Updated Updated: September 13, 2019

EuroMillions Lottery

euromillions

EuroMillions is a draw-based lottery which is currently played in nine European countries, making it one of the biggest lotteries in the world. The game has a minimum jackpot value of €17 million, but rollovers and superdraws can take the jackpot value into as much as nine figures, giving players a chance to win extraordinary sums for an entry costing less than a good cup of coffee. The game can be played by purchasing a traditional printed paper ticket at any authorised retail outlet, or by purchasing an electronic ticket online.

A Potted History of EuroMillions

The EuroMillions lottery was launched in February 2004 by the national lottery organisations in just three founding countries. Those were the Loterías y Apuestas in Spain, the Française des Jeux in France and Camelot in the United Kingdom. The lottery enjoyed massive success from the very beginning, and six more countries joined in October 2004, which is how Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland also came to be involved.

euromillions history

As with many lottery games that have been around for some time, the rules of EuroMillions are not quite the same today as they were when it was launched. Originally, players were required to match five main numbers from 1 to 50 and two ‘Lucky Star’ numbers from 1 to 9, in order to win the jackpot or a share thereof. Those rules were amended in 2011 to increase the number of Lucky Stars to 11, and then again in 2016 to bring the number of Lucky Stars in play to 12.

Who Can Play EuroMillions?

Because EuroMillions is played in nine different countries, the rules governing who can play tend to vary slightly from nation to nation. In the United Kingdom, anyone who is aged 16 or over can play EuroMillions as long as they are physically located in the UK when they purchase their ticket. It should be noted that this allows visitors from any outside country to play EuroMillions in the UK. Of course, should a visitor buy a ticket in the UK and win a prize, that winner must also claim his or her prize in the UK, but even a return visit might not be a big deal for someone who is lucky enough to win the jackpot!

The same participation rules also apply to playing EuroMillions online in the UK. If a player is physically located in the country and aged 16 or over when the online ticket is purchased, it will be valid. Any UK resident who wishes to play whilst overseas must either buy a UK ticket in advance of their travel, or purchase a ticket from any other participating country that they might happen to be in, in which case any prize won must also be claimed in that country.

The EuroMillions Format

EuroMillions draws are held twice each week, every Tuesday and Friday evening. The current rules are as they were amended in 2016, so players must now match five main numbers from 1 to 50 as well as two Lucky Star numbers from 1 to 12, in order to win the jackpot. Players may select their own numbers, or they can play a randomly generated selection of numbers by requesting a Lucky Dip entry. Tickets cost £2.50 each in the UK, and this includes entry into a separate Millionaire Maker game which will be discussed later.

There are thirteen different prize levels in the EuroMillions game, and the level at which you win depends on how many main numbers and Lucky Star numbers you manage to match. The requirements for each prize level, starting with the biggest and working down to the smallest, are as follows:

  • Match 5 main numbers plus 2 Lucky Stars to win the jackpot
  • Match 5 main numbers plus 1 Lucky Star
  • Match 5 main numbers only
  • Match 4 main numbers plus 2 Lucky Stars
  • Match 4 main numbers plus 1 Lucky Star
  • Match 3 main numbers plus 2 Lucky Stars
  • Match 4 main numbers only
  • Match 2 main numbers plus 2 Lucky Stars
  • Match 3 main numbers plus 1 Lucky Star
  • Match 3 main numbers only
  • Match 1 main number plus 2 Lucky Stars
  • Match 2 main numbers plus 1 Lucky Star
  • Match 2 main numbers only

What are the Odds of Winning EuroMillions?

The odds of matching all seven of the numbers drawn, which is necessary to win the jackpot, are 1 in 139,838,160. At the opposite extreme, the odds of winning the smallest prize on offer are 1 in 22. The overall odds of winning any of the available prizes are 1 in 13. The full breakdown is as follows:

  • Match 5 main numbers plus 2 Lucky Stars to win the jackpot = 1 in 139,838,160
  • Match 5 main numbers plus 1 Lucky Star = 1 in 6,991,908
  • Match 5 main numbers only = 1 in 3,107,515
  • Match 4 main numbers plus 2 Lucky Stars = 1 in 621,503
  • Match 4 main numbers plus 1 Lucky Star = 1 in 31,076
  • Match 3 main numbers plus 2 Lucky Stars = 1 in 14,126
  • Match 4 main numbers only = 1 in 13,813
  • Match 2 main numbers plus 2 Lucky Stars = 1 in 986
  • Match 3 main numbers plus 1 Lucky Star = 1 in 707
  • Match 3 main numbers only = 1 in 314
  • Match 1 main number plus 2 Lucky Stars = 1 in 188
  • Match 2 main numbers plus 1 Lucky Star = 1 in 50
  • Match 2 main numbers only = 1 in 22

How to Play EuroMillions Online

euromillions online

Playing EuroMillions online is just as easy as playing in a retail outlet, but it is considerably more convenient. All you have to do is select the numbers that you want to play (or opt for a Lucky Dip of random numbers) and select the draws that you want to enter those numbers for (Tuesday, Friday, or both). When you have provided this information through a simple ‘point and click’ interface, you can confirm the entry and buy your virtual ticket.

If you want to do so, you can enter your numbers for several consecutive draws in advance, but you should note here that you must play the same numbers in each case. Should you opt for a Lucky Dip entry, the same selection of random numbers that is generated for the first draw will be replicated for the subsequent draws.

When you have confirmed and purchased your entry, you will be presented with an image of your virtual ticket which you can, if you wish, print for ready reference. You will also receive an email confirmation of your entry.

Winning the Jackpot

Should just one player match all seven numbers that are drawn, that player will win the entire value of the jackpot in a single lump sum payment. No tax is payable on lottery winnings in the UK, so no deductions will be made. 

If two or more players match all seven EuroMillions numbers, those players will each receive an equal share of the jackpot. For example, if two players match all seven numbers and the jackpot is worth €17 million, each of the winners would receive €8.5 million. Because this is a pan-European game, jackpots and other prizes are officially quoted in euros and any winner who purchased their ticket in the UK will receive the euro sum after it has been converted to the corresponding value in pounds sterling.

Jackpot Rollovers

Winning the EuroMillions jackpot requires quite a bit of luck, and so it is no great surprise that in some draws there is no player who manages to match all seven of the numbers that are drawn. On these occasions, the jackpot prize fund is ‘rolled over’, which means that it is added to the jackpot for the next draw. There can be multiple rollovers in succession, and this can help the basic €17 million jackpot to reach a value which is many times greater.

The Jackpot Cap

The Jackpot Cap

Whilst multiple rollovers are great for building huge jackpots, the game could get tiresome if a long rollover sequence was allowed to continue indefinitely. This being the case, the EuroMillions lottery game has a simple ‘jackpot cap’ rule which states that the jackpot can only grow to a value of €190 million

When that cap is reached, the jackpot remains at €190 million for no more than four more draws, with any excess money in the jackpot fund being ‘rolled down’ to winners at the next highest prize level. If the jackpot is still not won after four draws then the whole of the jackpot fund is rolled down and shared between winners at the next highest prize level, which means that more than €190 million could be shared between those who match five main numbers plus just one Lucky Star number!

The UK Millionaire Maker Game

Many of the countries which participate in EuroMillions also stage an associated game which is designed to create a big winner even when the main EuroMillions jackpot rolls over. In the UK, that associated game is called the Millionaire Maker, and it is a very simple raffle game which creates one guaranteed winner of £1,000,000 in each and every draw.

UK Millionaire Maker Game

Every EuroMillions ticket purchased in the UK automatically bears an automatically generated Millionaire Maker code because the game is already priced into each entry. When the EuroMillions results are published, the Millionaire Maker code will also be announced, and if that code matches the one on your ticket – regardless of whether you have played offline or online – you will win the £1 million prize.

Because the Millionaire Maker game is not dependent on or related to the numbers that are drawn in the main EuroMillions lottery game, it is possible to win the Millionaire Maker prize as well as a EuroMillions prize. Technically, it is even possible to win the top prize in both of these games with a single entry, but that outcome is not statistically likely by any stretch of the imagination.

EuroMillions Superdraws and Millionaire Maker Events

superdraw

From time to time, the EuroMillions game will stage a special ‘superdraw’ in order to celebrate a particular event or milestone, such as a EuroMillions anniversary. These superdraws work in exactly the same way as a regular draw, and the odds of winning at each prize level are also the same, but they tend to offer particularly large jackpots, even if the jackpot in the preceding game is won. The size of the jackpot that will be offered is usually mentioned in the name of the special draw, so one which offers €100 million might be advertised as a Guaranteed €100 Million superdraw.

The UK lottery operator Camelot also runs Millionaire Maker events from time to time, such as at Christmas or New Year. These events don’t affect the EuroMillions game in any way, but simply guarantee more than one Millionaire Maker prize in a given draw. For example, a Christmas Day event might award 25 prizes of £1 million each instead of just one.

Notable Wins

euromillion biggest win

The EuroMillions lottery has delivered some colossal jackpot wins since it was first launched, and the maximum jackpot value of €190 million has been won three times so far, in 2012, 2014 and 2017. Spain and Portugal were the countries that won the most recent of those prizes, and the 2012 jackpot was won in Great Britain.

As stated earlier, EuroMillions prizes in the UK are paid in pounds sterling, so the value of those is dependent on the exchange rates in use at the time of each win. That being the case, the biggest jackpot win in the UK so far was worth £161.6 million, which equated to €185 million, and was won by Colin and Christine Weir of Scotland in July, 2011.

FAQ

Online players will be sent an email which tells them about the win, and smaller wins will be credited to winning accounts automatically. Larger wins require winners to go through an official claims process to prove their identity, and so on. All instructions are provided to winners when the need arises.

Yes, they do. In the UK, EuroMillions players have up to 180 days from the draw taking place to claim any winnings due.

EuroMillions is a game of chance, and so there is no strategy that will increase your odds of winning with a single entry. You can, of course, purchase multiple entries for any given draw, and that will increase your overall chances of winning if you are prepared to pay for those multiple entries.

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