In France, a strict lockdown was in place from 17th March to 11th May to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Everyone had to follow certain guidelines which affected virtually all aspects of life and just wait for the restrictions to be lifted.
Someone who had to be particularly patient was the EuroMillions player from Brittany who won €17 million on Friday 20th March – just after the lockdown started. He had bought his ticket at La Vicomté-sur-Rance, a village in Côtes-d'Armor near Dinan.
However, due to the restrictions, he was unable to claim his prize from the headquarters of lottery operator La Française des Jeux (FDJ) – located more than 100km away near Paris in Boulogne-Billancourt. Instead, he kept his ticket safe in the inside of his phone case until the lockdown was finally eased.
He has now received his winnings at last, collecting the money from FDJ’s Isabelle Cesari. She said: “The ticket was in excellent condition, folded in half. Our winner was very careful. He wrapped it in a small white paper to protect it well.”
The winner’s name has not been revealed, but he did say that he had already bought a ‘beautiful car’ and would now pay attention to his health. “I'm going to take care of myself, get my health back because I've always worked a lot," said the winner, who will continue to play EuroMillions.
France crowned its second jackpot winner just last week on 15th May, when a single ticket matched all the numbers to land a prize worth €72 million. It was the biggest jackpot to have been seen on the game since 7th February.
There have now been 106 jackpot winners from France since EuroMillions started in 2004, putting the country level with the UK at the top of the list of the most successful nations. The latest winner has not yet received their prize.
Spain is the third-most successful country with 102 winners, having last had a winner in February. Ticket sales in Spain were suspended the following month due to the virus, but resumed on Monday 18th May after restrictions were eased.
The jackpot currently stands at £24 million (€27 million). Tickets can be bought from retailers in all nine participating nations, or you can take part online.