Located at the crossroads between three continents – Africa, Europe and Asia and with a population of about 11 million people, Greece officially known as the Hellenic Republic is one of the few countries in the world today with a very rich history – no doubt, it is considered by many to be the “Cradle of Civilization”. Not only is Greece known to be the birthplace of Western philosophy, Western literature, the Olympic Games, and mathematical principles, as well as western drama but it is also home to various historical and archaeological sites including the Acropolis of Athens, the Elafonisi, the Meteora and of course, the Temple of the Olympian, Zeus.
It would be unheard of for a country as rich in history as it is in culture to be without a lottery game, after all, it is the Cradle of Civilization. In addition to all the above, Greece is also home to a number of fun-filled lottery games some of which include the Greek Joker (Tzoker), the Super 3 and the Greek Lotto. The Greek Lotto, founded by OPAP which dates back to 1958, was created in 1990. The lottery is one of OPAP’s most popular lottery games. OPAP is the country’s national gaming operator which used to organize soccer games before it started organizing lotteries. Over the years, the Greek Lotto 6/49 has handed out prizes in billions of Euros and has also made more than 600 people millionaires.
Playing the Greek Lotto 6/49
This flagship lottery uses a 6/49 matrix. Like most 6/49 lottery games, the game is played by choosing six out of 49 numbers. Playing this lottery game is easy. Players can choose to play using the “Single Columns” method as well as the “Full or Standard Systems” methods.
Players who wish to complicate their game can choose to play using the “Permutations System”
Players can choose their numbers themselves or play a Lucky Dip which allows the computer to choose random numbers on behalf of the player. Players can also use the Consecutive/Future Draws option to play their selected numbers for a number of future draws. Once the player has completely chosen all his/her numbers and play features, he/she can then hand the completed play slip to the OPAP retailer who will then print the lottery ticket which also acts as a receipt. On reception of the ticket, players should cross-check to make sure that the information on the ticket corresponds with his/her selections. Each play of this lottery game costs as little as €0.5.
One captivating aspect of the Greek Lotto 6/49 is the fact that international players can participate in the game via a number of authorized online lottery retailers. Web-based lottery service operators like theLotter.com and Onelotto.com have made it possible for lottery lovers in any part of the world to participate in the Greek Lotto 6/49. These lottery service operators act as middlemen and usually have representatives in the country who are in charge of purchasing lottery tickets on behalf of their players. Playing online is fun, easy and comfortable.
Most online lottery retailers also take charge of making sure prizes won reach the player. Usually, prize amounts are deposited into the player’s account. However, large amounts such as the jackpot require the physical presence of the winner before the prize can be paid out.
Winnings and Prizes
The Greek Lotto 6/49 has two draws every week which take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays. During these draws, six main numbers are drawn from the pool of 49 numbers. After these balls have been drawn, an additional number – the Bonus number, is drawn from the remaining balls. This additional number has no impact on the jackpot but plays a significant role in the prize amount for the second division.
The jackpot is won by hitting all the six numbers which are drawn during the draw, the odds of which stand at 1 in approximately 13.98 million. The Greek Lotto 6/49 has a guaranteed minimum jackpot of amount of €300,000. It is true that this amount does not sound impressive when it is compared to the mammoth jackpot amounts of other lotteries. However, this amount can very quickly cross the million-euro mark as jackpots not won are rolled over and added to the jackpot amount for the next draw.
The second prize is won by hitting five of the six main numbers plus the Bonus number, the odds of which are 1 in approximately 2.33 million. The prize amount for the second prize is approximately €50,000 but could increase depending on the prize pool for the draw. There are also prizes for matching three, four or five main numbers. The odds of matching three numbers are 1 in approximately 61 while the odds of matching four or five numbers without the Bonus number stand at 1 in 1,083 and 1 in 55,491 respectively. Also, the approximate prize amounts for matching three, four or five main balls without the Bonus number are €1.5, €30 and €1,500 respectively.
It should be noted that lottery winnings in Greece are subject to taxes. A 15% income tax is levied on prizes within the €100 to €500 range.
Prize amounts in excess of €500 are subject to an income tax of 20%. International players should, therefore, familiarize themselves with their local tax laws to determine whether their winnings will be subject to double-taxation. However, all Greek lotto prizes are paid out as cash lumpsums and players are expected to claim their winnings within 3 months of the winning draw. Players can check their tickets by comparing the winning column with their selected numbers and predictions. Players can also use the “Ticket Checkers” found at any OPAP retail shop or entering the OPAP website and choosing the “Find Winnings” option.
Small prizes can be claimed and collected from any authorized OPAP retailer while larger prizes like the jackpot and second-tier prize will need to be collected from any one of the lottery’s cooperating banks. A portion of the funds of the Greek Lotto 6/49 go to support good causes, social welfare, and community development.
Record Jackpot Amounts
Till date, the largest Greek Lotto 6/45 jackpot amount was won by a single ticket submitted for the draw of January 20, 2010. The amount won was €7.5 million.