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Germany: Lottery winner fails to collect €11 million prize

It is thought to be Germany’s biggest ever unclaimed prize. But after a three-year search for the winner, a multi-million euro jackpot has been poured back into the draw.

Lottery prizes worth millions in cash seldom go unclaimed

Many of us may dream what we’d do if we won the lottery — whether it be quitting our day job or sailing off into the sunset in a luxury yacht.

But for one German punter, the chance of fulfilling those fantasies expired at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve after they failed to present a winning lottery ticket worth €11.3 million ($13.8 million) in time.

“Even after a long search, we still sincerely wish we could have been able to pay out the lucky fellow,” Georg Wacker, director of State Toto-Lotto, told the AFP news agency on Monday.

The unknown winner had three and a half years to claim the tax-free jackpot prize drawn on April 1, 2017. Despite regular appeals to the public, he or she never came forward with the auspicious ticket. According to newspaper Münchner Merkur, the ticket was purchased between March 29 and April 1, 2017. Three days after the numbers were drawn, Lotto Baden-Württemberg tweeted information on the win, including the likely location of its winner.

The missing golden ticket

That was the million-dollar question likely to have crossed the minds of some of the 116,000 inhabitants of Reutlingen, a city in southern Germany near to Stuttgart.

The ticket was purchased in a lotto outlet anonymously, rather than online or by a registered subscriber. This means that the gambling association had no way to contact the winner and that physical ticket with the drawn numbers would have been required to claim the winnings in person.

It is thought to be Germany's biggest ever unclaimed prize. But after a three-year search for the winner, a multi-million euro jackpot has been poured back into the draw.

German Lotto

Lotto 6aus49 launched in 1974 and is one of Germany’s biggest lottery games. The lottery is managed by the Deutscher Lotto-und Totoblock (DLTB) which represents 16 individual lotteries from various regions in a partnership known as Lotteriegesellschaften.

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How to Play

Draws take place every Wednesday and Saturday, and players are required to choose six main numbers between 1 and 49 plus an additional number, known as the Superzahl, between 0 and 9. To win the jackpot, a player must match all seven numbers, but prizes are available for matching as few as two main numbers plus the Superzahl. In the event that there is no jackpot winner, the top prize will roll over to the following draw. This facility has enabled jackpots to climb to significant amounts, with the largest jackpot to date being worth €45,382,458 and finally shared between three ticket holders in December 2007. The jackpot must be won if it reaches €45 million.

German Lotto has a total of nine prize tiers, each one known as a ‘Class’, and the odds for each tier are as follows:

Lotto 6aus49 is one of Germany’s biggest lottery games. The German Lottery takes place every Wednesday and Saturday evening. Learn how to play online. ]]>