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EuroMillions lottery launches; jackpots 'may top £50m'

Feb 5, 2004, 6:18 am

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A new European lottery with a possible jackpot of £50 million or more has been launched.

EuroMillions will link the UK's National Lottery to equivalent games in France and Spain.

The tickets will go on sale in the UK on Saturday February 7, priced £1.50, for the first draw on Friday February 13. Camelot, operator of the National Lottery, estimate the first jackpot will be £10 million, rising to an average of around £14 million. With rollovers, the big prize could reach £50 million or more, the company said at the launch of the game, in London.

The EuroMillions draw will be shown on Sky One at 9pm every Friday - the first time a National Lottery draw has been broadcast on a commercial television network.

Camelot says the overall chance of winning a prize on EuroMillions is 1 in 24. There will also be a greater range of prizes than any other National Lottery draw.

To win the jackpot, players need to match five main numbers from 1 to 50 - and 2 Lucky Star numbers from 1 to 9.

Importantly, says Camelot, all the money raised for good causes from ticket sales in the UK will stay in the country.

Dianne Thompson, chief executive of Camelot, said: "EuroMillions has been specifically designed to offer growing jackpots which will really capture the public imagination - and of course, the greater number of players, the bigger the jackpot.

"We are launching EuroMillions on the back of a year of rock solid National Lottery sales - in excess of £85 million a week. EuroMillions is a great addition to our portfolio, a really exciting game which will offer players a bigger range of prizes, generate significant incremental sales and benefit communities up and down the UK."

The idea for a European lottery was first developed by Camelot in late 1999. The EuroMillions game, a joint venture between Camelot, Francaise des Jeux of France and Loterias y Apuestas del Estado of Spain, started to take shape in September 2001.

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