Millions of people play the lottery in the hopes of winning it big. The pot that reaches hundreds of millions after a series of no-winner draws massive attention because of its life-changing jackpot amounts. The National Lottery celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2014 and since the first draw in 1994, the Lotto has made 3,700 new millionaires and doled out an impeccable £53 billion in prize money. The largest lottery single-ticket win to date was won in July 2011 by Colin and Chris Weir. The couple hailing for Largs in Ayrshire became Europe’s biggest lottery winners after potting a massive £161.653 million (EUR185 million/US$260 million) prize. The record-breaking jackpot, not purchased through online lottery play, was won in the pan-European EuroMillions in GBP currency in the United Kingdom.

The story of the Weir’s couple

The life-changing win catapulted the psychiatric nurse Mrs. Weir, 55, and production professional Mr. Weir, 64, to becoming one of the most wealthy couples in Europe. In the beginning, the couple reportedly went into hiding after news of their win became public. The lucky couple received tons of mail begging for help, cash, donations and feared for their safety.

« Reports indicate that since the Weir’s win in 2011, the couple has been very generous with their money. »

Reports indicate that since the Weir’s win in 2011, the couple has been very generous with their money. Aside from sharing their wealth with family and friends, the Weirs have donated to local football teams, provided support for individuals needing medical attention and donated large sums of their winnings to charitable institutions. Specifically, the EuroMillions lottery winners have donated an estimated £2.5 million to Yes Scotland, a pro-independence campaign. In a statement, the Weirs shared that they are supporters of independence and willingly gave the money to bring about more discussion and debate on Scottish independence.

Their legacy

Following the Weirs the top 5 winners in Britain include Adrian and Gillian Bayford won £148,656,000 in August 2011. The third biggest jackpot was to the amount of £113,019,926 by a winner who refused to be known in the public. The fourth win was in 2014 by Neil Trotter who took in £107,932,603.20 on the EuroMillions Lottery. Rounding up the top 5, Dave and Angela Dawes were the lucky winners of £101,203,600.70 in October 2011 on their third time to play the lottery.

Lottery jackpot wins are always a cause for celebration. Typically, as the pot rises through consecutive win-less draws, more and more people try their luck at winning the jackpot effectively creating more excitement. It’s important to note that winners of the biggest lottery prizes don’t always come from the games that offered the biggest jackpot. There are times when large prizes are split among the number of players that managed to get the winning digits. Each winner opts to use their jackpot prize in different ways. Typically they seek to expand their lifestyle through upgrades in homes and splurge on items like cars and trips while others lead more frugal lives and opt for peace and quiet. With the wealth of online lottery games available online, players can participate in a variety of games that can increase their chances of winning. While most wins can be chalked up to pure luck, there are strategies you can employ to increase your chances of making it big.