Nine Nations Plan New Pan-European Lottery Scheme | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 11.02.2008
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Nine Nations Plan New Pan-European Lottery Scheme

In an age where Europeans are increasingly urged to share and cooperate across borders, it seems only logical that someone would have the idea to spread the possibility of wealth and good fortune between neighbors.

Balls for the German lottery machine

Is your number up? The chances of hitting a euro jackpot may be about to increase

Plans are being mulled over by nine European countries to create a cross-border lottery where citizens of those countries joining the proposed scheme could stand to profit from jackpots which increase in size every week.

"It's true there are talks among several European lotteries on creating a joint, jackpot-oriented game," Klaus Sattler, spokesman for the Baden-Württemberg state lottery commission, said in a statement from Stuttgart over the weekend. Sattler would not confirm if Germany would be one of the countries involved.

Germany's mass-circulation tabloid Bild reported that the lottery would be drawn every Friday starting this autumn, with the jackpot always amounting to at least 10 million euros ($14.5 million) and up to 100 million euros.

Players would have to correctly guess five numbers out of 50 to win an ordinary prize and pick two more out of eight to gain the jackpot, the newspaper said.

Pan-European scheme not a new idea

The idea of a pan-European lottery is not a new one. The Nordic countries -- Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland and Estonia -- became the first to form a lottery cooperative in 1993. Viking Lottery has a top prize which remains of the same value for all the countries involved, while the smaller prizes are decided locally.

An unidentified worker explains how to complete a ticket for the new Euro-Millions lottery in Paris

EuroMillions already joins nine countries in a scheme

Another collective, EuroMillions, a scheme set up by lottery companies Francaise des Jeux in France, Loterias y Apuestas del Estado in Spain and Camelot in Britain, started in early 2004. By the end of that year, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland had joined the three founding nations. Unlike Viking Lottery, all prizes are of the same amount in each country.

It is unclear at this time whether the proposed new lottery would incorporate or replace EuroMillions or if any of the countries currently involved in EuroMillions would be involved.

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