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Will EuroMillions Change after the UK Brexit Vote?

Will EuroMillions Change after the UK Brexit Vote?
Updated: Friday 24th June 2016

As of 10.00am on Friday 24th June 2016, the UK has voted to leave the European Union. While Brexit doesn't mean that UK players will no longer be able to play EuroMillions, it may have other implications for the game. Please read below for an explanation.

After the UK voted for Brexit on Thursday 23rd June, many EuroMillions players might be wondering how the outcome of the vote might impact on their enjoyment of the game. The fact of the matter is that UK players will still be able to take part, albeit with subtle differences.

UK players have been reassured that EuroMillions tickets will still be sold regardless. Just like the UK will still enter Eurovision and European football competitions, Switzerland plays EuroMillions despite not being an EU member and it will be the same for the UK.

“EuroMillions currently operates across nine European countries and EU membership is not a requirement – for example, EuroMillions operates in Switzerland, a non-EU country. The EuroMillions agreement is between the lottery operators in the nine countries – not the governments,” a spokesperson for Camelot told The Mirror.

EuroMillions already operates across three different currencies - Euros and Swiss Francs as well as pounds sterling - and exchange rates are used to calculate how much is won in each country. The prizes are fixed as Euro amounts before UK winners receive the equivalent value based on the exchange rate at the time of the draw. It is the fluctuation of exchange rates which explains why Chris and Colin Weir won £161.6 million when the Euro prize was worth €185 million in July 2011, but Adrian and Gillian Bayford received £148.6 million when the Euro value was higher at €190 million in August 2012.

It remains to be seen how the economy will change post-Brexit, with supporters on both sides of the debate offering different opinions on what will be best for the country. A group known as Economists for Brexit previously argued that leaving the EU would boost the UK economy by four percent in the next decade, but other forecasters have predicted a significant downturn for the pound, particularly in the short term.

John Wraith, who works for Swiss company UBS as a UK Rates Strategist, studied where the EUR/GBP will end 2016 and commented in Pound Sterling Live that the exchange rate ‘should either move to around 0.73, or to parity, depending on the result of the vote’. It remains to be seen if this could happen; as the news of the pro-Leave vote has only just been announced on the morning of Friday 24th June, much could change.

If a prediction of parity comes true, a UK winner of the minimum EuroMillions jackpot of €15 million would receive around £15 million, whereas at present it might be £11 million. While this sounds like an improvement for UK players and might work out well if the pound then recovered quickly, a weak pound with a low value would not go such a long way. Campaigners to stay in the EU have insisted that a vote to leave would endanger the country’s economic and national security.

Camelot has procedures in place to ensure that 50 percent of the money raised from ticket sales will be made available for prizes regardless of the exchange rate, but players might just notice that the rate of exchange rises and falls quite a bit in the next couple of months after the EU referendum. There will be no major changes to EuroMillions, however, so when it comes to your time to vote, you can at least focus on other issues and relax in the knowledge that the game will continue to offer great prizes for UK players.

Published: Friday 29th April 2016

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