Lottery games in Europe can normally be played in one of two ways. The first is by purchasing lottery tickets from an authorised offline retail outlet, and the second is by purchasing tickets online. The offline lottery retail outlets tend to be existing businesses (such as convenience stores, supermarkets, newsagents, fuel stations, and so on) that offer lottery tickets in addition to their main range of products. The advantages for a retail business also offering lottery tickets are that it gives the business an additional stream of income and also encourages more people into its premises. The chief advantage for lottery players is that they have a wide range of convenient places from which they can buy tickets as they go about their daily lives.
In most lotteries in Europe, tickets purchased offline are not associated with the identity of the player, and a player can only claim a prize by producing the winning ticket within a certain time frame. If the ticket is lost or stolen, or a claim is not made within the specified period, the original player will be unable to claim any prize at all, and this is a rule that has cost many players lottery jackpots worth millions.
European Lottery Tickets Online
As well as being even more convenient, buying European lottery tickets online is also safer. No paper ticket is issued, so instead a ‘virtual’ ticket is associated with the identity of the player, and this means that the ticket cannot be lost or stolen. The claims deadlines still apply to online players, but winning lottery players are notified of their win by email so that they can make any claim required long before the allowed time frame expires. Even better, fairly modest wins are usually processed automatically on behalf of the online player, so formal claims are only required when a substantial prize has been won.
Lotteries in Europe tend to pay out their jackpots in full (as opposed to in a series of instalments) and in many European countries the jackpot winnings are not taxable. This means that someone who wins a Lotto jackpot of £7,000,000 in the UK, for example, would receive all £7,000,000 in one go and not have to pay a penny in tax. Of course, it is up to each individual player to check the local tax rules for themselves, but overall European lottery winners tend to fare quite well in respect to taxation.
As you would expect, many countries throughout Europe have their own national lottery games (the Lotto in the UK, SuperEnalotto in Italy, and so on), but the biggest European game in terms of the number of participants is EuroMillions. Nine countries participate in EuroMillions, and those are: Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. More information on this game can be found on our dedicated EuroMillions page. For more information about this lottery vist the EuroMillions page.
Lottery winners in Europe usually have the option of going public with the story of their win (via a formal press conference) or remaining anonymous. A decision to remain anonymous does not prevent members of the press from discovering who the jackpot winners are and publishing that information, but it obviously makes doing so more difficult.