EuroMillions Jackpot Cap
The EuroMillions jackpot cap is €230 million, which means the top prize cannot exceed this amount. A cap was first introduced in 2009, bringing with it the excitement of 'Must Be Won' draws and offering the potential to boost prize values for winners in lower prize tiers.
How Does the Jackpot Cap Work?
The EuroMillions jackpot starts at €17 million (approximately £15 million) and if it is not won it increases in value for the next draw, in what is known as a 'rollover'. There is no fixed rate at which the jackpot increases; the final value is determined by ticket sales and agreed by all participating countries.
These rollovers continue until the top prize is won or it reaches €230 million, at which point the cap is activated and the size of the jackpot remains fixed. Any additional money which would usually be added to the jackpot is then added to the next prize tier below instead. This will typically be the 'Match 5 + 1' category, unless it also has no winners, in which case the prize money would be added to the next tier below that.
How Many Times Can EuroMillions Roll Over?
There is no limit to how many times the EuroMillions jackpot can roll over before reaching the cap. For example, it could take just a few draws following a Superdraw, or it could roll all the way from the starting value of €17 million. Exactly this happened between July and September 2019, when the jackpot rolled over for a record 18 consecutive draws to reach the cap - which was €190 million at the time.
Once the jackpot cap has been reached, it can only go five more draws before the prize money must be given away. The table below shows what happens in the draws after the limit is reached.
|Draw||Jackpot Amount||What Happens?|
|First Draw||€230 Million||As the jackpot can increase no further, any excess funds which would normally go to the top tier will instead be diverted to the next highest tier in which there are winners.|
|Second Draw||€230 Million||Any additional funds continue rolling down to the highest tier in which there are winners. The prize fund for this tier is now likely to be even bigger than it was for the previous draw, as all of the excess jackpot money has been redistributed.|
|Third Draw||€230 Million||The same rules apply. As further funds are added to the next highest winning prize tier, there is the potential for many players to become multimillionaires without having to match all the numbers.|
|Fourth Draw||€230 Million||This is the penultimate draw at which the jackpot is allowed to remain at the cap. By this point, many millionaires will already have been made in the '5+1' prize tier.|
|Fifth Draw||€230 Million||The jackpot has to be won in this draw - no further rollovers can occur. If no one matches all five numbers plus both Lucky Stars in this draw, the entire jackpot amount is shared between winners in the prize tier below.|
|Next Draw||€17 Million||The top prize reverts to its base level of €17 million (around £15 million).|
Must Be Won Draws
As outlined in the table above, in the fifth draw after the cap is activated the full €230 million has to be awarded. If no one is able to match all five main numbers plus both Lucky Stars, this amount will be added to the funds in the next highest winning tier and split between the players in that tier. Head to the Must Be Won Draws page to find out more about these very special events.
Why is the Jackpot Cap Set In Euros?
As the majority of participating nations share a single currency, all EuroMillions prizes are calculated in Euros; this means that the top jackpot of €230 million can fluctuate in the UK depending on the exchange rate between Euros and sterling on the night of a draw.
For example, Adrian and Gillian Bayford won a maximum jackpot worth €190 million in August 2012, which when converted to sterling was worth £148 million. In October 2019 another UK player (who stayed anonymous) won €190 million, but due to the exchange rate at the time their prize was worth £170 million - £22 million more than the Bayfords received. The previous cap of €220 million was worth £185 million at the time it was won.
Will the Jackpot Cap Be Increased?
The jackpot cap increases by €10 million for the next rollover series every time it reaches its maximum value. For example, once the current top prize of €230 million has either been won or rolled down, the new jackpot cap will be €240 Million. The current game procedures allow for the jackpot cap to increase following every time it is reached, up to a up to a maximum of €250 million.
The rules about the jackpot cap, rollovers, and Must Be Won draws have changed over time; when EuroMillions began, for instance, there wasn't a fixed jackpot cap in place at all. Below is a list of all the changes that have been made to the jackpot cap over the years that EuroMillions has been played.
- When EuroMillions was first launched in February 2004, the game featured a rollover limit of 11 draws. If nobody matched all five main numbers plus both Lucky Stars at the 12th attempt, players in the next winning tier would share the prize.
- This limit was not activated until Friday 27th January 2006 following a run of 11 consecutive rollovers. The top prize was claimed in the next draw on Friday 3rd February as two ticket holders from France and a player from Portugal each received €61,191,026.
- In late 2006, the jackpot once again rolled for 11 draws before eventually being won on Friday 17th November. As there was no first tier winner, a prize of €153,564,446 was evenly split between 20 ticket holders in the Match 5+1 prize tier.
Introduction of the Jackpot Cap
- In November 2009, EuroMillions officials replaced the rollover limit with a €185 million jackpot cap. A clause was added meaning this amount would rise by €5 million in the future.
- The €185 million cap was first reached on Friday 8th July 2011. It was allowed to roll once before being claimed in the following draw by Chris and Colin Weir. The Ayrshire couple landed £161,653,000, which remained the biggest UK win for the next eight years.
- Following the Weirs’ win, the cap was increased to €190 million. The top prize first reached its new level on Tuesday 7th August 2012, before being claimed in the very next draw by Suffolk pair Adrian and Gillian Bayford. The lucky winners landed a reward worth £148,656,000, a sum that was considerably lower than that received by the Weirs due to a less favourable exchange rate.
- €190 million was reached again on Friday 24th October as an anonymous Portuguese player from Castelo Branco walked away with the joint largest prize in EuroMillions history.
- Changes to the game in September 2016 saw the number of draws at which the jackpot could stay at the cap increase from two to five.
- In 2019, the jackpot stayed at its €190 million cap for the maximum of five draws for the first time. The cap was reached on 24th September and there continued to be no winners until a Must Be Won draw was held on 8th October. An anonymous UK player matched all the numbers in the Must Be Won draw to land the full jackpot amount (worth £170,221,000).
- New rules were introduced from February 2020. The jackpot cap went up to €200 million, while it was also announced that the cap would increase by €10 million after each time it was won or rolled down.
- The jackpot cap of €200 million was reached for the draw on Friday 4th December, and was eventually won by a single ticket from France on Friday 11th December. The jackpot cap was then pushed up to a new figure of €210 million.
- The jackpot was capped on Tuesday 23rd February after it climbed to €210 million. It was won in the next draw by a single Swiss player, and the maximum jackpot was subsequently raised to €220 million.
- The record for the biggest EuroMillions win was broken for the second time in a single year when a single French ticket won €220 million on Friday 15th October 2021, beating the previous record set in February.