"I had just enough to fill a Loto grid" the story of how a man won of the biggest French lotto jackpots in YEARS and how he did it.
In 2021 La Française des Jeux (FDJ) French lottery operator awarded 26 million euros to the player who won the Loto record jackpot on 11th September. This resident in the west of France had only a few euros left in his online player account and yet, he achieved a feat not seen since the game launched in 1976. What did he do with this money and what was the plan? On this anniversary of his big win, we tell you his story.
Biggest Ever: The Loto winnings record is €30 million, won on the 4th of December 2021. The winner lives in the northwest of France.
The following list shows the five largest French Lotto wins in history (1997, 2011, 2014 & 2021)
To win the 26 million euros in Loto France you had to play the following numbers: 3, 5, 15, 33, 49, and 8. With this combination, a single player won an exceptional jackpot of 26 million euros on Saturday 11th September 2021 after twelve consecutive draws without a winner. At the time it was the biggest jackpot since the game was launched in 1976. (Superceded by the €30M win in December 2021)
This draw was one of six Loto France events dedicated to preserving French culture and heritage through which players can contribute to the preservation of French monuments under threat. The funds were going to help in the restoration of valuable architecture.
The biggest Lotto winner in history played on the Internet. The previous record jackpot before this amounted to €24,000,000 euros and was won in the Paris region of Sarcelles in June 2011.
Although the winner chose to stay anonymous under French Lottery optional rules for big winners, we do know a little more about his mode of play one year on. According to the Lottery Operator Française des Jeux (FDJ), before his win, he was a regular player for several years online with his lottery account which validates games online and stores your tickets digitally, especially helpful for large jackpots.
The player remembered he only had a few euros left in his player account.
"I had just enough to fill a line for the Saturday evening draw,".
No manual numbers: this player tried his luck with a Quick Pick to try his luck.
The day after the draw, he did not realize that he was the big jackpot winner. It was only when the AfterSales department at the FDJ called him that he realized he had won a record sum of 26 million euros.
"I remained very calm yet also still speechless", he told the FDJ.
Even if money doesn't buy happiness, it contributes greatly to it: so what happened to this player that scooped the big win in the west of France?
"I never lacked for anything but I didn't take advantage of all that life had to offer me".
Since then they’ve planned to enjoy a few vacations, some fine dining and most importantly a new car. But did he ever stop working?
"This year, I was just thinking that a professional change would do me good," the winner said in response. He also confided that he won't stop playing anytime soon. "I play for fun. So that's no reason to stop (...) Now that I've won once, I say to myself why not twice? At least, I know that it can really happen"
Would you stop at one jackpot? Let us know what you would do if you became a millionaire overnight? Have you played Loto France or won a lottery? We’d like to hear from you in our winners stories!