2016 — Lotto & EuroMillions in Review
Last Updated: Friday 30th December 2016, 12:24 pm
Lotto and EuroMillions created dozens of millionaires in 2016, with plenty of special events, luxury prize giveaways and even a bit of drama. Join us as we take a quick look back at a year of giant jackpots, gargantuan wins and exciting game-changes.
Following a series of 14 agonising rollovers the previous year, 2016 kicked off in style with Lotto seeing its biggest ever jackpot — £66 million to be exact — put up for grabs in the 9th January draw. To mark the momentous occasion, TV’s Noel Edmonds, who presented the first ever National Lottery draw more than 20 years ago, was invited back to set the big-money balls rolling. The prize was ultimately split between two ticket holders — David and Carol Martin of Hawick, and an anonymous player from Worcester.
A Double-Decade Winner
While we're on the subject, a Lotto record that went unbeaten for more than two decades was smashed in April 2016 when a sole player picked up the largest jackpot won by a single ticket since 1995. The player, who ultimately chose to keep their identity a secret, scooped a whopping £35.1 million in the 6th April 2016 draw. It remains the largest sum of money won by a single Lotto player to date.
All Aboard the Rich Bus!
They say that teamwork makes the dream work. That was certainly the case for a group of bus drivers from Dublin, who scooped an incredibly €23.8 million in Friday 1st July’s EuroMillions draw. The syndicate of 22 were positively elated when they turned up at Lottery HQ by bus (of course!) to claim their winnings, but they insisted that the win didn’t mean they’d be giving up their jobs — clearly, the team that plays together stays together.
A Whole Lotto Gold for GB
Speaking of teams, Saturday, 27th August brought with it a slew of big cash prizes thanks to the Rio Olympic Games, with the Lotto Gold Medal event giving away 27 additional prizes of £1 million prizes, 23 worth £100,000, and 17 of £50,000 as a way of celebrating the number of gold, silver and bronze medals won by Team GB at the global sporting event. The draw proved to be hugely successful as players, already buzzing from the Olympic team’s enormous success, scrambled to get tickets for the supplementary raffle draw and win a little gold of their own.
All Change at EuroMillions
In an event that got people all over the country talking, September 2016 ushered in a long list of exciting changes to EuroMillions. Although the cost per line increased from £2 to £2.50, the starting jackpot leapt up from €15 million to €17 million, Superdraw jackpots were increased from €100 million to €130 million, and not one but two players were now guaranteed to win £1 million each in every UK Millionaire Maker Raffle draw. Not only that, but EuroMillions’ monthly Mega Friday events, wherein five additional prizes of £1 million were added to the Millionaire Maker Raffle on the final Friday of each month, were now also held on the last Tuesday draw of the month, creating Mega Week and double the number of millionaires.
The Lotto Gran
And in other news... Forty-eight year-old grandmother Susanna Hinte became something of a media sensation in 2016 after her claim that she had won £33 million in a Lotto draw turned out to be false. Hinte, who has since come to be known as the “Lotto gran”, claimed in mid-2015 that she had put a jackpot-winning ticket through the wash, making the ticket’s date and barcode illegible. Lotto operator Camelot confirmed earlier this year that Susanna’s ticket was not, in fact, the winner, but that didn’t stop her from going on to appear in numerous newspaper articles, usually pictured glamorously attired, and she was soon after offered a job as — wait for it — a lingerie model.
What does 2017 have in store for lottery lovers? We’ll have to wait and see. But with an estimated £25.4 million, Must Be Won Lotto jackpot scheduled for New Year’s Eve, plus 120 players guaranteed prizes of £20,000 in the same draw, we can be sure that a great many people will be starting the year with bank balances to envy!