EuroMillions Jackpot Cap
The EuroMillions jackpot can only roll over until it reaches a maximum of €190 million. When it reaches that amount the jackpot cap is activated, which also changes how certain other prizes are calculated.
How the Jackpot Cap Works
The EuroMillions jackpot starts at €17 million (around £15 million) and if it is not won the prize money increases for the next draw. This is known as a rollover. The increase in the jackpot’s value can vary between draws, as it is partly based on the volume of ticket sales.
The jackpot will roll over until at least one player matches all five main numbers plus both Lucky Stars, or it reaches its €190 million cap. After reaching the cap, a maximum of four more draws can go by before the jackpot must be awarded. For these draws, any additional prize money that would usually have gone towards the jackpot is instead allocated to the Match 5+1 tier below it.
In the fifth draw after the jackpot cap is reached, the prize money is guaranteed to be given away in what is called a ‘Must Be Won’ draw. If no player matches all seven numbers to win it, the money rolls down to the next winning tier. This means that in this fifth draw, players who match five numbers plus a Lucky Star, or even those who match just five numbers, could get a share of the €190 million.
The steps below summarise what happens in the draws following the activation of the jackpot cap:
- Draw one: The jackpot hits the €190 million cap. Any funds that would usually go towards topping up the jackpot are instead shared by players in the next winning tier.
- Draw two: The €190 million jackpot doesn’t get bigger, as it would if it rolled over before hitting the cap. Extra funds are again diverted to a lower prize tier.
- Draw three: Proceeds as per draw two. At this point there will likely be many winners in the 5+1 prize tier, but each would still be likely to win a prize worth millions.
- Draw four: The second-to-last draw at the cap. The same rules apply as per the previous three draws.
- Draw five: This is a ‘Must Be Won’ draw. If any players match five numbers plus both Lucky Stars, they will win the jackpot as normal, but if no one manages that, the entire €190 million prize will be shared by the winners in the next tier below.
- Following draw: The jackpot resets to its €17 million (£15 million) starting value.
Must Be Won Draws
Must Be Won draws guarantee that a jackpot will be given away, regardless of whether anyone matches all five numbers and two Lucky Stars. If any players do manage that in a Must Be Won draw, they will win the jackpot as normal. If that doesn't happen, the players in the 'Match 5+1' tier will share the jackpot instead. If there are no winners in either of the top two prize tiers, the money will be shared by winners in the 'Match 5' tier, and so on until the jackpot is awarded.
Must Be Won draws are rare in EuroMillions. In the history of the game only three have ever taken place: one on 3rd February 2006 after 11 draws went by without a jackpot winner, another on 17th November the same year, and another on 8th October 2019, when the jackpot rolled over all the way to its €190 million cap and remained there for the next five draws.
History of the Jackpot Cap
EuroMillions launched in 2004 with a limit of 11 rollovers before the jackpot had to be won. See how the rules around the jackpot cap have changed over the years since:
EuroMillions was launched, but there was not set jackpot cap in place. Instead, the jackpot could only roll over a maximum of 11 times before a Must Be Won draw was held, in which if there was no jackpot winner, the prize money was shared by the winners in the next tier below.
The first EuroMillions jackpot cap of €185 million was introduced, with a rule stating that every time the cap was reached, it would increase by €5 million for future draws. Colin and Chris Weir of Largs in Ayrshire were the first to win a jackpot worth €185 million (£161.6 million at the time) in July 2011.
The jackpot cap rose to €190 million after the Weirs’ win, but it was decided in January 2012 to make this the permanent value of the cap. The first €190 million winners were Adrian and Gillian Bayford of Suffolk, who hit the jackpot in August 2012. They won £148.6 million, so although they won €5 million more than the Weirs, they came away with a lower amount in sterling due to less favourable exchange rates.
The number of draws at which the jackpot can stay at the cap was raised in September 2016 from two to five as part of a number of EuroMillions changes implemented at the time.
The EuroMillions jackpot rolled over a record 18 times before reaching the cap. It was only the second time in the history of the game that the jackpot had rolled over all the way from its minimum amount to the €190 million cap. It stayed at its cap for four draws, so a Must Be Won draw then had to be held on Tuesday 8th October. A single ticket, sold in the UK, won a jackpot worth £170 million. The winner - who remained anonymous - matched all the numbers so the money did not have to be shared between players in a lower tier.