A total of 165 people from a small village in Belgium have won big in the EuroMillions lottery, hitting the €143 million jackpot.
The winners, all residents of Olmen in the Antwerp province will each pocket around €860,000, a massive upturn on their €15 buy-in.
The villagers made a pact, deciding to form a syndicate and all chip to try their luck with the lottery.
National Lottery’s spokesperson Joke Vermoere called this the biggest group win ever in Belgium. “Their reactions ranged from stoicism to euphoria,” she added.
The spokesperson said that the lottery win is the “best Christmas present”.
“They all played together in the same newsagent in Olmen, where they each invested €15. It is not the first time that De Pershoek organises this kind of group pot, but it is the first time that they win so much,” she stated.
De Pershoek is the local newsagent in Olmen, and Wim Van Broekhoven, the owner, told Belgian radio that most of his customers could not believe it. According to him, he had to repeat the news of the win “five to six times” to the winners.
EuroMillions said, “The winning numbers for Tuesday December 6 were 12, 20, 25, 26 and 27, with Lucky Stars 8 and 12”
“There were more than 27 million entries purchased for the draw, but only one matched the full winning line.”
Each winners’ account will be credited with their portion of the €143 million prize since the amount is too large to be paid out in cash.
Nine European countries — France, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Austria, Portugal, Belgium, Ireland, Spain and Luxembourg — organise the EuroMillions jackpot.