Changes to the Euromillions Lottery: good news or bad?

Fri 2 Sep 2016 @ 12:39

From 24th September, Camelot are bringing in some big changes to the Euromillions lottery. They say it is time to “re-energise the game” and take it “to the next level”. So, what are these changes, and crucially, how will it affect the odds of winning a life-changing fortune?

The cost of playing will rise from £2 to £2.50 a line. The 50p increase is a mixed blessing. It comes with less chance of winning, but for those who do, the prizes will be bigger. Along with the price hike, there is an extra number to play with. The main numbers will still ask players to pick five numbers between one and 50, but there is another lucky star. The three lucky stars reduce the odds of scooping a jackpot from one in 117 million, as it is now, to one in 140 million.

Camelot are promising that jackpots will start at 14 million and that they will run twice as many worth 50 million every year. A new feature is going to be the European Millionaire Maker, which will start this October. 25 lucky winners will become millionaires overnight with this new game. As well as this, the UK is to be guaranteed two millionaires for every draw. This will create 208 freshly minted British millionaires each year. More frequent big “spectacular” promotions are also on the way, with prize money around £100 million.

Although Camelot say that it will result in bigger prizes; if the price hike and lengthening odds drive players away from the game, the amount of money going into the prizes might not be enough to hit those forecasts. But time will tell, whether people continue to play or not.

PIMS-SCA’s advice would have been to alter the game so that it gives players the choice on whether to pay a higher price for a higher jackpot, that way they would have avoided some of the twitter backlash. We would change the pricing so that there is a Euromillions Gold, Silver and Bronze option – plus this would fit in really well with the buzz around the Team GB Olympics success. The odds could still change, but players could pay £2 to try and win the amounts in a Bronze prize table, £2.25 for a Silver prize table and then £2.50 for Gold.

Something else that Camelot could have done but have always been reluctant to take advantage of, is to leverage the power of Prize Indemnity Insurance to boost the jackpot and secondary prize levels. By using insurance, they would not necessarily need to increase the cost of the ticket by such a significant amount and still be able to offer bigger jackpots to the customer.

With all the changes set to arrive, Camelot say that the overall odds for prize winning in the Euromillions lottery stands at one in 13. This is the same as the current odds. The bookmakers, Ladbrokes, are unimpressed with this statistic. They have put the odds of England footballer, Wayne Rooney, becoming UK Prime Minister at a higher likelihood than winning Euromillions. The announcement of the 50p price rise and the subsequent reduction in the chances of winning also caused a public outcry on Twitter, with many players threatening to play different lotteries in the future.

But despite around 70% of respondents in the UK ticket agency poll expressing their dislike towards the changes, Camelot are still set to start the new deal off with a bang. Friday 30th September will see a super draw night with a spectacular jackpot of £100 million.

While some are unhappy with the changes, there will be mega-money pay-outs and the chance to become a millionaire for those who continue to play and are lucky with their numbers.