How SuperEnalotto works and why winning is very unlikely

On May 10, 2024 a player from the SuperEnalotto won approx 101 and a half million of euros by purchasing a ticket for just €2 in a tobacconist in Naples. It was the first win in 2024 of the entire prize pool, which is obtained when all and 6 numbers of the combination drawn.

A decidedly lucky win for the player, considering how much it is the probability is low to obtain the winning combination in gambling games in general, but especially in Superenalotto. Let's see in this article what his are rules, how much is it (im)likely to win and why these type of games are dangerous both when we are unlucky and when we are.

How to play SuperEnalotto: the rules of the game

The SuperEnalotto it is a game of chance born in the now distant past 1997 as a variant of the already existing Lotto and Enalotto. It is a very popular game, above all due to the ease, frequency and low cost of participating in the draws.

The game consists of filling out a betting slip choosing 6 numbers which form a combination, plus a number called SuperStar which gives access – if guessed – to further prizes. The numbers chosen are included between 1 and 90 and every combination that is compiled and played on coupon costs €1. There are four weekly draws: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8:00 pm.

How the extraction of SuperEnalotto numbers works

The draws are managed by the government body ADM – Customs agency and monopolies – and from Sisal and they happen three times a week – Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday – at 8.00 pm. The numbers are taken from a briefcase in which a high-pressure air flow mixes the balls which, once drawn, are scanned and communicated to the public. They come extracts not 7 numbers (6 of the combination + the SuperStar number) but 8, as a Wild number is also drawn.

superenalotto draw

The most coveted victory is obtained when all 6 numbers in the combination are guessed – without giving importance to the order – but there are various other prizes if the numbers are partially guessed, even if in this case the winnings are very small:

  • main prizes: 2 (numbers guessed), 3, 4, 5, 5+1 (i.e. 5 numbers + the wild number are guessed), 6
  • SuperStar awards: main prizes + SuperStar, i.e. any of the combinations of the previous point + the SuperStar number is successful

Trying to guess the SuperStar number costs €0.50 more than playing the single combination, but it also increases the prize pool by two million.

The highest prize money ever won in the Superenalotto since the beginning of his life he is 371 million in February 2023, a record year for winnings from this game.

But because playing it is not only not recommended, but it can be really dangerous?

What are the odds of rolling 6 and winning

When we hear news of winning 100 million or more in the Superenalotto by spending a handful of euros, we might be tempted to play it. However, what we are often unable to consider is that winning is highly unlikelywhich in probability essentially means impossible, while the pathological addictions to gambling they are much more concrete and probable.

The odds of winning Superenalotto must by law be published by the Customs and Monopolies Agency and visibly indicated in advertisements for any game. It's about chance so low that our brain can hardly process their meaning.
The probability of matching all 6 numbers necessary to obtain the maximum jackpot is, in fact, 1 in 622,614,630a value that can be obtained with a bit of combinatorics.

Source: Customs and Monopolies Agency.

The probability of winning another smaller prize grows rapidly as the numbers to be guessed decrease, starting from the very low probability mentioned above of guessing 6 numbers, up to the probability of 1 in 22 of guess 2. Too bad, however, that in this case the winnings are only €5.

But what does a 1 in 622 million chance of getting the right combination mean? It means that the distribution of “win” and “loss” events in this type of game is one winning combination for every 622 million incorrect plays. To understand what this is about, consider that the probability in our lifetime of being attacked by a shark and dying it's 1 in 4 million, that is 200 times more likely to win the Superenalotto.
Every now and then someone wins, yes, but for every winner there are billions of failed bets, that is, billions of euros “wasted”.

Not only that, gambling creates a very strong addiction that it can become pathological. The feeling of spending little on each ticket can obscure the fact that, by adding up all the “small expenses” incurred, in the end the loot that has been lost becomes considerable.

lose money after victory winner's bad luck

What are the risks of the game

Plus winning at the Superenalotto can be one thing misfortune even when you win. In fact, suddenly finding ourselves managing huge sums of money that we are not used to, often leads to suddenly raise your lifestyle of the winner, who however, having had a sudden win and not a fixed income, can quickly find himself at no longer be able to pay the expenses of the new luxurious lifestyle. It is a widespread phenomenon, so much so that CNR “Gambling Consumption” study and numerous other studies have assessed that the most winners they tend to return to their initial “wealth” one/two years after victory, and then even fall below one's previous assets.