All About the Lotto in the Netherlands

Lucas Costa
June 4, 2022

The first Lotto draw took place in 1974, and it quickly gained immense popularity. So much so that in 1975, the organizers had to relocate to a new venue in The Hague. In 1976 alone, an astonishing 173 million guilders were converted, a significant sum for a new gambling game at the time.

Lotto on Television

In 1981, the Lotto introduced its first television lottery, with Willem Ruis as the program’s host. In 1985, Ted de Braak took over the show, and that same year, the Lotto welcomed its 100,000th member. The Lotto supports a total of 18 charities that contribute to Dutch sports, social welfare, and public health.

Fifty percent of the lottery’s proceeds are directed to the aforementioned charities. Thanks to the Lotto, even if you don’t win any money in the lottery, half of your spending still goes toward a charity of your choice, ensuring your money is put to good use.

The Lotto Prizes

Participating in the Lotto is straightforward. You simply select 6 numbers from a range of 1 to 45. Every Saturday, immediately following the “Hart van Nederland” program at 18:15, you get a weekly chance to win the 1 million jackpot prize from the Lotto. Each week, over 100,000 participants win various prizes, with the amount depending on the number of correct numbers guessed.

Notable Lotto Wins

The Lotto celebrates over 100,000 prize winners every week, including those who have become millionaires with just a $2 wager. The largest win in Lotto history occurred on October 16, 2010, when a record-breaking prize of $36 million was shared among 20 lucky participants.

Notable Top Lotto Prizes (Exceeding $10 Million)

  1. On March 10, 2018, a player from Hellevoetsluis secured a Lotto jackpot of $18.8 million by correctly guessing the numbers 40, 25, 24, 23, 20, and 8, with 15 as the reserve number.
  2. June 27, 2015, witnessed a staggering jackpot of $23.9 million, won with the numbers 38, 25, 22, 19, 7, and 3, along with the color green. The fortunate winner hailed from Eindhoven.
  3. On September 6, 2014, three players successfully matched all 6 numbers and the color to win $9.3 million each, contributing to a total jackpot of $27.9 million. Two of the winners resided in Zoetermeer and Groningen, while the place of residence of the third winner remains undisclosed.
  4. July 13, 2013, marked another notable Lotto jackpot of $10 million, secured with the numbers 42, 30, 26, 15, 7, and 4, along with the color orange.
  5. October 14, 2012, witnessed a Lotto jackpot of $13.5 million, shared among nine winners from Limburg, North Holland, South Holland, and North Brabant. The winning numbers were 23, 18, 12, 11, 7, and 1, with the color orange. Among the winners were five Lotto subscribers and four in-store players.
  6. On June 16, 2012, a participant clinched an $11.5 million prize with numbers 43, 37, 30, 6, 3, and 1, paired with the color blue.
  7. March 17, 2012, saw a jackpot of $11.5 million awarded in Drenthe, with the winning numbers being 36, 21, 18, 16, 6, and 5.
  8. October 25, 2011, featured a substantial Lotto jackpot of $26 million, with nine winners matching 5 numbers and the correct color, earning almost $3 million each. The winning numbers were 45, 36, 28, 17, 14, and 13.
  9. December 11, 2010, celebrated an $11 million jackpot in Limburg, won with numbers 43, 38, 37, 11, 10, and 8.
  10. On June 4, 2009, a family from Hellevoetsluis struck it rich with a $16.5 million win, achieved by matching the numbers 41, 26, 11, 8, 5, and 1.

Payouts Based on the Number of Correct Numbers

Here are the payouts based on the number of correct numbers in the Lotto:

  1. 6 Correct Numbers:
    • Win a minimum of $2,500,000.
    • An additional $200,000 is added weekly if the jackpot is not won.
    • If multiple winners get all the numbers right, the jackpot is divided equally among them.
  2. 5 Correct Numbers + Reserve Number:
    • Win $25,000 by guessing 5 (plus the extra) numbers correctly.
  3. 5 Correct Numbers:
    • Win $1,000.
  4. 4 Correct Numbers + Reserve Number:
    • Win $50.
  5. 4 Correct Numbers:
    • Win $20.
  6. Match 3 Digits + Reserve Digits:
    • Win $10.
  7. Correct 3 Numbers:
    • Win $7.50.
  8. 2 Correct Numbers + Reserve Number:
    • Win $5.
  9. Correct 2 Numbers:
    • Win $2 credit (for a new ticket).

Please be aware that the Lotto deducts gaming tax on prizes exceeding $449.

Winning the Jackpot with 6 Correct Numbers

When you correctly match all 6 numbers, the thrill of winning the Lotto jackpot is unmatched. The prize amount depends on the current Lotto jackpot. For instance, on June 22, 2019, a resident of Apeldoorn won a substantial $4,100,000 by matching all 6 numbers correctly.

New Lotto Draw since 2017

The Lotto introduced an exciting addition to the game in 2017, especially for players who didn’t guess all 6 numbers correctly. By matching the reserve number in this extra draw, you can secure larger prizes. Participating in this extra draw costs an additional $1 per ticket. The process is the same as the regular lottery draw, but the prizes in this extra draw go up to a maximum of $1,000,000.

Cost of Playing the Lotto

To participate in the Lotto, you can purchase a ticket for $2.00. If you’d like to play with multiple tickets (up to 5), you can enter one weekly draw with each of your tickets. A new lottery ticket is needed for each subsequent draw. For added convenience, you can choose to subscribe to the Lotto, with the cost automatically deducted from your bank account. This ensures you won’t miss any draws and potentially miss out on a significant prize if your numbers are drawn.

How to Become a Lotto Member

If you prefer not to worry about purchasing tickets for each draw, you can subscribe with 1 to 12 cards. Subscribing to the Lotto means you automatically participate every week and can take advantage of additional benefits. New subscribers receive a welcome gift from the Lotto as an extra incentive.

How to Play the Lotto

Playing the Lotto is straightforward and easy to understand. Here’s how it works:

  1. Select Your Lucky Numbers: On the appropriate entry form, choose 6 numbers that you believe could be the winning numbers for the next draw. You’ll need to pick 6 numbers from the available range.
  2. Wait for the Draw: The Lotto draw takes place every Saturday. You’ll have to wait for the draw to determine if your selected numbers match the winning numbers. All prizes in the Lotto are in the form of cash.
  3. No Gadgets or Goods: Unlike some lotteries, there are no gadgets, goods, or other items raffled off in the Lotto. The only gift you receive is when you first become a member of the Dutch Lotto.
  4. Jackpot Prize: If you successfully guess all 6 numbers and also correctly fill in the jackpot color on your form, you will win a jackpot prize of at least $7,500.00.
  5. Lotto Numbers Game: You also have the option to play the Lotto numbers game, where you can only select 6 numbers. If you match all 6 numbers correctly in this game, you’ll receive a prize of $200,000.

How the Draw Works and When It Occurs

The Lotto draw happens every Saturday and is conducted by a notary public, ensuring fairness and accuracy. The draw occurs at 18:15, and results become available from 20:00 on the Lotto website or NOS Teletekst (page 555).

You can also check your ticket by visiting a retail store or contacting a Lotto representative for information about a specific draw at the phone number 0900-9525 (charged at $0.25 cents per minute).

Since a notary oversees the draw, you can have confidence that each draw is conducted fairly, and the results are 100% accurate. For those who want to witness the draw, it is televised on SBS6 at 22:30, offering transparency as you observe the drawing of the balls.

Lotto Mobile Application

The Lotto has introduced a dedicated mobile app for its players. This app offers various functionalities, such as:

  1. Jackpot Updates: It displays the current Lotto jackpot amount and informs users about upcoming draws.
  2. Ticket Scanning: Players can conveniently scan their lottery tickets’ barcodes using the app to check for any winning numbers.

The Lotto app is compatible with both Android and iOS systems, making it accessible to users with devices like iPhones and Samsung smartphones.

How to Cancel the Lotto

While many people win the Dutch lottery every year, not everyone is consistently fortunate. If you wish to cancel your Lotto participation, you can do so easily by contacting customer service. Here’s how to proceed:

  1. Contact Lotto Customer Service: Reach out to the Lotto customer service at phone number 0800-1501.
  2. Select the Appropriate Option: When prompted, choose the relevant option to discuss Lotto cancellation. This is usually option 2.
  3. Customer Service Hours: The Lotto customer service is available on weekdays from 09:00 in the morning until 21:00 in the evening. On Saturdays, they are open from 10:00 to 16:00.
  4. Prepare Necessary Information: When you cancel, make sure you have the correct information to identify your membership, including the account number from which payments are automatically debited weekly. This will help streamline the cancellation process.

By following these steps and contacting customer service during their working hours, you can cancel your Lotto membership if you no longer wish to participate.

Author Lucas Costa