Ah, Italy. Home of the cappuccino, the pizza, and romance. Just the word Italy evokes romantic rides along the Tuscan hills on a classic Vespa scooter. The sun, the beaches and the history. But most of all, the SuperEnalotto Lottery.
Ask any Italian and they will tell you. All the things I mentioned are indeed Italian, but seen through the lens of a tourist. The real Italians do things a bit differently. Forget cappuccinos. They brew their coffee on the stove with a moka pot. Pizzas are nice, but at 15 euros a pop, they prefer to eat barilla pasta with a can of tuna. They watch football on Sundays. And they play the SuperEnalotto in hopes of getting rich. And that's the real Italy.
There's a good reason Italians love the SuperEnalotto as much as they do. It's a pari-mutuel lottery, which means the prizes are based on the number of tickets sold. This means the jackpot gets bigger and bigger as time goes by. The jackpot is always 34.648% of the money collected from ticket sales. As I said, Italians do two things with their money. They buy pasta for dinner and lottery tickets. This translates into lots and lots of euros to feed the jackpot. And since it's a pari-mutuel, the total prize money gets divided among all the winning tiers, which means just about everyone who plays wins.
The jackpots tend to get very, very big. In 2010, one single player took home 177,800,000 euros, which amounts to almost $250,000,000. It's easy to see the appeal of this purely Italian treat. It's just one more thing to dream about when daydreaming about a future trip to Italy.
Here's the thing, though. While a trip to Italy might be a ways off, acting Italian and playing the SuperEnalotto is perfectly within reach of everyone thanks to the modern wonders of the internet.
In recent years there have been various services that act as proxies, such as the highly reputable TheLotter. They allow you to buy your ticket to the SuperEnalotto from anywhere in the world you might have an internet connection. This means that whether you're in Leeds or in Caracas makes no difference. You can log in, buy your tickets with no fuss, and kick back. You wouldn't even have to tune in to the drawing since the computer already knows your numbers and automatically notifies you of the results.
It's like taking your long overdue trip to experience Italian culture without leaving home. The added bonus is that chances are you might win the big prize and then you'll really be able to quit your job, but a tuscan villa, get that vintage Vespa, and live the easy life under the warmth of the Tuscan life.