Want to Play Euromillions? Here's What You Need to Know

Who Can Play Euromillions, How the Drawings Work, Payouts, and More

Picture of a hand filling out Euromillions Lottery tickets.
•••

 Image (c) Christopher Furlong / Staff / Getty Images

What Is the Euromillions Lottery?

Euromillions is a European-based lottery. It has drawings twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays at about 9 pm CET. Ticket sales close about half an hour before the drawing and open again about an hour afterward.

Payouts are awarded for 13 different winning combinations. These payouts are fixed, except for the jackpot; the size of the jackpot prize depends on the number of tickets sold with a minimum of €17 million. If no jackpot winner is chosen, the money rolls over to the next drawing to make an even larger jackpot, up to a maximum of €190 million.

So far, three winners have walked away with the maximum €190 million jackpot.

If the Euromillions jackpot is at €190 million and no winner is drawn, the jackpot will remain at €190 million for the next drawing, but funds will be added to the prize in the next tier down where there are winners.

If that happens four times, the entire jackpot will be divided among the winners in the next tier down where winning numbers have been selected. This is usually the tier where the winners have selected six out of seven winning numbers including the two lucky stars.

How Does the Euromillions Lottery Work?

To win a Euromillions jackpot, you must correctly pick seven numbers: five regular numbers and two "lucky stars." The five regular numbers can be in any order, and so can the two lucky stars. The regular numbers run between 1 and 50, whereas the Lucky Stars can be between 1 and 12.

Euromillions Payouts:

Here are the payouts for various winning combinations, according to the Euromillions website:

  • Five Regular Numbers and Two Lucky Stars: Jackpot
  • Five Regular Numbers and One Lucky Star: £227,848.80*
  • Five Regular Numbers and No Lucky Star: £23,586*
  • Four Regular Numbers and Two Lucky Stars: £2,307.30
  • Four Regular Numbers and One Lucky Star: £123
  • Four Regular Numbers and No Lucky Star: £43
  • Three Regular Numbers and Two Lucky Stars: £78
  • Three Regular Numbers and One Lucky Star: £10.70
  • Three Regular Numbers and No Lucky Star: £9
  • Two Regular Numbers and Two Lucky Stars: £14.20
  • Two Regular Numbers and One Lucky Star: £6
  • Two Regular Numbers and No Lucky Stars: £3.30
  • One Regular Number and Two Lucky Stars: £7.60

*Note that these numbers may rise if the jackpot cap is reached.

Odds of Winning the Euromillions Lottery:

The odds of winning a prize at any tier level are about 1 in 13. The odds for specific prize levels are broken down as follows:

  • Jackpot Tier: 1:139,838,160
  • 1st Tier: 1:6,991,908
  • 2nd Tier: 1:3,107,515
  • 3rd Tier: 1:621,503
  • 4th Tier: 1:31,076
  • 5th Tier: 1:14,126
  • 6th Tier: 1:13,812
  • 7th Tier: 1:986
  • 8th Tier: 1:707
  • 9th Tier: 1:314
  • 10th Tier: 1:188
  • 11th Tier: 1:50
  • 12th Tier: 1:22

These odds don't change regardless of how many people play since the numbers that you can pick are fixed. If more than one person chooses a set of winning numbers, the prize is split among all of the winners.

That means that a number-picking strategy that focuses on choosing less popular numbers might net you a bigger prize if you win a jackpot.

Who Is Eligible to Play and Win?

You can legally buy tickets for the Euromillions Lottery if you are aged 18 and up (16 and up in the UK) and are physically located in one of the participating countries. The countries that participate in Euromillions are:

  • The United Kingdom and the Isle of Man
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Ireland
  • Luxembourg
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Switzerland

You do not have to be a resident or a citizen of one of the participating countries to play Euromillions. If you are in the country on vacation or for business you can buy a ticket. But you do have to be physically present in one of those countries to legally buy a ticket, even online. You also need to be physically present in the country where you bought a ticket to claim a prize.

You don't need to be an EU resident or citizen to play. That means that Brexit will not affect UK citizens' ability to play Euromillions.

Many of those countries offer complimentary entries into other lotteries with the purchase of a Euromillions ticket. For example, if you buy Euromillions tickets in the UK, you will automatically receive entries into the UK-only Millionaire Maker Game as well.

Beware of lottery scams and offers; you cannot buy tickets across international lines, and you can't win if you haven't bought a ticket on a European visit. If you receive an email or letter out of the blue that you are a Euromillions winner, you are being scammed.

How to Buy Euromillions Tickets

If (and only if) you are located in one off the participating countries, you can buy Euromillions tickets online as well as from local retailers. Just as with Powerball and other lotteries, you can find Euromillions retailers at convenience stores and similar locations.

When you buy Euromillions tickets, you can either select your own numbers or use the Lucky Dip or Quick Pick option, which lets the lottery software choose your numbers for you at random.

Each set of picks costs €2.50, £2.50 or CHF3.50, depending on where you buy your tickets. You can choose up to 70 sets of numbers per ticket. If you buy online, you can also choose which of the two weekly drawings you want to play, and choose to play the same numbers in future weeks.

And What If You Win?

Euromillions drawings are broadcast on television in every participating country. The winning numbers are also posted online.

Jackpot winners are allowed to remain anonymous. They have a certain amount of time before they have to claim their prize, which varies by the country where you bought your ticket. It's a good idea to take advantage of that time to get your financial team in place and otherwise organize your affairs.

You must claim your prize in the country where you bought your ticket. Even other countries that sell Euromillions tickets cannot distribute prizes from tickets not purchased within their jurisdiction.

The exact procedure for claiming a prize varies by country and by prize level. You can read all of the instructions on the Euromillions website.