Can Americans Play the Euromillions Lottery?

Picture of a hand filling out Euromillions Lottery tickets.

 Image (c) Christopher Furlong / Staff / Getty Images

The Euromillions Lottery is a collaboration between nine European countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. This gives players an exciting way to win big prizes, and if you live in the United States, you may be wondering if you’re eligible to get in on the action. Here’s what you need to know.

What Is the Euromillions Lottery?

Euromillions is a lottery that France, Spain, and the United Kingdom started in 2004. Within a few months, Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal, Switzerland, and Austria joined in as well.

You play the Euromillions lottery by picking five numbers between 1 and 50 and two “lucky star” numbers between 1 and 12. The odds of winning a jackpot are one in 140million. In comparison, the odds of winning a Powerball jackpot are over one in 292 million.

What Can You Win From Euromillions?

Of course, there are more prizes available than just the jackpot. Here’s a breakdown of what you could win in the Euromillions lottery:

Euromillions Payouts:

  • 1 main number, 2 lucky stars: approximately €10
  • 2 main numbers, no lucky stars: approximately €4
  • 2 main numbers, 1 lucky star: approximately €8
  • 2 main numbers, 2 lucky stars: approximately €19€
  • 3 main numbers, no lucky stars: approximately €12€
  • 3 main numbers, 1 lucky star: approximately €14€
  • 3 main numbers, 2 lucky stars: approximately €104€
  • 4 main numbers, 0 lucky stars: approximately €58€
  • 4 main numbers, 1 lucky star: approximately €164€
  • 4 main numbers, 2 lucky stars: approximately €3,076€
  • 5 main numbers, 0 lucky stars: approximately €31,448€
  • 5 main numbers, 1 lucky star: approximately €303,798€
  • 5 main numbers, 2 lucky stars: the jackpot

These payouts are approximate because the prizes are awarded as a percentage of the total prize pool. So the number of tickets sold and the number of winners both affect the prize value.

Tickets cost approximately £2.50 for the UK National Lottery or €2.50 in the other participating countries. Some countries have their own extra options to choose from when you buy tickets.

Drawings are held twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays. There are also occasional special drawings.

There’s a cap on the maximum jackpot of 190 million Euro. If the jackpot is at its cap and isn’t won twice in a row, the value is distributed among all of the lower prize tiers.

Can Americans Play and Win Euromillions?

So if you’re excited about playing and you’re an American, there’s good and bad news. You can play and win, but it isn’t necessarily easy.

Buying Euromillions In-Person as an American

If you’re an American who wants to buy Euromillions tickets, there’s good news: you don’t have to be a resident of one of the participating countries to buy tickets or to win prizes.

However, you do have to be physically located in a participating country to buy tickets. Furthermore, if you win, you need to cash in your ticket in the country where you bought it. So if you’re on a whirlwind trip around Europe and you buy a winning ticket in Ireland, you can’t cash it in a few days later in Belgium. You’d need to go back to Ireland to get your cash. If you cannot make it to a participating country, there is an online lottery you can take part in.

You cannot buy Euromillions tickets from any retailers in America or any country that doesn’t participate in the lottery. Anyone who tries to sell you tickets from outside those countries is running a scam.

Can Americans Buy Euromillions Tickets Online?

If you’re not traveling to Europe anytime soon, you may be wondering if you can use the internet to buy Euromillions tickets online. The answer is: yes and no.

You can only buy Eurotickets from an official retailer online if you are in a participating country. In fact, you need to be a resident of that country to buy tickets online.

However, there are some lottery services that offer ways around this problem. For example, for a fee, some companies will buy tickets for you. They purchase the tickets in person in a participating lottery, so it’s legal to buy them.

Take note, there are dangers to buying lottery tickets online. It’s hard to ensure that the tickets were really purchased and that you’ll really receive your prize if the ticket wins. Therefore, buying Euromillions tickets online is theoretically possible, but it can be risky.