16 April 2015

Which one is better?

EuroMillions or Eurojackpot?

As an Irish Lottoland player you may have noticed several mentions of a lottery called Eurojackpot on our site and wondered what it is. EuroJackpot, like EuroMillions, is a multi-national European lottery – indeed there are many comparisons that can be drawn between the two.


In this article we're going to focus not just on these similarities, but also the differences between both lotteries and try to determine which lottery is the best.

EuroMillions or Eurojackpot?

How are EuroJackpot and EuroMillions similar?

EuroJackpot was specifically developed based on the success of EuroMillions (which was based itself on the format of American super lottery MegaMillions.) Both lotteries use two drums of lottery balls for their draws, one filled with ‘normal’ lotto balls and one with ‘special’ lotto balls, called ‘Star numbers’ for EuroMillions and ‘Euro Numbers’ for EuroJackpot.

Both EuroMillions and Eurojackpot cost €2 per line to play. Both Eurojackpot and EuroMillions pool the ticket sales from all participating countries to create a combined jackpot which is far greater than you’ll find with our domestic Lotto.

EuroMillions and Eurojackpot both follow a ‘lotto’ format, meaning that if the grand prize isn’t won it will rollover to subsequent draws until a lucky ticket is found or it hits a maximum level. The top prize money is distributed in equal shares between winning ticket holders.

How are Eurojackpot and EuroMillions different?

Despite the similarities the two lotteries share a number of important differences. The most obvious one is that EuroMillions generally offers much bigger prizes – though that's not always the case, and it's certainly not the case this week!

The EuroMillions minimum jackpot is €15 million compared to just €10 million for EuroJackpot. EuroMillions' top jackpot is capped at €190 million after which point the money will "roll down" to lower prize tiers. EuroJackpot's maximum jackpot is capped at just €60 million. EuroMillions' second tier prizes are also higher than EuroJackpot and EuroMillions offers a total of 13 prize tiers compared to just 12 for EuroJackpot.

In pure monetary terms, therefore, EuroMillions offers much more. As there are more prize tiers you also have better odds of winning any prize – 13:1 versus 35:1 for EuroJackpot. The trade-off, however, is that Eurojackpot has better odds of winning both in terms of the jackpot itself and for other higher prize tiers. The odds of a EuroMillions jackpot win, for example, are 1 in 116,531,800 whereas with EuroJackpot it's 1 in 95,344,200, a difference of more than twenty million in your favour with EuroJackpot.

EuroJackpot's smaller tier prizes also tend to be higher since they are based on a percentage of ticket sales rather than set levels like EuroMillions. In general, EuroMillions is much more ‘top heavy’, distributing the vast majority of the prize pool to a few lucky ticket holders while EuroJackpot pays out big prizes to more players. Indeed EuroJackpot has been purposely designed with this in mind.

Europe’s two favourite lotteries also form two competing blocs of participating countries with Spain being the only nation to participate in both. EuroMillions' player base is primarily in the UK, France and Spain, supported by smaller countries such as Ireland as well as Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Portugal and tiny Luxembourg.  In contrast Eurojackpot’s primary player pool comes from Scandinavia (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland) and Germany with Spain and Italy also significant contributors bolstered by the Netherlands, Croatia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic. 

Although EuroJackpot is available to play in more countries, EuroMillions still has many more actual players although this is steadily changing as Eurojackpot continues to quickly increase its potential player pool. (Which, in turn, should lead to even bigger jackpots in the future.)

The main EuroMillions and Eurojackpot draw takes place on Friday evenings however EuroMillions also has a draw on Tuesday nights, meaning twice as many chances to play and win. EuroMillions also has a Superdraw several times a year when the jackpot is boosted to €100 million no matter what it is currently at. If this money isn’t won the jackpot then rolls over as usual, meaning it is almost guaranteed that each year there will always be a few jackpots that exceed €100 million.

Which lottery is better – Eurojackpot or EuroMillions?

It's an argument as old as history itself – the Stones or the Beatles, Coke versus Pepsi, Blur or Oasis, PC versus Mac, Android versus iPhone… For us in the lottery industry, however, it's all about EuroJackpot and EuroMillions.

As you've seen there are many core similarities but also many striking differences so here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of both Euro lotteries.


Pros: bigger maximum and minimum prizes; 2 draws per week, maximum jackpot of €190 million plus regular Superdraws.

Cons: less chances of winning.


Pros: better chances of winning, smaller prize tiers tend to be bigger; growing much faster than EuroMillions.

Cons: smaller minimum and maximum jackpots; only 1 draw per week, no Superdraws or similar promotions.

Looking at the two side by side it’s easy to see why EuroMillions is still Europe’s best selling lotto. However at Lottoland there is no need to choose between the two!

The best way to play EuroMillions and Eurojackpot

Because Lottoland gives you access to both EuroMillions and Eurojackpot smart lottery players know that the best way to play the lottery each Friday is to get the best of both worlds. More often than not EuroMillions is going to give you bigger jackpots so it’s most likely the one you’ll want to check first.  However if you want to optimize your lottery winnings you should always take a look at how Eurojackpot is doing.  Under new rules implemented last year the jackpots are getting larger and larger, with 2 record breaking prizes in 2014.

So it’s no longer that uncommon for Eurojackpot to have a higher jackpot than EuroMillions, particularly after a win whereby the EuroMillions jackpot reverts to €15 million. 

When you have a EuroJackpot rollover which is larger than EuroMillions – as the case this Friday – you can take advantage of a bigger prize as well as better odds of winning! 

So, in order to determine which lottery is the best you need to compare the jackpots of each every Friday, something which is becoming increasingly common amongst our veteran lotto players.

This Friday's EuroMillions jackpot is worth €31 million compared with €51 million for EuroJackpot – so it's a full €20 million higher with better odds to boot. The Lotto jackpot, meanwhile, is only €3 million (only three million he says!) so, if you haven't tried your hand at EuroJackpot yet there's never been a better time to play! The draw takes place tomorrow night at 9pm so don't miss out on your chance to win €51 million – try EuroJackpot now!