French Lottery - Française des Jeux

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The French National Lottery game, known as LOTTO, was launched in 1976 and is operated by La Française des Jeux – an organisation which is chiefly (72%) owned by the state. Since its launch, more than 4.1 billion prizes have been paid out, with 7.900 players becoming multimillionaires under the old currency system (francs) and over 150 more becoming multimillionaires since the Euro was introduced in 2002.

The game itself requires player to select 6 numbers from 1 to 49, and draws are held twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays. During the draw, seven balls are picked by the LOTTO machine – six main numbers and one supplementary “bonus” number. To win the jackpot, the player must match all six main numbers. Lesser prizes are available for players matching fewer numbers, as follows:

Prize Level How to Win
Jackpot Match 6 main numbers
2 Match 5 main numbers + bonus
3 Match 5 main numbers
4 Match 4 main numbers + bonus
5 Match 4 main numbers
6 Match 3 main numbers + bonus
7 Match 3 main numbers

It is legal for anyone over the age of 16 to play LOTTO in France, and participating is very straightforward. To play in person, you need to complete a lottery play slip. This allows you to make up to ten lottery entries at once. You can also opt to have the same numbers entered for two, three, four or five consecutive draws.

If you wish to play more than six numbers in order to increase your chances of winning, you can do this by taking advantage of the Jeu Multiple option. This allows you to choose 7, 8, 9 or 10 numbers and will generate 7, 28, 84 or 210 entries respectively.

Whether a player chooses to play six numbers (Jeu Simple) or more numbers (Jeu Multiple) they can either select their own numbers of have the lottery terminal generate the numbers at random on their behalf.