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:
|10th May 2022||1,527||£184,262,899||Joe and Jess Thwaite of Gloucester|
|8th October 2019||1,257||£170,221,000||Anonymous|
|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|
|2nd April 2021||1,412||£122,550,350||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|
|4th June 2021||1,430||£111,540,000||Anonymous|
|14th March 2014||676||£107,932,603||Neil Trotter of Coulsdon, Surrey|
|19th November 2019||1,269||£105,100,701||Steve and Lenka Thomson of Selsey, West Sussex|
The record winners from 2022 opted to go public when they claimed their prize. Joe and Jess Thwaite said they were worried about having their identities disclosed, but said it would allow them to be open with everyone and not have to worry about burdening others with such a secret. Of the top 12 winners, six have chosen to remain private and six have gone public.
The National Lottery has stated that the bigger the jackpot gets the more likely it is that the winner will go public. That’s why around half of the very biggest winners go public, even though a much smaller proportion of winners do overall.
Winners from Other Countries
One advantage EuroMillions has over U.S. lotteries such as Powerball and Mega Millions is that all players have the option to remain anonymous when claiming a prize. Much like in the UK, the majority of winners across Europe choose to remain nameless, while some might disclose small bits of information about themselves without actually revealing any identifying information.
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 prize:
|15th October 2021||1468||€220,000,000||Anonymous (Tahiti, French Polynesia)|
|26th February 2021||1402||€210,000,000||Anonymous (Online, Switzerland)|
|11th December 2020||1380||€200,000,000||Anonymous (South of France)|
|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|