The official French Lottery, owned and operated by the state, is known for its frequent drawings, frequent payouts and commendable jackpots. It is an attractive lottery through-and-through when you consider all that plus 1 in 16 tickets being winners. In fact, you could make a strong case in favor of ranking this the best lottery in Europe.

Best French Lottery Sites

The frequency of drawings does little to diminish the potential payouts in this lottery. It pays out some €4-and-a-half billion a year, with past jackpots exceeding €20 million. Combine that with the decent odds of winning any prize at all, and you have the French Loto in a nutshell.

How to Play the French Loto Online

You can take your chance at millions of euros three times a week at any major lottery site (see above). Getting started is as easy as choosing a site, selecting the French Loto from the menu and then selecting the number of tickets you want. If you live in France and speak the language, you can even buy them online straight from the official website. Remember, this drawing is held three times a week so you’re never too far from the next one.

Once you have a ticket, you will be asked to choose five numbers from 1-49 plus a bonus “Lucky Number” from 1-10. The ultimate goal is to match all five regular numbers plus the bonus number in the next drawing and win the top payout. As I write these words, the French lottery is sitting right at €7 million. It will change again by the time you read any of this, but it’s always something worthwhile.

Every single drawing begins with a minimum jackpot of €2,600,000. It grows from there based on ticket sales and the number of drawings that pass without a winner. Sometimes this lottery can go a few drawings without a big winner and subsequently grow to impressive heights. To date, the record payout was a very respectable €24 million.

French Loto Drawing Schedule

Drawings are held every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 20:30 GMT in Paris. One quirk of this particular lottery is that ticket sales close five hours before each draw. If you want to play in today’s drawing, you’ll need to buy your tickets soon. Otherwise, any tickets you purchase after the cutoff are automatically entered into the next drawing. Either way, there’s always a new drawing right around the corner.

Your odds of winning the top prize are 1 in 19,068,840. Yes, those may sound like long odds but they’re a whole lot better than the vast majority of lotteries out there – especially ones with jackpots as large as these. And even if you don’t win the main jackpot, make sure to check your tickets to see if you won a prize from any of the other five tiers. This one offers a whole range of payouts for tickets that match a few but not all six numbers.

French Loto Subscriptions

All the major lottery sites sell subscriptions lasting anywhere from two weeks (six drawings) to a year (156 drawings). TheLotter.com even offers a subscription package that just runs forever until you unsubscribe. If you take that offer, they will give you every 10th ticket for free. You can read more about it here if you’re interested.

You can play anywhere from 1 to 19 lines per entry. This is basically the same as buying up to 19 individual tickets. You can pick your own numbers for each line or choose Quick Pick to have your picks randomly generated on every ticket. The more line you play, the more chances you have to win. Just know that you pay the full price of one ticket for every line you pick.

French Loto Facts and Figures

  • The French Loto is drawing three times per week at 20:30 PM GMT
  • Ticket sales for the lottery close about five hours before the next drawing
  • You do not need to be located in France to buy tickets for the French Loto. You can buy tickets from almost anywhere.
  • In general, the winnings from this game are not taxable, but you should check with your local jurisdiction to see if you owe any taxes at home
  • The jackpot cap for the French lottery is €36,000,000