Why is Portugal so Successful at EuroMillions?

A Portuguese EuroMillions player scooped Tuesday night’s €61.5 million (£54.6 million), the 67th ticket holder from that country to claim the top prize since the lottery began in 2004. This is a remarkable achievement for a country with a population of just 10 million people.

Why is Portugal so Successful at EuroMillions?

Portuguese EuroMillions Success

Despite there being a million more Belgians than Portuguese in their respective countries, the southerly nation can boast more than double the 29 jackpot wins by their friends in the north. Portugal is fourth of the nine participating countries in terms of top prize success, just four wins behind the UK with its 65 million inhabitants - six times Portugal’s population!

Of course, there is no such thing as a lucky country in which to play EuroMillions. Every line played has as much chance as any other of winning the jackpot, whether you picked it up in Luxembourg or Lisbon. You would expect the larger countries to perform better, and indeed France, Spain and the UK are both the most populous and most successful nations in the game. With that in mind, how does Portugal punch so far above its weight on such a consistent basis?

EuroMillions Popularity

It could be that EuroMillions is much more popular in Portugal than any of the alternatives. Whilst UK lottery players are fiercely loyal to UK Lotto, it could be that Portuguese players prioritise the pan-European game over the local offerings. Indeed, for Tuesday night’s EuroMillions draw, there were more than 2.5 million Portuguese entries, compared with fewer than a million bets on Wednesday night’s €5.4 million Portuguese-only Totoloto draw.

EuroMillions Systems

Another possible explanation is that Portuguese players can easily play EuroMillions system entries. This involves picking more than the usual five main numbers and two Lucky Stars and playing every combination of 5+2 within the balls you chose. Obviously this increases the cost of your ticket but, if you match just some of your numbers, you can guarantee multiple wins over your lines and maximise your prizes.

Although it is possible to play systems outside of the country, in Portugal it is as simple as adding the extra numbers on your playslip and allowing the lottery terminal to work out all the combinations. In the UK, for example, you would have to calculate the different sequences yourself and then input them manually.

Because many Portuguese players play multiple lines, this increases their chances of winning. The more combinations you have in the draw, the better your odds. This is also why lottery syndicates are so successful too.

Friday’s EuroMillions Jackpot

Friday’s EuroMillions jackpot stands at €17 million (£15 million) and you can buy tickets in Portugal and all of the other participating nations. Alternatively, you can choose your numbers online right now.

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Article Last Modified: Tuesday, 2 June 2020 15:25:40+00:00
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