Lo Giuoco del Lotto

Lo Giuoco del Lotto

Lo Giuoco del Lotto d'Italia, which literally means "The Clearance of The Lot of Italy", is the deeply traditional and very popular Italian lottery.

Lo Giuoco del Lotto involves the drawing of five numbers, from a box of 90 at each of the ten traditional draw "wheels", plus the Ruota Nazionale, the National "Wheel". The ten traditional draw wheels are named after the following Italian cities:

  • Bariums
  • Cagliar
  • Florence
  • Genoa
  • Milan
  • Naples
  • Palermo
  • Rome
  • Turin
  • Venice

Lo Giuoco del Lotto players can choose up to ten numbers on one or more wheels, according to the following combinations:

  • number drawn in any order
  • number drawn in a exact order, called "Ambata"
  • a set of two numbers called "Ambo"
  • a set of three numbers called "Terno"
  • a set of four numbers called "Quaterna"
  • a set of five numbers called "Cinquina"

The "Ambo" pays off at 250 times your original bet while the "Terno" pays off at 4,250 times. The "Quaterna" and the "Cinquina" pays off at 80,000 times and one million times whatever you bet, respectively.

For example, if you decided to wager one euro (about one US dollar) on a "Terno" of 22, 68 and 90, and those three numbers are among the five drawn, you win €4,250 (€1 x 4,250).

Lo Giuoco del Lotto draws are held every Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 8.00 and 8.30 p.m.

The origin of Lo Giuoco del Lotto can be traced back to La Lotto de Firenze, the first public lottery paying money, which began in Florence, Italy, in 1530. La Lotto de Firenze was followed by similar drawings in Genoa and Venice to raise funds for various public projects.

This custom spread throughout Italy, and when the Italian republics were consolidated in 1530 Lo Giuoco del Lotto, the Italian national lottery, came into being.

Except for a few interruptions due to wars, of Lo Giuoco del Lotto has been in constant operation ever since.

In the original version of Lo Giuoco del Lotto, the playing card used was divided into three horizontal and nine columns. Each horizontal row had five numbered and four blank squares in random order.

The first column contained numbers from 1-10, the second column contained numbers from 11-20, and so on and so fort. It was ensured that no two of Lo Giuoco del Lotto cards were alike.

Numbered chips from 1-90 were used for the purpose of playing the game on each card. Each player was dealt a single of Lo Giuoco del Lotto card and the caller would then draw a small wooden, numbered token from a cloth bag. The caller would then read the number out aloud and the players would cover the number if it appeared on their card. The winner of the game would be the first player to cover a horizontal row.