France runs one of the most global lottery games you can play online. Run by the Française des Jeux (FDJ), the French Lotto (simply known as Loto) has been active (in some form or another) since 1976 and is commonly found at most internet betting sites which accept Indian players. With three drawings a week, and a starting jackpot of €2 million, the lotto will naturally attract the interest of many players. 

The French Lotto in India

The French Lotto may not be the most extensive lottery game ever in terms of prizes, but with regular draws taking place each week, it does offer a lot of action. This is one of many top European lottery games that Indian players can partake in.

This lottery first began in 1976 and takes place three times per week. A supplementary game is available for players to get involved in, too, although that works as more of a raffle than a true lottery. So, how does the French Lotto work?

How to Play

Players will need to choose five numbers, from 1 to 49 on a lottery site of their choice. As well as that, they must select a Chance Number (bonus ball) and these range from 1 to 10. To snap up that top prize, players are going to have to match all five numbers plus the Chance Number. Prizes typically follow this structure:

  • 5 Numbers and the Chance Number
  • 5 Numbers
  • 4 Numbers and the Chance Number
  • 4 Numbers
  • 3 Numbers and the Chance Number
  • 3 Numbers
  • 2 Numbers and the Chance Number
  • 2 Numbers
  • 1 Number and the Chance Number
  • Chance Number

Prizes in the draw are pari-mutuel, which means that they are determined by the size of the pot. There is also a Second Draw game, which can be played for a chance to win up to €100,000. In this side-game, players can win €100,000 by matching 5 numbers, €500, €30 or €3 if they match four, three or just two numbers.

Lastly, the French Lottery uses a raffle as a second side-bet. This has ten guaranteed jackpot prizes of €20,000 apiece, and players are automatically entered into the draw when they purchase any ticket to the French Lotto.

The Key Facts

Here are the specific details you may need before you decide to get started playing the French Lotto online…

  • Chances of Success: There is a 1 in 5.99 chance of you winning any prize in the lotto, along with a 1 in 13.42 chance of winning a Second Draw prize. Your odds of landing the top jackpot in this lottery game are 1 in 19,068,840, which is not too shabby.
  • Draws: The French Lotto draws take place on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays at 20:35.  
  • Jackpots: The starting jackpot for this lottery is set to €2 million. Every time there is no winner declared, an extra €1 million is added to the prize fund. If no winner has been determined after 34 draws, the money rolls down to players with winning tickets on the next highest tier.
  • Ticket prices: Tickets cost €2.20 for the French Lotto. Naturally, Indian players can expect a slightly higher cost, on account of them playing the lotto from abroad.

Biggest Winner

The largest-ever payout on the French Lotto is a reported €24 million. This was one by a family from Val-d’Oise back in June 2011. The lottery has never rolled over to its maximum amount of €35 million.

Final Thoughts

The French Lotto may serve up smaller prizes than many of its European counterparts, but there is still plenty to win for Indian players here. Cheap tickets and very agreeable odds of winning something, as well as automatic entry into the raffle make the French Lotto an appealing option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Players with lingering questions about the French Lotto may find the help they need in our brief FAQ on this lottery game.

Do I pay tax if I win on the French Lotto abroad?

All winnings on the French Lotto are paid out in tax-free cash. However, if you happened to purchase your tickets via a concierge or international lottery ticket betting website (as Indians will surely do) you could be liable for Indian income tax. India has a gambling tax of 30% which should not apply to winnings from the French Lotto, but interest earning from your winnings is certainly taxable.

Do I have to be a French citizen or resident to play the French Lotto?

The French Lotto is a globally popular lottery game, so you do not need to be based in France to play this game, nor are you required to be a French citizen to get a slice of the action.

Can I purchase side-bets in this lottery game?

Yes. Indians are automatically invited into the raffle side-game when they purchase a ticket. However, you can also opt to play the Second Draw game at the cost of €0.80 per ticket. 

Are my winnings paid out in a lump sum, or with annuity payments?

All winnings in the French Lotto are paid out as a lump sum. However, players should note that this does not mean that their internet lottery betting site will pay out prizes in lump sums. They may choose to do so in instalments. This varies from site to site, so it is very much worth looking at.

Is the French Lotto licensed and legal?

The French Lotto is licensed by the Française des Jeux (FDJ), the governing body when it comes to gambling games in France. However, you will also need to ensure that the Indian lottery betting website you are playing at is licensed and secure. India does not have gambling laws in place which prohibit playing at foreign lottery sites, nor do they regulate such sites, so you will need to do your homework beforehand.


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