€240 Million: The EuroMillions Jackpot Cap
EuroMillions has a jackpot cap of €240 million. Once the top prize reaches this mark, it cannot grow any higher and special rules come into effect.
How the Jackpot Cap Works
The EuroMillions jackpot rolls over every time it is not won and gets bigger in the following draw, and this continues to happen until it reaches the €240 million mark. The jackpot starts at €17 million, so unless a Superdraw takes place, it can take a lot of rollovers to get to the cap.
The jackpot can only stay at its cap for five draws. In the fifth draw, all of the jackpot money has to be given away, whether someone matches five numbers and both Lucky Stars or not. If no one does win the jackpot in that fifth draw, the entire amount is shared between players in the next winning tier below.
Here's what happens when the €240 million jackpot cap is reached:
- Once the jackpot hits €240 million, it is capped and will not grow any larger. In the first draw at the cap, any excess money which would usually go to the jackpot will instead flow down to the next tier in which there are winners. This is usually for matching five numbers and one Lucky Star. When that happens, a prize that is usually worth hundreds of thousands of euros can instead be worth millions.
- If nobody matches all five main numbers plus both Lucky Stars, the jackpot will remain at €240 million for the next draw and extra funds will again go to the next winning tier.
- These rules will remain in place until someone wins the jackpot or until after four draws have gone by with the jackpot at its cap.
- If there still has not been a jackpot winner after the fourth draw at €240 million, then the money must be won in the following draw. If, in the fifth draw at the cap, there are no jackpot winners, players in the next highest winning tier will share the full amount, in addition to the usual amount for winning in that category. This means that a prize of over €240 million could be split by ticket holders who have not even matched the complete winning line.
- Once the jackpot money has been won, the top prize will be reset to its minimum value of €17 million for the following draw.
The EuroMillions rules allow for the Jackpot Cap to increase. Once a top prize of €240 million has been won or has flowed down, the cap will go up to €250 million. The Jackpot Cap limit can rise by €10 million after each time the maximum jackpot is reached, until it hits €250 million.
How the Jackpot Cap has evolved over time
The EuroMillions jackpot cap has not always been set at €240 million; it has undergone several changes since the game was launched.
The jackpot hit its cap of €230 million on Friday 8th July and stayed there for the next three draws. In the fourth draw at the limit, on Tuesday 19th July, a ticket bought in the UK won the jackpot. Had the top prize remained out of reach, there would have been a Must be Won draw on Friday 22nd July when the jackpot money could have flowed down.
The jackpot cap of €210 million was hit on 23rd February and stayed there until the following draw as nobody won at the first time of asking. On 26th February, a single participant from Switzerland scooped the top prize. The jackpot cap was therefore raised to €220 million.
The cap of €220 million was won on 15th October by a single ticket in France in the second draw at the limit. The win gave the player the title of the biggest ever EuroMillions winner on a single ticket at the time, and pushed the cap up to €230 million.
The jackpot cap rose from €190 million to €200 million from 1st February, setting up the possibility of even bigger jackpots in future. A new mechanism was also introduced so that the cap would increase by €10 million after every time the maximum jackpot was won. The new rules allowed for the jackpot cap to grow up to a maximum of €250 million.
The EuroMillions jackpot cap was reached on Friday 4th December and eventually won on Friday 11th December by a single ticket from France. Rule changes earlier in the year meant that the jackpot cap was increased to €210 million.
In a record-breaking run of rollovers, the EuroMillions jackpot climbed from its starting value of €17 million to the cap of €190 million. It took two months and 18 rollovers to get there, and the jackpot then stayed at €190 million for four more draws. A Must Be Won draw was held on Tuesday 8th October, when one ticket from the UK matched all the winning numbers to scoop the lot. The lucky winner remained anonymous.
In September 2016, the EuroMillions rules changed to allow the top prize to stay at €190 million for five draws rather than two.
The decision was made to set the cap permanently at €190 million. In August 2012 Adrian and Gillian Bayford from the UK matched all five main numbers and both Lucky Stars to become the first €190 million winners.
A jackpot cap of €185 million was introduced in November 2009 and was reached for the first time in July 2011, at which point Chris and Colin Weir from the UK landed the top prize. Rules stated that the jackpot cap could increase by €5 million after being won, so after the Weirs' win it increased to €190 million.
When EuroMillions launched in 2004 there was a limit of 11 rollovers rather than a jackpot cap, and if nobody matched all five main numbers and both Lucky Stars in the 12th draw then the top prize would be split by players in the next winning tier.