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EuroMillions Taxes vs Other Lotteries

EuroMillions offers some of the largest jackpots in the world, and the fact that prizes are not taxed in six of the nine countries makes it stand out even more in comparison with some of the other big lotteries.

American games such as Powerball and Mega Millions, for example, have tax obligations at both a state and federal level, so although these games regularly offer the biggest jackpots out of any lottery in the world, the payouts can end up significantly lower than the pre-draw estimate.

New Yorkers suffer heavier taxes than anyone else in the U.S. In August 2018, one player from the state won a Powerball jackpot advertised at $245.6 million, but they ended up walking away with a significantly lower sum. They opted to take a cash lump sum of $147 million, which worked out as a final payout of $99.4 million – around 40% of the advertised jackpot – after taxes had been deducted.

In EuroMillions, you will be given the specified amount with no deductions if you play in a country which does not tax winnings, such as the UK. The UK player who anonymously claimed £121 million in April 2018, for example, received a much larger payout than the $245 million Powerball winner, even though at first glance it would seem they had not won as much.

Good Causes by Country

View information about Good Causes for the following EuroMillions countries:

UK

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:

Austria

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.

Belgium

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.

France

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.

Ireland

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.

Luxembourg

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.

Portugal

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.

Spain

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.

Switzerland

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.

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.

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