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Biggest Lottery Winners in the UK

The biggest lottery prize ever won in the UK was claimed by Colin and Chris Weir, when they won £161.6 million (€185 million) in a EuroMillions draw in July 2011. Since then, the EuroMillions jackpot cap has increased to €190 million, but because of the favourable exchange rates at the time of their win, the Weirs remain the biggest UK lottery winners in terms of pound sterling prizes.

Below are lists of other players who have received huge amounts after buying lucky tickets:

Lotto

The Lotto jackpot is currently capped at £22 million. This cap was introduced in 2016 and was initially set at £50 million, before it was revised later the same year. Prior to this, the jackpot was limited to four rollovers before it had to be won.

EuroMillions

Here are the top 10 winners in the game's history, as well as details on where they were from and whether they remained anonymous.

Date Draw Number Amount Won Details
12th July 2011 397 £161,653,000 Colin and Chris Weir of Ayrshire hold the record for the biggest ever UK lottery win
10th August 2012 510 £148,656,000 Adrian and Gillian Bayford won €190 million in a EuroMillions draw in August 2012, but due to the exchange rates at the time, they ended up with over £10 million less than the Weirs.
24th April 2018 1105 £121,328,187 An anonymous ticket holder jumped to third on the UK lottery rich list
8th October 2010 348 £113,019,926 Anonymous winner
14th March 2014 676 £107,932,603 A Lucky Dip ticket purchased in Surrey proved extra-lucky for Coulsdon’s Neil Trotter
7th October 2011 422 £101,203,600 Dave and Angela Dawes of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire
12th June 2015 806 £93,388,944 Anonymous winner
14th May 2010 327 £84,451,320 Anonymous winner
28th May 2013 593 £81,381,673 Anonymous winner
12th February 2010 314 £56,008,113 Nigel Page of Cirencester, Gloucestershire

Syndicates

Many huge EuroMillions prizes have also been awarded to lottery syndicates in the UK. These players teamed up to win big:

Biggest Win in 2018

The £121.3 million EuroMillions jackpot from April is by far the biggest prize claimed by a UK lottery player so far this year. It catapulted the lucky ticket holder, who chose to remain anonymous, to third on the UK lottery all-time rich list. The enormous nine-figure prize was the result of a EuroMillions Superdraw that took place on Friday 20th April, which offered a jackpot of £114 million. That prize was not won on the night, so it rolled over to the subsequent draw, when it was won by the anonymous player.


Publicity

One of the first decisions that you would face after winning a large lottery prize is whether to go public with the win. Although many winners in the past have announced their success publicly, you are under no obligation to do so. It has no effect on the prize money awarded, and the National Lottery is committed to offering the same level of support regardless of whether you decide to go public or not.

There are pros and cons each way. The media scrutiny and unwanted attention from strangers could add extra pressure if you go public, but you would also have the chance to celebrate your win without worrying about keeping it secret. Learn more on our Lottery Publicity page.

Tax

One of the perks of playing lotteries in the UK is that winnings are not subject to Capital Gains Tax or Income Tax, regardless of how much money you win. However, once you’ve deposited the winnings in your bank account, any money earned through interest is subject to Income Tax.

Upon winning a lottery jackpot, you might also want to share your fortune with friends and family, through gifts of cash or assets such as cars and houses. If you were to die within seven years of handing out gifts in excess of £325,000, they would be subject to an Inheritance Tax bill of up to 40%.

Inheritance Tax is charged on a sliding scale, and any gifts you give in the three years before you die will be subject to a 40% tax, which reduces to 8% for gifts handed out between 6 and 7 years before your death. See the table below for a full breakdown of the Inheritance Tax brackets, but remember, this only applies if you gift in excess of £325,000.

Years between gift and death Tax paid
Less than 3 40%
3 to 4 32%
4 to 5 24%
5 to 6 16%
6 to 7 8%
More than 7 0%

You can give away £3,000 worth of gifts every year without them becoming subject to Inheritance Tax – this is your ‘annual exemption’ – and you can even carry this exemption over for one year (but no more) to gift up to £6,000 without it becoming part of your estate. Inheritance Tax does not apply to gifts shared between spouses or civil partners, meaning you could give your entire estate to your spouse without it being subject to Inheritance Tax. Some small gifts, such as Christmas and birthday presents, or those that you can afford out of your normal income, are also exempt.

To avoid complications in the event of your death, it is a good idea to keep detailed records of any gifts you give to friends and family, so that they don’t unduly receive a hefty Inheritance Tax bill.