The EuroMillions Jackpot Cap
The EuroMillions jackpot cap currently stands at €200 million, the largest amount possible to win in the game.
EuroMillions Jackpot Cap Explained
If the jackpot reaches the €200 million cap, all funds from ticket sales that would have pushed the top prize higher are rolled down into the next winning tier. The jackpot can roll over four more times, but if there is still no jackpot winner in the final draw - the fifth successive draw when the jackpot is €200 million - the full amount is split between the winners in the next tier. This potentially means that a number of multimillionaires can be made in a single draw.
The jackpot rolls over and increases by €15 million from the previous draw to reach €190 million. The cap has not yet been reached.
The total prize fund for all winners matching 5 numbers + 1 lucky star remains at a typical average of €2.1 million.
The jackpot can roll over to the next draw and can still increase.
The jackpot rolls over again and increased by €15 million but is capped at €200 million.
This creates an excess of €5 million, which is added to the Match 5 + 1 fund for a total of €7.1 million.
The jackpot can still roll over for four more draws, but it cannot increase in value.
The jackpot rolls over again but remains capped at €200 million.
The €15 million excess that would have been added to the jackpot is added to the Match 5 + 1 prize fund of €2.1 million, which becomes €17.1 million.
The jackpot cannot roll over again. If there are no jackpot winners, the entire amount is added to the next winning tier.
EuroMillions rules also allow for the jackpot cap to increase in future. As soon as a €200 million jackpot is won or has rolled down, the cap will become €210 million. The cap will continue to go up by €10 million after every time it has reached its limit and been won. The maximum jackpot cap is €250 million, so it will remain at this value even after it has been won.
Rolldowns and Must Be Won Draws
If the jackpot rolls over four more times after it hits the jackpot cap, a Must Be Won draw will take place. In Must Be Won draws the entire jackpot prize is guaranteed to be given away, even if no one matches all the numbers in the winning line. The below steps describe how the jackpot is awarded in Must Be Won draws:
- The jackpot will still be won by any players that match five numbers and two Lucky Stars. If there's more than one winner, the jackpot will be shared equally between them.
- If no one matches all the numbers, the jackpot will be shared equally between all the winners in the 'Match 5+1' prize tier, if there are any.
- If there are no winners in the 'Match 5+2' and 'Match 5+1' tiers, the jackpot will be shared by winners in the 'Match 5' prize tier, if there are any.
- By this point winners are likely to have been found but if not the jackpot will continue to 'roll down' the prize tiers until it lands in a tier with winners.
- The jackpot will reset to its starting value of €17 million (around £15 million) for the following draw.
To date, only three Must Be Won draws have occurred in EuroMillions. The most recent was on 8th October 2019, after the jackpot went 22 draws without a winner and remained at its jackpot cap for five successive draws. The first ever Must Be Won draw took place on 3rd February 2006 after a run of 11 consecutive rollovers, and that was closely followed by another Must Be Won draw on 17th November 2006.
Jackpot Cap Increase
Once the jackpot has reached €200 million and been won or rolled down, the cap will increase by €10 million. The next time it grows, it can therefore reach a maximum of €210 million before it is locked in place until there is a winner or a Must Be Won draw takes place. The cap will continue to increase by €10 million each time the maximum jackpot is won or rolls down, until it reaches €250 million.
When Has the Jackpot Cap Been Reached?
The jackpot cap stood at €190 million until it was increased in February 2020. This cap was reached four times. Prior to January 2012, the jackpot cap was set at €185 million and that cap was reached just once.
The jackpot rolled over for 18 draws in a row to hit the €190 million cap ahead of the draw on Tuesday 24th September. It was the most consecutive draws without a jackpot winner in EuroMillions history. The top prize for the previous draw on Friday 20th September had fallen just short of the maximum amount, coming in at €188 million. The jackpot was not won until 8th October, when a Must Be Won draw took place and one anonymous UK ticket holder matched all the numbers to win the entire amount.
The €190 million cap was also reached in October 2017. The limit was first reached in the draw on Tuesday 3rd October, but it went one more draw before being won by a player from Spain. The lucky winner remained anonymous but it was revealed that the ticket was bought in Las Palmas in Gran Canaria.
On 24th October 2014, the EuroMillions jackpot hit the €190 million cap for the second time. The entire amount went to an anonymous ticket holder in Portugal.
The first time the jackpot reached the €190 million cap was on Tuesday 7th August 2012. No one won the prize in that draw but it was won in the next one on Friday 10th August by Adrian and Gillian Bayford from Suffolk in the UK. The sterling value of the jackpot at the time was £148.6 million.
The previous jackpot cap of €185 million was reached for the first and only time on Friday 8th July 2011. It then went one more draw before it was won by Colin and Chris Weir from Scotland. Their jackpot worked out at £161 million, making it the biggest lottery jackpot ever won in the UK.
When EuroMillions first began, the jackpot could only roll over for a maximum of 11 draws before it had to be given away – regardless of how much it was worth. The second and last time this happened was on Friday 17th November 2006. On that occasion no one matched all the numbers to win the jackpot, so the prize money was shared between 20 ticket holders who matched five numbers plus one Lucky Star. Each winner took home a prize of £6,750,278.40 / €9,652,340.00.
The first time the 11-rollover limit was reached was on Friday 3rd February 2006, when three ticket holders matched all the numbers to win €61 million each. Two of the winning tickets were purchased in France and one in Portugal.
History of the Jackpot Cap
Take a look at the various changes that have been made to the Jackpot Cap over the years since EuroMillions launched:
February 2004: EuroMillions Launches with 11-Rollover Limit
When EuroMillions was launched in 2004, the game was initially limited to a maximum of 11 consecutive rollovers, with no cap on the jackpot prize fund. If no player successfully matched all five main numbers and two Lucky Stars to win the top prize in the 12th draw, the money would roll down to be distributed to the next prize tier with winning players.
November 2009: Jackpot Cap Set At €185 Million
In November 2009, the rollover rule was changed and replaced with a maximum jackpot limit (known as a jackpot cap), which was set at €185 million. However, the new rules confirmed that once the jackpot reached this figure for the first time, the cap would then increase by another €5 million.
January 2012: Jackpot Cap Increased to €190 Million After Big Win
The jackpot cap of €185 million was eventually reached on 12th July 2011 when Scottish couple Chris and Colin Weir successfully scooped the jackpot - the cap was duly increased to €190 million. On 12th January 2012 the rules changed to permanently cap the jackpot at €190 million.
September 2016: Rolldowns Included in Big Changes to EuroMillions
In September 2016, a number of rule changes were introduced in order to generate bigger jackpots on a more regular basis. One of these changes was to increase the number of draws in which the jackpot could remain at €190 million before rolling down and being shared between ticket holders in a lower prize tier. Originally, the prize total could reach its limit and remain active for one draw before rolling down in the second draw; however, these changes saw the limit increased to four draws.
February 2020: Jackpot Cap Increased as Prizes are Changed
The EuroMillions prize structure was changed in February 2020 so that a larger percentage of the prize fund went to the jackpot in every draw. To help offer even more big prizes, the jackpot cap went up from €190 million to €200 million. Under the new rules, the jackpot cap would increase by €10 million every time it was won or rolled down, up to a maximum of €250 million.
Could the Jackpot Cap Change?
The UK EuroMillions game procedures contain a clause that allows it to be raised or lowered in the future, stating "Camelot and the EuroMillions Partners can change the level of the jackpot cap at any time".