The EuroMillions jackpot is declared in Euros initially, as that is the base currency of the game and used by seven of the nine participating countries. The calculation is based on expected ticket sales plus the amount already in the jackpot pool from previous rollovers.
Organisers in the UK and Switzerland use the current exchange rate to estimate the value of the prize in Pounds and Francs ahead of the next draw. If the jackpot is won in either non-Euro country, the exchange rate at the time of the draw is used to dictate the final total, which may be slightly more or less than the estimate.
This is not the case for the remaining 12 prize tiers, though, as they are paid for from a different fund.
Non-Jackpot EuroMillions Prizes
UK players pay £1.65 to play EuroMillions, with the remaining 85p from the £2.50 ticket price funding the UK-only Millionaire Maker. Those in the Eurozone contribute €2.20 for every ticket, with their own local supplementary games boosting the overall cost per line to €2.50 in the majority of those nations.
This means that when the exchange rate dictates that £1.65 is worth less than €2.20, UK players are effectively contributing less to the prize fund than their continental counterparts. The exchange rate today shows that £1.65 is worth just €1.86 and so UK EuroMillions prizes are shifted downwards to account for the shortfall.
This explains why French players won €4.50 for matching two numbers in the draw on Tuesday 19th September, but UK players banked £2.90, which is worth just €3.26.
Does it Work the Other Way?
The current weakness of the Pound can be traced back to the fallout from the country’s decision to leave the EU. The uncertainty surrounding the UK’s future trading arrangements has affected the value of the currency, causing this EuroMillions prize issue. However, in 2015, the Pound was much stronger against the Euro and UK players contributed more than €2.20 on each ticket, resulting in payouts favouring players in that country over the Euro nations.
Strangely, a weak Pound is an added bonus for UK jackpot winners because, the more Pounds you can buy with a Euro, the bigger the jackpot is in Sterling.
Friday’s EuroMillions Draw
You can buy EuroMillions tickets ahead of Friday’s big-money draw from authorised retailers across the participating nations, or you can choose your numbers online right now from the comfort of your home, office, the train or wherever you have your mobile phone! Good luck, and don’t forget to check the EuroMillions results soon after the draw takes place to see whether you are a winner.