Would a Vote for Brexit Impact on EuroMillions in the UK?
Last Updated: Tuesday 3rd May 2016, 10:14 am
Voters have decided the UK will leave the EU following yesterday's referendum, with the process to uncouple from the union expected to get underway later this year, but EuroMillions fans will be wondering about the affect Brexit will have on their ability to play the game. Lottery officials have been quick to allay any fears and insist that EuroMillions will continue to give players the chance to win amazing prizes even as the country steps away from Brussels.
There are no political barriers to playing EuroMillions for countries which are not a part of the EU, with Switzerland selling tickets for the game despite not being a member. A Camelot spokesperson told The Mirror: “EuroMillions currently operates across nine European countries and EU membership is not a requirement – for example, EuroMillions operates in Switzerland, a non-EU country. The EuroMillions agreement is between the lottery operators in the nine countries – not the governments.”
EuroMillions also operates in three currencies - Euros and Swiss Francs as well as pounds sterling - and will carry on in the same way despite the referendum result. Prizes are set as fixed Euro amounts before UK winners receive the equivalent value in pounds, based on the rate of exchange at the time when the draw is made.
It is in the exchange rate where UK players are likely to notice the biggest difference to EuroMillions, although experts are divided over the overall financial ramifications of Brexit. Supporters of the Leave campaign argued that the UK economy will be better off outside of the EU, but those on the Remain side of the debate felt that Brexit could jeopardise the nation’s economic future.
Swiss company UBS have explored where the EUR/GBP exchange rate might end the year and has speculated that it ‘could move to either 0.73 or parity’. The markets certainly saw the pound plunge in value this morning as the result was announced. Parity would mean that UK players would receive roughly the same amount in pounds as their EuroMillions counterparts on the continent, so if a French ticket holder won a minimum jackpot of €15 million, the British equivalent would be £15 million rather than the £11 million or £12 million that is usually advertised at present.
The idea of winning a larger amount sounds appealing, and if the pound quickly recovers these players will be in a great position, but if it doesn’t, the money they have won won’t go as far as they would like. A weak pound over a long period of time would lead to reduced purchasing power and damage the country’s economy. Players might even be less tempted to play the game and a significant drop-off in ticket sales could result in jackpots growing at a slower rate than before.
Exchange rates are likely to fluctuate in the coming months before eventually stabilising as markets try to figure out what will happen amongst the uncertainty, and this could lead to some UK winners taking home significantly more than others. Chris and Colin Weir, for example, won £161.6 million when the Euro value of the prize stood at €185 million in July 2011, while Adrian and Gillian Bayford received a smaller amount, £148.6 million, in August 2012 even though the Euro value of the prize was greater at €190 million.
The country has now made its decision and, whatever other reprecussions there are, EuroMillions players should not worry about the future of the game. There will still be incredible prizes up for grabs every Tuesday and Friday, with tickets on sale online and via authorised retailers.