EuroMillions Jackpot Cap
The EuroMillions jackpot keeps growing whenever it is not won until it reaches a cap of €190 million, which is as large as the top prize can get before the money must be given away.
Any prize money which would have gone towards the jackpot beyond €190 million spills down to the next winning prize tier. If the jackpot is not won, it can stay at €190 million for the next draw and, if it is still not won, the full amount will then be distributed among players in the next winning tier.
When the EuroMillions jackpot reaches its maximum value, players have an amazing opportunity to snap up big prizes. Anyone who matches five main numbers plus both Lucky Stars will receive €190 million, or a share of it if there are multiple winners, while the ticket holders in the next winning tier will get a share of a considerably larger prize pot than normal. If the jackpot is not won, the players in the next winning tier receive a share of more than €190 million.
The EuroMillions jackpot will revert to €15 million for the following draw after all the top prize money is given away.
How the EuroMillions Jackpot Works
When EuroMillions first reached its current jackpot cap in 2012, the top prize grew from €156.9 million on 31st July to €180 million on Friday 3rd August. In the following draw on Tuesday 7th August, the jackpot was capped at €190 million and the excess funds were split among players in the next winning tier. In this instance, seven ticket holders matched five main numbers plus one Lucky Star to land €2.3 million (£1.7 million) each. For comparison, the average amount won at this level is less than £350,000.
As no one matched five main numbers plus both Lucky Stars, the jackpot stayed at €190 million for the next draw on Friday 10th August. One lucky ticket, bought by Adrian and Gillian Bayford from the UK, matched the winning numbers to earn them the full €190 million (at the time, a sterling value of £148.6 million).
There were 14 players who matched five main numbers plus one Lucky Star in the same draw, each winning €2.6 million (£1.9 million). If the jackpot had not been won, the €190 million prize money from the top tier would have spilled down to add on to the €36.9 million pool in the second tier, giving all 14 ticket holders a share of €226.9 million.
For the following draw, on 14th August, the jackpot reverted to its minimum amount of €15 million.
Jackpot Cap History
There was initially a rollover limit rather than a jackpot cap when EuroMillions first launched in 2004, setting a maximum of 11 draws in a row in which the top prize could not be won. If nobody matched all five main numbers plus both Lucky Stars on the 12th draw, players in the next winning tier would share the prize.
The rules changed in November 2009 to replace the rollover limit with a jackpot cap of €185 million, which would increase by €5 million after it was reached for the first time. Chris and Colin Weir from Scotland scooped the top prize of €185 million (a sterling value at the time of £161.6 million) in July 2011 and the top prize went up to €190 million.
This figure of €190 million was later fixed as the permanent jackpot cap, although EuroMillions reserves the right to increase or decrease its maximum value at any point.