When a EuroMillions player is lucky enough to win the jackpot or a very large prize, they have several tough decisions to make, the biggest of which is whether to choose publicity or remain anonymous. While many winners decide to claim their prizes quietly, there are those who decide to reveal their identities and speak publicly about their wins. According to a 2014 interview in The Telegraph with Winners Advisor Andy Carter, who works for the UK National Lottery, just 15 percent of UK lottery winners choose to go public with their prize.
Regardless of whether they tick the "no publicity" box or choose the press conference and champagne reception, all UK winners are promised support, including financial and legal advice, from the National Lottery.
Here’s a breakdown of the ten biggest UK EuroMillions winners to date and how they chose to acknowledge their huge changes in fortunes:
|12th July 2011||397||£161,653,000*||Chris and Colin Weir of Largs, Ayrshire|
|10th August 2012||510||£148,656,000||Adrian and Gillian Bayford of Haverhill, Suffolk|
|8th October 2010||348||£113,019,926||Anonymous|
|14th March 2014||676||£107,932,603||Neil Trotter of Coulsdon, Surrey|
|7th October 2011||422||£101,203,600||Dave and Angela Dawes of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire|
|12th June 2015||806||£93,388,944||Anonymous|
|14th May 2010||327||£84,451,320||Anonymous|
|28th May 2013||593||£81,381,673||Anonymous|
|12th February 2010||314||£56,008,113||Nigel Page of Cirencester, Gloucestershire|
|31st March 2015||785||£53,193,914||Richard and Angela Maxwell of Coningsby, Lincolnshire|
* While Chris and Colin Weir hold the title for the largest EuroMillions prize won in sterling, the Euro value of the win (€185,000,000) was less than the Euro amount won by the Bayfords (€190 million). This is due to fluctuating exchange rates.
Out of the ten biggest winners, four opted to remain anonymous, while six chose publicity. The largest anonymous claim was made in October 2010 for a jackpot of £113 million, while the largest public claim was the one made by the Weirs in July 2010. While this might be in stark contrast to the 15-percent figure quoted above, there is a reasonable explanation as to why 60 percent of the ticket holders came forward.
An eight or nine-figure prize can be hard to hide from family, friends and the public; most winners who reveal their identities do so because they believe that they can’t conceal that sort of money and the changes it would bring. A prize of £50,000 or £100,000 can easily fly under the radar, but bagging £100 million is nearly impossible to keep quiet.
Publicity or anonymity will be one of the most difficult decisions a big EuroMillions winner makes, and their personal circumstances will often dictate which path they choose. Still, at the end of the day, they all have something to be proud of – beating the odds and putting themselves down in the history books as huge lottery winners!