a research project. Also in Aargau CHF250,000 went towards celebrating the election of Doris Leuthard to the Federal Council.
“There are inadequate checks and supervision, and a tendency for the cantons to help themselves to funds,” said Fabian Schnell from thinktank Avenir Suisse.
Switzerland and its colonists
Switzerland had no colonies – yet some Swiss worked with colonial powers and profited from their seizure of resources on other continents.
Exactly 50 years ago the first national lottery draw took place in Switzerland. Since then 962 millionaires have been made.
Instructions for playing
- Swiss Lotto: a brief description
- Individual picks
- Quick pick
- Jackpot subscription
Swiss Lotto – no one makes more millionaires
Would you like to become a millionaire? Can you imagine a life with a lot of money? Do you want to seize the opportunity? Then you have come to the right place, because no one makes more millionaires than we do.
Swiss Lotto is a classic lottery that has been offered in Switzerland since 1970. There are 42 numbers and 6 lucky numbers, and you can play either online or at one of the approximately 3,000 Lotto sales outlets. The winning numbers are drawn every Wednesday and Saturday. The more numbers you choose correctly, the higher your winnings. It takes as little as three correct numbers to be among the winners. If you choose all the numbers correctly, you will hit the jackpot! Every year, between 20 and 30 people become new Lotto millionaires, and in total, more than 830 lucky people have won at least a million Swiss francs.
To play Swiss Lotto at swisslos.ch, you must:
- Be at least eighteen years of age,
- Be resident in German-speaking Switzerland, Ticino or the Principality of Liechtenstein,
- Be registered with swisslos.ch, and
- Have a balance of at least CHF 5.00 (i.e., the minimum stake) in your account.
What you can win at Swiss Lotto
|PRIZE CATEGORY||NUMBER OF CORRECT NUMBERS||CORRECT LUCKY NUMBER||AVERAGE EXPECTED WINNINGS|
|Replay||Free Swiss Lotto picks|
*Maximum expected winnings. These will be divided among the winners in that category.
Replay – your free additional chance to win at Swiss Lotto
A randomly chosen Replay number between 1 and 13 is printed on each entry confirmation ticket. If your Replay number matches the winning number, you win free entry with the same stake in a future Swiss Lotto draw.
If you win with Replay, we will inform you the next time you log in to our website. You can then decide yourself when you want to redeem your Replay prize. You can also participate in Joker with your Replay prize by purchasing one or more Joker numbers.
If you have played Swiss Lotto with a system and won at Replay, you will receive an identical system play as your prize in the form of a quick pick.
Terms and Rules
The Terms and Rules contain everything you need to know when playing Swiss Lotto.
Individual picks – the simplest path to becoming a Lotto millionaire
Would you like to become a millionaire, but you are not yet very familiar with Lotto? Or do you know your six numbers and your lucky number? Then an individual pick is just right for you.
If you are already registered with Swisslos and have a balance of at least CHF 5.00 in your game account, then an individual pick is the simplest way to participate in the Lotto. You choose 6 of 42 numbers and 1 of 6 lucky numbers per pick. You must fill out at least two picks to participate. After you have decided whether to play with or without Joker, all you need to do is state the number of draws in which your picks should participate. Some good advice from the Lotto millionaire: never mark numbers in a pattern on your play slip. If you do, you risk having to share any jackpot prize with others.
- In the entry field, choose the numbers for your first Swiss Lotto pick. A pick always consists of 6 numbers (1-42) and 1 lucky number (1-6).
- As soon as you have filled out a pick completely, a red button will appear to the right. If you would like to fill out a further pick, click on this button.
Note: You must fill out at least 2 picks, and you can submit a maximum of 14 picks per entry.
- Click on “Next” when you have filled out the desired number of picks
Instructions for playing Swiss Lotto: a brief description Individual picks Quick pick Joker Jackpot subscription Swiss Lotto – no one makes more millionaires