Lotto money mania in Italy as jackpot rises to $207M
Stars and Stripes August 20, 2009
Lottery fever is boiling in Italy.
Tuesday’s drawing failed to produce a winner, and the jackpot for Thursday’s drawing has risen to about $207 million.
Italy’s SuperEnalotto, in which people vie to match six numbers, a “Jolly” number and the “Super Star” number, hasn’t had a jackpot winner since January. The mounting cash pot for Thursday’s drawing stood at 143.9 million euros.
The odds of hitting the jackpot stand at 1 in 622,614,630, a lottery official rattled off with no hesitation.
“What’s a few numbers like that when you could win millions?” he asked.
But the mounting bonanza isn’t enough to persuade Rich Ekvall to part with a euro to tempt fate.
“I don’t play the lottery; that way, I never lose the lottery,” said Ekvall, director of information management for Naval Forces Europe in Naples, Italy.
There is no Italian provision that states non-Italian citizens can’t play – and several news media outlets reported droves of Europeans flocking to Italy from Germany, France and Switzerland, for example, to play. No U.S. policy precludes military members or families from taking a shot at winning some big bucks, a Navy legal official said.
Numbers are drawn three times a week — on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Because Aug. 15 was a national holiday, however, that day’s drawing was held Monday.
Tickets can be bought until 7:30 on the night of the drawing. There is one single drawing for six winning numbers and the “Jolly” number, and a second, independent drawing for the “Super Star” number.
1. Where to get a ticket
Tickets are sold at licensed tobacco shops and coffee bars.
2. How to play
Players pick six numbers from 1 to 90, paying 50 euro cents for a single entry or 1 euro for two entries. Most participants submit two entries. Participants can select their numbers or buy computer-generated tickets. There is one single drawing for six winning numbers and the “Jolly” number, and a second, independent drawing for the “Super Star” number. The “Super Star” number is an additional number and costs an extra euro for two tries. It is played by marking an X in the labeled box to the right of the numbers. The Super Star and Jolly numbers are computer-generated.
3. How will I know if I won?
Results are posted on the lottery’s official Web site at:
4. Show me the money
Winnings of 520 euros or less can be collected from the vendors where tickets were bought. Winnings of 5,200 euros or less can be collected from licensed payment centers in major cities. Winnings of 52,000 euros or more must be collected from one of the two official Sisal lottery offices in Rome or Milan. The sum and frequency of the payouts, and taxes to be paid, all depend on the amount of the winnings.