450,000 people in Belgium usually take part in a routine draw, but on special occasions, when there is a roll-over jackpot this can rise to 600,000 punters. When the draw occurs on Friday 13th the number of people taking part in Belgium can easily reach 800,000.
Taking part is popular and though nobody won the jackpot on Friday night six winners went home with over 1,385,000 euros in winnings. The jackpot has now reached its ceiling of 200 million euros. This means that extra cash that would have been added to the jackpot for the next draw will be added to other punters’ winnings!
But not everybody is happy with the furore EuroMillions creates. At the Flemish centre of expertise for alcohol and other drugs, VAD for short, there is concern: all the interest being created because of the size of the winnings only encourages punters who shouldn’t really be taking part and suffer a gambling addiction.
200 million euros is an incredible sum. Joke Vermoere of EuroMillions partner National Lottery says that her organisation has noticed that many people want to dole out cash when they win the jackpot. Friends and relatives can but hope that somebody they know comes good on 8 December. Apparently, charities often benefit too.
The VAD’s Kathleen Peleman warns that lottery organisations often present unrealistic impressions of people’s winning chances. The number of people who lost and how much they lost on average isn’t mentioned!
“Taking part in EuroMillions once is relatively innocent, but once you are online – and that’s where it’s at nowadays – you are enticed from one game to another and then the risk of addiction grows exponentially.”