This lottery is synonymous with Italy. Conceived during Italy's golden age, the 1950s, it has been the most popular lottery on the peninsula ever since.
The game was revamped in 1997 by SISAL and was renamed from the old Enalotto to today's SuperEnalotto. The "Super" was added ostensibly to explain how much bigger and better the game had gotten.
The original concept of the game was rather clever. They originally took six major regional lotteries from around Italy and made the Enalotto Jackpot number the first drawn number from each of the six lottery drawings. The cities were Bari, Florence, Milan, Napoli, Palermo and Roma and each of the numbers came from these cities in this alphabetical order.
Astute readers might ask what happened if the numbers repeated, since the drawings were independent and overlaps could occur. The answer is that no one would win. It was a bust of a draw. Despite this serious flaw, the game raged on in popularity. In 2009, the game finally addressed this flaw and gave the SuperEnalotto its own draw for all six winning number, ensuring busts would never happen again.
The game works on a 6/90 pattern. Matching all six numbers wins the big prize. The odds of this happening are astronomical, at almost 650,000,000:1. This makes it the most difficult jackpot in the world to win. There is no other lottery with such difficult odds to overcome. Luckily, the game is pari-mutuel, which means that the prize is equally distributed among the various tiers based on ticket sales, and doesn't lock up all its money in some unreachable jackpot. In essence, this means that people always win something - just maybe not all of it at once.
Of course, there have been jackpot winners in the past. Notably, in 2010, one ticket took home €177,800,000 ($247,943,104). For citizens of a country in economic crisis, this is an absurdly large amount of money.
As it stands, more people than ever are playing the SuperEnalotto, in part because of the rapidly sinking Italian economy and in part because there are online services like TheLotter that allow players from all over the world to participate, vastly increasing revenues, which in turn translate into larger and larger jackpots.