All aboard for ‘Railway Lottery’

When travelling by train across Russia, a common sight was advertising posters for «Лотерея железных дорог». So what was it advertising?

Flyer for the Russian Railway's «Лотерея железных дорог» ('rail lotto') competition

I saw them as part of the entertainment onboard the Sapsan train.

Advertisement for Russia's 'Rail Lotto' competition

They were on the carriage walls as I walked down the train.

«Лотерея железных дорог» advertisement

They even had stickers reading “Maybe, you are looking at a millionaire?” on the bathroom mirrors.

«Возможно, на тебя смотрит миллионер» (Maybe, you are looking at a millionaire?'

Thankfully «Лотерея железных дорог» was easy to translate – in English it is ‘Railway Lottery’.

The website has more details:

Buy a 100 rouble lottery ticket and be a part of the “Railway Lottery’! For each draw the prize pool is more than 15 000 000 rubles!

Tickets can be brought from the conductor onboard all long-distance trains in Russia, and from ticket offices. They will enter your 13 digit ticket number into the draw.

10% of the revenue from ticket sales is sent to the aid of sick children, charity and social programs.

They also detail the history of the lottery:

First edition of “Railways Lottery” was held in October 2010. Since then:

  • raffled 706,324,337 rubles,
  • 1,646,096 lottery winners,
  • 55 of them have won the sum of over one million rubles
  • The largest prize – 16,127,106 rubles – was won on August 30, 2013 in draw 35. The winner was 28-year-old resident of the Belgorod region.
  • In August 2011, “Railway Lottery” and Charity Foundation “Spread Your wings!” concluded a cooperation agreement in the framework of which the “Helping Hand” project. During the years of cooperation 161,272,106 rubles were transferred to charity. Together with the Foundation “Spread Your Wings!” was provided targeted assistance to 880 kids with diseases of the central nervous system, birth defects and cancer.
  • Most importantly, during the existence of the “Lottery railways’ help more than 1,500 children have received.


When I travelled to Russia in 2012 entries in the Railway Lottery were train ticket numbers. In 2014 the rules were changed to make things simpler – each entry was for six numbers between 1 and 36, and whoever picked all six numbers won the prize pool.

Drawing out six lucky numbers is a lot simpler than putting a set of non-sequential 13 digit numbers into a barrel, and picking out a single winner.

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