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Three EuroMillions jackpots have been won this October

Fri 04 Nov 2016, By Jerry Westford
Three EuroMillions jackpots have been won this October

It's looking like the recent changes made to the format of the EuroMillions have not had the effect they were intended to. You may remember reading that the number of Lucky Stars increased from 11 to 12. If you think that isn’t a big deal, consider the fact that it changes your odds of winning the jackpot from one in 117 000 000 to one in 140 000 000.

And yet in the month of October alone, there were three EuroMillions jackpot winners.

The first jackpot was a staggering € 168 085 323 won by one lucky ticket holder in a draw held on 11 October. Once the jackpot was reset to €17 000 000, it only took four draws to reach € 50 108 729 when it was won again. And, at the very next draw, another jackpot winner walked away with € 17 375 733. It’s extremely rare for jackpots to be won in successive draws. Considering that the recent changes were intended to result in bigger jackpots being won less often, it seems even more unlikely.

Many have put forward the theory that the EuroMillions is merely copying the US Powerball lottery. After increasing the field of numbers, the Powerball went on to create history with its record-breaking $1 600 000 000 jackpot. Bigger jackpots normally encourage more people to take a chance on the lottery. And in turn, greater ticket sales result in bigger jackpots.

In fact, you’ll find that many people only play the lottery when the jackpot reaches a certain size. This has a lot to do with the ‘expected value’ of a lottery ticket. Essentially, it’s a calculation that works out how much you could expect to earn from purchasing a lottery ticket. If you bought Powerball tickets online when that massive $1 600 000 000 jackpot was up for grabs, it was a smart move. That’s because whenever the jackpot exceeds $ 276 505 966, you reach the break-even point. In other words, the ‘expected value’ of your Powerball ticket is worth the money you paid for it.

If we’re honest about it, most people play the Powerball online because it offers such great jackpots. Although it could be a long time before it breaks the record it set in January this year. But let’s look at another popular US lottery, the Mega Millions. Despite the fact that it has yet to make significant changes to its format, the Mega Millions is responsible for three of the top ten biggest jackpots in history. On 8 July this year, an incredible $536 000 000 Mega Millions jackpot made the seventh spot on the list.

You can also compare the EuroMillions to the EuroJackpot. While they both follow a similar format, your odds of winning a EuroJackpot grand prize is slightly better at one in 95 344 200. But the jackpot for the EuroJackpot is capped at €90 000 000. And there’s only one draw a week for the EuroJackpot as opposed to the two draws held every week for the EuroMillions. Despite the fact that the EuroJackpot doesn’t set records, it does pay out more often.

So the question is, should you wait for the jackpot to get big enough to make buy lottery tickets worth your while, or should you set up a subscription and play every draw. If you’re going to do the former, be sure to pick your lucky lotto numbers carefully. Don’t rely on birthdays and anniversaries, or pick numbers that all end with the same digit. Because if you do happen to match the winning numbers, there’s a good chance you’ll end up sharing your prize with other people.

On the other hand, if you subscribe to the lottery, check the lottery results after every draw. It’s not uncommon for people to forget about a lottery ticket when they hear that the jackpot has been won by someone else. There’s always the possibility that you’ve won a smaller prize. And even smaller prizes can add up to a life-changing sum of money. It’s probably better to buy your lottery tickets online in this case. As the lottery agent automatically checks each ticket after the draw, you’ll never miss out on claiming a prize, even if it’s only enough to cover the cost of your next ticket.

The lottery is so much fun to play precisely because it’s full of surprises. You never know whether the jackpot will roll over or finally be claimed by a lucky ticket holder. Perhaps one person will walk away a multi-millionaire or a large syndicate will take home the prize and split it among several people. You could match one number or all of the winning numbers and your life could change forever. So don’t wait for the EuroMillions jackpot to roll over before you get your ticket for the next draw.