The lottery is an entertaining pastime that is enjoyed in countries all over the world. Not only is it a fun way for players to try to win big, but it also helps governments raise important funds for state initiatives.
Unfortunately, Europe doesn’t see the kind of billion-dollar jackpots that create headlines in America thanks to games like Powerball and Mega Millions.
However, big trans-continental games like Eurojackpot and EuroMillions have been breaking European records for years.
Here are the fivebiggest European lottery winners:
- €190 Million – EuroMillions
After 14 consecutive rollovers, the €190 million EuroMillions jackpot was finally won onAugust 10, 2012. The winning ticket was sold at a Premiere Convenience store in Haverhill,Suffolk, England.
At the time of the win, it tied the record for the biggest-ever EuroMillions jackpot.
The lucky winners were Adrian and Gillian Brayford, a former postman and healthcare assistant, respectively. They had purchased a Lucky Dip ticket for the big draw and struck gold.
The lucky numbers that led to the win were 11, 17, 21, 48, and 50, with Lucky Star numbers 9 and 10.
The couple immediately took advantage of their newfound fortune by splurging on high-end cars, helicopter rides, and a multi-million-pound home.
Unfortunately, the Brayfords, who had been married for almost a decade and had two children together, divorced 15 months after the big win.
4.€190 Million – EuroMillions
EuroMillions has undergone a few changes throughout its history, the most exciting of which is the ever-changing jackpot cap. At the time of this historic win, over 20 consecutive rollovers left the jackpot at the €190 million cap.
After so many weeks went by without a winner, the draw set for October 8, 2019, was a “Must Be Won” draw. That meant that the jackpot prize would be distributed no matter what, though it would trickle down to secondary-prize winners if no one matched the winning numbers.
Luckily for one anonymous player in the UK, the winning numbers did have a match, and one ticket holder took home the entire prize.
With the exchange rate at the time, the prize became the biggest one ever won in UK history in pounds. It maintains that record to this day.
The winning numbers for this draw were 7, 10, 15, 44, and 49, with Lucky Star numbers 3 and 12.
- €200 Million – EuroMillions
This was another record-breaking jackpot at the time, with the prize reaching the €200 million cap for the first time.
Not only did this signify a big win for the eventual single ticket-winner, but it also unlocked a new jackpot cap going forward.
Not much is known about the anonymous winner of this life-changing prize. The ticket for the winning December 11, 2020, draw was sold online to a player in France.
The winning numbers were 6, 9, 13, 24, and 41, with Lucky Star numbers 3 and 12.
- €210 Million – EuroMillions
Just three short months after the previous record was broken, a new winner took the title of biggest European lottery jackpot winner on February 26, 2021. That was the draw that reached the new €210 million cap for the first time.
The single ticket holder who claimed this prize also purchased their ticket online, though it was sold in Switzerland this time around.
Like the historic €200 million win before this record-breaker of a draw, this win meant that the EuroMillions jackpot cap increased once again, to €210 million this time.
The winning numbers were 6, 12, 22, 29, and 33, with Lucky Star numbers 6 and 11.
- €220 Million – EuroMillions
The biggest European lottery winner todate made history on October 15, 2021. In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, a single ticket holder took home the record-breaking prize.
The winning ticket was sold in France and had the numbers 21, 26, 31, 34, 49, and Lucky Star numbers 2 and 5.
While the winner had 90 days to claim the prize, a young French Polynesian woman came forward a couple weeks after the draw.
She had gone to Tahiti to claim her prize, and a team from Française des Jeux (FDJ) was sent to the island to award her the prize.
It was the woman’sfirst time buying a EuroMillions ticket, and she said that she had purposefully waited to make the purchase until she felt a hunch that she could win.
The big winner has decided to remain anonymous, though she did tell media that she planned to continue working despite her life-changing windfall.
She said she also looked forward to travelling and seeing the snow, buying a house on every continent, and supporting charity initiatives.
Thanks to big lottery games like EuroMillions, Europeans across the continent can try their hand at record-breaking jackpots and financial freedom.
However, all potential winners should remember to seek financial and legal counsel when claiming their prize in order to make the most of their life-changing wins.