EuroMillions jackpot cap explained: How high can it go?
Everything you need to know about the EuroMillions jackpot: how it works, what its limits are and how long it keeps growing without a winner
EuroMillions is probably the most famous lottery in Europe. Not only because it has 9 participating countries, but mostly because it is the European lottery with the biggest jackpots. In fact, after the American lotteries Powerball and Megamillions, it is the third lottery with the biggest prize drawn worldwide: €230 million, which was won on 19 July 2022 by a British player.
However, as attractive as this lottery is, for many players it is a little confusing to understand how the cap on the jackpot works. Unlike other lotteries, EuroMillions has a limit up to which the jackpot can grow. However, this limit is not always the same. Currently, the limit is €240 million, but it can grow to a maximum of €250 million. So, how do you know what the EuroMillions jackpot limit is, and what happens to the prize once it reaches its maximum value?
The same question is asked by many players and, in fact, it is very important to be clear on when is the best time to place your bets. That's why in this article we'll explain everything you need to know to understand how the EuroMillions jackpot works.
Which is the minimum jackpot for EuroMillions?
First of all, it is important to clarify that all EuroMillions draws start with a guaranteed minimum jackpot, whose fixed value is €17 million. This means that every time the maximum jackpot is won, the draw restarts again from the minimum jackpot of €17 million.
How to win the EuroMillions jackpot
Secondly, it is important to understand how to win the jackpot. To play EuroMillions, you must pick 5 numbers between 1 and 50, plus two additional numbers called 'stars' which must be selected between 1 and 12. To win the jackpot, you must match all 5 numbers plus the two stars.
However, there are a total of 13 prize categories, depending on the amount of numbers matched. The second prize is won by matching 5+1 (5 numbers and a star), the third by matching 5+0, the fourth 4+2, and so on.
How the EuroMillions jackpot works
The EuroMillions jackpot does not grow unlimitedly. Instead, it has a maximum value, although this can vary depending on the edition of each draw. We will explain this in detail:
Once each EuroMillions draw starts with the minimum jackpot of €17 million, if there is no top-tier winner in the draw (5+2), the jackpot is rolled over to the next draw, increasing its value, and so on for as long as there is no winner.
However, the jackpot can only grow until it reaches €240 million, which is the current limit in EuroMillions. Once this amount is reached, the prize will have to be won in the next 5 draws.
So, what happens to the cumulative winnings once the cap is reached? Once the €240 million cap is reached, the monetary value that would usually be accumulated for the first prize category (5+2) is accumulated in the second prize category (5+1), increasing the value of this prize level. This happens during the first 4 draws after reaching the jackpot limit.
In the 5th draw after the jackpot limit has been reached, if there is still no first category winner, it comes to what is known as the "Must Be Won" draw. This means that in the 5th draw, the €240 million jackpot will be won regardless of whether there is a first category winner (5+2) or not. If no one matches all the numbers, the jackpot is split between the winners of the second category (5+1), or even of the following categories if necessary.
Which is the EuroMillions jackpot limit?
The EuroMillions jackpot is currently set at a maximum value of €240 million. However, this has not always been the case, and may even grow further in future editions.
Originally, the EuroMillions jackpot was capped at €190 million. However, in 2020 the lottery changed its rules, setting the maximum jackpot at €200 million. But an additional rule was also added: every time the jackpot reaches its maximum value, the limit increases by an additional €10 million for the next edition of the draw. This happened for the first time in December 2020, when the jackpot reached the maximum of €200 million and, in the next edition, the limit was raised to €210 million.
However, it is important to know that the cap set for the EuroMillions jackpot is €250 million. Therefore, as it is now at €240 million, the jackpot can only grow once more, according to the current rules.
EuroMillions jackpot main keys
- The jackpot is won by matching the main category (5+2)
- The minimum jackpot is set at €17 million at the start of each edition
- The maximum jackpot is currently set at €240 million
- Once the limit is reached, in the next 4 draws the monetary prizes are accumulated in the second category (5+1)
- The prize must be drawn in the 5th draw after the jackpot limit has been reached
- If in the 5th draw there are no winners in the first category, the jackpot will be shared among the winners of the next categories
- Once the jackpot limit is reached, in the next EuroMillions the jackpot limit is increased by an additional €10 million
- The jackpot can grow to a maximum of €250 million