Brexit - How will leaving the EU affect EuroMillions?
In June 2016, the UK voted to leave the European Union, a decision that sent shockwaves across the continent and left many of the country’s lottery players wondering whether or not they could still play EuroMillions. With the nation set to break ties with the EU in 2019, discover how Brexit will affect how you can take part in EuroMillions draws.
Can the UK still play EuroMillions after Brexit?
Yes, UK residents can still play EuroMillions. You do not need to live in a participating EU country to buy tickets. For example, Switzerland is not an EU member and has played EuroMillions since October 2004.
The agreement in place to run the game is between the UK National Lottery and the official lottery operators of the eight other participating member states, so the UK will remain a part of the EuroMillions family, regardless of the nation’s political status.
To put it simply, the UK’s participation in EuroMillions is based on geographical location and not affected by government decisions.
I’m a UK expat in a participating EuroMillions country. How does this affect me?
You can still play EuroMillions if you are a UK expat in a participating country.
If you are a UK citizen living in Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain or Switzerland, you can still buy tickets as usual, either online or from participating retailers in those countries.
You don’t have to be a citizen of a EuroMillions country to play there, but you must claim your prize in the country in which you bought your ticket.
How will jackpots and prizes be affected?
Ever since the outcome of the EU referendum was revealed, jackpots have actually increased in value for UK players. This is due to the Pound crashing against the Euro as a consequence of the uncertainty over the country’s financial future after Brexit.
As EuroMillions uses the Euro as its base rate of currency, jackpots must be converted into Pounds and Swiss Francs on the night of each draw using the current exchange rates. Should the Pound be weak in comparison to the Euro, the prize on offer to UK ticket holders is worth more than if the Pound is strong.
For example, ahead of the Brexit vote, a €100 million jackpot would usually be worth around £73.2 million. In the days that followed the referendum result, that same jackpot was worth approximately £80.8 million, an increase of £7.6 million.
Current example of a €100 Million Jackpot:
What about non-jackpot prizes?
Non-jackpot rewards are taken from a separate pari-mutuel prize pool, the funds for which are made up of a slice of the ticket money provided by each nation’s official lottery provider. This money is pooled and divided based on the contribution of players in the different currencies, rather than being a straight conversion.
The price of entry into each draw in Europe is €2.20, with €0.30 going towards the supplementary draw in most nations. The cost of a UK ticket is £1.65, with entry into the UK-exclusive Millionaire Maker being added to round the price up to £2.50.
Should £1.65 be worth less that the €2.20 being paid by the European nations, the value of prizes in the UK shifts down to compensate for the difference. As the value of both currencies can fluctuate, UK players win bigger non-jackpot prizes when the Pound is stronger.
Will the price of EuroMillions tickets in the UK increase?
Following the EU referendum, the value of the Pound did plummet and has struggled to recover ever since; however, this has no bearing on the cost of EuroMillions tickets in the UK.
Did you know?
Along with France’s Francaise des Jeux and Spain’s Loterias y Apuestas del Estado, the UK National Lottery was one of the founding members of the game back in February 2004.