Million euro

Playing euromillions abroad

UK Tax Implications

While there is no tax on lottery winnings in the UK, there are a number of important considerations to keep in mind if you are lucky enough to bank a substantial amount such as a EuroMillions jackpot.

Inheritance Tax

Inheritance tax (IHT) is paid when a UK resident dies and their estate is worth more than £325,000. Everything above that threshold will be taxed at 40 percent. If you win a large EuroMillions prize and your estate exceeds the £325,000 valuation, you should be aware of the rules regarding IHT and how it will affect your heirs.

It is very common for big winners to want to share their jackpot in some way, but if you want to make a gift without paying tax you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Give the gift more than seven years before you die.
  • Give the gift to your husband, wife, or civil partner.
  • Give less than your annual allowance of £3,000.

The seven-year rule is in place to stop people from giving money away just before they die so that they can avoid IHT. As long as you live for at least seven years after making your gift, you can give as much as you want to whoever you want without it being liable for IHT.

If you were to die within seven years, the recipient would have to pay IHT based on a sliding scale. The rate of tax is the full 40% if there are less than three years between you giving your gift and dying, and then it goes down to 32% in years three to four, 24% in years four to five, 16% in years five to six and 8% if there are between six and seven years between your gift and your death.

Any gifts made to your spouse or civil partner are exempt from IHT, so it would not matter if you died within seven years. You can also give gifts to any registered charity without being liable for tax, along with some national organisations, such as the National Trust, universities or museums.

You can also take advantage of the £3,000 ‘gift allowance’ each year without incurring IHT. If you give away more than this amount and pass away within seven years, the recipient would have to pay tax. It is possible to carry over your leftover allowance from one tax year to the next, but only up to a maximum of £6,000.

Other Tax-free Gifts

You can also give smaller gifts of up to £250 to as many people as you want without them being subject to IHT, although this would not include anyone who has already received gifts totalling the whole £3,000 annual exemption.

Wedding gifts can also be exempt from IHT, but only if they are made before the wedding and there has to be proof that the marriage does go ahead. You can make wedding gifts of up to £5,000 to a child, £2,500 to a grandchild or great-grandchild or £1,000 to anyone else. You can also make gifts to help pay the living costs of an ex-spouse, an elderly dependent or a child.

Syndicates

Lottery rules in the UK stipulate that only one person can be paid a prize, so when playing in a syndicate it is essential to have a formal agreement in place to show to tax authorities. This will prove the money was not just a gift and that everyone is entitled to their share. Anyone playing in an informal syndicate should be aware that they may have to pay inheritance tax on the full amount if the syndicate leader dies within seven years of the prize money being shared.

Tax on Interest

Most people can earn some interest from their savings without paying tax, but this might not be the case if you win a large enough EuroMillions prize. While there is no tax on the initial sum paid into your account, it may be that the win starts to produce an income through interest. This will then be taxed as part of your normal income tax.

2016: January Blues Giveaway

  • Diane Allen from Doncaster was the ninth and final winner of the 2016 January Blues Giveaway, winning an Odeon Awards Season Gift Tin. When we spoke to Diane, she said: «Wow can’t believe I have won many thanks — looking forward to using the tickets»
  • Patricia Hancock from Stansted was the penultimate winner of the 2016 January Blues Giveaway, winning a £20 Sports Direct Voucher. When we spoke to Patricia, she told us: «What a lovely surprise to hear that I have won a sports Direct Voucher»
  • Anna Ingram from North Lincolnshire was the seventh winner of the Giveaway, winning a Bluedio Bluetooth Speaker. When we spoke to Anna, she said: «What a lovely way to start my day by being told I was a winner! I was lucky enough to win the Bluedio Speakers, and I am so looking forward to using them!»
  • Dale Askew from Surrey was the sixth winner of the 2016 January Blues Giveaway, winning 1kg of PhD Nutrition Diet Whey Protein. When we spoke to Dale, he said: «I’m delighted to be announced as a winner in the prize draw, I will be using the protein powder in my Nutribullet! Thank you so much!»
  • Ruth Wollerton from Peterborough was the fifth winner of the 2016 January Blues Giveaway, winning 10 EuroMillions tickets for the draw on 19th January! When we spoke to Ruth, she said: «I am so excited with my win, hopefully my numbers will come up.»
  • Rachel Bonness from Herefordshire was the fourth winner of the Giveaway, winning a Nutribullet! When we contacted Rachel, she said: «I was delighted I won as my resolution this year is to tone up at the gym & I wanted to create delicious protein smoothies after my workouts. My goal is going to be so much easier now!»
  • Nieyaati Masurkar from London was the third winner of the 2016 January Blues Giveaway, winning a Fitbit Charge HR. When we contacted Nieyaati, she said: «This is amazing! Can’t believe it! Bidding farewell for good to #JanuaryBlues Thank you guys! Thank you for giving me a chance to be more fit & healthy.»
  • Melissa Palmer from Lancashire was the second winner of the 2016 January Blues Giveaway, winning a set of bathroom scales. When we spoke to Melissa, she said: «Thank you so much im very happy never thought i would be lucky enough to win thank you»
  • Aimee Herrington from Nuneaton was the first winner of the 2016 January Blues Giveaway, winning a month’s Pure Gym membership. When we contacted Aimee, she said: «When I got told I had won I was really happy and proud :)»

Examples of Lottery Scams

As more and more people are becoming wise to lottery scams, fraudsters are getting increasingly creative. Here are just some examples of lottery scams you may receive:

Second Chance Lottery/Raffle

Usually based around a rollover draw, the scammer will claim you have won a prize in a ‘second chance’ EuroMillions draw. EuroMillions does not hold such ‘second chance’ draws. Unclaimed prizes are always either returned to the prize pool to pay winners in future draws or transferred to the good causes supported by the lottery.

Lottery Winner Trusts

Some scammers are using the names of known charitable lottery winners to try and extract personal information from the intended victim by claiming that the legitimate jackpot winner is looking to donate funds to people who are less fortunate or in need.

Anti Terrorism Agency

The victim receives a letter telling them there is a cheque waiting to be sent to them as soon as they pay a fee to an agency that ensures international money transfers over a certain value do not contain funds associated with terrorism.

To see an example of a scam letter received, visit the Example EuroMillions Scam page.

Playing EuroMillions Around the World

EuroMillions is a lottery that can be played and enjoyed all around the world. Thanks to lottery concierge services like theLotter and lottery betting sites such as Jackpot.com, players from across the globe can regularly take part in EuroMillions draws.

The two systems of play allow you to win the same EuroMillions prizes, but the way in which they work differ slightly. While a lottery concierge service sees a representative purchase a ticket on your behalf, Lotto betting allows you to place a wager on the outcome of a draw. You will receive exactly the same amount of money as those playing with a physical ticket and the odds of winning remain exactly the same.

Details of how to take part in EuroMillions draws using both methods are listed below:

To play via a lottery concierge service:

  • Register an online account. This process is safe and secure.
  • Select your numbers (five from 1 to 50 and two Lucky Stars from a separate pool of 1 to 12).
  • Confirm your selection and pay for your entry.
  • A lottery representative will purchase a ticket on your behalf and save a copy of your entry in your online account.
  • Once the draw has been made, any winnings will be transferred directly into your online account.

To play via a lottery betting site:

  • Register an online account. This process is safe and secure.
  • Select your numbers (five from 1 to 50 and two Lucky Stars from a separate pool of 1 to 12).
  • Confirm your selection and pay for your entry.
  • You will receive confirmation of your bet via email.
  • Once the draw has been made, you will receive an email detailing any prizes you have won. Any winnings will be transferred to your online account.

About UK Millionaire Maker

The EuroMillions UK Millionaire Maker guarantees that at least one player in the UK will win £1 million in every EuroMillions draw. As the two games are played separately, it is possible to win a prize in both the main EuroMillions game and Millionaire Maker, so players are advised to check their tickets carefully.

How it Works

The odds of winning the UK Millionaire Maker game vary depending on the number of players in each game. For example, a Tuesday EuroMillions draw tends to attract fewer players, meaning your odds of winning in midweek are better than on a Friday.

Millionaire Maker codes can start with the letter H, J, M, T, V, X or Z , and the chances of winning are exactly the same for each code. Visit the How it Works page for a more detailed explanation about how the Millionaire Maker codes are selected and how the odds vary from draw to draw.

European Millionaire Maker works in a similar way, but is open to everyone who plays a line in any of the nine participating EuroMillions nations, and the first letter of the code will be different in each country.

How to Claim

If you have won a UK Millionaire Maker prize, then you need to claim within 180 days of the draw date, as per the UK EuroMillions Rules. If you do not claim in time, your prize, and the interest that has accumulated, will be allocated to the lottery’s Good Causes fund.

View the How to Claim page for more information.

History of the UK Millionaire Maker

12th January 2019 – To increase the amount of Millionaire Maker special event draws that are held, the number of codes in every standard draw decreased from two to one. The first special event draw is scheduled for spring 2019, when 40 UK millionaires will be created in one night.

24th September 2016 – The number of Millionaire Maker prizes on offer in a standard draw doubled to two. Mega Friday became Mega Week, providing even more exciting prizes and luxury experiences.

31st October 2014 – Millionaire Raffle became Millionaire Maker and the first Mega Friday draw was held, rewarding 25 players with £1 million and a VIP trip to Makepeace Island in Australia.

March 2014 – The National Lottery applied for permission to rename Millionaire Raffle as Millionaire Maker and provide non-cash prizes alongside the £1 million award in select draws.

26th July 2013 – The 100 UK Millionaires Raffle returned to give another 100 ticket holders the chance to become millionaires. This highly anticipated draw resulted in a huge increase in ticket sales but, in the event, left the previous record unchallenged when only 92 of the 100 £1 million prizes were claimed.

31st May 2013 – The £1 Million Every Month for a Year draw was held. Instead of the prize being worth £1 million, this draw offered one lucky player a prize of £12 million, paid in twelve £1 million monthly instalments.

27th July 2012 – The promotional 100 Millionaires draw on the night of the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London resulted in 97 of the 100 Millionaire Maker winners claiming their prize, breaking the world record for the most millionaires made in one night.

25th November 2011 – Millionaires Month began, awarding 50 £1 million prizes in the four weeks leading up to Christmas.

13th November 2009 – Millionaire Raffle was launched.

Christmas and New Year’s Special Draws

There are often special versions of the UK Millionaire Maker game held around the festive season which give away multiple raffle prizes. In the past, these games have been held on Christmas Day/Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day.

To read more about special festive draws, visit the Christmas and New Year’s EuroMillions pages for more information and to find out about upcoming events this year.

100 Millionaires

Occasionally, the UK Millionaire Maker will hold special editions of the game which will see 100 players win £1 million. Currently, the 100 UK Millionaire Raffle draw which took place on Friday 27th July 2012 holds the world record for making the highest number of lottery millionaires in one night after 97 of the 100 prizes were claimed.

Players receive one free entry into the UK Millionaire Maker for each line of EuroMillions numbers purchased and this remains the case regardless of how many Millionaire Maker prizes are on offer.

EuroMillions Taxes vs Other Lotteries

EuroMillions offers some of the largest jackpots in the world, and the fact that prizes are not taxed in six of the nine countries makes it stand out even more in comparison with some of the other big lotteries.

American games such as Powerball and Mega Millions, for example, have tax obligations at both a state and federal level, so although these games regularly offer the biggest jackpots out of any lottery in the world, the payouts can end up significantly lower than the pre-draw estimate.

New Yorkers suffer heavier taxes than anyone else in the U.S. In August 2018, one player from the state won a Powerball jackpot advertised at $245.6 million, but they ended up walking away with a significantly lower sum. They opted to take a cash lump sum of $147 million, which worked out as a final payout of $99.4 million – around 40% of the advertised jackpot – after taxes had been deducted.

In EuroMillions, you will be given the specified amount with no deductions if you play in a country which does not tax winnings, such as the UK. The UK player who anonymously claimed £121 million in April 2018, for example, received a much larger payout than the $245 million Powerball winner, even though at first glance it would seem they had not won as much.

Additional Draws

As different nations offer their own supplementary games, playing EuroMillions in another country allows you the opportunity to win additional prizes. Discover more about a game by tapping the link below.

Here are the games you can enter, along with the top prize available:

Country Supplementary Game/s Jackpot/Prize
Austria Austria Joker Jackpot varies
Belgium My Bonus €500
Belgium Joker €200,000 (minimum)
France My Million €1 million
Etoile+ Increases value of main draw prize.
Ireland EuroMillions Plus €500,000
Ireland Only Raffle €5,000
Luxembourg Luxembourg Joker €500,000
Extra Lux €100,000
Portugal M1lhao €1 million.
Spain El Millon €1 million
Switzerland Super Star CHF250,000
2 Chance CHF150,000
United Kingdom UK Millonaire Maker £1 million

What to Do About Tax Issues

When you win a large lottery prize in the UK, you will have the chance to speak to experienced advisors who have guided other lucky players through what to do with their newfound wealth. They will be able to point you in the direction of financial experts and will recommend the most appropriate banks for you to open an account with based on your own circumstances.

With regards to the issue of IHT, it is a good idea to think carefully about the timing of any gifts you plan to make, and then keep a record of any payments. Your financial advisor will also speak to you about the tax on your interest and discuss possible investments to give you the maximum benefit. It may be a complicated topic, but any advice you receive will be tailored to your own personal situation and one very positive aspect is that your prize will not be subject to the same sort of tax laws as it would be in other countries.

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