The Euromillions has only been around since February 2004, but the lottery has already managed to make a lot of multi-millionaires among its most dedicated players. Initially a transnational lottery only among the UK, France and Spain, it has come to include countries like Austria, Ireland, Portugal, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Belgium which joined in October 2004.
Unlike the US Powerball, lottery winners of the Euromillions automatically get their winnings in a lump sum and tax-free. This, however, is no longer true for Switzerland, Portugal and Spain which amended their rules to include taxes earlier this year.
So what are the biggest wins so far in the Euromillions lottery? (see all time past Euromillions results)
The biggest prize to date still belongs to couple Colin and Chris Weir from Largs, Glasgow, Scotland, who won £161,653,000 last July 12, 2011.
Second is the £159,559,034 won last June 25 by two winners; one from Dublin, Ireland and the other from Limburg, Belgium.
The third biggest win belongs to couple Adrian and Gillian Bayford, of Haverhill, Suffolk, England, who won £148,656,000 last August 10.
The next highest prizes were won by two anonymous winners from France. A ticket bought in the Alpes-Maritimes netted the owner £136,124,363 last November 13 while another bought in the Calvados brought the owner £141,872,754.94 last September 13, 2011.
Rollovers happen when no one wins the jackpot and the amount is added on to the next one. However, things are handled differently in Euromillions in that the jackpot pool has a cap, a rule that came into place in 2009.
The Jackpot can only get as high as €185,000,000 once it exceeds, any additional prize money rolled over will be added to the jackpot pool for the next lower prize level containing at least one winner.
After the Jackpot with a pool cap is won, the pool cap itself grows by €5,000,000 so in 2012 a new pool cap of €190,000,000 was set.
If the jackpot has climbed up to €190,000,000 and if Euromillions results still yield no winners after two draws, the prize money will be shared among winners of the next level.
Since the new cap rule went into play in 2009 the most number or rollovers that year was six with the jackpot at £88,364,737 during the October 5 draw. In 2010 five rollovers brought the jackpot up to £67,967,555 during the July 5 draw.
The following year a record 14 rollovers from the May 24 draw to the July 8 draw only brought the jackpot to £164,761,000 while in 2012 another 14 rollovers from June 22 to August 7 brought the jackpot to £151,012,000.
Colin and Chis Weir won the biggest ever prize in Euromillions two years ago, and they seem to have beaten the so-called “curse of the lottery” as they are still financially stable today.
The couple knows how to live it up a little; the proof is in their Largs Mansion which has an indoor pool and Jacuzzi. They have even decided to sponsor Formula Three driver Gregor Ramsay and local football Largs Thistle.
However, they also know to keep their heads even with all the wealth around them. Just last February the couple created a charity fund, the Weir Charitable Trust, to help individuals, charities and Scottish groups providing services across the country.
The trust accepts applications on a quarterly basis in five main areas; health, culture, animal welfare, sports and recreational facilities.
“We are delighted that the Weir Charitable Trust is now open for business. Since we won the EuroMillions lottery, it has been a privilege to be in a position to provide support where we could,” they said in a statement.
Another reason to try your luck and buy Euromillions lottery tickets online is given by the couple Nigel Page and Justine Laycock of Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England. They had been together eight years before winning £56,008,113 on February 12, 2010, and they bought their winning ticket online!
They said the first thing they did after winning was not to throw a feast, they just celebrated with bacon sandwiches.
They have since married and have moved out of their modest house in Cirencester for a mansion in Cotswolds. The environmentally-friendly mansion has six bedrooms, an indoor swimming pool and a 25-seat theater.