So the Euromillions Jackpot this Friday 10 November 2006 stands at £100m, and if you are a UK resident (or live in one of the other eight participating European countries) and are aged over 18, you can buy a ticket for £1.50 (Euros 2) to have a go at being the winner. Yours odds are pretty poor, over 76million to one, but no one has won for 11 weeks, so maybe you can this week. The winner will hit the record books if theirs is the only ticket; currently the biggest single winner of Euromillions is Dolores McNamara from Eire, who won £77million (Euros 115million) back in July 2005. But in February 2006 three winners shared the current Euromillions record jackpot of £125million.
The USA has a Powerball Lottery with jackpots that reach unbelievable figures. On 18 February 2006 a record biggest-ever jackpot of $365million was won by a syndicate of eight meat-processing workers from Nebraska. The second biggest jackpot win ever was $363million (£203million) won on the Big Game on 9 May 2000, which was split between two winners. And in 2005, $340m was won by the West family from Oregon on Powerball. But, as is traditional in US lotteries, winners can opt for an immediate cash payment worth roughly half the total jackpot value, or they can go for a 30 annual-payment-annuity. The West family took the cash payment of $164m (£92m), which was divided up between nine family members, none of whom got less than $3m. The largest single winner of any lottery prize was Andrew Whittaker from West Virginia, who won $314.9 million from Powerball on Christmas Day 2002! His after-tax lump-sum payment was over £100 million so he’d be able to advise the Euromillions Jackpot winner how to spend their money.