Japan Mini Loto is a popular national lottery game that is starting to attract international attention.
With incredible odds and an easy format, it’s no wonder this game has had so much success.
In this guide, we’ll tell you what you need to know to help you win smaller-but still very exciting-prizes. We'll also show you how you can buy Japan Mini Loto tickets online.
About Japan Mini Loto
Japan Mini Loto was launched on April 13, 1999, by the government-run Takarakuji. This is why the game is also sometimes called Takarakuji Mini Loto.
Currently, it is estimated that around 30 million people play Japan Mini Loto every week.
The game’s format has remained unchanged for many years and shows no signs of changing.
Japan Mini Loto Draws
Japan Mini Loto is a weekly draw, with draws held every Tuesday at 6:45 p.m. JST.
Draws are broadcast live on television. For players who miss the broadcast, the winning numbers are posted online on Takarakuji’s official website.
Japan Mini Loto also typically puts on a special annual draw at the end of every year.
These annual draws have a much larger prize pool. One year, the special jackpot reached JPY 700 million!
How to Play Japan Mini Loto
To play Japan Mini Loto, you must select five numbers from a number pool of 1 through 31. Players also get a bonus number, which contributes to secondary prizes.
To win the jackpot, a player must match all five regular numbers.
Players can either select their own numbers or choose the Quick Pick option.
Players have the option of replaying their numbers for up to 25 weeks using a single ticket.
A single line for a ticket costs JPY 200 when purchased within the country.
Players who buy lottery tickets online from third-party websites may have to pay an additional charge.
Within Japan, players must be at least 20 years old to buy tickets.
Japan Mini Loto Prizes and Odds
As previously mentioned, players must match all five of the regular numbers to win the jackpot.
To win a prize, players must match a minimum of three numbers.
The bonus ball only applies to the second-highest prize tier, where players must match four numbers and the bonus.
There are only four prize tiers. Though not ideal, the limited number of tiers is made up for by the incredible jackpot odds.
Japan Mini Loto has some of the best jackpot odds in the world at 1 in 169,911.
These odds are even better than games that are known for their favourable odds, such as Polish Mini Lotto. That game’s jackpot odds are 1 in 850,668 and the prizes are usually smaller than those of Japan Mini Loto.
However, the overall odds of winning any prize are 1 in 52, a bit tougher than most lotteries.
Japan Mini Loto has a guaranteed minimum jackpot of JPY 12 million.
It there is no winner, the jackpot rolls over to the next draw.
Despite the amazing odds of winning, the jackpot still grows to pretty impressive sums and often reaches JPY 40 million.
The prize and odds breakdown for all prize tiers are as follows:
Odds of Winning
1 in 169,911
4 + 1
1 in 33,982
1 in 1,359
1 in 52
Claiming Japan Mini Loto Prizes
Lucky Japan Mini Loto winners have up to one year from the draw date to claim their prize.
All prizes are awarded to winners as lump-sum payments with no tax taken off.
Winners who buy tickets from popular lottery sites may have to pay tax in accordance with their home countries.
Prizes up to JPY 10,000 can be claimed from participating lottery retailers. Larger prizes, up to JPY 100,000, can be claimed at participating banks.
All other prizes must be claimed from Takarakuji headquarters.
Prizes of up to JPY 1 million will be awarded immediately. Larger prizes may take a longer waiting period.
Notable Japan Mini Loto Winners
We could not find official information on the biggest Japan Mini Loto winners. However, some of the biggest winners have certainly won in excess of JPY 40 million.
The rolling jackpot makes it possible for prizes to exceed that amount after a few weeks without a winner.
Japan Mini Loto-Should You Play?
As the name suggest, Japan Mini Loto is one of the smaller lotteries in the world. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with some big benefits.
Though jackpots start small, they can roll over and reach some awesome sums.
Add to that the incredible jackpot odds and cheap ticket price, and you’ve got a great game that’s definitely worth trying.