Veikkaus Lotto – The National Lottery of Finland
When people from Finland talk about “lotto” they always refer to the weekly official state lottery organised by Veikkaus. The draw has taken place every week since 1970. The event was first televised in 1971, and for decades was among the most-watched programs in Finland.
These days Finns are more likely to check the results online, but the national lotto remains hugely popular. Over 70 percent of adult Finns play at least occasionally, with 40 percent participating weekly.
In recent year, Eurojackpot has also grown in popularity, no doubt aided by some big wins by Finnish players. The national Lotto, Eurojackpot and the Nordic Viking Lotto are all sold exclusively through Veikkaus – a state-owned enterprise.
Veikkaus – The Finnish state monopoly
Gambling in Finland is regulated through a monopoly system. State-owned Veikkaus has the sole right to organize all forms of gambling for money inside the country. Formerly there were three state-owned gaming organisations: Veikkaus for lotteries, sports betting, and scratchcards, RAY for slot machines and casinos, and Finntoto for horse racing.
In 2017 they all combined into one under the name Veikkaus Oy. Its sales are more than 3 billion euros per year, producing a profit of about 1 billion euros. This money is channeled to a wide variety of societal and charitable organisations. In a country of just five million people, the sum is quite impressive and influential in decision making.
Although organising any sort of gambling in Finland proper is illegal for competitors, it is not illegal for residents of Finland to play online, even if the casinos are based abroad. There are no IP-blocks or restrictions on money transfers.
As Finns are avid gamblers, this has attracted a lot of igaming companies to offer Finnish facing sites. The popularity of especially Maltese licensed casinos can be seen on the many Finnish sites comparing online casinos. (See for example suomenkielisetnettikasinot.com)
Finnish Lotto gameplay and the draw
There have been minor changes to the gameplay along the way. Today, players pick seven main numbers out of 40, for a base price of 1€ per line. There are optional extras: the Plus-option, the Joker and the Lomatonni, which translates roughly into “a grand for a vacation” as the top prizes are 1000€.
The draw is performed every Saturday, except on major holidays when it is moved to Sunday night. From a traditional lottery machine, 8 balls are drawn. The seven first numbers form the correct line, and the 8th one is an extra number that combines for winning tiers 6+1 and 3+1. (Comparable to the “Jolly” in SuperEnalotto.)
The plus-number is drawn separately before the main event. If the plus number matches one of the main numbers drawn, payouts in all tiers except the jackpot are multiplied by five. For a ticket to participate in this, the plus option has to be chosen. The extra cost is 50 cents per line.
Jokeri, finnish for “the joker”, is somewhat a separate game, although it is played on the same ticket and has been a part of the national lottery ever since 1978. The draw takes place immediately after the main event.
A random sequence of 7 numbers ranging from 0-9 is produced by a machine. The jackpot for this is always 1 000 000 million euros, and there are no rollovers. The Joker results have no effect on the main prize pool.
Prize pool and the winning tiers
The Finnish lottery prize structure is as follows:
|Win Category||Result (main+extra)||Probability||Prize Money|
|1||7||1 in 18,643,560||Jackpot|
|2||6+1||1 in 2,663,365||3,80% share of prize pool|
|3||6||1 in 83,230||2,50% share|
|4||5||1 in 1681||3.00% share|
|5||4||1 in 97||Set prize 10€, with Plus option 50€|
|6||3+1||1 in 107||Set prize 2€, with Plus 10€|
|7||0+1||1 in 30||Only with Plus option: set prize 5€
There is no maximum jackpot and it rolls over unless won. As hitting the jackpot is relatively “easy” compared to games such as Eurojackpot, it rarely tops 10 million.
The all-time record win was 15,5 million euros, won by a single player from the town of Lohja in the summer of 2019.
Finland Lotto Online
Veikkaus has a monopoly in gambling inside Finland and conversely does not offer its games in other countries. So although lotto has long been available online on Veikkaus.fi official site, this is only open for Finnish residents.
There is a lotto betting product called Finland lotto, that replicates the gameplay to an extent. The results match that of the official draw. Multilotto is among the sites offering it. To our knowledge, no lottery agent sites currently sell official tickets.