Here are a few of the most common EuroMillions myths and the truth behind each one.
EuroMillions is harder to win when the jackpot is high
Perhaps it is because big jackpots usually come about as a result of several rollovers, but one pervasive myth is that you are less likely to win EuroMillions when the value of the top prize is very high. The reality is that the odds for each and every individual ticket are exactly the same, regardless of the size of the top prize. The chances of winning the jackpot are 1 in 139,838,160, whether the top prize is the minimum €17 million, the maximum €190 million or anywhere in between.
There’s a better chance of winning when fewer players enter
The odds of winning the jackpot will remain the same, no matter how may players enter the game, because you have to match all five main numbers and both Lucky Stars to win big. You are not competing against other players to win the top prize; you are competing against the number of possible combinations that could come up in the draw and hoping that the numbers you picked match the winning line. However, you are more likely to win on some of the raffle-style, supplementary games such as Millionaire Maker when fewer people play, as the odds for these games do depend on the number of tickets sold. If 2 million tickets are sold, for example, there is a greater chance that you will match one of the winning codes drawn than if 10 million tickets are sold.
You can use EuroMillions statistics to boost your chances
Everyone has their own way of selecting their EuroMillions line,whether it is a random pick, choosing numbers of personal significance or just a sequence that is easy to remember. Some players also like to look at the statistics for the most frequently drawn numbers, overdue numbers and most common pairs, etc. However, the results of every EuroMillions draw are random and not at all influenced by previous events, so while there is no harm in using statistics if you want to, they will not boost your chances of winning.
You have to go public to receive the full jackpot
There is a myth that big EuroMillions winners only share their story with the world so they can get their hands on all of the money, and receive full support from lottery companies. However, this is not the case. UK players are entitled to remain anonymous if they so choose, and will still receive the full value of their prize, as well as the same treatment from lottery officials.
There’s more chance of being struck by lightning than winning
Ask someone why they don’t play EuroMillions and they might say ‘there’s more chance of being hit by lightning’ than winning the jackpot. According to David Hand’s book, The Improbability Principle, the odds of being struck by lightning are around 300,000 to 1, but the truth is that the two events just are not comparable. There are various factors which could alter your odds for both.
You can reduce the likelihood of being struck by lightning by not wandering around outside during a thunderstorm while holding a giant metal pole, and you can increase your chances of winning EuroMillions by purchasing more tickets or, alternatively, joining a syndicate where you own a share of more tickets without having to cover the cost of all the entries. You would have to share the winnings, but you are more likely to have winnings to share.
If you want to take part in Friday’s game and possibly snap up £139 million, you can take part by either visiting an authorised retailer in one of the nine participating countries or playing online.
This article was updated on Friday 7th October 2016 to reflect the updated sterling value of the EuroMillions jackpot.