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How many possibilities are there to win EuroMillions?

EuroMillions is a popular lottery game played across nine European countries. Players must match 5 numbers from 1-50 and 2 “Lucky Star” numbers from 1-12 to win the jackpot prize. With so many number combinations possible, many people wonder just how likely it is to actually win. In this article, we’ll break down the math behind EuroMillions and calculate the odds and possibilities for winning.

How EuroMillions Works

Let’s first review how EuroMillions works. To play, you must select 5 numbers from 1 to 50, plus 2 Lucky Star numbers from 1 to 12. To win the jackpot, you need to match all 5 main numbers and both Lucky Stars. Lower tier prizes are awarded for matching just some of the numbers.

The prizes in EuroMillions are:

Match Prize
5 main + 2 stars Jackpot
5 main + 1 star €130,554
5 main €13,055
4 main + 2 stars €844
4 main + 1 star €77
3 main + 2 stars €51
4 main €32
2 main + 2 stars €16
3 main + 1 star €15
3 main €11
1 main + 2 stars €8
2 main + 1 star €6

As you can see, matching all 7 numbers correctly is required for the jackpot, which starts at a minimum of €17 million and rolls over if not won.

Calculating the Possibilities

Now let’s look at the math behind the probabilities. For the main numbers, there are 50 possibilities for the first number. For the second number, there are 49 remaining possibilities. And so on, until there are 46 possibilities left for the final 5th number.

So there are 50 x 49 x 48 x 47 x 46 possible combinations of main numbers. This equals 43,949,268 different combinations.

For the Lucky Stars, there are 12 possibilities for the first number, and 11 remaining possibilities for the second number. So there are 12 x 11 = 132 combinations for the 2 stars.

To get the total combinations, we multiply the two together:

Main numbers combinations: 43,949,268
Lucky Stars combinations: 132

Total combinations: 43,949,268 x 132 = 5,817,723,776

So there are over 5.8 billion different number combinations in EuroMillions! This massive number highlights the incredibly long odds of winning the jackpot.

Odds of Winning

Now that we know the total possibilities, we can calculate the probability of winning.

The odds of matching all 5 main numbers are 1 in 43,949,268.

The odds of matching both Lucky Stars are 1 in 132.

To get the odds of winning the jackpot (matching 5 main + 2 stars), we multiply these together:

1 in 43,949,268 x 1 in 132 = 1 in 139,838,160

So the odds of winning the EuroMillions jackpot are 1 in almost 140 million! For perspective, you are over 4 times more likely to be struck by lightning in your lifetime.

Odds of Other Prizes

The odds of winning any EuroMillions prize are much more favorable. Here are the probabilities:

Prize Odds
5 main 1 in 13,983
4 main + 2 stars 1 in 2,330
4 main + 1 star 1 in 691
4 main 1 in 931
3 main + 2 stars 1 in 340
2 main + 2 stars 1 in 144
3 main + 1 star 1 in 128
3 main 1 in 66
1 main + 2 stars 1 in 42
2 main + 1 star 1 in 24

As you can see, matching just 2 main numbers and 2 stars has nearly 1 in 144 odds—much better than the jackpot! Overall, the chance of winning any EuroMillions prize is 1 in 13.

Strategies for Winning

While EuroMillions is entirely a game of chance, there are some strategies players employ to try improving their odds:

Choose Less Common Numbers

Avoid picking birthdays, anniversaries, or number patterns like 1-2-3-4-5. These are commonly chosen by players, so if they hit, you’ll have to share the prize with more winners. Instead, opt for random numbers spread across the whole range.

Balance Your Odd and Even Numbers

Try to pick a mix of odd and even numbers. Most winning lines have a balance of odds and evens. This can help cover more possibilities.

Cover More Possibilities

Some players buy more lines for the same draw. This gives you more number combinations, covering more of the prize possibilities. However, this gets expensive quickly.

Join a Syndicate

Form a lottery syndicate with friends, family, or colleagues. This allows you to buy more lines at an affordable cost by pooling money. Just remember to agree how you’ll share any prizes beforehand!

Use a Lucky Dip

For a completely random selection, do a Lucky Dip where a machine picks numbers for you. This ensures you don’t unintentionally pick patterns or significant numbers.

Factors that Increase Your Chances

While you can’t directly improve your odds, there are some factors that can effectively increase your chances by simply playing more:

– Play more lines – Every additional line gives you another chance at winning.

– Play every draw – Enter every single draw rather than just occasionally.

– Never miss a draw – Persistence is key, so never miss a single draw.

– Play for longer – Keep playing steadily over months and years to boost your chances.

– Add EuroMillions Plus – This additional game doubles your chances for just €1 more.

So in summary, there’s no way to enhance your mathematical odds. But by playing regularly, persistently, and with more lines, you can indirectly improve your chances. Consistency and volume are key.

Biggest EuroMillions Jackpot Wins

With astronomical odds, you might think jackpot wins are ultra rare. But EuroMillions has actually produced some massive jackpot winners over the years:

Winner Country Prize Date
Anonymous France €220 million October 2021
Anonymous UK €190 million November 2019
Anonymous Spain €190 million October 2017
Family Syndicate Ireland €175 million February 2019
Anonymous Portugal €190 million October 2014

These enormous prizes prove that despite the long odds, massive jackpot wins are possible. The lucky few players are catapulted into instant millionaire status from just a €2.50 ticket.

The biggest ever EuroMillions prize to date was a jaw-dropping €220 million won by a French ticket holder in October 2021. The massive 9-figure sum would completely transform any player’s life in an instant.

Taxes on EuroMillions Winnings

We’ve looked at the huge untaxed jackpot amounts, but winners don’t get to keep the full prize. Sizeable taxes have to be paid on lottery winnings in most countries.

Taxes on EuroMillions prizes include:

– UK: Substantial winners must pay 20% tax on prizes above £12,570. This is taken directly before payout.

– Ireland: Winners must pay income tax (20-40%), social insurance (up to 4%) and universal social charge (up to 8%) on prizes.

– France: A flat 30% withholding tax is applied to French winners.

– Spain: Prizes are tax-free for the first €40,000, then subject to 20% tax.

– Portugal: Winnings are taxed at 35% above €35,000.

– Austria: A fixed 27.5% tax applies to all lottery winnings.

So of that record €220 million French jackpot, the winner would only take home €154 million after taxes. Still an amazing fortune, but tax obligations can subtraction a chunk.

Some countries like the UK deduct tax directly, while others require winners to submit returns and pay themselves. Specific rules vary, so big winners should seek professional advice.

What Can You Buy With a EuroMillions Jackpot?

Even after taxes, EuroMillions prizes in the tens or hundreds of millions could buy you almost anything you want. Let’s look at what you could purchase with a mega jackpot win:

– Mansions – Buy luxury properties around the world in dream locations. A €50 million mansion is easily affordable.

– Superyachts – Cruise the oceans in absolute luxury on a €10 million personal superyacht.

– Private jets – Skip the airports and fly anywhere in a top-of-the-range €45 million private jet.

– Private islands – Live like a superstar on your own paradise island paradise for €15 million.

– Luxury cars – Build a garage of dream cars like Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bentleys without denting your cash.

– Jewelry & watches – Enjoy the finest jewelry money can buy, like diamond Rolex watches costing millions.

– Luxury travel – First class flights, five-star hotels, and VIP treatment across the globe.

– Helicopter – Avoid traffic in your own €3 million helicopter and land anywhere.

– Charity – Donate tens of millions to your chosen causes and change lives.

Of course, most big winners choose to help out loved ones too – making sure family and friends are financially secure. The possibilities really are endless with so much money!

Should You Keep Playing After a Win?

If you’re lucky enough to scoop a big EuroMillions prize, should you use some of your winnings to keep playing? The choice is personal, but here are factors to consider:

Pros of Keeping Playing

– Chance to win again – You could hit an even bigger jackpot if luck’s on your side.

– More fun – You can keep enjoying the excitement of playing.

– Gives back – When you play the lottery, revenue goes to good causes.

Cons of Keeping Playing

– Diminishing returns – Chances of winning again are still miniscule.

– Harder addiction to break – Winning can become a habit that’s tough to quit.

– Less need – You already have life-changing money from your win.

– Wasted spending – Money could be better spent or invested.

Ultimately it’s a personal choice. Some big winners do continue playing for the ongoing enjoyment. But experts recommend finding fulfillment outside the lottery once you’ve won big.

Famous EuroMillions Winners

Let’s look at some of the ordinary people who’ve won extraordinary EuroMillions prizes over the years:

Colin and Chris Weir

– Who: Married couple from Scotland

– Win: UK record £161 million in 2011

– Story: Lifelong modest couple enjoyed some lavish spending before Colin’s passing in 2019. Chris invested much of the money in property.

Gillian and Adrian Bayford

– Who: Married couple from England

– Win: £148 million jackpot in 2012

– Story: The win led to their separation. Gillian now runs a property business while Adrian has settled down with a new partner after some travel adventures.

Frances and Patrick Connolly

– Who: Couple from Northern Ireland

– Win: £115 million on New Year’s Day 2019

– Story: Modest charity-focused couple who have maintained their normal lifestyle while generously helping others.

These stories show that while the money is life-changing, big winners still face challenges, life decisions and need financial advice. Their lucky breaks came out of the blue.

Is EuroMillions Getting Harder to Win?

With more players chasing jackpots in recent years, is it now harder than ever to win big on EuroMillions? Let’s examine if this popular perception is true:

More Number Combinations

In 2017, extra Lucky Star numbers were added. This increased the total combinations from 116 million to 139 million – making matches harder.

Bigger Rollovers

Jackpots now roll over to a €220 million cap, whereas the previous cap was €190 million. Bigger jackpots attract more players.

Improved Odds for Lower Tiers

The odds of secondary tier wins like 5+1 were improved, offsetting the extra main numbers.

Game Changes

Changes like Must Be Won draws help ensure bigger chances of smaller wins for players.

More Countries & Players

As EuroMillions expands across Europe, the player pool and ticket sales keep growing.

So while the core odds are the same, indirect changes make giant jackpot wins a little tougher in theory. But frequent smaller prizes means EuroMillions is still entertaining for players.

Final Thoughts

EuroMillions offers the chance to win phenomenal nine-figure jackpot prizes that most only ever dream of. Though the odds sit at 1 in 140 million, rollups over €220 million show it’s still possible to hit the jackpot and instantly become mega rich beyond your wildest dreams with this popular transnational lottery!