lottery, history, hungary
Drawing the lottery numbers Photo:

Drawing the winning numbers of the Hungary Ötöslottó jackpot took place 62 years ago for the first time. This weekend, players get the chance to win the fifth largest amount in the history of the game. 

The very first lottery draw happened on a Thursday evening in Budapest, on the 7th of March 1957 – reports VG. 1.5 million lottery tickets were bought for the very first draw. Nobody won the jackpot, but a number of people got four of the numbers right, for which they received 160,000 forints (507 EUR). Back then, this amount was easily enough for a family house and a car, and you had plenty left afterwards.

Winning the first jackpot

The first person to get all five numbers right was a widow, Mrs Ring Sándor, who won 855,000 forints (2709 EUR) on the sixth week of the game.

She selected the numbers of her and her children’s age, bringing into fashion playing the game with family-related numbers.

In the first five years of the game, 15 people became millionaires – twelve of them won the jackpot while three of them had four numbers right.

Incredible! Lottery winners giving away their prize

The 100th draw of the game was a special occasion. It took place on the 30th of January 1959, and all the previous winners were invited. Although the draw took place only in the evening, the surrounding area and the nearby streets started to fill up starting from the early morning.

In fact, there were people who climbed up to the roofs and tried to sneak in through the chimney – the police had to get involved to get them down.

In the beginning, people could win not only money but also serious prizes. Over a period of about 250 draws, people were up for 505 freehold flats, 590 cars and 224 family houses and holiday homes.

The first billion-winner

The first person to become a billionaire thanks to the game won the jackpot in October 1999, securing a sum of almost 1.06 billion forints (EUR 3,187,874). Since then, 34 people have become billionaires thanks to the game.

The all-time-biggest amount was won in autumn 2003, after 38 weeks of no jackpot. The lucky winner got to take home 5,092,890,758 forints (EUR 16,138,663). In 2019, there have been nine lottery draws so far, and 254 people won more than one million forints with a four-number hit. This week, the winning sum is 3,055,000,000 forints (EUR 9,680,870). All you have to do is hit the correct five numbers out of the 90 possibilities.

The odds of this are 1:43 949 268, while your chances of hitting four numbers are 1:103 410, the chances of hitting three numbers are 1:1 231 and the likelihood of getting two numbers right is 1:44.

An extremely lucrative business

In Hungary, the Ötöslottó is the most popular kind of lottery, with a weekly average of 1.3 million tickets bought.

Of course, the numbers cannot be predicted, and you are either lucky or not. However, it is interesting to note that some numbers turned out to be luckier than others in the past.

In the past twenty years, the following numbers were drawn the most:

  • number 3 (223 times),
  • number 75 (212 times),
  • number 18 (209 times),
  • number 42 (209 times,
  • and number 1 (208 times).

In case you are superstitious, you might like to know that number 13 is not cursed, either; in fact, it is up there with the most popular numbers with 206 draws in the past two decades.

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