LOTTO Hessen is Looking Forward to a Record Year and 75th Birthday

May 15, 2024 | Government
  • Since 1949: 13 billion euros in profits, 6 billion euros for the common good and 684 million euros in profits
  • There has never been more betting than in 2023
  • Annual best value for lottery millionaires
  • LOTTO helps: anniversary campaign for the Hessian clubs
LOTTO Hessen is celebrating 75 years with three lottery fairies (from right): Martin Blach (spokesman of 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 LOTTO Hessen). (Photo: LOTTO Hessen)

LOTTO Hessen is celebrating 75 years with three lottery fairies (from right): Martin Blach (spokesman of 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 LOTTO Hessen). (Photo: LOTTO Hessen)

Wiesbaden – In 2023, Hessians were also happy to bet, and statistically invested 117 euros per person for their lottery luck. 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 achieved around 404 million euros in 2023, 21 of whom became millionaires. The highest profit of the year went to the Rhine-Main area at 22.5 million euros. The sales drivers in the record year were once again the European lottery Eurojackpot as well as the instant lottery scratch cards and games, and online sales also increased again. The most important pillar remains the 2,000 sales outlets in the country, which still generate the vast majority of annual sales. 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 75 years old this year.

“If you take stock of 75 years of LOTTO Hessen, we have distributed 6 billion euros for the community. While in the 1950s it was primarily the club landscape that benefited from the game stakes through the construction of football stadiums in the country, 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 since 1949 as betting and lottery taxes. LOTTO Hessen has generated more than 26.3 billion euros in the last seven and a half decades. To date, 684 Hessians have tipped themselves to become millionaires; they and hundreds of millions of other winners achieved a total winnings of 12.9 billion euros,” explains Hesse’s Finance Minister Prof. Dr. R. Alexander Lorz , who is responsible for managing the investment. “LOTTO Hessen also achieved an impressive result through record sales in the 2023 financial year and at the same time helps to counteract the development and spread of unauthorized gambling in 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 sales 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 gaming orders were received at the Wiesbaden LOTTO headquarters 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, perhaps it is even more important than ever in these unstable times,” said Martin Blach, spokesman for the management of LOTTO Hessen GmbH , at today’s annual press conference in Wiesbaden.
Every Hessian resident bet around 117 euros in 2023 at lottery sales outlets in the state, on the internet at and via the app. LOTTO Hessen thus maintained the top spot in statistical per capita sales of all German lottery companies in the German Lotto and Toto Block (DLTB), the nationwide average in 2023 was 97.2 euros. “Sales are also developing positively in the current year and are a good 4 percent above the same period last year in the first four months. “That would of course be a great anniversary gift 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; the predecessor organization (“Staatliche Sportwetten GmbH”) was founded in spring 1949.

Record lottery millionaires, Hesse win 403.8 million euros

There was also a record to be reported in the number of lottery millionaires in 2023: 21 Hessians won millions between January 1st and December 31st (previous year: 13), more than ever since the introduction of the euro. Most of the million-dollar winnings came in the districts of Offenbach and Main-Taunus, the lucky strongholds of the year, each with three seven-figure hits. Best value for 2023: A bettor in the Rhine-Main area won exactly 22.5 million euros in the LOTTO 6aus49 lottery at the end of September. 143 Hessian tipsters (previous year: 117) found at least six-figure sums in their bank accounts in 2023.
“Last year, LOTTO Hessen paid out a total of 403.8 million euros 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 – in the LOTTO world, Hesse was therefore the recipient state in the state financial equalization in 2023,” Blach summarized. Of the Hessian winnings paid out, LOTTO Hessen only provided 365.3 million euros.

More than 2.9 million are waiting to be picked up, Viernheim’s big winner is wanted

However, not everyone redeemed their winnings in 2023; around 2.9 million euros waited in vain to be picked up. Unlike registered customers, anonymous tipsters have to take action themselves and present their game receipt to redeem their winnings – at one of the 2,000 Hessian lottery outlets or the LOTTO Hessen headquarters in Wiesbaden. Only then can the winnings be paid out in cash or transferred. “Unfortunately, around 50,000 euros of tips submitted anonymously per week go unclaimed. Most of the time these are small wins and that’s a shame, but last year there was also a big win,” Blach lamented.
The highest unclaimed prize in 2023 was 304,888.80 euros, achieved in the European lottery Eurojackpot on March 10, 2023. The winning numbers 6, 17, 22, 39 and 46 as well as one of the two euro numbers ensured the hit in prize category 2 12. The winning Eurojackpot ticket was played in a lottery 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 didn’t come forward. We hope that he or she just lost sight of the valuable game receipt and will now take a closer look,” says Blach. There is still time to redeem until the end of 2026. The prize would only expire after the three-year statutory period has expired and the money would then flow into a pot for special draws to be played out again.

Three products account for four fifths of sales

The Hessian lottery favorite continued to be the traditional product LOTTO 6aus49 in 2023, which has been playable in this country since 1956 and still accounts for 41.3 percent of annual sales. Sales of 308.6 million euros are recorded here for 2023 (-4.1 percent). Second place is held by the Eurojackpot lottery, which has been growing steadily since its introduction in 2012 and is now offered in 19 nations. 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 while simultaneously increasing 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 peak periods, with draws on six days each There were over 100 million in the pot of the first prize category.”
The instant lotteries with the popular scratch cards and online games claimed third place among the products sold in 2023 with an increase in sales 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 ticket family introduced at the end of April. The associated ace scratch card has a main prize of 1.5 million euros, which is currently all you can scratch off in Germany,” reported Sausmikat. In a nationwide comparison, Hesse is in first place for instant lotteries with a statistical per capita turnover of 13.6 euros, far 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 sales 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 nationwide by CHIP magazine awarded in the lottery sector. “The sixth award from CHIP magazine as the best online lottery provider in Germany makes us very proud. It was worth it to focus everything on the satisfaction of our customers and to provide them with a multi-channel offer that was both convenient and coordinated. This will continue to be 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 outlets in the state remained largely stable last year; the Hessian lottery company currently has 1,970 locations. “The sales outlets are our heart and are important local suppliers, especially in rural and small town regions, where other everyday products are often offered. But the economic upheavals in retail are also causing problems for them,” 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 aim is to support the sales outlets in attracting regular customers, increase the number of tipsters 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 distributed through this special bonus. It is also planned to replace the sales point 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 to the Hessian public good. These funds were earmarked for the respective state ministries as well as the so-called beneficiaries, 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 will result in a contribution for the state and the beneficiaries amounting to 265.3 million euros in 2023.

2,000 euros every week for Hesse’s clubs

On the occasion of the company’s 75th anniversary, an initiative to promote voluntary club projects is starting these days, the “LOTTO helps Hessen-Glücksprojekte”. “We would like to reward the valuable work of the Hessian clubs that do great things for social cohesion in the state. But what they often lack is the necessary financial resources – and that’s exactly where we want to help with the happiness projects,” says Sausmikat. Starting in June, a Hessian association can look forward to receiving 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 5th, a lucky project will be chosen from all participating projects in a lottery every Wednesday; the campaign will run for one year. Sausmikat: “LOTTO helps Hessen – this has been part of the LOTTO Hessen DNA for 75 years and is 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 what is now a comparatively small product, the sports bet TOTO (sales in 2023: 3.0 million euros). Just four weeks after the founding of the then Staatliche Sportwetten GmbH (“HESSEN-TOTO”) on March 14, 1949, the Hessians were able to take part in the first official TOTO competition. Previously, sales outlets had to be created throughout Hesse, betting slips had to be printed and the employees had to be found who, at the 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 German marks were wagered. The transport of betting slips was adventurous: there were hardly any cars, petrol was rationed, and every conceivable means of transport was used. The notes 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 throughout the night. In between there was a 1.5 hour break and two cups of coffee paid for by “HESSEN-TOTO”. “No sound, no cigarette smoke, just the rustling of the paper,” is how one chronicler described the laborious work of manually evaluating certificates in the large hall of the gymnasium. Up to 100 assistants were then required to fill out the many postal check instructions to transmit the winnings. The first draw on April 10, 1949 brought what was then an impressive quota: 1st place with twelve correct predictions was occupied twice, each winner received 9,650 German marks.

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

At Christmas 1949 there was a very special special raffle prize hanging in some sales outlets, a Christmas goose. Whoever guessed the number of rows of predictions submitted for the second TOTO draw in November won one out of 100. But the “summer freshness”, which was priceless for many at the time, was also on the special draw program, because at the start of the second half of the season in 1949 it was said: “To the sea with HESSEN-TOTO” and “to the mountains with HESSEN-TOTO”. In 1950, betting began to be combined with draws on cars, motorcycles and bicycles. A home ownership raffle provided additional momentum amid the ongoing housing shortage. For an extra ten pfennigs you could win a pretty little house, 50 of which were raffled off in Hesse between 1949 and 1954.
Between December 1950 and July 1951, the TOTO companies from the states of Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate merged to form the so-called West-South Bloc, which caused quotas and income to rise sharply. On November 19, 1951, “HESSEN-TOTO’s” weekly revenue exceeded the million mark for the first time. Hessian sport benefited, receiving 200,000 German marks per week for the expansion of Hessian sports stadiums. Winning the 1954 Football World Cup in Bern boosted Sportwetten GmbH’s sales; it achieved an annual result of 50 million German marks. But soon another product would take center stage: LOTTO.

From 1956 onwards, the Hessians played LOTTO 6aus49

The first drawing of the new “6 out of 49” game formula took place in Hamburg on October 9, 1955, without Hessian participation. An orphan girl from a Hamburg children’s home, Elvira Hahn, drew the first lottery numbers from a drawing wheel in the former Hotel Mau, starting with 13. Together with another girl, she was picked up from the home in a taxi and remembers today: “I was never ridden in a taxi before. We had to put on clean knee socks, sandals and a skirt. The other children watched us and were a bit jealous. A winning couple created a savings account for me, worth 1,000 German marks. My husband and I later bought a refrigerator with it.”
In September 1956, “Staatliche Zahllotto GmbH”, called “HESSEN-LOTTO”, was registered, which was run in a personal union and at the same headquarters as Sportwetten GmbH. On September 2, 1956, the Hessians were able to try their luck at “HESSEN-LOTTO” for the first time. With 50 pfennigs you were there. The odds for the first draw with Hessian participation were high, 1,043,364.50 D-Marks were awarded in first place for the six correct ones. Just two draws later, on September 16, 1956, the first Hessian “six”: it was worth 508,131.00 German marks. The first million-dollar win in Hesse took until 1975 to arrive, as a profit limit of 500,000 German marks was set as early as October 1, 1956, which was to last until July 1, 1974. In the first year, the LOTTO 6aus49 stakes exceeded the sales of the first-born TOTO.

1965: LOTTO 6aus49 goes TV

Another eight years passed before the first television drawing of the lottery numbers. On September 4, 1965, the Hessischer Rundfunk broadcast the drawing live from Studio 4 to living rooms in Germany for the first time. From 1967 onwards, Karin Tietze-Ludwig was Germany’s lottery fairy. She remained there for over 30 years and was 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 age

For over 40 years, all tickets had to be physically brought to the LOTTO Hessen headquarters in Wiesbaden for processing, storage and evaluation. At the end of the 1950s, around 600 workers were busy evaluating the weekly betting and lottery tickets. New products and the resulting increasing number of tickets soon pushed manual processing to its limits. In a first interim step at the end of the 1970s, receipt readers helped to play the received tickets onto microfilm. The computer then took over the evaluation of the winnings. In the course of 1993, the entire process from acceptance to evaluation of over one million weekly tickets from all over Hesse was converted to a purely digital system; Hesse played a pioneering role in Germany. Since then, digital signatures have been stamping and locking 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 supplemented LOTTO Hessen’s digital offerings. “Customers can choose the most convenient way for themselves at any time, whether via the website, via the app or in a lottery outlet,” says Blach and, with a view to the current year, adds: “Of course we don’t know what the jackpots will be develop further in the next few weeks and months; “But we hope that the positive trend will continue in 2024 and that many more Hessians will make millions in profit by the end of the year.”