Sisal on behalf of Italian Government
The superenalotto is a bit different to most in that it can boast some of the biggest jackpots in the world (but also some of the longest odds!). It is run by SISAL on behalf of the Italian government.
Available in Italy, though some concierge and betting services offer it in other countries.
How it Works
Date and time of draws
The superenalotto lottery is one of few that has three draws per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 8pm ET.
No. of balls and how to hit the jackpot
Players choose 6 main balls from 90 (!) and one bonus ball (called the jolly) from 10. You need 'just' the 6 main balls to hit the jackpot. Jolly balls are used for other prizes.
There is a superenalotto add on game called 'superstar' which is very popular in Italy and played by around 40% of all superenalotto players. It costs an extra 0.50 euros and offers extra prizes from 5 euros to 2m euros. Quite bizarrely, as if the odds needed increasing any more, the extra superstar ball is drawn from another set of 90 balls. This gives the chances of hitting, say, 6 main balls plus the superstar ball odds of 56 billion to 1! In fact, most Italian websites don't even bother showing the results for this prize level. And if you'd already won on the main draw, I'm not quite sure why you'd need an extra 2m euros in any case... The lower prizes are just ok and the overall odds of hitting anything on the superstar game are 1 in 90. The RTP is 0.44 (in keeping really with the main game). I can only imagine people play the superstar because you don't get much back from the main game.
Price, Tickets & Sales
Tickets for the superenalotto cost €1 per line (or 1.50 with the superstar).
Tickets Sold Per Draw
This is a medium sized lottery in terms of ticket sales with 7m or so sold per draw.
Sales per draw
Note that there are three draws per week though so sales per week are a bit better but it's still fairly small in national lottery terms. The superstar version though does yield an extra 20% per draw (40% of players x 0.50c), however.
Odds of hitting the jackpot
There are just six prize tiers on the superenalotto with the bonus (jolly) ball used for the second tier prize only.
The odds of winning the superenalotto jackpot are enormous at 1 in 622m. This makes it the hardest jackpot to win of all lotteries. The odds of hitting the jackpot on the superstar game are 56 billion to 1!
Balls and Bonus Balls
6 and 0
5 and 1
5 and 0
4 and 0
3 and 0
2 and 0
*Average jackpot size when it is hit
Odds of winning any prize
The chances of winning any prize are fairly average at 1 in 20 (and 1 in 90 for the superstar variation). They used to be around 1 in 300 though before a rule change in 2016 allowed wins on a 2 ball match so, much better than it was! The lowest prize tier (for 2 main balls matched) is a decent 5x stake, however.
The minimum jackpot on superenalotto is some 1.3m euros. Not a huge amount, considering the odds of hitting it.
The average jackpot on this game if you're playing each week is quite impressive at €30m.
Average jackpot when hit
It's a bit tricky doing an average amount for the jackpot when it is hit, because the odds are so high, that you can expect it to be hit only around twice per year. Its theoretical value when hit should be around €62m. There was just one winner in the last 12 months, for example.
Highest jackpot ever
Given the really long odds, there's no surprise that the highest jackpot ever won on superenalotto is an impressive €177m won by three people in 2010, only €25m short of the largest ever euromillions winner! And the highest single winner won €148m on superenalotto.
Jackpot winners per year
You're unlikely to see more than 2 jackpot winners per year.
Contribution to the jackpot
10% of sales on each draw go into the jackpot, which comparatively, is quite low for a lottery. The jackpot does get very big but this has less to do with the contribution each draw to the jackpot and more to do with the chances of hitting it.
Return to Player
In Feb 2016, the governing body AAMS decided to pay a much higher percentage back to players in the form of prizes - up to 60% from 35%. Extra value was paid back to players via the instant win and 2 and 0 ball prizes. I am struggling, however, to see how this is borne out in practice. At best, I make the return to player (RTP) 50%.
RTP when first seeded
When it's first seeded the RTP to players is 0.4.
If you're playing every draw for a year say, then your RTP will be around 0.46.
RTP when jackpot typically hit
And if you're playing when it reaches the sort of size when it would 'typically' be won (with 1-2 jackpots per year there's not much that's typical with this one!), then your RTP is 50% or 0.5.
As the rules and payouts have changed since it last hit north of €100m we can't compare the RTP then to now. If it does get to say €150m again, and there are good chances for this to happen, then the RTP of superenalotto is around 0.65 i.e., there's no chance of positive value for players on this lottery. Yes the jackpot figure is high but the odds of hitting it are still extremely high too.
Payouts and Taxes
Annuity vs Cash
Advertised jackpots are their cash amount, though there are now taxes payable of 6% on winnings.
Taxes on winnings are 6%.
Whilst the organisers have improved the player value of superenalotto in the last few months it is still poor when compared to most other lotteries. The long odds of hitting the jackpot, ungenerous second tier prizes and poor value on the lowest tiers mean that the RTP doesn't often reach their advertised prize payout of 60%. It only gets there, for example, when the jackpot is more than €120m and that's still a long way short of good value! The superstar variation offers slightly less value so not too sure why this one is popular either.
Three draws per week is unusually good. The new instant win plus 2 and 0 payout tiers are welcome additions and jackpots do reach very large amounts.
Ludicrously long odds of hitting the jackpot (and even higher for the superstar top prizes). Low RTP which never gets close to looking like a bit of value, or a good 'bet'.