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 go public 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 win; according to Andy Carter, the Senior Winners’ Advisor at The National Lottery, this figure is as low as 15 percent.
"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 is a breakdown of the 12 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|
|11th June 2019||1,223||£123,458,008||Anonymous|
|24th April 2018||1,105||£121,328,187||Anonymous|
|1st January 2019||1,177||£114,969,775||Frances and Patrick Connolly of Northern Ireland|
|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|
|30th June 2017||1,020||£87,570,000||Anonymous|
|14th May 2010||327||£84,451,320||Anonymous|
|28th May 2013||593||£81,381,673||Anonymous|
* 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 12 biggest winners, six opted to remain anonymous, while six chose publicity. The largest anonymous claim was made in June 2019 for a jackpot of £123 million, while the largest public claim was the one made by Chris and Colin Weir in July 2011. While this might be in stark contrast to the 15-percent figure quoted above, there is a reasonable explanation as to why 50 percent of the ticket holders went public.
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!
Winners from Abroad
One advantage EuroMillions has over U.S. lotteries such as Powerball and Mega Millions is that players in all nine participating countries can remain anonymous when claiming a prize. Much like in the UK, the majority of continental winners choose to remain nameless, with only their home town being made public, while players in Belgium have been known to release small snippets of information about their lives.
Of course, winners in Europe can still opt to waive their right to anonymity and embrace the media spotlight. One of the most famous examples of this came in July 2005 when Dolores McNamara from Ireland claimed a prize worth €115.4 million.
Here are the biggest non-UK jackpot winners and how each of them decided to accept their EuroMillions reward:
|24th October 2014||740||€190,000,000||Anonymous (Castelo Branco, Portugal)|
|6th October 2017||1048||€190,000,000||Anonymous (Las Palmas, Spain)|
|19th Februuary 2019||537||€175,475,380||Naul Family Syndicate (Co Dublin, Ireland)|
|13th November 2012||1,191||€169,837,010||Anonymous (Alpes-Maritimes, France)|
|11th October 2016||945||€168,085,323||Anonymous (Schaerbeek, Belgium)|
|20th November 2015||852||€163,553,041||Anonymous (Eiras, Portugal)|
|2nd October 2018||1,151||CHF183,897,039||Anonymous (Northwest Switzerland)|
|13th September 2011||415||€162,256,622||Anonymous (Calvados, France)|
|2nd June 2017||1,012||€153,873,716||Anonymous (Flemish Region, Belgium)|
|13th June 2014||702||€137,313,501||Anonymous (Madrid, Spain)|
|19th December 2017||1,069||CHF157,096,272||Anonymous (Zurich, Switzerland)|
|29th March 2013||576||€132,486,744||Anonymous (Seine-et-Marne, France)|
|8th May 2009||274||€126,231,764||Anonymous (Spain)|
|13th May 2011||380||€121,019,633||Francisco Delgado Rodriguez of Pilas (Seville), Spain|
|29th July 2005||77||€115, 436,126||Dolores McNamara of Limerick, Ireland|