61 million in the jackpot – “There are more lottery winners in Catholic regions” – Radio SRF 3

The jackpot in the Swiss numbered lottery is rarely this high: 61 million francs are currently waiting for a lucky winner. Roger Fasnacht explains what the typical lucky person looks like, why gambling is particularly keen in Catholic regions and what happens to unclaimed winnings.

Roger Fasnacht

Director Swisslos

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Roger Fasnacht from Bern studied economics. He has been director of Swisslos since 2006.

SRF: Statistically speaking, what does the typical lottery winner look like?

Roger Fasnacht: For reasons of discretion, we generally do not disclose any information about winners. We also always advise winners to remain as anonymous as possible and to only inform a few trusted people about their win. But what I can say is that, statistically speaking, the typical lucky person is male, around 56 years old and comes from a predominantly Catholic region.

Is the lottery played more in Catholic cantons?

Yes, the canton of Ticino is always the front runner for us, as is the canton of Solothurn, which is also heavily Catholic. Appenzell Ausserrhoden serves as a counterexample. Only half as many people play the lottery there as in Ticino.

Why is that?

This is probably a cultural phenomenon. The French and the Italians, for example, play more than the Germans. Romance-oriented countries are apparently more playful. This is often explained by the belief in predetermined fate, which cannot necessarily be influenced by hard work. The more sober Alemanne with a Protestant background probably has the feeling that he can get ahead through work and hard work.

A person fills out a lottery ticket at a kiosk.


Around 60 percent of players redeem their lottery ticket at the kiosk. The rest play online or via app.


Assuming I typed the right numbers, what now?

There are two cases. If the ticket was filled out online, we know who won based on the registration. We will contact the winner and discuss how to proceed. If the winning ticket was posted at the kiosk, we will wait until the person contacts us. You can also send us the certificate by registered mail. But most people come by or call.

You hear again and again that lottery winnings are not claimed. Is that correct?

It is actually the case that many relatively small winnings go unclaimed. In 2022 it was a total of seven million francs. But that only corresponds to around 0.5 percent of all winnings that we pay out annually. When it came to winning millions, we only had one case in the last twenty years where the winning ticket wasn’t redeemed.

Facts and figures about the Swiss lottery

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Highest jackpot: In December 2016 the jackpot was 70 million francs. Three lucky people split the sum.

Highest individual winThe highest individual winnings in 2014 were 48,598,075 francs and 75 centimes. The numbers for the windfall were: 3, 4, 7, 21, 22, 23 – lucky number 2.

Most common number: The number 36 has been drawn the most since 1979, namely 570 times.

Rarest number: 41 is the number that has been drawn the least frequently, 464 times.

Lucky numbers: Of the six lucky numbers, 4 is used the most and 3 the least.

type of game: Around 40 percent of participants play online or via app, 60 percent redeem their lottery ticket at a point of sale.

Odds of winning: The chance of hitting the jackpot with a single tip is around 1 in 31 million.

What happens to the money?

This is regulated by law. The profit expires after six months, so to speak, for a good cause. We allocate the money to the net profit, which goes entirely to projects primarily in the cultural and sports sectors.

Are there actually any complaints from people who are upset because they haven’t cleared away again?

There are reports that go in this direction. Often these are desperate people, sometimes they are addicted to gambling. In such cases, we try to contact the senders and clarify what the problem is. If necessary, we recommend gambling addiction counseling.

Do Swisslos employees actually play the lottery?

Everyone can play, including our employees. The system is designed in such a way that no one can influence it. But no employee has ever left us because he or she won a million – I would have noticed that.

The interview was conducted by Luk von Bergen.

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