The major issue for the UK government now is how to proceed with Brexit after the House of Commons voted overwhelmingly against the withdrawal agreement proposed by Theresa May. The prospect of leaving without having a deal with the EU looms large and there are sure to be far-reaching ramifications for trade, the economy and wider society.
EuroMillions Will Still Be Available
EuroMillions will continue to be played in the UK regardless of whether or not a deal is agreed before Brexit is made official on 29th March. The game is jointly run by the national lotteries of the nine participating countries and being a member of the EU is not a requirement to take part. Switzerland, for example, has played EuroMillions since 2004 and is not in the EU.
The rules of the game will remain the same and on the surface there will be few changes for UK players, but Brexit is still set to have a influence, most notably when it comes to the value of prizes.
How Will Prizes Change?
EuroMillions prizes are calculated on a pari-mutuel basis, meaning that winners receive a share of a pool rather than a fixed cash amount. However, this is complicated by the fact that the game is played in several nations and a number of different currencies are involved - euros, pounds and Swiss francs.
The euro is the base currency of EuroMillions, and prizes awarded to Swiss and UK players need to be converted. For jackpots, this is simply a case of paying out an amount equal to the euro equivalent based on the exchange rate on the day of the draw.
Jackpots Could Be Worth More For UK Winners
The political upheaval caused by the Brexit negotiations has hit the value of the pound hard. On 16th January 2019, €1 was worth approximately £0.89. By contrast, if you go back to January 2016, several months before the EU referendum, €1 was worth around £0.76.
In terms of EuroMillions, this means that jackpots have been worth comparatively more than they used to be for UK winners. The Connollys’ recent prize of almost £115 million from New Year’s Day 2019 was equal to €129 million, whereas a jackpot of €132 million from January 2016 was actually worth less in sterling (£100 million).
Financial forecasters have warned that the economy would struggle even more if there is a no-deal Brexit, bringing the pound closer to parity with the euro. If that happened and you win a jackpot of €130 million, it could mean that you take home something approaching £130 million.
While the rewards for winning the jackpot could be even greater after Brexit, it may not be such good news for other players.
Non-Jackpot Prizes May Drop
The cost of playing EuroMillions will remain the same, but each country is expected to contribute an equal amount from each ticket into a shared prize pot. For euro countries this is €2.20 per line, but in the UK it costs £2.50 to play and £0.85 of this goes towards entering the Millionaire Maker. This leaves £1.65 to go towards the main game.
When the pound is weak and £1.65 is worth less than €2.20, it means that UK players are effectively paying less into the prize pot than their European counterparts. Non-jackpot prizes are therefore adjusted down in the UK if the country has not contributed as much as others and the amounts will not match up exactly with the exchange rate.
It should be noted that the opposite is also true, and that non-jackpots prizes are increased in comparison with euro amounts when the UK contributes more money into the pot. Go to the Prizes page to learn more about why amounts differ between countries.
Exactly how the economy reacts to Brexit remains to be seen, but it has been suggested that coming out without a deal will be particularly damaging, at least in the short-term. For that reason, you may notice a wider divide between non-jackpot prizes in the UK and the rest of Europe after Brexit.
However, you will still be able to play twice a week and go in pursuit of big jackpots, with 12 other prizes also up for grabs and at least one Millionaire Maker winner in every draw. More than £8.4 billion has been paid out in the UK since EuroMillions launched in 2004, and you will be able to continue building on that figure after Brexit.