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The history of the EuroMillions

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EuroMillions is the most popular multi-national lottery game in Europe, and it's also the one that offers the highest jackpot prizes. The idea goes back to 1994, approximately when the plan of a single European currency, the euro was born.

The history of the EuroMillions

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The EuroMillions was planned to be launched by the time the single European currency was due to be born, but even though the first ideas of the game appeared in 1994, the first draw was only held in 2004. By this time, only three countries - Spain, France and the UK - participated in the game, ant it took some months until Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Switzerland and Austria joined the EuroMillions as well. The first jackpot was some 15 million Euros, and the draws were regularly on Fridays ever since the game started, but now there's another draw on Tuesdays as well.

In the game, the players need to select five main numbers from a pool of numbers that contains numbers from 1 to 50, then they also need to select two lucky star numbers from another pool of numbers that contains 12 numbers.

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The odds of winning the jackpot (by guessing the 5+2 numbers right) is just 1 : 139,838,160, but as there's rollover in the game, this also means that sometimes there are huge jackpot prizes that can be won. The accumulation of the jackpot prize continues to grow until it reaches the current cap, which is €190 million. Yet, sometimes there's an extra €100 million that's added to the prize on some special occasions called Superdraws. If the jackpot is not won on these Superdraws, then it's not added to next weeks jackpot fund, but is distributed among other winners instead.

The draws take place at 20:45 on Tuesdays and Fridays in Paris, and the results soon appear on the website of the game.

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EuroMillions has a history of memorable jackpot prizes, with the first incredible jackpot (more than 115 million Euros) having been won by an Irish women called Dolores McNamara in 2005.

Then in 2006, three winners shared a €183 million jackpot prize, and in the same year, two winners received more than €61 million each. Then once the jackpot prize cap was introduced, the €190 million maximum prize was won first in the August of 2012, then the maximum jackpot prize was also won in 2014 and on 2017 as well. Before that, a €185 million prize was won in the previous year by a couple in Scotland.

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There are 13 different prize tiers in the game, which means that there can be several players who win smaller prizes in the game. The total number of winning tickets since 2004 is now over 2,685,007,603. To win anything, at least two matching main numbers are needed.

Anita Diós