A group of 165 residents from the village of Olmen in the Antwerp province won almost €143 million with the Euromillions lottery game on Tuesday, the National Lottery confirmed.
On Tuesday evening it was announced that the Euromillions pot of €142,897,164 had been won in Belgium, with the correct numbers (12, 20, 25, 26 and 27) and the correct stars (8 and 12). Now, it was confirmed that the money will go to a group pot in Olmen.
"They all played together in the same newsagent in Olmen, where they each invested €15," Joke Vermoere, spokesperson for the National Lottery, told De Morgen. "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."
As with many newsagents, regular customers added €15 for a Multi-game form, allowing players to tick more numbers than with another chance slot. Splitting the winnings equally, all 165 players will receive about €900,000. If the winners want to, they can receive guidance on how to deal with their win from the National Lottery.
Despite the fact that all participants went home with a copy of the ticket, there is only one unique ticket, Vermoere said. "Wim, the owner of the newsagent, will come to our head office in Brussels with it. He must then arrange the payment through the banks of the winners. Everything has been done very neatly and correctly."
The customers still do not believe it, said Wim Van Broekhoven, the owner of the De Pershoek newsagent in Olmen. "I often had to repeat it five to six times," he said on Flemish radio.
"It is very hectic here, but they are very grateful that it has now worked," he said. "When they come to register, they of course dream of winning. Most people who have children will help their children in these difficult times, I think. Or go on holiday with them."
Euromillions is organised in nine European countries: Belgium, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg.