It’s hard to believe that we were ever without Euromillions, because it has become one of the most popular lottery games in the world. Yet it was just three years ago – on 13 February 2004, to be exact – that Euromillions made it’s debut. Back then just three European lottery operators were involved, namely Camelot in the UK, the Francaise des Jeux in France and the Loterias y Apuestas des Estad in Spain. Six more nations (Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland) joined later, giving us a current total of nine participating countries.
The huge popularity of the Euromillions lottery, in combination with the rollover rule which normally applies, has given us some gargantuan jackpots over the last three years. The biggest jackpot was €183,573,077 in February 2006, and this was shared by three lucky winners. The record for the biggest individual jackpot winner was set in July 1995 by Dolores McNamara, who won a staggering €115,000,000.
Every Euromillions ticket has a 1 in 76,275,360 chance of winning. The jackpot is won by players who successfully match 5 from 50 main board numbers and 2 from 9 Lucky Star numbers. However, there are twelve prize tiers in total, so those matching fewer numbers can still make a nice profit. In fact, many second tier prize winners become millionaires despite missing the jackpot itself! With overall odds of 1 in 24 to win any prize, the law of averages suggests that someone playing once each week might win two prizes per year.
Whilst some birthday parties can be a bit of a chore, we like the fact that the Euromillions third birthday celebration gives us all a chance of receiving a slice of the €100 million booty. It beats a slice of birthday cake hands down, in our opinion!