EuroJackpot was developed on the success of EuroMillions which was based itself on the format of American super lottery Mega Millions. Both lotteries use two drums of lottery balls for their draws, one filled with ‘normal’ lotto balls and one with ‘special’ lotto balls, called ‘Star numbers’ for EuroMillions and ‘Euro Numbers’ for Eurojackpot. But what are now the biggest differences betweet the Euromillions and Eurojackpot lottery?
Difference price Euromillions and Eurojackpot
Both EuroMillions and Eurojackpot cost 2 Euro per line to play. In the UK EuroMillions costs £2 per line but part of the difference funds the EuroMillions raffle draw which only the UK participates in. Both Eurojackpot and EuroMillions pool the ticket sales from all participating countries to create a combined jackpot which is far greater than you’ll find in any National Lottery. EuroMillions and Eurojackpot each follow a ‘lotto’ format, meaning that if the grand prize isn’t won it will rollover to subsequent draws until a lucky ticket is found or it hits a maximum level. The top prize money is distributed in equal shares between winning ticket holders.
Prices and Jackpot Euro lotteries
Despite the similarities, the two lotteries share a number of important differences. EuroMillions offers much bigger prizes. The EuroMillions minimum jackpot is £12 million and it has a maximum prize of £161 million before the money starts to drop to lower prize tiers. The EuroMillions 2nd place prize for matching 5 normal balls + 1 Star Ball is also higher, averaging about £322,000 compared to about £194,000 for Eurojackpot. To put it in perspective, the Eurojackpot top prize is only about £71 million, under half as much as EuroMillions and the base jackpot is under £8 million.
The trade-off is that Eurojackpot has better odds of winning although these have been reduced by new rules being introduced October 10th, 2014 which will change the Euro numbers from 2 balls (1-8) to 2 balls (1-10). Nonetheless, the chances of winning the Eurojackpot are still much greater at 1:93 million compared to 1:116 million playing EuroMillions. EuroJackpot smaller tier prizes also tend to be higher since they are based on a percentage of ticket sales rather than set levels like EuroMillions. In general, EuroMillions is much more ‘top heavy’, distributing the vast majority of the prize pool to a few lucky ticket holders while Eurojackpot pays out big prizes to more players.
Draw days Euromillions and Eurojackpot
The main EuroMillions and Eurojackpot draw takes place on Friday evenings however EuroMillions also has a draw on Tuesday nights, meaning twice as many chances to play. EuroMillions also has a Superdraw several times a year which boosts the jackpot to £80 million no matter what it is currently at. If this money isn’t won the jackpot rolls over as usual, meaning it is almost guaranteed each year there will be at least a few EuroMillions pay outs which top £100 million.
Europe’s two favourite lotteries also form two competing blocs of participating countries with Spain being the only nation to participate in both. EuroMillions player base is primarily in the UK, France and Spain, supported by smaller countries like Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Portugal and tiny Luxembourg. In contrast Eurojackpot’s primary player pool comes from Germany and Scandinavia (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland), with Spain and Italy also significant contributors and bolstered by the Netherlands, Croatia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and soon new additions Hungary and the Czech Republic. Despite EuroMillions only being in available in 9 countries compared to the 16 Eurojackpot nations, EuroMillions still has many more actual players although this is changing as Eurojackpot continues to quickly increase its potential player pool.
The veteran or the smart lottery players know that the best way to play the lottery each Friday is to get the best of both worlds. More often than not EuroMillions is going to give you bigger jackpots so it’s most likely the one you’ll want to check first. However if you want to optimize your lottery winnings you should always take a look at how Eurojackpot is doing. Under the new rules the jackpots are getting larger and larger, with 2 record breaking prizes in 2014.
It’s no longer uncommon for Eurojackpot to have a higher jackpot than EuroMillions, particularly if the EuroMillions top prize is at the base £12 million. When you have a Eurojackpot jackpot which is larger than EuroMillions you can take advantage of a bigger prize with better odds of winning! Comparing the two European lotteries each Friday is really the best way to play the lottery.