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Epic EuroMillions balls-up sparks Twitter frenzy

Fri 01 Jul 2016, By Patty Reynolds
Epic EuroMillions balls-up sparks Twitter frenzy

Camelot, the company that runs the EuroMillions in the UK, swallowed a big chunk of humble pie after apologising to lottery players for publishing the incorrect winning numbers for the Friday 25 March draw. Admittedly, these types of errors don’t happen often, but when they do, lottery players won’t let it slide.

It didn’t take long for fans to take to Twitter to point out the mistake.

So what was all the fuss about? On the night of the draw the two Star Numbers drawn were 5 and 8. But on the UK’s official lottery website they were listed as 5 and 6. This threw players into complete disarray as they struggled to work out what they had actually won. And what better platform to air those grievances on than Twitter. Players were quick to point out the error and let Camelot know that they were not impressed.

Naturally, Camelot amended the error as quickly as possible and apologised for the mistake on their website. Some players ended up with more than they expected, while others lost out a little. But thankfully it didn’t affect the outcome of the£19 million jackpot. There was no winner and so it rolled over for the next draw. But it goes to prove that lottery players take the lottery very seriously.

But it seems that Camelot is having a rough time of it. This error occurred right after the uproar caused by an unlikely set of winning numbers was drawn for the UK National Lottery. The combination was multiples of seven—14, 21, 42, 07, 41 and the winning ball was 43. Players who matched 5 numbers walked away with a disappointing £15. While those who matched only 3 numbers won £25, and those who guessed 4 correct numbers took home £51.

Many players were understandably outraged at this, but it has a lot to do with the fact that the sequence of winning numbers is very popular with players. A figure of 4082 players matched 5 balls of the winning sequence which meant that they had to share a prize pot of £60 000, while 7879 players matched 4 numbers and split a total prize of £401 829. Finally, 114 232 players matched just 3 balls with a prize pot of £2 855 800. Camelot acknowledged that this was extremely rare and stated that the number of people with 5 winning numbers was almost 80% higher than the usual figure of about 50 people who share this prize division.

For the UK’s National Lottery, the prizes for matching 2 and 3 winning numbers are fixed amounts. And once those prizes are paid out, the remaining prize tiers are allotted a certain percentage of the remaining prize pot. The amount of money for each prize division is split equally among the winners. Previously there were no complaints against this system, but now players are calling for a revision of the rules.

However, it’s simply down to the fact that there were more prize winners than usual in the Match 5 prize division. But, it should serve as a warning for all lottery players! You really need to exercise some common sense when it comes to picking your numbers. Playing multiples of a number rarely pays off. The odds of a winning combination such as the one mentioned above is almost impossible high. And even though it has happened, the chances are you’ll have to share your prize money with a lot of other people.

Instead of relying on multiples and birthdays, try to spread your numbers out across the board. Pick a combination of high and low numbers and avoid any kind of pattern. Lottery operators take great care to ensure that their draws are completely random and give everyone a fair chance of winning. So don’t ruin your chances by picking your numbers without putting a little logical thought into them.

Another point that has emerged from these stories is the role that social media and the internet have to play in the lottery. They offer keen the lottery players the opportunity to communicate directly with the lottery operators. Something that would have been considerably more difficult in the past. And when errors do happen, you can be sure that someone is watching and will make use of social media to raise the issue. If you’re not following your favourite lotteries on your social platforms, you might want to change that right now.

The lottery can be a lot of fun and profitable for many people. Despite the odd freak draws and typos, international lotteries rarely make mistakes. So don’t let these stories put you off buying your tickets every week. Keep checking your tickets and watching social media for lottery news, or buy your tickets online and let someone else manage it for you.