The draw for a record EuroMillions jackpot takes place in Paris tonight, and it could make someone €215 million (US$227 million) richer. As the UK’s Metro newspaper marvels today, that’s wealthier than former Genesis drummer turned 1980s hit machine Phil Collins.
And while Collins had to fight tooth and nail for his fortune, negotiating a cutthroat music industry while storming the adult-contemporary pop-rock market with classics like Sussudio and Easy Lover, he could be eclipsed on the Rich List by someone who just basically did nothing. No wonder he “don’t care anymore.”
Actually, far from doing nothing, the winner will have to correctly pick all five numbers plus two “Lucky Stars,” against all the odds. That’s a one in 139,838,160 shot.
Against All the Odds, incidentally, is also a Phil Collins song.
Launched in 2004, the EuroMillions Lottery is a bit like the Multi-State Lottery in the US but with nation states. Members include France, the UK, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, and Portugal, making for a massive prize pool. Also, Andorra and Liechtenstein, but they don’t really move the needle.
The jackpots don’t quite reach the dizzying heights of the Powerball or Mega Millions in the US because EuroMillions is capped at €230 million (US$243 million.) When it reaches the cap, it will remain there for four draws until a “must be won” draw takes place.
At this point, if no ticket matches all seven numbers, the jackpot will roll down the prize tier, potentially creating several multi-millionaires.
US jackpots regularly surpass the EuroMillions cap. In fact, they have exceeded $1 billion on three occasions. The current record is the $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot of January 13, 2016, which was split between three winners, from California, Florida, Tennessee.
The biggest single lottery win of all time is the $1.537 billion Mega Millions jackpot of October 23, 2018, which was won by an individual in South Carolina, who wisely opted to remain anonymous.
Still, that’s not stopping Europeans from getting excited about their own biggest jackpot of all time. Even this reporter has bought a ticket. Tonight’s potential prize would beat the previous record win of €198 million by a full €17 million. That was claimed anonymously in October 2019.
And meanwhile, unlike in the US, the EuroMillions jackpot is completely tax free (at least in most jurisdictions) and paid in a lump sum, so what you see is what you get.
As Phil Collins would say, “Let it rain!”
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