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Play French Loto in South Africa

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Katlego Modise
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The France Lotto is known as the French Loto and is the flagship lottery game of France. The operators of this lottery go by the name Française des Jeux (or simply as FDJ). The Française des Jeux is a state-owned company which not only operates some of France’s national lottery games but also offers online gambling products and plays the role of a sports betting bookmaker as well.

The FDJ is the sponsor of France’s track cycling team and also owns the majority of the shares in the team. In English, the Française des Jeux translates to The French Company of Games. The French Government owns the Française des Jeux, but the government decided to sell of 50% of the stakes to the public in an effort to raise revenue for continued operations. Currently, the French government still owns 72% of Française des Jeux.

France has a long history when it comes to lotteries. They date back to 1505 when the French National Lottery was established. At this time, the lottery was operated by the French kingdom and King Francis I brought forward the lottery to French citizens.

These days, you don’t have to be a French citizen to play the French Loto. Since 1505, things have changed tremendously as far as France’s national lottery is concerned, but the core concept of players picking numbers in hopes that their numbers will appear in the draw has remained more or less the same.

In terms of the French Loto, it was launched in 1976 and it is now the most popular lottery game in France which attracts over 15 million French players every week. When you take into account that the population of France is just 67 million, the true scale of how widely popular the French Loto is (within France) becomes apparent.

As we know, the French are seemingly reluctant to adopt English, but things are now changing. Players from outside of France would have had a tough time playing the French Loto if they weren’t well–versed in French. But now there are various online options available for non-French speaking players, albeit not as many as there are for other popular internationally available lotteries.

Is it Possible to Play French Loto from South Africa?

The French Lotto has some unique offerings, such as draws three times a week and very simplistic game rules, which make it an attractive lottery to play for the international audience, and especially for lottery players based in South Africa.

We already know that the operators of the French Loto, Française des Jeux, are looking to raise revenues for continued operations. Therefore, it would be counterintuitive for them to restrict the lottery to just players who are French citizens. When King Francis I operated the lottery, it may have been exclusive to French citizens, but the French Lotto now invites players from South Africa and other countries to play. In fact, the success of the French Lotto now depends heavily on players from outside France.

In the past, even though the French Loto has been open to foreign players, it was challenging for players to find English lottery service websites that offered the French Loto and this kept players from taking part. Thankfully, things are now changing and even the official French Loto website loads up in English if the visitor’s IP address comes from outside France.

Players based in South Africa can legally play the French Loto through online third-party lottery websites. You can also check out our guide to international lotteries to find out what other lotteries available to South Africans.  Multiple such platforms offer French Loto tickets and cater to South African players. If you are interested in playing the French Loto online from South Africa, you are at the right place. Read on to understand how third-party online lottery ticket purchasing services work.

How Does it Work?

The physical sale of French Loto tickets is restricted to within the French borders only. So, for a South African player looking to purchase a French Loto ticket, a practical and convenient option is to play via online lottery ticket purchasing services. Depending on which website you use, there may be some nuances and specifics which differ, but the process is largely the same no matter which online lottery ticket-purchasing platform you use.

How do these platforms work? Well, these websites are very user-friendly and intuitive. Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned lottery veteran who has been the owner of hundreds of lottery tickets in the past, you will find it easy to play online. Since real money is involved, you will be required to provide certain identifying details and contact details to sign up for an account. In addition, you will need to create a username and password to access your account at any time and play lottery games.

On the website, you will be able to choose which lottery game you want to play, pick the numbers on the ticket, and pay for the ticket online. Various secure payment methods are available to make your payment, such as credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets, online bank transfers, etc.

The ticket will have to be purchased before the cut-off time for the draw. Once the ticket is paid for successfully on the website, an employee of the online lottery service company who is based in France will actually visit one of the retailers in France that sell lottery tickets and buy a ticket with exactly the same numbers you’ve specified. You can make multiple entries at once to increase your chances of winning too.

Having purchased the ticket, the agent will scan the ticket and send you a soft copy to your email address as confirmation. Now, you just wait for the draw to take place and the winning numbers to be announced. If all of your numbers match the winning numbers, you win the jackpot!

Pros & Cons

  • Check IconPlayers who are living in South Africa can play the French Loto from the comfort of their own homes
  • Check IconOnce a South African player signs up for an account with the lottery service website, he or she can play any lottery game online which is featured on the platform
  • Check IconPlayers can make digital payments to secure their French Loto tickets. Online lottery service websites will accept a myriad of South African friendly payment options including credit cards, debit cards, e -wallets, and bank transfers. Some of them even accept crypto currencies like Bitcoins.
  • Check IconOnce you successfully pay for you French Loto ticket, the lottery website agent will buy the ticket on your behalf and send you a copy of the ticket as confirmation
  • Check IconOnce the draw is concluded, the results of the draw and other previous draws of the French Loto are readily available on the online lottery website for easy viewing
  • Check IconIf you have won any of the prizes in the French Loto, the online lottery website where you purchased the ticket may even send you an SMS or email notifying that you have won and then help claim your money too
  • Check IconEven if you are commuting or outside of your home, you don’t have to miss out on the next French Loto draw. You can buy your French Loto tickets using online lottery websites through your smartphone since these websites are mobile friendly
  • Check IconIf you are confused about how the French Loto works, how to play, the odds of winning, when the draws take place or have any other questions, the customer service agents of the online lottery ticket services will be happy to answer all your questions
  • Close IconApart from the price of the ticket itself, the online lottery purchasing system will charge you a convenience fee for buying the ticket on your behalf
  • Close IconThere are not many English websites that support the French Loto, but the situation is better than before

Game Details

The France Lotto is called the French Loto and is the primary lottery game in the nation of France. Participation is allowed for both French nationals and foreigners. A French Government-owned company operates the French Loto – Française des Jeux. The lottery’s main attraction is the fact that the draw happens not once or twice but three times a week.

The French Loto also offers the option of France Loto Plus, where you have multiple option play called the Jeu Multiple. This allows you to choose a larger field of numbers. You can choose up to 10 numbers as opposed to just 5 in the standard game. With more numbers being covered, your odds of winning increase substantially. However, there is an additional cost associated with each ticket line. In order to win the jackpot, a player has to match all five main numbers and the additional special number. There are a total of 9 prizes up for grabs, including the jackpot. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 19068840.

How to Play

The French Loto has become a crowd favorite among lottery players in South Africa and one of the main reasons for its popularity is the simplistic gameplay and rules. It is easy to play the French Loto. Players need to pick five main numbers from a range of 1 to 49 and 1 additional number, called the lucky number or chance number, from 1 to 10. South Africans who are playing the French Loto through online lottery websites, the website may offer a feature of random auto selection of numbers. Players can also choose their own numbers manually or invoke pre-selected lucky numbers onto any lottery ticket. It is also possible to enter future draws apart from the next upcoming draw at online platforms.

If you would like to pay an additional fee to increase the chance of winning, you can opt for the French Loto Plus, also called Jeu Multiple. In this feature, instead of picking just 5 main numbers, you can choose as many as 7 to 10 main numbers. The computer algorithm will make entries using all combinations of the numbers picked. Essentially, you end up casting a bigger net, hoping to catch the elusive jackpot in this way.

How to Buy a Ticket 

Players residing in France or visiting France have the option to walk into a kiosk or approved Loto retailer and purchase lottery tickets by paying cash or by card.

However, players based in South Africa or any other country outside of France can buy Loto tickets online to participate in the lottery.

Draw Dates

One of the unique selling points of the French Loto is the fact that the draw happens 3 times a week as opposed to once or twice a week as we have seen with some of the other world-famous lotteries. This means that if you play regularly, there’s the chance to win the jackpot 3 times every week. The draw takes place in Paris and takes place on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday nights at exactly 8:35 pm CET, which is also 8:35pm South Africa.

French Loto Odds

The French Loto offers 9 prizes, including the top jackpot prize. In order to win the jackpot, a player will need a ticket where all five numbers, and the chance number, match what appeared during the draw. The odds of winning the jackpot are the lowest and the odds increase as you go down the pecking order of the prizes.

Playing with the French Loto Plus option does increase your odds of winning substantially, but it costs more for each ticket line, and even with this option enabled, the odds are still underwhelming in practical terms. Below is a table illustrating the odds of winning the various prizes offered by the French Loto.

How many numbers matchedReward Money for matchOdds
5 + CHANCE NUMBERJackpot1 in 19,068,840
5€100,0001 in 2,118,760
4 + CHANCE NUMBER€1,0001 in 88,677
4€5001 in 9,631
3 + CHANCE NUMBER€501 in 2,016
3€201 in 224
2 + CHANCE NUMBER€101 in 144
2€51 in 16
CHANCE NUMBER€2.201 in 18

What Happens if you Win and How to Claim the Money

If you win the French Loto, you should know that there is not going to be an annuity payout option where the prize money is paid out over a long term in instalments. The prize money is paid out in a lump sum. In order to claim the prize, you need to ensure that the winning ticket is in your possession. You can then take the winning ticket to the retailer or a French Loto office to claim the prize.

One of the best parts of winning the lottery in France is that the government does not tax you a single penny.

Where can I buy tickets from? 

If you are physically present in France, you can buy French Loto tickets from French Loto retail shops, which are found littered across the country. If you are based offshore, you can use an online lottery purchasing website such as The Lotter, Jackpot.com, Lotto Agent, Giant Lottos or Lotto Send to buy your French Loto tickets.

Biggest Jackpots Won with French Loto

The French Loto jackpot can roll over a maximum of 34 times when there is no winner. It seldom rolls over that many times, but many players have won accumulated jackpots that have rolled over several folds. Three of the biggest French Loto wins so far include €24 million in June 2011, €23 million in May 2014 and €22 million in July 2013.

Why Play French Loto

A few things about the French Loto make it an especially attractive lottery to play. To begin with, three drawings a week are great for lottery lovers as they don’t have to wait all week for a draw. Secondly, the French Lotto winnings are not taxed by the French Government. Thirdly, the French Loto Plus option can increase your chances of winning, and lastly, the jackpot can roll over many times and pay out a massive sum of money.


Question Icon

Can a foreigner win the French Loto?

Yes, Foreign players can win the French Loto.

Question Icon

Can I play French Loto from South Africa?

Yes, players living in South African can buy French Loto tickets from online lottery ticket purchasing websites.

Question Icon

How do you play French Loto?

Pick 5 main numbers from 1 to 49 and 1 chance number from 1 to 10. To win the jackpot, you need to match all five main numbers and the chance number.

Question Icon

What are the draw dates for French Loto?

Draws take place three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 8:35 pm CET in Paris, which is the same time in South Africa.

Question Icon

How do you claim the money if you win French Loto?

Take the winning ticket to a French Loto office. Online players can contact the customer service of the online lottery website for help with claiming any wins.

Question Icon

How long does it take to get the money?

There is no annuity payout option, the prize is paid in one lump – sum amount after the winning ticket has been validated.

Question Icon

What are the odds of winning French Loto?

The odds of winning the jackpot prize of French Loto are 1 in 19,068,840.

Katlego Modise

Katlego ModiseVerified

Sportsbook Content Manager & iGaming Industry Reporter

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Katlego Modise is a South African sports enthusiast turned sports betting writer. With years of experience analyzing teams, studying trends, and placing strategic wagers on sports like soccer, cricket, and rugby, he's earned a trusted reputation in the industry. He’s no stranger to the world of online casinos either, adding roulette devotee and online poker aficionado to his repertoire. When not writing or betting, Katlego enjoys traveling and volunteering to mentor young athletes at a local sports academy.

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