You have probably heard of the EuroMillions lottery, but the history of international lotteries in Europe doesn’t end there. There is also the Eurojackpot, the Italian SuperEnalotto, the Spanish El Gordo and so on. Therefore, there are many captivating stories of Euro lottery winners that are worth telling. Of course, if you want to get the chance to live them, the best lottery sites await you, but for now, let’s explore the biggest EU jackpots and more.
Lotteries in Europe: History & Interesting Facts
Before we dive into the biggest wins among winners of the Euro lottery, let’s first examine how these games of chance began in Europe. Naturally, the history of country-based lotteries dates to the ancient civilisations of Rome and Greece. Later, they were reintroduced in Europe as means of raising funds for charity. However, it wasn’t until the 20th century that multinational lotteries became a thing because of increased cooperation and integration between EU countries.
If you’re curious about the lottery history over the ages, we have a detailed blog. However, in this article, we’ll focus on the major lottery events that occurred in the 20th century in Europe. Therefore, in the table below, we’ve outlined some milestones that have brought European international lotteries where they are today:
- 📜 1956 – The first multinational lottery in Europe – Loterie Romande, was launched by a group of European countries, including Belgium, France, West Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
- 💶 1985 – The first EuroMillions lottery is held, with the participation of three European countries: France, Spain and the UK.
- 🌐 1994 – The first internet-based lottery in the world is launched, allowing players to buy tickets online.
- 📈 2004 – The EuroMillions lottery is expanded to include more European countries, such as Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland.
- 📅 2012 – The first Eurojackpot lottery is held, with the participation of several European countries, including Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.
- 🏆 2016 – The EuroMillions lottery undergoes a major change, with the introduction of more frequent ‘Superdraws’ and an increase in the maximum jackpot to €190 million.
- 📉 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic leads to a decrease in lottery sales across Europe, with many lotteries suspending draws and reducing jackpots in response to the economic downturn.
As you can tell, international lotteries across Europe are still developing, and there are even recent events like the COVID-19 pandemic that are affecting its course. We are witnessing history unfold before our eyes, and if you’re a lottery player, it’s key that you stay up to date with the latest news. We can help you do that, but let’s first make sure you know which EU lotteries you need to look out for in the next section.
The Best European Lotteries
Several popular lotteries in Europe offer international access to players. The biggest one that most people have heard of is the EuroMillions. However, as we mentioned, it’s not the only one. European players have more options than they realise. So, below, we’ve highlighted the best international lotteries in Europe and which countries they can be played from.
- EuroMillions: This is a popular lottery game played across several European countries, including the UK, France, Spain and Austria.
- Eurojackpot: Another popular lottery game played in several European countries, including Germany, Finland, Italy and Slovenia.
- Vikinglotto: This lottery game is played in several Nordic and Baltic countries, including Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
- SuperEnalotto: This is an Italian lottery game that is known for offering some of the biggest jackpots in Europe. It’s played across Italy, and players from other countries can also participate through online lottery services.
- La Primitiva: This is a Spanish lottery game that has been around since 1763. It’s played across Spain, but once again, thanks to the power of the Internet, players from other countries can join as well.
It’s important to note that even if they are classified as international lotteries, it doesn’t mean they are available in all European countries. The rules and regulations may vary depending on the country, so it’s always a good idea to check with the lottery operator in your country for more information on how to play and claim prizes.
Popular European Lottery Winners – From Rags to Riches
Now that you know what are the biggest international lotteries that originated in European countries, it’s time to dive into the incredible stories of the most popular European lottery winners. Just keep in mind that these are not necessarily the biggest lotto wins ever because it’s limited to Europe, and anonymous winners have been excluded.
|🏅 European Lottery Winner||💰 Prize Details|
|Amadou Gillen||€1.5 million – Spanish Christmas Lottery, 2018|
|Michael Carroll||€10.9 million – UK National Lottery, 2002|
|Neil Trotter||€121 million – EuroMillions, 2014|
These may not be among the biggest lottery winners in the UK, yet they made this list because of the inspirational stories they carry. If you’re a frequent player, you may even remember their journeys, which were covered by news outlets worldwide. Nevertheless, their wins were also not small, so keep reading to find out how they used the money to make a difference.
Amadou Gillen – A Christmas Wish Come True
We’ve all heard of the magic of Christmas when it comes to granting wishes. However, among Euro lottery winners, the person that was granted the biggest Christmas wonder is Amadou Gillen. In 2018, this 21-year-old refugee from Gambia won a €1.5 million jackpot in the Spanish Christmas Lottery. He had fled his home country in search of a better life and was living in a refugee camp in Spain when he bought the winning ticket.
|Winner Name||Age||Lottery||Jackpot Won|
|Amadou Gillen||26||Spanish Christmas Lottery in 2018||€1.5 million|
Amadou bought the winning ticket at a gas station in the Spanish city of San Roque. He was working as a street vendor selling phone chargers and other accessories, but this money improved his life and allowed him to pursue his dreams. Nowadays, he has become a role model for other refugees and immigrants who dream of finding success in their new homes.
Michael Carroll – From the King of Chavs to a Coal Miner
When discussing Euro lottery UK winners, we often come across glorified stories of riches. However, the journey can often be a lot darker, as with the case of Michael Carroll, who lost it all after winning around €10 million in the UK National Lottery in 2002. After hitting the jackpot, Michael started living a life of drugs and crime, which soon left him broke. However, the lesson the self-proclaimed ‘King of Chavs’ learned can be useful to us all.
|Winner Name||Age||Lottery||Jackpot Won|
|Michael Carroll||40||UK National Lottery in 2002||€10.9 million|
Winning a European lottery jackpot of this size can have a lot of negative effects on the psyche of a person, so cautionary stories like the one of Michael Carroll are common. However, there is also some light at the end of the tunnel because now Michael is living the humble life of a coal miner and has stated that if he won again, he would continue to work. His story carries many tough lessons, yet it’s certainly worth sharing.
Neil Trotter – A Millionaire Mechanic
Finally, we have the inspiring story of Neil Trotter, who used to work as a mechanic and was struggling to make ends meet. But one day in 2014, everything changed, as he was now the winner of a European lottery jackpot of €121 million. Of course, Neil spent some of his winnings on expensive cars, exotic vacations and other extravagant purchases. However, he also donated £1 million to the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, which had helped his father during his battle with cancer.
|Winner Name||Age||Lottery||Jackpot Won|
|Neil Trotter||48||EuroMillions in 2014||€121 million|
Furthermore, Neil also set up a charity foundation to support local causes in his community and has always emphasised the importance of responsible spending and financial planning. According to him, the best advice European lottery winners can get is the importance of guidance from financial professionals and above all, to use their wealth to help others.
Biggest European Lottery Jackpots
You’re almost at the end of this article, and we hope that you found these popular ‘Rags to Riches’ stories interesting. However, before you continue exploring the rest of our useful gambling blog, let’s go over the biggest European lottery jackpots and the lucky winners. They might not have the most buzz-worthy stories, but the amounts they won are worth nothing.
|€371.1m||SuperEnalotto||Italy||A win split between 90 players||16 February 2023|
|€230.0m||EuroMillions||United Kingdom||1||19 July 2022|
|€209.1m||SuperEnalotto||Italy||1||13 August 2019|
|3||3 February 2006|
|€177.7m||SuperEnalotto||Italy||1||30 October 2010|
|€163.5m||SuperEnalotto||Italy||1||27 October 2016|
|€147.8m||SuperEnalotto||Italy||1||22 August 2009|
|€129.8m||EuroMillions||United Kingdom||1||8 October 2010|
|2||12 February 2010|
|€126.2m||EuroMillions||Spain||1||8 May 2009|
As you can see, the SuperEnalotto has given out the biggest prize in Europe so far. However, the jackpot was split between 90 players. The stories of European lottery winners we shared with you are about people who won impressive sums on their own. Nevertheless, some of them still shared their money with people who needed help, and that’s something worth admiring.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve reached the end of this informative blog on the most popular European lottery winners, and we hope you got all the information you were looking for. However, if something is unclear, we have prepared some frequently asked questions. Check them out below if you want to find more useful information.