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What is the highest jackpot ever won in Europe?

The lottery is a game of chance that has provided life-changing sums of money to some incredibly lucky individuals over the years. While winning the jackpot is exceedingly rare, the largest prizes can be truly staggering, sometimes reaching into the hundreds of millions. This has captured the imaginations of people across the globe who eagerly await to see just how high the top prizes can climb.

In Europe, some of the biggest jackpots have broken records and changed lives in an instant. The enormous windfalls have allowed regular citizens to instantly achieve millionaire status and live out their wildest dreams. Lotteries may seem like a long shot, but for a select few, purchasing the right ticket at the right time has brought untold riches beyond their imagination.

This article will explore some of the biggest lottery jackpots scored in Europe. While vast sums have been won in individual countries, such as the UK, Spain and Ireland, we will focus on two record-setting multinational lottery games: EuroMillions and Eurojackpot. These pan-European lotteries have madeavailable some truly mind-boggling top prizes upward of €100 million and have made lottery history with their epic jackpots.

We will look at some of the key questions around these enormous jackpots, including:

What are EuroMillions and Eurojackpot?

What are the biggest jackpots won?

Who were some of the winners and how did they spend their prize money?

What impact have these huge lottery wins had?

Could we see even bigger jackpots in the future?

Exploring these questions will provide insight into the tremendous lottery prizes on offer in Europe and the life-altering consequences for the lucky few who beat the incredible odds and walked away multimillionaires.

What are EuroMillions and Eurojackpot?

EuroMillions and Eurojackpot are two of the biggest lottery games available in Europe. They are similar in format but cover slightly different European countries.


EuroMillions was launched in February 2004 as a joint venture between national lotteries in France, Spain and the UK. Additional lotteries in Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland joined shortly after. The first draw took place on February 13, 2004.

Players must match 5 regular numbers between 1-50 and 2 “Lucky Star” numbers between 1-12 to win the jackpot. Draws take place every Tuesday and Friday evening in Paris.

EuroMillions tickets can be purchased in the 9 participating countries for €2.50 per line. For an extra €1, players can enter a secondary draw called EuroMillions Plus which has a top prize of €500,000.

As the lottery has expanded over the years, the jackpots on offer have grown. The starting guaranteed jackpot is now €17 million, which can roll over to reach nine-figure sums if not won.


Eurojackpot followed on the heels of EuroMillions, being launched in March 2012. The first draw was held on March 23, 2012.

The lottery is administered by the European Lotteries Association and involves the national lotteries of 18 European countries. Players select 5 numbers from 1-50 plus an additional 2 “Euro Numbers” from 1-10.

Draws are held every Friday night in Helsinki, Finland with a minimum jackpot of €10 million. Tickets cost €2 each.

The two games are similar in format though Eurojackpot has a wider geographical footprint by including several Scandinavian countries and central European nations like Germany and Poland. It also has slightly better odds of 1 in 95 million versus 1 in 139 million for EuroMillions.

Both games have grown significantly over the years and now regularly offer jackpots in excess of €100 million for the lucky ticket holder able to match all the numbers. These enormous prizes attract interest from across Europe and around the world.

What are the biggest jackpots won?

Since their inception, EuroMillions and Eurojackpot have produced some truly staggering jackpots for fortunate winners. Here are the historical top 5 record jackpots for each game:

Biggest EuroMillions Jackpots

Rank Jackpot Date Winner(s)
1 €220,000,000 October 15, 2021 1 winner in France
2 €210,000,000 February 26, 2021 1 winner in Switzerland
3 €190,000,000 October 8, 2019 1 winner in UK
4 €185,000,000 May 10, 2022 1 winner in France
5 €183,000,000 October 6, 2017 1 winner in Spain

Biggest Eurojackpot Jackpots

Rank Jackpot Date Winner(s)
1 €120,000,000 May 20, 2022 2 winners – 1 in Germany, 1 in Finland
2 €115,000,000 May 14, 2021 1 winner in Germany
3 €110,000,000 July 8, 2022 1 winner in Denmark
4 €103,000,000 February 7, 2020 1 winner in Germany
5 €90,000,000 January 15, 2021 1 winner in Finland

As the tables illustrate, jackpots in excess of €100 million are not uncommon for either lottery. EuroMillions in particular has repeatedly surpassed the €100 million mark, even reaching as high as €220 million in October 2021. That winner from France holds the record for the biggest lottery prize ever awarded in Europe.

Eurojackpot has also produced several mega jackpots over €100 million, including the record €120 million shared by two winners in May 2022. These enormous sums of money are truly life-changing for the lucky ticket holders.

Who were some of the winners and how did they spend their prize money?

Behind every massive jackpot are regular people suddenly thrust into a whirlwind of fame and fortune. Let’s look at a few of the biggest EuroMillions and Eurojackpot winners and find out how their lives changed with their overnight windfalls.

EuroMillions Winners

  • October 2021 – A player in France claimed the record €220 million EuroMillions jackpot on October 15, 2021. The winner was a retired woman in her 60s who purchased her ticket in southern France. She reportedly said she didn’t realize she had won until 2 days later. Understandably, she wished to remain anonymous and did not share how she spent her newfound fortune.
  • February 2021 – The second largest jackpot of €210 million went to a young woman in her 20s in Switzerland. Working in a normal office job and living with her parents, she was the definition of an average citizen. She purchased the quick pick ticket online just minutes before the deadline. She reportedly plans to pursue her dream of becoming a horse rancher with the money.
  • October 2019 – A UK couple in their 50s scooped up the massive €190 million prize on October 8, 2019. Opting to remain anonymous, the lucky winners were from South Ayrshire in Scotland. They were reportedly regular players who checked their tickets at 5:30 am the morning after the draw. It was the biggest EuroMillions win ever in the UK.

Eurojackpot Winners

  • May 2022 – The record €120 million jackpot on May 20 was shared by two ticket holders in Germany and Finland. In Germany, a player in Berlin purchased the winning ticket at a kiosk. The other winner was in Finland. Both winners understandably wished to remain anonymous and did not share how they would spend the money.
  • May 2021 – A lucky player in Hessen, Germany took home the €110 million prize on May 14, 2021. At the time it was the highest Eurojackpot win for a single player in German history. The winner was reportedly a woman in her 40s who was self-employed. She purchased a last minute ticket after almost forgetting to play.
  • July 2022 – One person in Denmark won the entire €110 million jackpot on July 8, 2022. The winner was reportedly a 50 year old woman from Zealand who had played the same numbers for years. Understandably she opted for anonymity after her big win.

As seen from these examples, EuroMillions and Eurojackpot winners tend to opt for anonymity after securing their epic prizes. This is likely due to the celebrity status and attention that comes with such enormous lottery windfalls. Most winners prefer to quietly move forward with their new financial status and not attract publicity. Their ticket purchases are often modest – a last minute thought rather than any sophisticated strategy. But their bolt from the blue success will undoubtedly transform their lives in every imaginable way thanks to their legendary luck.

What impact have these huge lottery wins had?

When jackpots reach such staggering sums of money, they can have impacts that reach far beyond just the winner. Here are some of the wider effects these massive EuroMillions and Eurojackpot prizes have caused:

  • Generate huge excitement and lottery fever – The epic jackpots gain widespread media coverage and capture the attention of the general public. Lines form at lottery booths as people are eager to have a chance at winning.
  • Increase ticket sales – Lottery operators report surges in ticket sales as the jackpots grow. More players are enticed to take a shot at life-changing wealth.
  • Contribute revenue to good causes – A portion of all lottery ticket sales goes to funding national charities and good causes. Bigger jackpots mean greater contributions to these important institutions.
  • Produce lottery winners who keep playing – There are numerous stories of big jackpot winners continuing to play the lottery despite their new fortune. Some view it as luck or superstition.
  • Attract attention from outside participating countries – When jackpots eclipse €100 million, interest grows across Europe and internationally. Non-participating countries see ticket resellers trying to allow foreigners a chance to win.
  • Encourage more joint lottery games – EuroMillions and Eurojackpot have been so successful that talks frequently occur about adding more European countries. There is also discussion of launching other pan-European lottery games in the future.

So while each jackpot changes the life of one ticket holder, the shockwaves from these legendary prizes extend far and wide. Entire countries get caught up in the thrill of the win and the excitement of what might be possible. It just takes one ticket to go from rags to riches in an instant!

Could we see even bigger jackpots in the future?

With new record jackpots being set over the past few years, it begs the question of just how high these Euromillions and Eurojackpot prizes could ultimately go. Are there factors that could push these lotteries to even bigger payouts in the future?

Several elements could potentially align to produce a €200 million+ mega jackpot:

  • Additional countries joining the lotteries – This would bring in more ticket sales and funds for the prize pools.
  • Rule changes allowing jackpots to roll over more times – Right now, once they reach set amounts, jackpots are capped and must be won in the next draw.
  • Introduction of bigger starting jackpots – This would accelerate the rate at which jackpots grow to astronomical sums.
  • Maintaining the continued popularity of lottery play – Sustained ticket sales enthusiasm keeps prize pools expanding.
  • Lack of winner for an extended period – The longest a jackpot can go without being claimed directly correlates to how big it can become.

It will likely take a perfect convergence of some or all of these factors for EuroMillions or Eurojackpot to eclipse the €200 million mark. While unlikely in the short term, over the longer haul, it is certainly within the realm of possibility.

Powerball in the United States has already seen jackpots break the billion dollar threshold. If pan-European games can tap into that level of fervor, there is no telling just how big the top prizes could ultimately become. For now, lottery players will have to be content with jackpots in the €100-€200 million range, which is still a life-altering amount of money.


EuroMillions and Eurojackpot have produced some of the biggest lottery jackpots not just in Europe, but anywhere in the world. Prizes upward of €100 million are now almost commonplace, with several crossing the €200 million threshold in recent times.

These enormous sums of money have changed lives in an instant. Regular citizens going about routine lives suddenly become wealthier than they ever dreamed thanks to a random stroke of luck. While they understandably seek privacy, their record wins capture the interest of people across Europe who enjoy the excitement.

As the potential for even bigger jackpots emerges, EuroMillions and Eurojackpot will continue to make headlines. The prizes may be elusive, but someone has to win eventually. And when they do, a new multimillionaire will be minted who can begin living a charmed life filled with fantastic luxury that money can buy. That lofty dream will keep lottery players coming back and eagerly awaiting the next record-setting jackpot.