The 23rd of June was the day people all across the United Kingdom headed to the polls to decide whether or not to remain a part of the European Union. The votes have now been tallied and the results are in - the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union.
Aside from the political ramifications, fans of the EuroMillions will be wondering how it affects them.
While you’ll still be able your buy tickets for your favourite lottery, there might be some subtle changes you’re not aware of. The UK is one of three founders of the Euromillions Draw, along with the French and Spanish lotteries. So regardless of the vote to leave, UK players will still be able to participate. Much like the UK will still be able to enter the Eurovision Song Contest and play in European football competitions. The Euromillions lottery currently operates across 9 countries, including Switzerland. That should make it clear that EU membership is not a criterion for being eligible.
The only element that may be affected is the exchange rate. Euromillions already operates across three different currencies; Euro’s, Swiss Francs and Pounds Sterling. The prizes are fixed in Euro’s and then converted into the relevant currency based on the current exchange rate, once the results have been verified.
It’s this fluctuation in the exchange rate that explains the difference between the amounts won by Chris and Colin Weir and Adrian and Gillian Bayford. When the Euro prize was worth €1.85 million in July 2011, Chris and Colin came out with £161.6 million pounds. But in August 2012, Adrian and Gillian only took home £148.6 million pounds when the Euro prize was worth €190 million.
So the big question is, how will Britain’s departure from the EU affect the exchange rate? Until it actually happens, it’s anyone’s guess. Some analysts have predicted that moving away from the EU will actually boost the UK economy by 4 percent for the next decade. While others believe that it may take a downturn, or reach parity.
Parity simply means that the value of the Euro and the Pound would be the same. In other words, if the Euromillions prize is set at €15 million, a winner in the UK would receive an equal amount of £15 million. If you consider that the Pound is currently stronger than the Euro, that’s good news, isn’t it?
That very much depends on the buying power of the Pound. A weaker pound would mean that your £15 million pounds won’t go as far as it used to. In other words, the purchasing power has decreased. So it’s clear to see that a lot depends on the how the economy recovers should Britain decide to leave the EU.
It’s worth remembering that the Euro may also be affected by the loss of Britain from the European Union. Trade with Britain currently accounts for the creation of 2 million jobs in Europe. That’s almost 1.5% of all employment. When Britain leaves the EU, the effect on the economy may be substantial. And as result, the strength of the Euro may decline. It will also affect trade between the UK and the rest of Europe. But these predictions are the result of a study by a Dutch bank that takes an extreme view of the situation.
Analysts from all corners are jumping in to deliver their opinion on how Britain’s exit from the EU could affect both the Pound and the Euro. But for the moment, much of this is speculation. Even now that the votes have actually been cast, nobody can accurately predict what will happen. And provided the union remains politically stable, it’s unlikely that there will be any dramatic changes. In the short-term, both the Pound and Euro may suffer, and we have seen the UK's stock market take a tumble after the result was announced. But taking a long-term view, it’s likely that things will balance out.
Camelot, the operator of the UK lottery has procedures in place to ensure that 50% of the money raised from ticket sales will be made available for prizes, regardless of the exchange rate. In the meantime, players may notice fluctuations in the exchange rate in the aftermath of the vote.
But Camelot’s assurance should ease the minds of those wondering whether it’s still a good idea to buy a ticket for the Euromillions draw. Even a fairly dramatic change in the exchange rate won’t affect the size of the jackpots—which have always been substantial. For UK players, the Euromillions will continue to offer you the chance to win excellent prizes that could really change your life.