In the UK, if you win a EuroMillions prize over £50,000 you must contact the National Lottery Customer Care Team to arrange the collection of your prize, whether you played online or via a retailer. Prior to being awarded the jackpot, you also have to provide proof of identity and fill in a claim form to authenticate your claim. On the form is a section regarding publicity, where you can choose “no publicity” or to announce yourself publically with a press conference – and the requisite champagne reception.
Winners of under £50,000 are not typically publicised by the National Lottery. Instead, prizes are verified at retailers or over the phone – meaning that your details are only ever divulged to the National Lottery, and the news of your win is kept private by default.
Requirements for claiming EuroMillions prizes differ from country to country; Ireland, Belgium and Portugal are the only other countries that require you to visit their lottery headquarters if you win a jackpot online, and the thresholds for collecting prizes in certain ways are unique to each lottery provider. They all have one thing in common, though – that if you win the lottery there, you can keep your identity a secret.
The Lottery Anonymity Debate
Privacy laws in each of the nine countries participating in EuroMillions allow any lottery winners the opportunity to protect their identity, in the event of winning a prize. However, it is not so easy to keep your win a secret elsewhere in the world.
The issue of publicity in lottery games has become an international conversation, after several states in the US recently tabled bills that would allow lottery winners to keep their identities a secret. Response to the bills was mixed; New Mexico vetoed one such bill, while Arizona passed another. Several states are yet to vote on the issue.
Some opponents of anonymity believe that a lottery’s integrity is tested when prizes are won and the winners kept secret. Their concern is that trust in lottery games will wane if real people are not seen benefiting from prizes on offer. Meanwhile, proponents of anonymity seek to protect lottery winners from being targeted on account of their newfound fortune.
In the UK, five of the top 10 EuroMillions winners chose to remain anonymous, including the recent mystery winner of £123 million. Conversely, the winners of the largest UK EuroMillions jackpot, Colin and Chris Weir, went public. They explained that they didn’t think they could keep their £161 million windfall a secret from friends and family.
EuroMillions draws take place every Tuesday and Friday evening, with jackpots of up to €190 million on offer for players in nine countries. You can play by visiting any authorised retailer, or by participating online. If you won the jackpot, would you keep it a secret?