History of Vikinglotto
Vikinglotto was Europe’s first multi-national lottery, preceding EuroMillions and Eurojackpot. It has grown in popularity and size since its introduction in 1993, and jackpots can now reach €25 million. The game was originally played in five different countries, with several others joining over the years. Today, 10 countries participate in Vikinglotto.
The rules have undergone several changes since the lottery started. Below is a brief history of Vikinglotto, from its inception over 25 years ago through to today.
- Discussions are held between Finnish lottery provider Veikkaus, Swedish company Tipstjänst Ab (now Svenska Spel), Norsk Tipping, Dansk Tipstjeneste (now Danske Spil) and Icelandic Íslensk Getspá, who sign a contract to introduce a weekly lottery on Wednesdays.
- Vikinglotto is started in partnership with the national lotteries of five participating Scandinavian countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.
- The first Vikinglotto draw takes place on 17th March, costing 2 kr to enter. It becomes Europe’s first multi-national lottery game, launched before the likes of EuroMillions and Eurojackpot. The turnover in the first game amongst the five participating countries was 17 million kr.
- Players can enter by picking six numbers between 1 and 48, and three additional numbers. Draws are held every Wednesday in the Norsk Tipping headquarters in Hamar, Norway.
- A new game formula is introduced after a decrease in annual ticket sales. Players must now pick six numbers between 1 and 45 and two additional numbers. The cost of a ticket for a single line increases from 2 kr to 3 kr, generating bigger first prizes and around 80,000 winners each week. Prizes now start from matching three main numbers.
- Vikinglotto’s annual turnover surpasses 1 billion kr for the first time.
- Estonia joins Vikinglotto with its own Eesti Loto, becoming the lottery’s sixth participant.
- The Joker game is introduced on Wednesday nights in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland as a supplementary game to the main Vikinglotto draw and the national lotteries of the participating countries. For example, the Joker can be played in Sweden as part of Vikinglotto or Sweden Lotto, or in Norway through the Vikinglotto or Norway Lotto. Players must pick seven numbers between 0 and 9. A seven-digit number is drawn and prizes are won by matching numbers in the same order.
- The Lucky Number is introduced on 18th August in Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland. The jackpot prize increases if the pre-drawn lucky number is one of the main numbers to appear in the Vikinglotto draw. The cost of a ticket for a single line increases again from 3 kr (€0.31) to 4 kr (€0.42).
- A Danish player wins a Vikinglotto jackpot worth 21 million kr (€2 million), breaking the record for the highest jackpot in the lottery’s history.
- Another Danish player breaks the record for the biggest ever Vikinglotto jackpot in August, winning a prize worth 48 million kr (€5 million).
- Latvia (Latvijas Loto) and Lithuania (Olifeja) join Vikinglotto, becoming the lottery’s seventh and eighth participants.
- The draw with the highest prize pool in Vikinglotto history is held, worth 202 million kr (€27 million). The Lucky Number isn’t matched so the jackpot rolls over to the next draw.
- A domestic Lucky Number is launched for all participating countries, apart from Sweden. It is an additional prize on offer, and the winning lucky number is drawn by a random number generator before the main Vikinglotto draw. The cost of entering Vikinglotto increases from 4 kroner (€0.42) to 5 kroner (€0.52).
- A Norwegian player from Austrheim, Hordaland, wins a 63 million kr jackpot (€6.6 million), a new record for Vikinglotto. The winner had two lines with the six winning numbers.
- A Norwegian ticket holder creates history by winning a 216 million kr (€29 million) jackpot. They match all six numbers to land the jackpot and the two domestic and international Lucky Numbers.
- A Vikinglotto ticket holder from Norway wins the second biggest jackpot in Vikinglotto history, worth 127 million kr (€17 million).
- Eighty-six Vikinglotto jackpots are won in 2016: 51 in Norway, 14 in Denmark, 11 in Finland, four apiece in Iceland and Lithuania, and one each in Latvia and Estonia.
- The biggest ever Vikinglotto jackpot is won, worth 327 million kr (€44 million). Two tickets – a single player from Denmark and a group of 10 players from Norway – receive 163 million kr (€22 million) each.
- The Viking number is introduced on 24th May in place of the Lucky Numbers. Only the jackpot and second-tier prizes are now the same across all participating countries, and the remaining prize tiers are decided by the countries’ own national lotteries.
- Players must now pick six main numbers between 1 and 48 and one Viking number between 1 and 8. In Norway, the cost of playing increases from 5 kr (€0.52) to 6 kr (€0.63).
- A €35 million jackpot cap is introduced, and the minimum jackpot prize is €3 million.
- Vikinglotto Plus is launched as a Finland-only add-on to the main Vikinglotto draw. It can increase winnings by up to five times their original value.
- Slovenia joins Vikinglotto on 9th November and the first draw involving the country is on 15th November.
- Slovenia changes its prize structure ahead of the draw on 16th January and introduces a new prize tier for matching two main numbers plus the Viking number. This improves the overall odds of winning a prize in Slovenia.
- Belgium joins Vikinglotto, making it the tenth country to participate in the game. The first draw involving Belgian players is on 25th November, with tickets only available online.
- The rules changed ahead of the draw on 9th June. The number of Viking balls was reduced from 8 to 5, making the odds of winning the jackpot better. The maximum jackpot changed from €35 million to €25 million.
- The prize structure changes in Belgium, with the first draw taking place under the new rules on 18th May. Under the changes, two new prize tiers were added, meaning that players matching just one main number and the Viking Number can win a prize. As a result, the overall odds of winning a prize in Belgium improved to 1 in 1.75.