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Publicity

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.

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"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:

Draw Draw Number Prize Winner
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
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
2nd May 2014 690 £73,205,659 Anonymous
29th July 2016 924 £61,102,442 Stephanie Davies and family of Monmouth, Monmouthshire
12th February 2010 314 £56,008,113 Nigel Page of Cirencester, Gloucestershire

* 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 October 2010 for a jackpot of £113 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 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!

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 claimed a prize worth €115.4 million. The mother of six from Limerick still remains Ireland’s biggest ever jackpot winner.

Here are the biggest non-UK jackpot winners and how each of them decided to accept their EuroMillions reward:

Draw Draw Number Prize Winner
24th October 2014 740 €190,000,000 Anonymous (Castelo Branco, Portugal)
13th November 2012 537 €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)
13th September 2011 415 €62,256,622 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)
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
21st December 2012 548 €101,835,641 Anonymous (Haute-Garonne, France)