The UK-based winner of the £170 million EuroMillions jackpot has finally come forward to claim their life-changing prize – the biggest sum ever awarded on the National Lottery.
After three weeks of speculation, Lottery operator Camelot has confirmed the £170 million prize has now been verified and the money paid out. However, the winning ticket holder has chosen to remain anonymous, which means no details of the winner, their location, age, or occupation will be revealed.
The ticket-holder scooped the record-breaking £170,221,000 after matching all five main numbers – 07, 10, 15, 44 and 49 – and the two lucky stars – 03, 12 – following the longest-ever series of rollovers on 8 October. This figure is nearly £10m more than the previous biggest UK winners, Colin and Chris Weir from Largs in North Ayrshire, Scotland, who won £161m in July 2011, and will put the winner on the Sunday Times Rich List above the likes of pop star Ed Sheeran, who has an estimated fortune of £160m.
— The National Lottery (@TNLUK) October 10, 2019
Andy Carter, senior winners’ adviser at The National Lottery, said: “What an amazing win – the biggest ever on The National Lottery.
“The team will now support and help guide the ticket-holder as they begin their adventure with this life-changing win.”
The EuroMillions manages to offer such huge prizes because it includes players from across nine European nations. When it launched in 2004, it was an agreement between the UK, French, and Spanish lotteries, but since then the Austrian, Belgian, Irish, Luxembourgish, Portuguese and Swiss lotteries have joined the fold.
It is notoriously difficult to win, with players needing to match seven numbers to claim the top prize with the odds of picking the five main numbers and two Lucky Stars a lowly one in 139,838,160. These odds are ten times worse than the odds originally offered by the National Lottery when it launched in 1994, which were still considerable at 13,983,816 to one, and more than three time poorer than the odds currently offered by the Lotto, which stand at 45,057,474 to one.
The odds of winning the lottery in the UK are generally considered some of the lowest in the world, and much lower than those offered by similar lotteries in Australia offering odds of 8,145,060 to one and Ireland with odds of 10,737,573 to one. Whilst the recent £5.1 million Irish lottery winner or £2.1 million Australian winner may not have received quite the same sum as the anonymous EuroMillions victor, the money is still life-changing and enough for most people to never work again.
After the EuroMillions draw rolled over 22 times to create the record-breaking sum earlier this month, questions are being asked as to whether the lottery should be changed to offer players a better chance of winning, so that the prize is more likely to be won each week. This would result in lower jackpot prizes, but if people see no-one winning, they may begin to lose interest in the draw.
The choice of ticket cost and chances of winning have always been a compromise for lottery operators, which all attempt to find the “goldilocks zone” where the they can raise the largest sums for both the prize money and to put towards the various good causes they support. After rolling over for nearly six months without a winner, it may be that EuroMillions will need to update its rules to offer players better odds of winning.