Why is this election causing so much international interest?
Marine Le Pen, of the right-wing National Front Party, is in the running to take over the presidency from François Hollande. She has stated her desire for France to give up the single currency and plans to offer a vote on Frexit if she is elected in the spring. Le Pen is currently the second favourite with bookmakers behind Emmanuel Macron, but the last year has already seen unexpected political victories for Donald Trump in the US and Brexit in the UK.
The uncertainty over what will happen in France is already being reflected in the financial markets, with the Euro fluctuating dramatically, and the outcome of the election is sure to have significant economic ramifications for the whole of Europe.
So could EuroMillions be in danger if France votes out of the EU?
No. EuroMillions will remain unaffected as it is a game run by the lottery operators in the nine participating countries. It has nothing to do with the governments or the European Union, in much the same way that nations can still compete in Eurovision or European football tournaments without having to be in the EU.
What about French players? Will they still be able to buy tickets?
Yes. France’s Francaise des Jeux was one of the founding members of EuroMillions back in 2004, along with the UK National Lottery and Spain’s Loterias y Apuestas del Estado, and will continue to be a big part of EuroMillions regardless of what happens in the election. Even if France does eventually drop the Euro, it would not be a problem. Other currencies are already used in different EuroMillions countries, including the British Pound and the Swiss Franc. Switzerland is not part of the EU, while the UK voted for Brexit last year but has continued in EuroMillions.
Would Frexit have any impact on EuroMillions then?
Any impact would be minuscule. EuroMillions jackpot prizes are fixed as Euro amounts before players from countries such as Switzerland and the UK receive the equivalent prize in their own currency based on the exchange rate at the time. The strength of the economy would determine the value of any prize if France eventually left the Euro, and may also have a general influence on how many participants choose to buy tickets.
But the game will remain the same?
Yes. EuroMillions will continue to offer great prizes every Tuesday and Friday, with jackpots that can grow to €190 million. France has been the most successful country in the history of EuroMillions, and there is no reason why their fine tradition of winners should stop now!