There have been 20 jackpot winners this year, taking the total up to 400 since EuroMillions was launched in 2004. The biggest prize of 2018 was given away back in February, when a top prize of £155 million was split between two players - one from the UK and one from Spain. The lucky UK winner came forward a week later and decided to stay anonymous.
The UK ticket holder who scooped £121 million on 24th April also chose to keep their identity private, but Fred and Lesley Higgins were happy to share their remarkable story after pocketing £57 million on 10th July. The Scottish couple were given quite a scare before they could claim their prize, as the shop worker who scanned the ticket thought it was a losing entry and tore it in half. He immediately put it in the bin, only for the lottery machine to alert him that the ticket holder needed to contact National Lottery operator Camelot. The ticket was retrieved from the bin and patched back together, allowing the Higgins’ to collect their money following a National Lottery investigation into what happened.
There were fears that another UK player could miss out on their jackpot when they won £76 million on 2nd November but did not initially get in touch with the National Lottery. A campaign to find the winner was launched, making it public that the ticket had been bought in the Boston and Skegness area, and builder Andrew Clark eventually stepped forward six weeks after the draw. He had kept a stash of tickets in his van and only checked the numbers after being prompted by his partner.
The biggest jackpot won on a single ticket this year went to a player from Switzerland, who snapped up a sensational £144 million (183 million Swiss francs) on 2nd October. The win set a new record for the largest prize ever to be won in the country.
There were two Superdraws in 2018, which helped to fuel two of those colossal jackpots. The big Swiss win followed a Superdraw on 21st September which pushed the jackpot up to a guaranteed €130 million (£116 million), while the other Superdraw took place on 20th April.
The second edition of the European Millionaire Maker was also held this year, on 23rd February. There were 25 guaranteed prizes of £1 million/€1 million across the nine participating countries, and five of them ended up going to UK players.
The National Lottery also gave away 13 prizes of £1 million in special draws to mark Friday 13th April and Friday 13th July, turning one of the most superstitious dates on the calendar into one of the luckiest. The prizes were guaranteed thanks to the Millionaire Maker, with more winning codes selected than usual.
One of the big changes this year was the launch of EuroMillions HotPicks on 26th January. The new game, which can be played separately to the main EuroMillions draw, allows you to choose how many numbers you want to try and predict - from one to five - and gives you the chance to win up to £1 million.
Another announcement this year was that Millionaire Maker is set to change in early 2019. Instead of having two winning codes selected in each draw, there will just be one, but there will be more special draws offering multiple prizes of £1 million. The first of these is scheduled for the spring, when 40 millionaires will be created in one draw.
Big Finish To 2018?
The final EuroMillions draw of 2018 will be held on Friday night, giving you one last chance to land a huge jackpot before the turn of the year. The start of 2019 will then be marked in fine style with 10 prizes of £1 million set to be awarded to lucky players on Tuesday 1st January. You can take part in EuroMillions online or visit any authorised retailer.