The pan-European lottery Euromillions is promising a record payout tonight with the jackpot fund at a maximum 190-million euros.
As there was no outright winner earlier in the week, the rules state that the cash will be shared out even if no-one picks the five winning numbers plus the two lucky stars.
One hopeful contestant in Brussels, Beatrice Henman was already planning for a win: “First, I would leave Belgium with my grandchildren, children and my husband. We’d move to a desert island. I’d buy a desert island!”
There has been euro-fever in Spain too, and perhaps no wonder. The country is in dire financial straits, and more than one in four of the workforce doesn’t have a job.
In Madrid, Maximo Marti said: “I think we’re buying more lottery tickets now to see if we get lucky and escape this crisis. It might seem a bit of a paradox, but the worse the crisis, the more we gamble.”
In France, not everyone had their eye on the top prize.
Parisian Benoit Kabirian said: “I hope I don’t win 190-million euros, but I would like to win two or three million and I hope others can win similar amounts, because 190-million for just one person is too much.”
Also in Paris, legal assistant Miriam Romli was philosophical: “They say ‘he who dares wins’, so we’re more tempted to play, more tempted to dream, and without dreams you don’t go anywhere.”