Feb 4, 2006, 7:10 am
Three winning ticket-holders will share the 126 million British pounds (US$222 million) top prize in EuroMillions, the lottery held in nine European countries.
Two of the winning tickets were purchased in France and one in Portugal, according to unconfirmed results in an e-mailed statement by Camelot Group Plc, the lottery operator. The winning numbers were 9, 21, 30, 39, 50 and the Lucky Stars numbers were 1 and 3.
The payoff in today's draw swelled after no winners emerged from any lottery since Nov. 11. The jackpot lured would-be millionaires from across the region.
EuroMillions was created two years ago by the lotteries of France, the U.K. and Spain to increase revenue by creating bigger paydays. Revenue at the three companies that run the service has risen during the past two years, and the growth prompted Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland and Portugal to join the game in October 2004.
In most European countries, unlike the U.S., winnings aren't subject to income tax and the money is paid out immediately once the winning ticket is validated.
Powerball, an association of 30 state lotteries including Arizona, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, has a $180 million jackpot this week. U.S. lotteries are usually paid over a 20-year to 30- year period, or a winner can get cash immediately for only half the prize. Powerball lists the cash payment at $87.2 million this week. U.S. citizens are also subject to income taxes for lottery gains.
Andrew "Jack" Whittaker Jr. of Scott Depot, West Virginia, holds the record for an individual lottery win, getting all the numbers for the Powerball game on Dec. 24, 2002, and taking home a lump sum payment of $170 million, according to Guinness World Records.
In May 2000, Mega Millions, then called the Big Game, had the largest jackpot ever, of $363 million, which translated into a cash payout of $90.3 million for Larry Ross of Shelby Township, Michigan, and the same amount for Joe and Sue Kainz of Tower Lakes, north of Chicago.
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