Published: May 28, 2024

GERMANY: Lotto Hessen: Since 1949: 13 billion euros in profits, 6 billion euros for the common good and 684 million euros in profits

Lotto Hessen:  2023: Sales record of 747.5 million euros  Watch 75th anniversary video.  Lotto Hessen celebrated its 75th anniversary in Hessenpark in Neu-Anspach. Among those celebrating were many sales outlet operators and several prominent guests. 

  • Since 1949: 13 billion euros in profits, 6 billion euros for the common good and 684 million euros in profits
  • Never before have more predictions been made than in 2023
  • Record annual figure for lottery millionaires
  • LOTTO helps: Anniversary campaign for Hessian clubs


LOTTO Hessen is celebrating 75 years with three lottery fairies (from right): Martin Blach (spokesman for the LOTTO Hessen management), Elvira Hahn, who drew the first numbers in 1955, record lottery fairy Karin Tietze-Ludwig with more than 30 years of service, her successor Franziska Reichenbacher and Alexander Sausmikat (managing director of LOTTO Hessen). (Photo: LOTTO Hessen)
LOTTO Hessen is celebrating 75 years with three lottery fairies (from right): Martin Blach (spokesman for the LOTTO Hessen management), Elvira Hahn, who drew the first numbers in 1955, record lottery fairy Karin Tietze-Ludwig with more than 30 years of service, her successor Franziska Reichenbacher and Alexander Sausmikat (managing director of LOTTO Hessen). (Photo: LOTTO Hessen)
Wiesbaden - In 2023, too, the people of Hesse were keen to bet, investing 117 euros per capita in their lottery luck, statistically speaking. They brought the Hessian lottery company the highest turnover in 75 years of LOTTO Hessen, around 747.5 million euros, and the state of Hesse and non-profit organizations from sports, culture, monument preservation, social affairs and the environment 265.3 million euros. The Hessian winners earned around 404 million euros in 2023, 21 of whom became millionaires. The highest win of the year went to the Rhine-Main area with 22.5 million euros. The sales drivers in the record year were once again the European lottery Eurojackpot as well as the scratch cards and games of the instant lottery, and online sales also increased again. The most important pillar remains the 2,000 sales outlets in the state, which continue to generate by far the largest part of the annual turnover. In its anniversary year, LOTTO Hessen GmbH has launched an annual support package worth two million euros for them and has also planned further investments in the digitalization of stationary sales. The state lottery company is turning 75 this year.

 "If you take stock of 75 years of LOTTO Hessen, we have distributed 6 billion euros to the community. While in the 1950s the club landscape primarily benefited from the stakes through the construction of football stadiums in the state, today the social sector, culture, monument preservation and the environment are also among the recipients of funds. A further 4.4 billion euros have flowed into the state coffers as betting and lottery taxes since 1949. LOTTO Hessen has generated more than 26.3 billion euros in the last seven and a half decades. 684 Hessen residents have tipped their way to millionaires to date, and they and hundreds of millions of other winners have won a total of 12.9 billion euros," explains Hesse's Finance Minister Prof. Dr. R. Alexander Lorz , who is responsible for managing the investment. "LOTTO Hessen has also achieved an impressive result in the 2023 financial year through record sales and at the same time is helping to counteract the development and spread of illegal gambling on the black market," said the minister.

2023: Sales record of 747.5 million euros

With 747.5 million euros, the state lottery company achieved the highest turnover in its company history in 2023 - never before have so many bets been placed in Hesse as last year. Compared to 2022 (745.1 million euros), this represents an increase of 0.3 percent. More than 70.7 million game orders were received at the LOTTO headquarters in Wiesbaden in 2023, 1.1 percent more than in the previous year. "The dream of small and large lottery luck is part of everyday life for many people in our state, and in these unstable times it is perhaps even more important than ever," said Martin Blach, spokesman for the management of LOTTO Hessen GmbH , at today's annual press conference in Wiesbaden.
In 2023, every resident of Hesse wagered around 117 euros at lottery sales outlets in the state, on the Internet at and via the app. LOTTO Hessen thus maintained its top spot in the statistical per capita sales of all German lottery companies in the German Lotto and Toto Block (DLTB), with the nationwide average in 2023 being 97.2 euros. "Sales are also developing positively in the current year, and in the first four months they are a good 4 percent higher than the same period last year. It would of course be a great anniversary present if we were to break the 750 million euro mark by the end of the year," said Blach. This year, LOTTO Hessen is celebrating its 75th birthday; its predecessor organization ("Staatliche Sportwetten GmbH") was founded in the spring of 1949.

Record number of lottery millionaires, Hessen residents win 403.8 million euros

There was also a record number of lottery millionaires in 2023: 21 Hessians won millions between January 1 and December 31 (previous year: 13), more than ever since the introduction of the euro. Most of the million-dollar winnings were in the districts of Offenbach and Main-Taunus, the lucky strongholds of the year, with three seven-digit hits each. Best value for 2023: A punter in the Rhine-Main area won exactly 22.5 million euros in the LOTTO 6aus49 lottery at the end of September. 143 Hessian punters (previous year: 117) found at least six-digit sums in their bank accounts in 2023.
“In total, LOTTO Hessen paid out a sum of 403.8 million euros last year to more than 24.2 million individual winners. According to compensation agreements between the national and international lottery companies, other states had to contribute 38.5 million euros of this - in the LOTTO world, Hesse was therefore a recipient state in the state financial equalization in 2023," said Blach. Of the Hessian winnings paid out, LOTTO Hesse only made 365.3 million euros available itself.

More than 2.9 million waiting to be picked up, Viernheim big winners wanted

However, not everyone claimed their winnings in 2023, with around 2.9 million euros waiting in vain to be collected. Unlike registered customers, anonymous punters have to take action themselves and present their game receipt to claim their winnings - at one of the 2,000 Hessian lottery sales outlets or at the LOTTO Hessen headquarters in Wiesbaden. Only then can the winnings be paid out in cash or transferred. "Unfortunately, around 50,000 euros of the anonymous tips are not collected each week. These are usually small winnings and that is a shame, but last year there was also a big win," Blach regretted.
The highest unclaimed win in 2023 was 304,888.80 euros, achieved in the European lottery Eurojackpot on March 10, 2023. The hit in prize category 2 was achieved by the winning numbers 6, 17, 22, 39 and 46 as well as one of the two Euro numbers, 12. The winning Eurojackpot ticket was played at a lottery sales outlet in Viernheim in southern Hesse, the stake for 14 completed betting fields including participation in other lotteries was 31.75 euros. "We can only speculate as to why the lucky person did not get in touch. We hope that he or she has simply lost sight of the valuable game receipt and is now taking another close look," said Blach. There is still time to redeem it until the end of 2026. Only after the three-year statutory period has expired would the prize be forfeited, and the money would then flow into a pot for special draws to be played again.

Three products account for four fifths of sales

In 2023, the Hessians' favorite lottery continued to be the traditional product LOTTO 6aus49, which has been available in this country since 1956 and still accounts for 41.3 percent of annual sales. Sales here amounted to 308.6 million euros for 2023 (-4.1 percent). Second place goes to the Eurojackpot lottery, which has been growing continuously since its launch in 2012 and is now offered in 19 countries. In Hesse, Eurojackpot achieved a sales share of 25.9 percent (193.5 million euros) in 2023, an increase of 7.1 percent compared to 2022. "The introduction of a second draw on Tuesday and the simultaneous increase in the jackpot cap from 90 to 120 million euros in March 2022 have clearly increased the attractiveness of the lottery," explained Alexander Sausmikat, Managing Director of LOTTO Hessen and responsible for marketing and sales, "but of course we were also helped by four jackpot peaks, with over 100 million in the pot of the first prize category on six drawing days."
The instant lotteries with the popular scratch cards and online games maintained third place in terms of products sold in 2023 with a sales increase of 7.4 percent and a share of 11.8 percent of annual sales (87.9 million euros). The continuous expansion of the range of tickets and new online games have continued this trend of recent years. "This year we have actually brought forward a nationwide innovation and are offering a price point of 30 euros for the first time with the playing card lottery family introduced at the end of April. The associated ace scratch card has a top prize of 1.5 million euros; you can't scratch off more than that in Germany at the moment," reported Sausmikat. In a nationwide comparison, Hesse is by far the leading state in instant lotteries with a statistical per capita turnover of 13.6 euros, ahead of Bavaria (10.5 euros) and Saarland (9.3 euros).
LOTTO 6aus49, Eurojackpot and the instant lotteries together accounted for almost four fifths (79.0%) of total turnover last year.

Online share continues to rise

Almost every fifth tip at LOTTO Hessen is now submitted via the website or the LOTTO Hessen app. The digital channels generated 141.5 million euros (previous year: 129.4 million euros) in 2023, an increase of 9.4 percent compared to 2022. For the sixth time in a row, was also named the best online shop in the lottery sector nationwide by CHIP magazine. "We are very proud of the sixth award from CHIP magazine as the best online lottery provider in Germany. It was worth it to focus everything on the satisfaction of our customers, to offer them a multi-channel offer that is both convenient and coordinated. This will remain a measure of our success in the future," said management spokesman Martin Blach.

Stationary sales remain the most important success factor

The number of lottery sales outlets in the state was largely kept stable last year; the Hessian lottery company currently has 1,970 locations. "The sales outlets are our heart and soul and are important local suppliers, especially in rural and small-town regions, where other everyday products are often offered. But they are also affected by the economic upheavals in retail," emphasized Blach. LOTTO Hessen has therefore launched a funding program for 2024 and 2025 to strengthen the stationary sales network. Equipped with an annual funding volume of 2 million euros, the program is intended to support the sales outlets in acquiring regular customers, increase the number of punters with customer cards and reduce the amount of unclaimed winnings. Since January 1, 2024, every game order placed using a customer card will be rewarded with an additional 10 cents. Almost 1 million euros have already been paid out through this special remuneration. In addition, there are plans to replace the point of sale equipment from the middle of this year with more powerful lottery terminals with HD screens.

LOTTO helps: 265.3 million euros for the state of Hesse

In 2023 alone, LOTTO Hesen made 141.2 million euros available for the common good of Hesse. These funds were earmarked for the respective state ministries and the so-called recipients, expert institutions such as the State Office for Monument Preservation in Hesse, the German Foundation for Monument Protection, the Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband or the State Sports Association of Hesse. Together with the betting and lottery tax paid (124.1 million), this results in a contribution for the state and the recipients of 265.3 million euros in 2023.

2,000 euros every week for Hesse’s clubs

To mark the company's 75th anniversary, an initiative to promote voluntary club projects is currently being launched: "LOTTO helps Hessen happiness projects". "We want to reward the valuable work of the Hessian clubs that do great things for social cohesion in the state. What they often lack, however, is the necessary financial means - and that is precisely where we want to help with the happiness projects," says Sausmikat. From June, a Hessian club can look forward to 2,000 euros every week to implement a project. Interested clubs from the areas of sport, culture and social affairs can now apply online at . From June 5, a happiness project will be chosen every Wednesday from all participating projects by lottery; the campaign will run for one year. Sausmikat: "LOTTO helps Hessen - this has been part of the LOTTO Hessen DNA for 75 years and an important contribution to the quality of life in our state. And the 52 club projects supported as part of our anniversary campaign will also contribute to this. We look forward to receiving a wide range of applications.”

It all started with the sports bet TOTO

The history of LOTTO Hessen did not begin with LOTTO 6aus49, but with a comparatively small product today, the TOTO sports bet (2023 sales: 3.0 million euros). Just four weeks after the founding of the then Staatliche Sportwetten GmbH ("HESSEN-TOTO") on March 14, 1949, the people of Hesse were able to take part in the first official TOTO draw. Before that, sales outlets had to be set up throughout Hesse, betting slips printed and employees found who, at that time, still painstakingly evaluated the tips by hand using a template. Almost 180 sales outlets accepted almost 70,000 betting slips for the first TOTO draw, and 115,812 D-Marks were wagered. The transport of betting slips was an adventure: there were hardly any cars, gasoline was rationed, and every conceivable means of transport was used. The slips arrived in Wiesbaden in sacks, bags and boxes. The first prize evaluation was organized in a gymnasium on Schwalbacher Strasse in Wiesbaden. Around 200 assistants carried out the evaluation all night long. In between there were 1.5 hour breaks and two cups of coffee paid for by "HESSEN-TOTO". "No noise, no cigarette smoke, just the rustling of the paper," is how one chronicler described the laborious work of manually evaluating the tickets in the large hall of the gymnasium. Up to 100 assistants were then needed to fill out the many postal check instructions for the transmission of the prizes. The first draw on April 10, 1949 brought an impressive rate for the time: First place with twelve correct predictions was filled twice, and each winner received 9,650 D-Marks.

The dreams remained the same: money, cars, travel, home

At Christmas 1949, a very special prize was hanging in some sales outlets: a Christmas goose. One in 100 was won by anyone who guessed the number of bets submitted for the second TOTO draw in November. But the “summer holiday”, which was unaffordable for many at the time, was also on the special draw programme, because at the start of the second half of the 1949 season the motto was: “With HESSEN-TOTO to the sea” and “With HESSEN-TOTO to the mountains”. In 1950, bets began to be combined with draws for cars, motorbikes and bicycles. A home draw provided additional momentum in the ongoing housing shortage. For an extra ten pfennigs, a pretty little house could be won, 50 of which were raffled off in Hesse between 1949 and 1954.
Between December 1950 and July 1951, the TOTO companies in the states of Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate joined forces to form the so-called West-South Block, which caused ratings and revenues to rise sharply. On November 19, 1951, the weekly revenues of "HESSEN-TOTO" exceeded the million mark for the first time. The beneficiary was Hessian sports, which received 200,000 D-Marks a week for the expansion of Hessian sports stadiums. Winning the 1954 Football World Cup in Bern boosted the sales of Sportwetten GmbH, which achieved an annual result of 50 million D-Marks. But another product was soon to take center stage: LOTTO.

From 1956 onwards, the people of Hesse play LOTTO 6aus49

The first drawing of the new game formula "6 out of 49" took place in Hamburg on October 9, 1955, without any Hessian participation. An orphan girl from a Hamburg children's home, Elvira Hahn, drew the first lottery numbers from a wheel in the former Hotel Mau, starting with number 13. She and another girl were picked up from the home in a taxi and remembers today: "I had never been in a taxi before. We had to put on clean knee socks, sandals and a skirt. The other children watched us and were a little jealous. A winning couple opened a savings account for me, 1,000 D-Marks. My husband and I later bought a refrigerator with it."
In September 1956, the "Staatliche Zahlenlotto GmbH", called "HESSEN-LOTTO", was registered and run in the same place as Sportwetten GmbH. On September 2, 1956, the people of Hesse were able to try their luck at "HESSEN-LOTTO" for the first time. You could take part with a stake of 50 pfennigs. The odds of the first draw with Hessian participation were high, with 1,043,364.50 D-Marks being awarded for the first six correct numbers. Just two draws later, on September 16, 1956, the first Hessian "six" came: it was worth 508,131.00 D-Marks. The first million-dollar win in Hesse did not come until 1975, because on October 1, 1956, a prize limit of 500,000 D-Marks was set, which was to last until July 1, 1974. In the first year, LOTTO 6aus49 stakes exceeded the turnover of the first-born TOTO.

1965: LOTTO 6aus49 goes on TV

Another eight years passed before the first television drawing of the lottery numbers. On September 4, 1965, Hessischer Rundfunk broadcast the drawing live from Studio 4 into German living rooms for the first time. From 1967 onwards, Karin Tietze-Ludwig was Germany's lottery fairy. She remained in this position for over 30 years and counted the 365th Hessian lottery millionaire until Franziska Reichenbacher took over the baton on January 24, 1998. Since then, another 319 Hessians have become millionaires.

Hesse as a pioneer of the digital LOTTO era

For over 40 years, all tickets had to be physically brought to LOTTO Hessen's headquarters in Wiesbaden for processing, storage and evaluation. At the end of the 1950s, around 600 workers were employed just to evaluate the weekly betting and lottery tickets. New products and the resulting increase in the number of tickets soon pushed manual processing to its limits. In an initial interim step at the end of the 1970s, receipt readers helped to play the tickets received on microfilm. The computer then took over the evaluation of winnings. In the course of 1993, the entire process from acceptance to evaluation of the more than one million weekly tickets from all over Hesse was converted to a purely digital system, with Hesse playing a pioneering role in Germany in this regard. Since then, digital signatures have stamped and locked the entrances at the closing time like a virtual safe.

In 2002, it was possible to place bets online for the first time at , and since 2018 the LOTTO Hessen app has complemented LOTTO Hessen's digital offering. "Customers can choose the most convenient way for them at any time, whether via the website, app or at a lottery sales outlet," says Blach, adding with a view to the current year: "Of course, we don't know how the jackpots will develop in the coming weeks and months; but we hope that the positive trend will continue in 2024 and that many Hessians will win millions by the end of the year."


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