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Germany's national lottery, known as Lotto 6 aus 49, is the most popular lottery game in the country. It has been running since 1955, making it one of the oldest lotteries in Europe. Like many major lotteries around the world, draws are held twice weekly on Wednesday and Saturday evenings.
An organisation known as Deutscher Lotto- und Totoblock (DLTB) is responsible for managing Lotto 6 aus 49. The organisation represents 16 individual lottery operators from regions across Germany and each operator takes a turn at running the game, with the leadership changing hands every three years.
Players select six main numbers between one and 49 (hence the game’s title), plus one additional number between one and nine. This is known as the Superzahl, or 'super number'.
During the draw, one machine is used to select the six main numbers and the Superzahl is drawn from a separate machine. To win the jackpot, a ticket holder must match all seven numbers.
Alongside Lotto 6 aus 49 there are two supplementary games that help to make things more interesting for players. With the Spiel 77 game, a random seven-digit number is generated on a player’s ticket. The last digit of this number corresponds to the Superzahl in the main draw. Cash prizes are available for players who match some or all of these numbers in order.
The second additional game is known as Super 6. Here, the same seven-digit number from Spiel 77 is used, but the first digit is disregarded. Cash prizes are awarded to ticket holders who successfully match the numbers in the order they were generated. Matching all six digits in order results in a prize of €100,000.
Both games require players to opt in and pay an additional fee on top of their original lottery ticket.
Like many lotteries, Lotto 6 aus 49 operates a rollover jackpot. This means the top prize is carried over to the next draw when there is no winning ticket. As a result, it is possible for the main jackpot to climb to a huge sum. The biggest win to date is a jackpot of €45.4 million, which was shared between three people in December 2007. The biggest solo ticket win was €37.7 million, won in October 2006. The average jackpot paid out by the lottery has been estimated at around €5.7 million.
There are nine different prize tiers, or ‘classes’, in the Lotto 6 aus 49. The top class is the ticket that matches six numbers plus the Superzahl. The odds of winning here are one in 139,838,160. Further down the tiers, matching five numbers carries odds of one in 60,223, while matching three numbers plus the Superzahl is a one in 567 chance. Overall, the odds of winning a prize when you buy a ticket for Lotto 6 aus 49 are one in 31.
The cost of a standard ticket for Lotto 6 aus 49 is €1 plus booking fee. There is an additional change of €2.50 to enter Spiel 77 and €1.25 for those who want to play the Super 6 game.
You must be at least 18 years old to take part in Lotto 6 aus 49. Residents of Germany can buy a ticket at any licensed retailer or online. People living outside the country are not excluded from taking part in the game, as tickets can be purchased online through a lottery agent. They will purchase the ticket for you and send a scanned copy for your reference.
To check your numbers, you can simply visit the lottery game’s official website, where all the winning numbers from every recent Wednesday and Saturday draw are posted. Details of the winning Spiel 77 and Super 6 numbers can also be found here.
All lottery winnings in Germany are tax-free, which makes Lotto 6 aus 49 particularly attractive to players. However, people who win a prize after buying a ticket online through an agent are advised to seek advice from a tax official to find out if they will owe any local taxes.