Biggest euromillions jackpot winners

How to win euromillions

Improving your Odds

There is no practical way to guarantee that you will win the EuroMillions jackpot as you would have to buy every combination of numbers, but there are some ways you can improve your chances of winning.

  • Join a syndicate – In a syndicate, you can enter multiple lines into a draw without increasing the cost of playing. By having a share of multiple lines, rather than just one single line, you improve your chances of winning a prize.
  • Play with random numbers – The odds of a random set of numbers being drawn are just the same as the odds of a more familiar pattern of numbers being drawn. However, prize amounts are partly determined by how many players win, so it is worth trying to choose numbers which have not been picked by anyone else. Many players use significant dates to select numbers – limiting their choice to 31 and under – or just a memorable sequence such as 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50. Therefore, if you want to improve your chances of being the sole winner of a prize, choose random numbers greater than 31.

History of the EuroMillions Lottery

The EuroMillions lottery was launched in February 2004 by three participating countries: France, Spain and the UK. Just a few months later (on 8 September 2004, to be precise), six more countries joined the fold: Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland. Since its original establishment, EuroMillions has undergone a few changes. In 2009, a limit to the jackpot tally was introduced (the «cap») and in 2011 the lottery operators launched a second weekly draw on Tuesday nights. The very first EuroMillions draw took place on 13 February 2004. On that momentous night a French lottery player managed to scoop up the first EuroMillions jackpot in history.

In 2006, the EuroMillions operators stipulated that there would be a maximum number of sequential draws in a jackpot life cycle. As a result, from that moment onwards, EuroMillions jackpots could only roll over 10 times (i.e. 11 draws). If there was still no first category winner at draw number 12, then the first category prize money (the jackpot) would be won by the winner(s) in the next winning category.

It didn’t take long, however, before this rule was annulled and a new one was put in its place. In November 2009, the EuroMillions lottery introduced an upper limit to its jackpot prize, the so called jackpot cap. Initially this limit was set at €185 million and it was agreed that every time anyone would win the jackpot at the cap stage, the future limit would be €5 million higher. The first time this happened was in July 2011, when the British couple Chris and Colin Weir won a €185 million EuroMillions jackpot. As a result the EuroMillions jackpot cap was increased by €5 million to €190 million.

EuroMillions introduced a Tuesday draw in May 2011. At that time, changes were also made to the game format. A new winning category was introduced for players who correctly match two main numbers and the guessing range of the Lucky Star numbers was increased from 9 to 11 numbers. To celebrate the changes, EuroMillions organised the first of its legendary Superdraws with a €100 million guaranteed jackpot.

In 2012 the rule was amended once again to state that the maximum jackpot would remain at the €190 million level and could only roll over once (and remain at the cap level). If the €190 million EuroMillions jackpot is not won after two draws, the amount gets divided up over the winner(s) in the next winning prize category.

Starting from 24 September 2016, the Lucky Stars are now chosen from a pool of 12 numbers instead of the previous pool of 11 numbers. The starting guaranteed EuroMillions jackpot has been increased to €17 million. The rule regarding the jackpot cap was amended to state that the maximum jackpot of €190 million would remain for up to four draws and if not won, that amount would be divided up between the winner(s) in the next highest winning prize category.

An interesting side note is the story of the Kosovo refugee who changed his luck around by winning a EuroMillions jackpot. A father of four who had immigrated to Belgium, he won a €168 million prize in October 2016.

EuroMillions raised its jackpot cap starting February 2020, immediately setting a €200 million cap. Under its new format, once the €200 million cap is reached for the first time, the jackpot in the next EuroMillions jackpot cycle can roll over as high as €210 million. Once that new jackpot cap is reached, the EuroMillions will raise its jackpot cap to €220 million. The EuroMillions jackpot will continue to grow in this manner until it reaches its maximum jackpot cap of €250 million.

My Bonus (Raffle)

A My Bonus code is automatically assigned for each Euromillions line played. To take part in the My Bonus draws, as well as the special Millionairs draw in which 25 winners* win € 1.000.000. The special EuroMillions Millionairs draws 4 times a year for 25 winners of € 1,000,000 each. Is there no winner? Then My Bonus draw a extra winner of € 1.000.000! My Bonus draws guarantee 600** extra winners of € 500 every week. There are also thousands of winners of € 10 several times a year.

* The number of winners per special Millionairs draw may vary and depends on what the participating EuroMillions countries decide together.** 200 winners on Tuesday and 400 winners on Friday.

How to Win

There are 13 ways to win in the main draw, with larger prizes awarded for successfully matching more numbers. The overall odds of receiving any prize are 1 in 13.

Match Win*
5 numbers + 2 Lucky Stars Jackpot€17 million to €200 million
5 numbers + 1 Lucky Star £300,811.96
5 numbers £47,453.73
4 numbers + 2 Lucky Stars £2,768.14
4 numbers + 1 Lucky Star £130.20
3 numbers + 2 Lucky Stars £53.35
4 numbers £57.75
2 numbers + 2 Lucky Stars £13.24
3 numbers + 1 Lucky Star £9.75
3 numbers £8.11
1 number + 2 Lucky Stars £7.03
2 numbers + 1 Lucky Star £5.32
2 numbers £2.80

*For Match 5 + 2, the range of available prize amounts is shown. For all other prize tiers, the average amount is shown. Averages have been calculated using data from draws since 10/05/2011.

The chances of winning the jackpot are 1 in 139,838,160. Visit the EuroMillions Odds page to see your chances of winning in each different prize tier.

Millionaire Maker & HotPicks

UK ticket holders also have an additional chance to win £1 million thanks to the Millionaire Maker. Millionaire Maker is a supplementary game which is automatically included when you enter EuroMillions. You receive one code for every combination of EuroMillions numbers you play and it is all included in the cost of a ticket, so you do not need to do anything extra. A winning Millionaire Maker code is drawn alongside each main EuroMillions draw and if the code on your ticket matches the winning code exactly, you win. Special draws also take place from time to time which guarantee multiple winners.

EuroMillions HotPicks is a separate game, so it can be played on its own. Unlike Millionaire Maker, you need to opt in to play the game, which costs £1.50 per entry. HotPicks uses the five main numbers from the EuroMillions draw, and players can decide how many of the numbers they want to try and match. For example, you can choose to try and match just one number to win £10 or you can attempt to match all five for £1 million. The cost of entry is the same regardless of how many numbers you try and match. See the EuroMillions HotPicks page to learn more.

Belgium

Prize Total Online
Up to €500 Small prizes are added to your lottery account, although they are paid directly to your bank account instead if they would take the lottery account balance over €500.
Between €500 and €25,000 Prizes are paid directly into your bank account.
Over €25,000 Prizes must be collected from National Lottery headquarters in Brussels.
Prize Total Authorised Retailer
Up to €1,000 Prizes can be claimed from any official lottery retailer. Should the retailer not have the required funds on the premises, you will need to return at a later date.
Between €1,001 and €2,000 These prizes can be paid by authorised retailers, however, if the money is not available you will be required to visit any regional lottery office or lottery headquarters in Brussels.
Between €2,001 and €25,000 Can be claimed by visiting any regional lottery office or lottery headquarters in Brussels.
Over €25,000 You must make an appointment to meet a representative at lottery headquarters in Brussels. The number to call is 02 238 45 54 or 0494 10 99 67.

EuroMillions players in Belgium have 20 weeks to claim any prizes.

Playing Online

Playing online has become increasingly popular as it offers a number of advantages over buying a ticket from a retailer. For example, once you purchase your entries online, they are then stored in your account and cannot be lost, stolen or damaged unlike paper tickets. Plus you will be notified if you win, so you don’t even need to check the results.

If you’d like to play online, visit the EuroMillions Online page to get started.

Direct Debits

Another advantage of entering online is that National Lottery players can enter their lines on a continuous basis to ensure they never miss a draw. To set up a Direct Debit, follow these steps:

  • Step1

    Fill out an online playslip
    Select your numbers, how many lines you wish to play and whether you want to take part in the Tuesday draw, the Friday draw, or both.

  • Step2

    Choose to play ‘continuously by Direct Debit’
    Rather than selecting the option to enter for a set number of weeks.

  • Step3

    Submit your bank sort code and account number

The Direct Debit will take about four weeks to begin and you will then be entered automatically into your chosen draws. You will get a different Millionaire Maker entry for each draw.

You can make changes to your personal details, the numbers you want to use or the draws you wish to enter at any time by going to your account.

Play a EuroMillions System

System entries are often best suited to syndicates, as they involve buying a large number of entries for a draw. You would play more a combination of more numbers than the required five main numbers and two Lucky Stars. For example, you might choose to play six main numbers and three Lucky Stars, which would give you more chances to win should your numbers come up.

You can play system entries in Austria, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Portugal, Switzerland and Spain, but in the UK and Ireland you will need to create your own by writing down all possible combinations of the numbers you choose and entering them on multiple lines to ensure that they are all covered.

When Do Ticket Sales Close?

However you’ve chosen to take part in EuroMillions, you can find out the cutoff times for entering in the table below:

Day Retail Ticket Online Ticket Online Syndicate
Monday Dependent on individual retailer opening hours 11.00pm Available all day
Tuesday 7.30pm 7.30pm 7.45pm
Wednesday Dependent on individual retailer opening hours 11.00pm Available all day
Thursday Dependent on individual retailer opening hours 11.00pm Available all day
Friday 7.30pm 7.30pm 7.45pm
Saturday Dependent on individual retailer opening hours 11.00pm Available all day
Sunday Dependent on individual retailer opening hours 11.00pm Available all day
When ticket sales close at 7.30pm, they will reopen at 9pm the same evening for the next draw.

Take Advantage of the Jackpot Cap

The EuroMillions jackpot is capped at €200 million, with excess funds that would have been added to the top prize diverted to next-highest prize tier with any winners. While this technically doesn’t make you a jackpot winner, you could still pick up a seven-figure sum for matching five main numbers and one Lucky Star, and the odds of winning in this prize tier are just 1 in 6,991,908, compared with 1 in 139,838,160 for the jackpot.

On Friday 8th July 2011, six winners in the Match 5+1 tier won £3.3 million (€4.5 million) after the jackpot hit its then cap of €185 million.

Once the jackpot reaches €200 million, it can roll over four times before it either must be won or is rolled down into the next winning prize tier. During these rollovers, any excess funds that would have been added to the jackpot are also rolled down, bringing you a better chance of winning a life-changing prize without having to match all of the numbers drawn. See the Jackpot Cap page for more about how it works.

Win a Bigger Payout by Choosing Rarer Numbers

Choosing These Types of Lottery Numbers Has an Advantage.
Jonathan Kitchen / Getty Images

While it’s impossible to predict which numbers will be chosen in any given lottery drawing, picking certain numbers might have a slight advantage, not for your chances of winning, but for your payout.

If you win a lottery jackpot, there’s a chance you might have to split the payout with other people who picked the same numbers. So all things being equal (in that all numbers are equally likely to be picked), you might as well try to select rarer numbers to improve your odds of keeping more of the pot for yourself.

EuroMillions on LottoSmile

LottoSmile offers players from around the world the opportunity to participate in different national versions of the EuroMillions lottery online: EuroMillions & El Millón and Austria EuroMillions.

At  LottoSmile, players can acquire a EuroMillions Subscription to any of the three versions we offer. Subscriptions allow you to automatically enter every draw with your lucky numbers. You’ll never have to worry about missing another draw deadline again. If you’re not ready for the commitment of a subscription, you can also try out a Multi-Draw package which pre-orders your tickets for a set number of draws.

If you’re in it to win it, EuroMillions Syndicates are probably the most lucrative EuroMillions play options, especially if you want to boost your EuroMillions odds. What’s more: LottoSmile’s syndicates are exclusive to our site and cannot be played anywhere else — neither online or offline! By joining groups of other online lottery players you are able to joint-purchase a large number of tickets and give your chance of winning the lottery an enormous boost. Buy your EuroMillions tickets today!

Prize Information

How do you win prizes?

You win prizes by matching the numbers you select to the winning numbers drawn. There are 13 different prize tiers, and you can win prizes just by matching two main numbers. To win the jackpot, you must match all five main numbers and both Lucky Stars.

Does the jackpot roll over if there’s no winner?

The jackpot starts at a minimum of €17 million (approximately £15 million) and rolls over if there is not a winner. However, the jackpot can only go up to a maximum of €200 million. Once it reaches that level, it is capped and can only stay at €200 million for four draws at the most. In the next draw (the fifth one at €200 million), the jackpot must be won and the money will be shared between players in the highest winning tier if there are no Match 5 + 2 winners.

How much of the money from ticket sales goes towards prizes?

Fifty percent of the money you spend on a ticket is returned to players as prize money. A percentage of this prize fund is then allocated to each of the 13 prize categories. This is known as a pari-mutuel prize structure, so the prizes are not fixed and vary from draw to draw depending on how many tickets are sold and the number of winners.

The money that is not given to the prize fund is distributed in a number of different ways – with 28 percent going to good causes, 12 percent to the UK Government as Lottery Duty and five percent to retailers as commission. The remaining five percent covers operating costs and profit for the lottery operator.

How do you claim prizes?

The method for claiming prizes depends on how you play and how much you win. If you play online, smaller amounts will be transferred straight into your lottery account, but you must contact the National Lottery for anything larger than £30,000. If you buy a paper ticket, you must visit an authorised retailer for awards up to £100. You can go to a National Lottery Post Office or claim by mail if you win up to £50,000, but you must claim larger amounts in person. Take a look at the page on Claiming EuroMillions Prizes for more details.

What happens to prize money before it’s claimed?

When a prize is waiting to be claimed, it is held in trust managed by Law Debenture rather than a Camelot bank account. Any interest that accrues during this time is transferred to the Good Causes Fund – but is first used to pay various fees. These include Law Debenture’s trustee fees and fees owed to external auditors, along with bank charges and tax.

Multiply Your Chances of Winning the Lottery with Second-Chance Games

Don’t Pass Up Another Chance to Win the Lottery.
Tetra Images / Getty Images

OK, so your numbers didn’t come up in the drawing. That means it’s time to toss your lottery ticket, right?

Wrong!

Many lotteries offer second-chance drawings on non-winning tickets. Fill out the form on the back, send it in, and you’ll have a bonus chance to be a winner.

On June 8, 2010, a TheBalance Everyday reader reported a big lottery win. She didn’t win because of the numbers she played when she bought the ticket, but because she entered the second-chance game in the Kentucky Lottery.

Her name was randomly drawn as the second-chance winner, and she took home $120,610.70 after taxes.

FAQ

Can you play EuroMillions abroad?

Yes, you can play the game online from anywhere in the world on theLotter. You don’t have to be in a EuroMillions country to play. All you have to do is log in and you can play online.

Until what time can you play EuroMillions?

You can play the game up until the cutoff time, which is 20:30 CEST. That’s just 15 minutes before the draw takes place. If you’re playing online, remember that you can only play up until a few hours before the draw.

How many countries play the EuroMillions?

The EuroMillions is a pan-European lottery played in nine countries – Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Can you play EuroMillions in advance?

Are EuroMillions Prizes Taxed?

All EuroMillion lottery prizes are paid out tax-free except for Spain EuroMillions. In Spain, there are two tax bands imposed on lottery winnings:

  • Tax Band 1: Tax-free up to €40,000.

  • Tax Band 2: Any portion of the prize exceeding €40,000 is subject to a tax rate of 20%.

Lucky for players from abroad, citizens of most countries other than Spain are exempt from these tax bands and entitled to a full tax refund in order to prevent double taxation on the winner’s prize. One thing that should be noted is that claiming a tax-refund is the sole responsibility of the winner and must be done through the Spanish tax authorities.

How to Get Lucky in Lotto

CASH IN ON THE LUCK OF OTHERS

When you form a Lotto pool, your group is also pooling its aggregate luck. A
jackpot could happen because of the luck just one member brings to your pool.
Select your partners carefully. Share your luck with winners, not losers. Avoid
negative people. Not only are they unlucky, but they dampen enthusiasm and drain
energy from others. You want to enhance your own luck, not dilute its strength. One
quick way to tell winners from losers is simply to ask them: «Do you think you
are a lucky person?» Many people quickly admit, «I’m unlucky. I never win
anything.» They won’t bring good luck to your group either.

CASH IN ON A POSITIVE ATTITUDE

No one should play games of chance out of desperation because they need the
winnings. The needy have a greater fear of losing the hard-earned money they gamble
with. It is just one of life’s dirty tricks that the very fear of losing blocks the
winning forces. Thoughts are charged with energy, especially when triggered by
emotion. Fear attracts exactly that which one fears. A strong desire for a goal
that is charged with positive energy, attracts a positive response, especially when
every effort is made to attain that goal.

Remember the Basics

It seems obvious, but you cannot win EuroMillions without buying a ticket. Once you have bought your tickets, you know that you have a chance of winning that jackpot. You really do have to be in it to win it.

Similarly, you can’t collect a prize if you do not check your ticket. Make sure you use the EuroMillions Ticket Checker soon after the draw takes place to see whether you have matched any numbers and if you are due a prize.

The advantage of playing EuroMillions online is that you are notified of any prizes you win on your tickets, and you can’t lose or damage them because your numbers are digitally connected to you in your player account.

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