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Italian Culture: Lotteries in Italy

Lotteries inside and outside of Italy

What is a lottery? A lottery is a popular form of gambling which

involves the drawing of lots for a prize. Some governments forbid it,

while others endorse it to the extent of organizing a national lottery.

The first signs of a lottery are followed back to the Han Dynasty between

205 – 187 B.C.!

How we have proof is because ancient Keno slips were discovered.

The lottery has helped finance major projects such as the Great Wall

of China.


There is also risk to the organizer if insufficient tickets are sold.

The prize may be a fixed percentage of all receipts. Lotteries are most

often run by a government or by the local state and are sometimes described

as Regressive Tax – since those most likely to buy tickets will be the

less affluent members of a society. Playing the lottery is voluntary,

but it is intended to suggest that lotteries are governmental revenue

– raising mechanisms that will attract only those people who fail to

see that the game is a very bad deal. Taking into account the present

value of the lottery prize as a single lump sum cash payment the impact

of any taxes that might apply and the likelihood of having to share

the prize with other winners is not uncommon to find that a ticket for

a typical major lottery is worth less than 1\3 of its purchase price.

lottery winnings

TOTIP +piu

This game is played on Sundays. This game is Italy’s horse race game.

There are six games and the horses are divided into three groups; 1,

x, 2. For every race you need to mark the order of arrival. You have

Corsa (Race) 1 – 12 and group °1 and °2. In box “A” you need to choose

that horses number of arrival: 1, x, or 2. AT the bottom of the card

you have the “Corso X” here you choose the horses that you think will

come in first or second place, choosing only two.


This lottery you can compare to the “Big Game” in the United States

or the “Power Ball” lottery.

Well, this is Italy’s PowerBall! You can choose six numbers from

1 – 90. And you may play the “SuperStar” your lucky number. All you

need to do is play the six numbers for SuperEnalotto and the computer

will automatically choose a superstar number for you if you check the

box in the star on the superEnalotto playing card. You may choose your

own numbers or you may pick a pre – made card already having 6 numbers

marked off.

The Mega Millions game played in the United States with six numbers

also. It used to be called the “Big Game” until May, 2002 when it was

changed to Mega Millions. The very first ticket was sold on August 31st

1996. During that time you could only play in: Massachusetts, Michigan,

Maryland, Illinois, Georgia and Virginia. So those that lived outside

had to find the closest state and run across the borders to play. It

is played with two pools of numbers with five different numbers from

1 – 56 and one number from 1 – 46. You win by selecting all six numbers

in one drawing. If you win, you may choose between annual payments over

a 26 year period – which is 38,500 every year for every million won

(that is before taxes of course), or you may be paid in a one time lump


The Powerball lottery is very similar to the Mega millions game where

you have to choose 5 numbers from 1 through 55 and the powerball (which

is the sixth) out of 1 – 42 numbers. Starting in 1988 as “Lottery America”

the name was officially changed on June 8th 1996 – perhaps in competition

with the Big Game? Thus a marketing strategy?

Lotteria Italia

Once a year Lotteria Italia comes out around Oct – November and the

numbers are extracted around the 6th of January which happens to fall

on the holiday of the Befana. These cards are already set with a series

of numbers winning or not! There are scratch and wins also on the card.

Tuttocalcio (All Soccer)

This game is presented on the same playing card as the Totogol. The

cost for this game is 1 euro. The extractions are done every Sunday

and every other Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.

There are fourteen games printed on the playing card and may be played

by columns – 2 columns is the minimum and the cost is .50 per column.

For every game played correct the player receives 1 point. There are

3 winning categories: 14, 13 and 12. If you miss one the jackpot is

added to and keeps accumulating and keeps growing. They also offer the

possibility to win prizes before the soccer game starts. The prizes

start at 100 euro and are assigned quickly after the game card is purchased

so you can check to see if you won without hesitation! There is one

prize given per 15,000 columns – and they are directly paid

at your place of purchase (Right on your receipt of game purchase it

is noted if you had won the pre – soccer game prize).

There is another part to this lotto called “il 9.” For anyone who

gets one of the 9 games right, they receive one point, and to win you

must get all 9 games right to receive your 9 points and win.


This game consists of 14 different games presented in a little box

and numbered 1 – 14.

You may choose between four possibilities: “01” equal to zero and

for 1 goal, “02” for 2 goals made, “03” for 3 goals, and “04” for four

or more goals. The games to play are pre – chosen with the tiny boxes

in black. You must play a minimum of 2 columns which is .50 a column.

The New Zealand Lottery is controlled by you guessed it, the New

Zealand Government. The lotteries are held on Saturdays and Wednesdays

The lotto game was first played in 1987 and replaced New Zealand’s original

national lotteries. Lotto is a pick of 6 numbers from 1 – 40.The prizes

are around 300,000 – 2 million New Zealand Dollars. Your chances of

winning are 1 in 3,800,000. The New Zealand Power ball works like to

powerball in the United States. And with this game your chances of winning

are one in 30mil.

Canada’s first lottery was Quebec’s Inter – loto back in 1970. And

throughout the 70’s other province lotteries started popping up. Finally

the Canadian government ran “Loto Canada” to help recoup from expenses

of the 1976 Olympics. Lottery prizes are not usually subject to Canadian


Today Canada has two nation – wide lotteries: Lotto 6\49 (est. 1982)

and Lotto Super 7 (est. 1994).

The very first lottery in France was created by King Francis I around

1505. After his attempt, lotteries were soon forbidden for almost two

hundred years. Finally at the end of the 17th century it showed up again

as a public lottery for the city of Paris – and private ones were developed

too, for religious orders – which in turn helped to rebuild many churches.

The fact that lotteries are commonly played leads to some contradictions

– against standard models of economic rationality. However, the expectations

of some players may not be to win the game, it may be just the thrill

and indulgence in the fantasy of possibly becoming wealthy – and that

may become the goal.

This is particularly popular among those who believe their chances

of becoming rich are already zero, so even if the odds of winning are

awful, they are much better than zero.

By Jackelin J.Jarvis

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