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.
Types of EuroMillions Scams
EuroMillions scams can turn the popular dream of winning a jackpot into a costly nightmare. Here are some of the most popular methods used by fraudsters.
The first point of contact is generally made using one of the following approaches:
A letter is sent through the post informing the recipient that they have won a lottery prize and need to register their claim in order for their winnings to be processed.
A ‘lottery official’ calls the potential victim to tell them about the ‘good news’ and, during the telephone call, will try to extract a payment and/or bank details under the pretence that a ‘processing fee’ or ‘tax’ needs to be paid.
Some scammers have taken to selling fake lottery tickets over the phone. They will ask for payment upfront, requiring the target to disclose their bank details, but the tickets are never sent as they do not exist.
A text message is sent informing the recipient that their mobile number was entered into a raffle or lottery and selected at random as the winner.
How to Play
How do you play EuroMillions?
To play EuroMillions, you must select five main numbers from 1 to 50 and two Lucky Star numbers between 1 and 12. You can buy tickets from authorised retailers in any of the nine participating countries, or enter online. View the How to Play EuroMillions page for a step-by-step guide to taking part.
What is the cut-off time for ticket sales?
Ticket sales close at 7:30pm UK time on the night of a draw. Sales remain closed until the draw has taken place, reopening shortly after for the next draw.
Can you enter more than one draw in advance?
You can buy tickets for up to four weeks in advance, entering either the Tuesday draw each week, the Friday draw, or both. It is therefore possible to enter your numbers into eight consecutive draws by playing every Tuesday and Friday for four weeks. You can also sign up to play continuously by direct debit.
Can the same number appear as a main number and a Lucky Star?
Yes, the Lucky Stars are drawn from a separate pool of 12 numbers. You can therefore select the same number(s) as a Lucky Star and a main ball.
How much does it cost to play?
The cost of a single EuroMillions play in the UK is £2.50. This price also enters you automatically into the Millionaire Maker.
Can you play EuroMillions if you don’t live in a participating country?
EuroMillions tickets are available from retailers in Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland, as well as the UK. However, the game can also be played online in other countries thanks to online concierge and betting services. Go to the Tickets page to take part.
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.
Good Causes by Country
View information about Good Causes for the following EuroMillions countries:
In the UK, 28p from every £1 spent on National Lottery games, including EuroMillions, is set aside for good causes. More than £40 billion has been raised since the National Lottery began, with over £30 million per week being added to the Good Causes Fund.
More than half a million awards have been granted to projects across the UK, and the figure keeps rising sharply each year. The funds collected are distributed by a number of bodies, covering four main categories – Sports, Arts, Heritage, and Health Education, Environment and Charitable Causes.
The money is split proportionally as set out by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport:
Österreichische Lotterien, which runs EuroMillions in Austria, has been sponsoring good causes under the motto of ‘good for Austria’ since 1986. Austria’s Olympic and Paralympic Committees have been backed by funds raised through lottery games in Austria. A range of other humanitarian and research projects have also benefited, while money has been raised to help the protection of pandas, lynx and bearded vultures.
The Belgian National Lottery is committed to helping various good causes and offers grants and sponsorships to a host of projects. A total of €185.3 million was made available for public service grants in 2016, split between 61.95% for humanitarian and social work, 27.44% for donations to the community, 6.5% for culture, 2.92% for sport and 1.19% for science.
Française des Jeux, the French National Lottery, is committed to developing athletes with sponsorship programmes, providing social support through sport and helping disabled people access sports. It achieves these aims through funds from games like EuroMillions, which are distributed by the lottery’s foundation. The company also sponsors the Française des Jeux professional cycling team, which was founded in 1997.
More than €5 billion has been raised for good causes since the Irish National Lottery began in 1987, and approximately 30% of the funds generated from games such as EuroMillions are donated to worthy projects. The money is distributed across the country, supporting local initiatives and larger organisations such as the CROCUS Centre for people with cancer, the Dyslexia Association and the Asthma Society.
The net profit on all Luxembourg lottery games, including EuroMillions, is donated to good causes in the fields of health, sport, culture, social issues and the environment. The Nationale Grande-Duchesse Charlotte is responsible for distributing the grants on behalf of the lottery and has awarded almost €220 million to date, with beneficiaries including the Luxembourg Red Cross, the National Cultural Fund.
The Portuguese Department of Games runs lotteries such as EuroMillions and donates the majority of net income to government departments who distribute the funds in the areas of health, sport, culture and social issues. Of the money provided for beneficiaries across Portugal and its islands, 28% is pledged to Santa Casa Misericordia de Lisboa, a charity dating from the 15th century which runs hospitals and other health centres, as well as supporting a wide range of other projects.
Loterias y Apuestas del Estado allocates its profits to an array of good causes devoted to social issues, sport, culture, education and the environment. Some of the charitable organisations to benefit from funds from EuroMillions and other lottery games are the Spanish Association Against Cancer, the Olympic Sports Association and San Ildefonso Primary School.
There are two official lottery operators in Switzerland — Swisslos and Loterie Romande. Swisslos supports national sports programmes such as the Olympic team and youth development in football, whilst also focusing on the German-speaking cantons of Switzerland and Ticino across sectors such as culture, sport, social issues and the environment. Loterie Romande provides support for good causes in the French-speaking cantons, benefiting the areas of sport, social action, education, health, culture, research, heritage, the environment and tourism.