Lottery gambling has enjoyed great popularity around the world for many years and is generally seen as a socially acceptable form of gambling. Apart from aspects such as effects on charities, pathological lottery gambling and its addictive nature have often been discussed recently but rarely investigated. Methods: In the present study lottery gambling was investigated with respect to criteria of pathological gambling and addiction using a standardized questionnaire on gambling behavior that also assesses diagnostic criteria of addiction according to the DSM-IV. Sample: 171 active lottery gambling subjects (40 females, 131 males) participated in the present study. Results: 15.2% of the subjects fulfilled the criteria of pathological lottery gambling. Pathological lottery gamblers differed significantly from nonpathological lottery gamblers concerning the diagnostic criteria for addiction. Conclusion: An extension of the diagnosis "pathological gambling" to "behavioral addiction" seems to be appropriate for excessive lottery gambling.