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Can a foreigner play EuroMillions in UK?

EuroMillions is one of the most popular lottery games in Europe, offering huge jackpot prizes that can reach over €100 million. With such enormous prizes up for grabs, it’s no wonder that people from all over the world are interested in playing EuroMillions.

But can foreigners who don’t live in one of the participating EuroMillions countries buy tickets and potentially win? Let’s take a look at the rules to find out.

What is EuroMillions?

EuroMillions is a multi-national lottery game that is played across nine European countries – the UK, France, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Ireland, Portugal and Switzerland. It is coordinated by lottery operators in each country.

To play, participants select five main numbers between 1-50 and two Lucky Star numbers between 1-12. There are usually two EuroMillions draws per week, on Tuesday and Friday evenings.

The size of the jackpots and the odds of winning make EuroMillions an extremely appealing lottery game:

  • Jackpots often exceed €100 million and can roll over to €190 million.
  • The overall odds of winning any prize are 1 in 13.
  • The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 139,838,160.

With such huge prizes up for grabs, it’s understandable that people outside of the participating countries would be interested in getting a ticket.

Can foreigners play EuroMillions?

The simple answer is yes, EuroMillions tickets can be purchased by non-residents of participating countries. However, there are some important rules and restrictions to be aware of.

You must buy your ticket in a participating country

One key EuroMillions rule is that tickets are only valid if they are purchased in a shop in one of the 9 participating European countries. There are generally two options for foreigners wanting to buy a ticket:

  1. Visit a participating country and buy a ticket in person at an authorized lottery retailer.
  2. Purchase a ticket online through an accredited lottery concierge service or ticket agent.

Some popular concierge services used by foreigners include TheLotter, and Lotto247. These agents buy physical tickets on your behalf and scan them into your online account. This satisfies the EuroMillions rule that tickets must be sold in-country.

There are no residency requirements

Importantly, there are no residency restrictions for playing EuroMillions. You do not need to be a citizen or resident of the UK, France, Spain etc. to buy a ticket or claim a prize.

As long as you purchase an official EuroMillions ticket in one of the member countries, you are eligible to play and win prizes. Thousands of foreigners from Canada, the USA, China, India and more play EuroMillions online using the services mentioned above.

Lottery winnings are taxed

If you win a EuroMillions prize as a foreigner, be aware you may be liable to pay tax depending on the rules in the country where you bought your ticket and your country of residence:

  • UK: No tax is taken off EuroMillions prizes won by non-residents. However, you may need to declare winnings in your home country.
  • Ireland: The first €500 is tax-free. Remaining amounts above this are subject to lottery tax (currently 20%).
  • Spain: Prizes over €2,500 won by non-residents are subject to a 20% tax rate.
  • Austria: A 27.5% tax rate applies to lottery winnings more than €2,500.

Make sure you seek professional financial and legal advice to deal properly with taxes on any major prizes you win.

Can you improve your odds?

The odds of winning EuroMillions, or any other lottery for that matter, are astronomical. The least likely outcome is matching all 7 numbers to win the jackpot. But there are a couple of strategies foreign players could use to marginally improve their odds:

Buy more lines

This is the most basic way to boost your chances – simply buy more lines per entry. For example, with a normal entry you might choose 5 main numbers and 2 Lucky Stars for a single line. But you could choose 25 main numbers and 10 Lucky Stars to fill 5 lines on a single ticket. This increases your odds 5x.

Join a syndicate

Forming a lottery syndicate, or pool, is a popular tactic. By combining money with a group of other players, your syndicate can afford more tickets and lines – improving your joint odds of winning a prize.

The downside is you have to share any prizes won with the other syndicate members. But the combined might of 10, 20 or 50 players can make a big difference compared to playing alone.

Are EuroMillions prizes valid worldwide?

Yes – any EuroMillions prizes you win as a foreigner are valid worldwide, no matter where you reside. If you match the winning numbers, you are entitled to make a claim for your prize money.

Bear in mind that prizes must be claimed within a specified timeframe, which varies by country:

  • UK – 180 days from draw date to claim
  • Ireland – 90 days
  • France – 60 days
  • Spain – 3 months

Prizes can be paid out to foreign winners in a lump sum via bank transfer. You may need to provide passport, ID and proof of ticket purchase to validate your claim.

Biggest EuroMillions winners from overseas

There have been several huge EuroMillions jackpot winners from outside of Europe over the years. Here are some of the record prizes claimed by foreign ticket holders:

Winner Country Prize
N. Rhine, Germany Iraq £101.5 million
M. Punter, UK Jamaica €190 million
N. Lees, UK Australia £61.1 million
G. Wood, UK Africa £38.9 million

These winners from Iraq, Jamaica, Australia and Africa bought their life-changing tickets online using lottery concierge services.

Is it legal to play EuroMillions as a foreigner?

Yes, it is completely legal for non-residents and foreigners to purchase official EuroMillions lottery tickets. While rules vary slightly between participating countries, there are generally no restrictions on overseas players:

  • The UK places no restrictions on foreigners playing National Lottery games like EuroMillions online.
  • France allows foreign residents to open a French online lottery account and buy EuroMillions tickets.
  • Spain has no laws preventing non-residents from playing state lottery games.

As long as you use legitimate channels and licensed lottery ticket concierge services, you will not be breaking any laws by playing EuroMillions from abroad. Millions of people play lotteries like EuroMillions from outside Europe each week.

Can you buy EuroMillions tickets as a gift?

Purchasing EuroMillions tickets as a gift for friends or family abroad is perfectly legal. Lottery concierge services often have gift ticket options and vouchers you can buy.

If you want to buy EuroMillions tickets as a gift for someone, here are some tips:

  • Check gift ticket policies – some concierges let you purchase tickets up to a year in advance.
  • Have the recipient’s details on hand so their name can be on the ticket.
  • Choose delivery method – e-ticket vs posting paper ticket.
  • Add a personal message for the recipient.
  • Select quick pick numbers or let the recipient choose.
  • Ensure you get a gift receipt as proof of purchase.

Gift tickets let you give the excitement and potential of winning EuroMillions to friends or family. Just make sure the service you use can deliver or transfer the ticket properly.

What are the main pros of playing EuroMillions?

Here are some of the key advantages that attract so many foreign players to EuroMillions each week:

  • Huge jackpots – EuroMillions routinely produces enormous €100 million+ jackpots.
  • Great odds – Compared to other lotteries, EuroMillions offers better odds of winning small to medium prizes.
  • Large guaranteed prizes – EuroMillions rolldown events ensure big prizes in every draw.
  • Multi-country appeal – Tickets can be purchased easily across Europe.
  • Excitement factor – Chance for life-changing win from different continent.

For people wanting to play for a dream payout from abroad, EuroMillions brings accessibility, massive jackpots and intrigue.

What are the main cons?

As with any lottery, there are also some drawbacks for foreigners to consider before playing EuroMillions:

  • Tiny jackpot odds – Matching all 7 numbers is 139 million to one, so big wins are very unlikely.
  • Tax complications – Different rules on deductions in each country can be confusing.
  • Scams – Some disreputable third-party sites overcharge or fail to buy tickets.
  • Purchase issues – Buying tickets across borders can involve logistical difficulties.
  • Exchange rates – Conversion between currencies when playing/claiming adds complexity.

While EuroMillions offers big jackpot potential, foreigners need to beware of long odds and potential hurdles around ticket purchases, taxes and payments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I buy a EuroMillions ticket if I’m on vacation in Europe?

Yes, you can purchase EuroMillions tickets while you are visiting any of the participating European countries. Just go to an authorized lottery retailer and buy your ticket over the counter. You will be able to play and claim any prizes you win.

Do I need a European bank account to get my winnings?

No, you do not require a European bank account. Prizes can be paid into an overseas bank account via electronic transfer. Each country has rules on the minimum prize size that can be transferred internationally.

Can I improve my chances by playing less common numbers?

In theory, choosing less frequently drawn numbers could help your chances very slightly. But in reality, the EuroMillions draw is completely random, so even the most overdue number sequence has the same tiny odds of being selected.

Is it legal for US citizens to win the lottery in Europe?

Yes, there are no laws restricting US citizens or residents from winning or claiming lottery prizes in Europe. Some countries, like France, even allow you to claim anonymity as a foreign winner.

Do I still have to pay tax if I win EuroMillions while traveling?

In most cases, yes you will still be liable for local lottery taxes on any EuroMillions prizes over a certain threshold, even as visitor. Make sure you are aware of the specific tax rules in the country you play in.

The Bottom Line

EuroMillions is one of the biggest lottery games in the world with huge jackpots. While eligibility was initially limited to citizens and residents, nowadays foreigners can easily obtain and play EuroMillions tickets bought on their behalf by online agents and concierge services.

There are some logistical issues to be aware of, but no significant legal barriers. With its exciting top prizes and relatively good odds, EuroMillions understandably attracts interest and ticket sales from millions of people across the globe every week.