Introduced on February 7, 2004, the EuroMillions lottery is a national lottery system featured in nine countries. Initially, only France, the United Kingdom and Spain participated in the EuroMillions lottery. Nine months after the EuroMillions launch, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland joined the EuroMillions lottery on October 8, 2004. The EuroMillions lottery functions as the national lottery in most of these locations, except the United Kingdom, which has a separate national lottery system. To date, the largest EuroMillions Jackpot of €185,000,000 or £161,653,000 was claimed on July 12, 2011, by a UK winning ticket holder from Ayrshire.
Colin and Chris Weir from Largs in Ayrshire won £161m!
Similar to the UK national lottery, yet unlike larger lotteries such as the Mega Millions in the United States, EuroMillions lottery winnings are paid in a tax-free lump sum in all participating countries except Switzerland. The majority of the EuroMillions lottery revenue is paid to lottery winners, but a good portion of the lottery’s revenue goes toward good causes in each country.
For instance, in the United Kingdom, twenty-eight per cent of the EuroMillions lottery revenue goes towards good causes, which has helped raise over £20 billion in grants in unison with the country’s National Lottery. These good cause grants help fund various youth, sports, arts, educational, health and environmental projects. Ireland perhaps spends most of its EuroMillions lottery revenue for good causes. For every €1 spent on the EuroMillions lottery in Ireland, 32c or Euro Coins goes to good causes. In Ireland, the national lottery has helped raise €3.6 billion to date and fund various health and welfare, youth, sports and Irish language projects.
In order to play Euromillions players must be at least 18 years old in all participating countries, except the United Kingdom. Sixteen is the minimum age to play all lotteries, including the EuroMillions lottery, in the United Kingdom. Unlike the UK National lottery, only players who reside in participating countries are allowed to purchase lotto tickets from EuroMillions lottery retailers. However, the game is available in other Euro Zone countries such as Liechtenstein and Monaco. The average EuroMillions ticket costs €2.50 or £2.50 or for each line.
Following a successful 2006 year with over €145 million in EuroMillions ticket sales, the Irish National Lottery unveiled EuroMillions Plus in June of 2007. In order to upgrade from the original EuroMillions game, players must pay an extra €1 per line to play EuroMillions Plus. The game gives players a chance to enter for the top prize of €500,000 each week. Mid-2009 Portugal followed suit and introduced the EuroMillions Plus game to its national lottery system. To date, this new EuroMillions lottery game is only featured in these two countries.
When playing the EuroMillions lottery, players must choose five numbers per line, and the numbers must range from 1 to 50. Then players must select a lucky stars number that ranges from 1 to 11, and each lucky stars number must be different. Players then choose the number of lines they want to play per ticket. Players are allowed to select a maximum of ten lines for each ticket, but players can purchase an unlimited amount of tickets if they want to play additional lines.
Lottery prizes are awarded according to how many numbers a player’s ticket matches the drawn numbers. Players must match at least two of the five main numbers to win a prize, but there is no prize for matching both of the lucky stars numbers. Unlike The UK National Lottery, where winners who match the same amount of numbers share a percentage of the winnings for that prize level, EuroMillions lottery players receive a set amount for their winnings.
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As of May 10, 2015, the current EuroMillions Lottery prize structure is as follows from lowest to highest in winnings:
Players who match two of the five main numbers and no lucky stars numbers can expect to receive €4 and £2.70 in winnings.
Players who match two main numbers and one lucky stars number can expect to receive €8 and £5.40 in winnings.
Players who match one main number can expect to receive €10 or £6.90.
Players who match three main numbers and no lucky stars numbers can expect to receive €12 or £8.20 in winnings.
Players who match three main numbers and one lucky stars number can expect to receive €14 or £9.80.
Players who match two main numbers and both lucky stars numbers can expect to receive €19 or £12.80 in winnings.
Players who match three main numbers and both lucky stars numbers can expect to receive €59 or £40.10 in winnings.
Players who match four main numbers and no lucky stars numbers will receive €101 or £68.60 in winnings.
Players who match four main numbers and one lucky stars number can expect €201 or £137.20 in winnings.
Players who match all five main numbers and no lucky stars numbers can expect to receive €51,792 or £35,303.90 in winnings.
Players who match five main numbers and no lucky stars numbers can expect to receive €310,751 or £211,823.60 in winnings.
Players much match all five main numbers and both lucky stars numbers to receive the EuroMillions Lottery Jackpot.
If there are no players who match all five of the main balls and both lucky stars numbers during a particular week, the jackpot rolls over into the following week’s draw.
Figures for each prize level below the jackpot prize level are estimates of what players can expect to receive for their winnings. Depending on how the jackpot rolls over, winnings below the jackpot prize level could increase.
The Euromillions Jackpot Cap
As of November 7, 2009, the EuroMillions lottery introduced a new jackpot cap. If the jackpot increases to €185,000,000 or surpasses this amount, it will stay at €185,000,000 and any subsequent winnings are rolled over to the jackpot pool for the next prize level that has at least one winner. After the jackpot surpasses €185,000,000 the jackpot cap goes up to €190,000,000.
If there are no winners after the jackpot reaches €190,000,000, it will remain at €190,000,000 for each additional draw until there is a jackpot winner. Any additional winnings will be added to the jackpot pool for the next prize level below the jackpot that contains at least 1 winner. Prior to the November 2009 rollover rule change, the jackpot was limited to eleven successive rollovers. If there was not a jackpot winner following the eleventh rollover, the jackpot went to the next prize level with at least one winner.
Players have a 1 in 13 chance of winning a prize overall from the EuroMillions lottery, and the chance of winning the jackpot is 1 in 116,531,800. Players have 1 in 95 odds of matching none of the main five numbers, but matching both lucky stars numbers. This means players have a greater chance of winning something from the EuroMillions lottery than nothing at all.
EuroMillions Lottery draws take place on Tuesday and Friday nights each week. The draws are made in France at 20:45 Central European Time, and a recording of the draws are shown approximately three hours after the official draws take place on BBC One in the UK. Players can also check the winning numbers online, from the mobile phone or via email if they are a winner.
In addition to purchasing EuroMillions tickets from lotto retailers, players can purchase EuroMillions tickets online in most participating countries. Similar to purchasing lotto tickets in merchant stores, online players must be a national of a participating EuroMillions Lottery country.
To play Euromillions in the United Kingdom, players must open an account at the official UK National Lottery website. Players must include their contact information such as their name, address and telephone number when they register an account. Lotto players must also provide a valid email address to receive technical support and prize notifications. Players must also enter their billing address and credit or debit card information in order to purchase tickets from their online account. United Kingdom EuroMillions players can only use debit cards to purchase tickets online, but other participating countries, such as Ireland, accept both credit and debit cards as forms of payment.
In the United Kingdom, EuroMillions players can play the lottery and select numbers from their mobile phone in order to play Euromillions. United Kingdom residents must register their mobile number via The UK National Lottery website to play by text. Players have to open an online account and choose the “Register My Mobile” submit their mobile phone number to play by text. Players from the Man of Isle in the United Kingdom are not eligible for play by text.
Winners who purchased their lottery tickets at EuroMillions retail stores can claim their winnings in person at their local lottery commission. In most participating countries, players online or mobile phone players will receive their winnings via check or credit. Online jackpot and large sum winners will receive their earnings via check. Online small sum winners will receive their prize money via to their online account, or they can elect to have winning credited directly to their debit or credit card.
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