The German Lotto 6aus49 (6 from 49) is one of the largest single country lotteries in Europe and also one of the oldest, established over 50 years ago. It is run by DLTB on behalf of the 16 state lotteries in Germany.
Germany, though some concierge and betting services offer it in other countries.
How it Works
Date and time of draws
Two draws take place per week for the Lotto 6aus49 on a Wednesday at 6.25pm CET and on Saturday at 7.25pm CET.
No. of balls and how to hit the jackpot
There are two ball pools of 49 and 10. Players pick 6 from the first and one bonus ball from the second. The jackpot winner needs all seven.
Spiel77 is an extra game that can be played for an extra euro that generates a 7 digit number. Prizes are awarded for matching some or all of the same 7 digits as that chosen in a separate draw. The jackpot prize for Spiel77 starts at 177,777 and can rollover if not hit in a given week. Unusually, the 'extra' game here is more expensive or worse value than the main lottery draw.
Price, Tickets & Sales
Each line is one euro for this lottery.
Tickets Sold Per Draw
Lotto 6aus49 is a huge lottery in terms of tickets sold each week in one country. In fact it sells more per draw on average than any other lottery with around 36m tickets sold for each draw. For reasons you will see below the numbers of ticket purchases, whilst high, do not tend to grow exponentially when a major rollover is near. You might find on a good (rollover) draw the number of tickets sold rising to 50m.
Sales per draw
As it only costs €1 to play it isn't the largest in revenue terms but is still close to the size of the big multistate lotteries Powerball and Euromillions.
Odds of hitting the jackpot
There are 9 payout tiers on 6 aus 49 with the lowest two tiers worth a significant multiple on the stake. Like many lotteries, most prizes in the payout table vary week in week out as they are based on a % of the pool. The jackpot and fixed bottom tier prize payout are separate to this calculation.
The odds of winning the jackpot are not great at 1 in 139m, the same as the Spanish Primitiva lottery. Only the two large US multistate lotteries and the Italian lottery have longer odds of hitting the jackpot.
Balls and Bonus Balls
6 and 1
6 and 0
5 and 1
5 and 0
4 and 1
4 and 0
3 and 1
3 and 0
2 and 1
*Average jackpot size when it is hit
Odds of winning any prize
The chances of hitting any prize at 1 in 31 are not great on the main German Lotto 6aus49, when compared to other lotteries. That said, if you discount for a moment the lotteries that give you a free play (your stake back) for the bottom tier, the German lotto is then quite competitive with a decent return for the bottom two prize tiers.
Despite the massive amount of ticket sales and the really long odds of hitting the jackpot, jackpots in Germany are not too special at all. They also suffer from a very low minimum (1.5m euros is the average reseed amount). If you do hit the jackpot on week one you will make nearer 3m euros though with that week's contribution added to the seed.
Add to these low minimums then the fact that the share of sales that is attributed to the jackpot (and its rollovers) is extremely low - at around 13% of prizes or 7% of sales. This is the lowest of all lotteries we have reviewed. For this reason, the average jackpot in any week will be near the €6m mark.
Average jackpot when hit
The average jackpot when hit is around 10m euros. Not a bad sum you may think, but in the wider context of other lotteries (and the sales volume this draw has) is still quite low.
Highest jackpot ever
Add to this then the fact that jackpots are also capped and not at an amount but according to the number of rollovers! On the 13th rollover draw, if not won by a 6+1 winner, the jackpot amount is rolled down and paid out to the next tier(s) of winners and then starts again on the next draw. Jackpots do not grow massively in Germany, even when they near their maximum. The largest jackpot on the 6 aus 49 lottery for €45m was hit in 2007 by three ticket holders. Most 'big jackpots' on the 6 aus 49 in the last few years have been around €30m.
Jackpot winners per year
There are around 26 jackpot 'hits' per year.
Contribution to the jackpot
As mentioned, the % of sales which is attributed to the jackpot is the lowest at 7%.
Return to Player
The headline RTP figure from DLTB is 46%. This varies very little in practice from one draw to the next.
RTP when first seeded
If you happen to play 6 aus 49 the day it is first seeded, your RTP will be around 0.44.
If you play on subscription, you're bang on the 0.46 RTP.
RTP when jackpot typically hit
And if you only play when the jackpot nears its average hit amount of €10m your RTP is 0.5 (or 50c of your €1 stake).
If you're prepared to wait for the 'big' jackpots of €30m+ your RTP will be 0.65 and if it ever reaches €45m again, you're looking at a (still negative) return of 0.75.
Payouts and Taxes
Annuity vs Cash
The good news is that the cash amount advertised is a net cash amount.
No local or German taxes apply to this lottery.
We are really surprised that this lottery sells so many tickets per draw. Maybe it's just so established in the country after so many years and, like most lotteries, doesn't have much direct competition. Maybe it's the low price and generous (though infrequent) bottom tier prizes. Maybe the frequent roll-downs of jackpots really are popular? For the jackpot hunters out there, you won't find any level at which it becomes a sensible punt.
Easy entry price of €1. Very high sales which, in principle, means there's plenty of money sloshing around for prizes and jackpots. Generous low tier prizes.
RTPs not great even when the jackpot hits its maximum. Minimum jackpots too are not at all generous and weekly contributions to jackpots are low. Not much incentive you would think to play week in week out, especially given that the frequency of any win too is a long shot.