|The winner of the first Euro-Lottery draw picked up $19 million on Friday – a day which is regarded as bad luck. It was the first ever trans-national lottery draw for punters in France, Britain and Spain.|
The launch of the weekly 'Euro Millions' draw took place in Paris Friday night, with the results broadcast later on television in the three countries.
The winning numbers were 16, 29, 32, 36, 41. The Lucky Star numbers were 7 and 9.
The winning ticket was bought in the central French town of Bourges, but no details were of his or her identity was available.
The lottery operators, La Francaise des Jeux (FDJ), Loterias y Apuestas del Estado and the UK’s Camelot were hoping for a wave of late coupon sales on a date which is considered continental lucky in most of continental Europe, but distinctly inauspicious in the UK. In France the FDJ’s average Friday turnover is three times higher on a 13th of the month.
Tickets cost two euros ($2.56) or £1.50 in the UK. Punters choose five from 50 numbers and two from nine stars. The odds of winning the minimum prize of ten euros are one in 24, and the jackpot carries over to the next week if there is no winner.
The potential player pool of 90 million punters means greater chances of big wins, the operators say. They are in sounding out other European countries with a view to extending the draw further afield.
The benchmark for Euro Millions is the massive jackpots paid out in Canada's Super 7 or Powerball-the US mega draw, which had a $363 million jackpot winner in May 2000. Statisticians have shown that the higher the jackpot, the more the public is tempted to play.
State treasuries will take a big slice of the turnover in taxes. In France, gambling is taxed at 27 percent.