EuroMillions Jackpot Cap
The EuroMillions jackpot cap stands at €190 million (roughly £168 million), making it the largest possible prize that can be won on the game. Every time the jackpot is not won it rolls over to the following draw and increases in value, until it reaches this amount. Find out what happens when the jackpot cap is reached and why it can mean good news for EuroMillions players.
How the 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 number 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. 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.
How Does The Jackpot Cap Benefit Players?
Aside from the extraordinary prize money on offer, the jackpot cap has the added benefit of potentially increasing your chances of winning a share of it. The odds of winning the jackpot in any standard draw – by matching five numbers plus both Lucky Stars – are 1 in 139 million. If it ever gets to the point where the prize money has to be shared between players in a lower tier, the odds decrease dramatically. The odds of matching five numbers plus one Lucky Star are just under 1 in 7 million, and the odds of matching just five main numbers are around 1 in 3 million.
This means that if the jackpot cap is reached and four more draws go by without a winner, there is no better time to buy a EuroMillions ticket, as your chances of winning would be at least 95% better than in any other draw. There would be no other lottery on the planet offering such a huge reward at such low odds.
History of the Jackpot Cap
EuroMillions launched in 2004 with a limit of 11 rollovers before the jackpot had to be won. If the 12th draw failed to find a winner, the entire jackpot fund would be rolled down to the next prize tier and shared equally amongst all winning ticket holders.
This was scrapped in November 2009, when a jackpot cap of €185 million was introduced. The idea was that every time the cap was hit it would increase by €5 million. The first winners of a jackpot that reached this cap were Colin and Chris Weir of Largs in Ayrshire, who snapped up €185 million (£161.6 million at the time) on 12th 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 jackpot cap. The first €190 million winners were Adrian and Gillian Bayford of Suffolk, who hit the jackpot on 10th 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.
A Portuguese ticket holder won the full amount on 24th October 2014 after a series of rollovers following a Superdraw on Friday 3rd October 2014. On Tuesday 3rd October 2017, the jackpot hit €190 million for a third time. It rolled once before a Spanish player collected the prize in the draw on Friday 6th October.
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.