How can you become a millionaire? Is it that easy? I don’t believe there is somebody who does not know Heini Sutter, the actor for Swisslos – the national lotto company in Switzerland. You see his face everywhere – TV, Internet, Newspaper, Billboards. His charismatic appearance appeals to ordinary people to show them, everybody can be a millionaire. Just play a few games and you could be the next one. Because in the end “Nobody creates more millionaires than Swissloss”.

What is Swisslos?

Swisslos is a swiss company that offers lotteries, online and offline scratch tickets, bingo, and other gambling games. I would assume that every country has some kind of main lottery company. One of the most popular games they offer is called “Swisslotto”. From the statistics published by Swisslos, Swisslotto had 821 out of the 1022 total milion+ winners since 1979.

Hard to confirm, that nobody else is making more millionaires, so let’s give it to them. As you would assume, they don’t print money. So in the background, they are just redistributing money from many people to one. Behind every millionaire are thousands of people trying their luck. Some of them are in for 5 Francs and others for 500 per month.

They claim that 61% of the collected money from the sales of tickets goes back to the players. Which would be quite bad if you think about it. But does not end there. 32% then goes to cantons and national sports authorities for good causes. And only 7% of the revenue is used for operating the company and paying the sales partners.

On the paper, it does not look that bad. The question is if gambling is to right tool to gather money for good causes.

Can you get rich playing with Swisslos lottos?

Well, theoretically yes. They already made 1022 millionaires, so why couldn’t you be the next one?

The only thing preventing you from winning the jackpot is math. The eternal enemy of the people. Always making problems. Always works against you and never with you.

Fortunately for Swisslos a lot of people do not think about maths when buying lotto tickets. They are either lazy or they think, that Leonhard Euler was just a fraud. 620 million CHF of revenue in 2020 talks for itself.

The numbers

I have made some calculations that I learned at high school. So it was not especially difficult. It can be easily calculated with the use of combinatorics. I have calculated for every possible winning configuration the number of tickets you would need to buy, to cover all possible combinations and be sure, that you will win.

\frac{n!}{r!(n-r)!}\\n =  total\ count\ of\ possible\ numbers \\r=count\ of\ chosen\ numbers

But SwissLotto and EuroMillions both have a small twist which makes the odds of winning Jackpot exponentially lower. The twist is “bonus numbers”. It may not seem much but it makes the number of possible combinations quite bigger.

I have calculated tables for all possible winning configurations. For each configuration, I have calculated the chance of winning. After that, I have taken from the table from the winning page of the respective game the possible winning sum per configuration. Then I have calculated how much money you will make back if you would try to buy all the combinations.


In Swisslotto, you need to specify 6 winning numbers from the pool of 42 numbers. There is one bonus number from the pool of 6 numbers. So, you need to be correct in 6+1 numbers. That is your jackpot combination. Each ticket costs 2,5 CHF.

This is the most popular Swisslos game by a huge margin. Below you can find a table with odds and possible winning as per 02.02.2022 and also an interesting percentage of how much money you will make back after you try to bet on all possible combinations.

Win numbersWin chancePossible winReturn
31:1148010,10 CHF0,035%
3+1 bonus1:6888025,98 CHF0,015%
41:11193076,10 CHF0,027%
4+1 bonus1:671580156,15 CHF0,009%
51:8506681’000 CHF0,047%
5+1 bonus1:51040085’747,80 CHF0,045%
61:52457861’000’000 CHF7,625%
6+1 bonus1:3147471625’200’000 CHF32,026%
Swisslotto winning odds

To win a jackpot of more than 25 million CHF you would need to buy tickets for 78 million CHF. Not a good deal in my opinion. And I know this is not how it should or is played. But it is just for an illustration of the odds you are getting yourself into thinking you could be the next millionaire.


In Euromillions, you need to specify 5 winning numbers from the pool of 50 numbers. There are two bonus numbers from the pool of 12 numbers. So, you need to be correct in 5+2 numbers. That is your jackpot combination. Each ticket costs 3,5 CHF.

Below you can find a table with odds and possible winning as per 02.02.2022 and also an interesting percentage of how much money you will make back after you try to bet on all possible combinations.

Win numbersWin chancePossible winReturn
21:12258,45 CHF0,28%
2 + 1 bonus1:1470010,55 CHF0,03%
1 + 2 bonus1:33008,4 CHF0,1%
31:1960020,4 CHF0,04%
3 + 1 bonus1:23520022,25 CHF0,004%
2 + 2 bonus1:8085018,65 CHF0,01%
41:23030090,65 CHF0,016%
3 + 2 bonus1:129360083,25 CHF0,003%
4 + 1 bonus1:2763600257,55 CHF0,004%
4 + 2 bonus1:151998002’232 CHF0,006%
51:211876030’727 CHF0,580%
5 + 1 bonus1:25425120160’689 CHF0,253%
5 + 2 bonus1:139838160138’126’040 CHF39,51%
Euromillions winning odds

To win a jackpot of more than 138 million CHF you would need to buy tickets for 349 million CHF. The returns of not-jackpot wins are even worse than with Swisslotto. So If you want to play, play rather Swisslotto, where you have a better chance to win more money back.

Should you try?

Is it that bad for you? Well, there is a clear answer. Yes. There are several reasons why it is really bad for you. The result of the study is quite clear:

A telephone survey reveals that lottery players are younger and have less income and education than nonplayers. Heavy players are found to have less income and to fantasize more than light players. Very heavy lottery players share characteristics of addicted gamblers, namely they are older, higher in income, fantasize more, and engage in other forms of gambling. A subset of them also exhibits compulsive consumption in the forms of browsing and heavy buying, sensation-seeking, and risk-taking. 

An Exploratory Study of Lottery Playing, Gambling Addiction and Links to Compulsive Consumption by Alvin C. Burns, Peter L. Gillett, Marc Rubinstein, James. W. Gentry

But there is also a flip side to each coin. When you put your money into this bottomless cash hole you are also indirectly supporting the Cantons of Switzerland and Swiss sport. In general, 32% of revenue goes to good causes. Which is a good thing and I like that. Only 7% is kept for Swisslos and its sales partners.

I don’t think using gambling as part of the tool, how to raise money for good causes is a good idea. I think it can have a negative effect on people, such as a huge promotion of gambling to the masses. To be fair, Swisslos has a dedicated page on their website for addiction prevention and they have also imposed limits on some online games. But it’s kinda strange to promote it and make it so accessible, and then try to prevent addiction. It would be the same as Cigarette manufacturers to make all the advertisements they could and then have small tips on the website on how to prevent addiction. Does not go well together.

So if you are feeling you have enough money but still want more money and at the same time you want to help Cantons and Swiss sports clubs. This is exactly your thing.

How much will it cost you during your life ?

Many people say, that those few Francs per week do nothing and apart from that, you will have a huge chance to win the multimillion jackpot!

Well, I made the calculation and it does not look that good. My parameters were 2 lotto plays per week and a time period of 30 years. This will give interesting numbers. After 30 years, you would have spent 3’120 CHF on the tickets with a chance of 0,0099% of winning the jackpot. That is almost no chance to win the jackpot, and you just paid 3’120 CHF for that.

But this is not the only cost. You are losing so much more. Imagine you would have instead of playing the lotto, invested the money each month in Swiss ETF. Well, then instead of losing 3’120 CHF you would have ~29’000 CHF. It may not be 25 million but it is much more reliable.

You can play with the calculator below and calculate your loss right now!


In a summary, statistically speaking, playing the lotto makes no sense. Your winning chances are abysmal. The portion of what is going for a good cause is also small (32%). So you are not going much good for yourself or others. But then again some people like the hope and thrill of playing. For some it’s fun, for some it’s destroying addiction.

It would be much more useful to give money directly to a sports club, charity or other good causes. And the rest you can invest and get a lot of money in the long run. Or you can then give them to charity too. If you are feeling generous.

By Jozef

Jozef likes to save money. The money he saves, he likes to invest.


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