Colorful balls that swirl in a jar before coming out on a ramp, on catchy music, the perky voice of the presenter, the destiny that could switch: the Lotto, popular appointment whose only name lets imagine a life of dream, celebrates its 40th birthday this Friday, with a prize pool of 15 million euros!
“Every year on average, a winner does not come to withdraw his winnings. With a record of eight million never claimed”
When fortune generates new fortunes
When fortune generates new fortunes: since 1976, date of its creation, more than 16,000 people have won the netent jackpot. In 2017, there were not less than 17 million to bet on their favorite slots.
A French success story?
In the 1970s, veteran associations, such as the Gueules Cassées, sought to renew the National Lottery launched in 1933, where participants can not choose their numbers. “It is rooted in a story quite French (…) but also a European story, since they reported the idea of a German lottery”, says the CEO of the French games (FDJ) Stéphane Pallez .. May 19, 1976, this is the first draw of this new game called Loto, as “lotto” in Italian (lot, lot).
The principle: give six numbers (out of 49) plus an additional number. The mayonnaise does not take immediately: the organizers must invite passers-by to the street to fill the empty seats of the theater where the first draw is held, not yet broadcast on television.
That night, no winner. It was not until September 1976 to know the first national winner who won 808.052,90 francs. The latter tells his new life as a millionaire in the press and attracts the attention of the public.
The following month, a million people play and one year after its launch, the Loto brings together seven million players. These quidams projected in a life of Croesus overnight are the most beautiful showcase that can imagine the FDJ.
Like this winner of 42 years who wishes to remain anonymous: he won 17 million euros in 2014 and, he said to AFP, would like “feel a second time this emotion.”
Record 24 million euros
In 2015, 42 millionaires won a Lotto jackpot, “almost one a week,” said the FDJ. With a record in 2011 in Sarcelles (Val-d’Oise): 24 million euros, even if in 2004, Euro Millions, the European jackpot, upset the deal with much larger gains, because of the nine participating countries. The gambling model – redistribution of benefits to the general interest – pleases, with 818 million euros shared in 2015 by the winners.
“The Lotto continues to embody the dream, accessible to all, it’s a little equal opportunities,” says Stéphane Pallez. The leading French gambling operator, 72% owned by the state, the FDJ gives 95% of the bets (all games combined): to customers (66%), to the local bar-tabac-presse network (6%) and to the national community (23%), overwhelmingly taxes paid to the state.
The company, which has chosen the only Friday 13 of 2016 to celebrate this anniversary, involves on this occasion an exceptional jackpot of 15 million euros and launches a new application for smartphones. Renunciation or neglect?
Every year on average, a winner does not come to withdraw his winnings. With a record of eight million never claimed.