Whenever the Euromillions jackpot reaches new heights, players often ask if there's a maximum amount it can reach, a cap on the jackpot, or if there is a maximum number of times the jackpot can rollover without being won.
When Euromillions was launched in 2004 an original limit was set at 12 rollovers, with no theoretical cap on the jackpot prize fund. But on Friday 6th March, 2009, a rule change introduced a new Jackpot Pool Cap so long as the draw in question was not an Event Draw (such as a Superdraw or a draw celebrating the ‘birthday’ of Euromillions). However this Jackpot Cap rule was superseded on 17th February with a new rule as shown below.
Defining the Jackpot Pool Cap
The official rules, or Game Procedures as they are called, define the Jackpot Pool Cap as €190,000,000 (one hundred and ninety million euros).
The previous jackpot cap of €185 million was reached on 8th July 2011 and the jackpot was duly capped until this record jackpot was won on 12th July, 2011 at which point the cap increased to €190 million.
Once the EuroMillions jackpot cap is hit it can only stay at €190 million for a maximum of two draws. If then upon the second draw there is still no jackpot winner the €190 million will roll down to the next winning prize tier.
So, let's say if in the second draw there is no match 5 + 2 winner the jackpot will roll down and be shared amongst those in the next wining prize tier which could be the match 5 + 1, or even match 5.
The Lost Cap
What happens to the money that would have been in the Jackpot Pool fund if it hadn’t been capped? Well, that money is redistributed, or rolled-down to the next prize level in which there is at least one winner. That would normally be the Match-5 plus one Lucky Star, but it could, easily be Match-5 if nobody also matches the one Lucky Star.
Keeping Options Open
Not to be tied down, the Game Procedures include an opt-out; “The jackpot Pool Cap from time to time… shall be calculated by reference to any scheme that has the Commission’s prior approval”.