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SuperEnalotto has been taking place in Italy for over a decade and a half, and superseded an original Enalotto model that had been in existence since the 1950s. Sisal, the company behind the draw, changed Enalotto's format and name to SuperEnalotto in 1997. The lottery takes place three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 8:00pm Italian time, and is played by millions of people every week. Draws are streamed live on the official SuperEnalotto website, on the lottery's Facebook page, on Sisal TV and on Televideo page 598.
Enalotto's six winning numbers used to be a combination of the first number drawn in each of the regional Lottos for Bari, Florence, Milan, Naples, Palermo and Rome. While this system was quite charming and enhanced the lottery's quintessentially Italian appeal, it was ultimately deemed inefficient and was changed in 2009; SuperEnalotto numbers are now produced from an entirely separate draw.
Players select six numbers from one to 90 when placing their bet, and winning the jackpot depends on guessing all six correctly. The jackpot can roll over to the next draw in the event that no-one picks the right digits on a given night – there's no limit to how many times this rolling over process can happen, which results in the lottery generating huge jackpot figures.
SuperEnalotto also involves a bonus number, which is labelled as a ‘Jolly’ by the draw's organisers. The Jolly is equivalent to the Bonus Ball in UK lotteries, and gives players who match five numbers a chance to cash in on large prizes even if they miss the jackpot. The lottery also features a ‘SuperStar’ number that multiplies payouts for players who match three or more digits and turns losing entries into small prizes.
SuperEnalotto has a minimum jackpot of €1.3 million, but its wide number range makes it one of the hardest lottery games in the world to win. The draw's huge payouts help to compensate for this skewed probability – the jackpot reached an all time high in October 2010 when a syndicate of 70 players shared a cool €177.8 million. The record for most cash won by a single player was set in August 2009, when one lucky punter scooped €147.8 million.
While it's true that the chances of winning the SuperEnalotto jackpot are slim (1 in 622, 614, 630), there are plenty of other generous prizes that aren't nearly so hard to reach. For example, if the SuperStar number is matched in addition to the five main numbers, the resulting prize pot is 25 times the amount that would have been won by matching the five original digits alone. If several players hit on the same winning number combination, prizes are split equally between the lucky group.
A SuperEnalotto ticket costs €1 and gives players a crack at two lines. Entering the SuperStar draw costs a bit more, which is to be expected given the increased likelihood of winning. Tickets can be purchased at Sisal retailers and betting shops, online on affiliate websites or through concierge services such as TheLotter. It's not necessary to live in Italy to take part in the lottery, although players do have to be 18 to be eligible.
Punters can check winning numbers on the official SuperEnalotto website and can calculate winnings by entering their own picks. The site's results page shows the outcomes of the previous 10 draws, however users can also search an archive if they're interested in learning about older games. The website is updated almost immediately after each new draw, and so offers one of the quickest ways to view results. It's also possible to check winnings on SuperEnalotto's social media channels or, for players who are based in Italy, on TV channel Televideo. Busy gamblers may also wish to download the company's free iOS or Android apps and get results delivered directly to a smartphone or tablet.
Winning players have 90 days to claim their prize, and jackpot winners can choose to receive their cash in a lump sum or via an annuity arrangement. Prizes over €500 are taxed at 6% by the Italian Government, but non-Italians who win on SuperEnalotto might be subject to taxes in their own locality too.