National lottery jackpots in Northern Europe

What would you do if you won a massive jackpot in the lottery? Would you invest it? Or spend it? And what happens to the lucky few whose dreams of wealth are realized?

European lotteries, such as the Euro jackpot, feature several cash prize levels and can climb to high amounts before a winner surfaces. In this lotto a group of yellow balls featuring numbers on their surface are drawn. Players have to pick a series of numbers or use a quick pick feature that automatically chooses for them.

People routinely win lotteries in Europe, but what they do with their prizes can vary greatly. Some use the winnings wisely and go on to accomplish great things. Others see the money as a way to enhance a lifestyle for themselves, their family and other worthy causes. Others find that the lottery win can ruin their lives, as they embark on major spending sprees, often finding themselves worse off than before the win.

Famous winners

For Peter Lavery from Northern Ireland, his lottery win in 1996 only led to greater riches. At first it didn’t seem like this would happen. After his giant £10.2 million win, he went through a phase of buying cars and going on exotic holidays. Not to mention a mock Tudor house purchased in a classy part of Belfast.

Few would have predicted at this point that he would go on to triple his winnings, especially if they also took into account his self-confessed heavy drinking and inability to read, not to mention that he immediately took an extended 6-month leave from his bus driver job.

However, it wasn’t long before he felt a void in his life and decided to change his attitude towards his winnings. He has given away much of his wealth to worthy causes – although he won’t say how much or what they are – and has discovered in himself a propensity for smart business decisions. Today he rents out a series of properties. His most astonishing triumph is a whiskey distillery set up in Belfast’s jail, which turns out a great profit. “I’ve been lucky all of my life,” he modestly says about his achievements.

Roger Griffiths, on the other hand, a 2005 winner from Harrogate, went on a luxury-spending spree after winning £1.8 million that seemingly had no limits. He and his wife bought a Porsche and a Lexus and went on a series of posh holidays around the world. They quit their jobs. Then, as the money started to run out, they began to blame each other for overspending.

Now, their marriage has broken down, and the couple has no money left. Roger lives alone, looks much older than his age, and claims to have only £7 left in the bank. It is a long way from their former middle class life, before the lottery win.

Winning the jackpot is undoubtedly a great dream that is wished for by many, and the popularity of lotteries is only increasing. But when you win, what you do with it is vital. If you want the joy of the win to last a lifetime, it is probably best to retain some sense of higher purpose alongside the fun of spending.


Casino trends 2016

Millennials, the online generation, have by now definitely come to the fore, and with the offline generation falling further and further behind the times, they are definitely a’changing. The year 2016 could be the year to show exactly where the casino industry will change or what new direction it will take.

An assumption here is that the casinos will change, and it’s a fair one. The oldest of the online generation are in their 30s, so the offline generation may be dwindling. For the casino industry, this represents a very large problem because slots, their biggest money-maker does not attract the younger generation; you will rarely see young people feeding coins into a slot machine because they’ve got their magic smartphone instead, and if the casinos don’t adapt, then they could just fail altogether.

Something has to change so casinos can attract these ‘youngsters’ and now the question is how might they go about doing it?

Traditional vs. Modern

The oldest argument in history is, of course, Star Wars vs Star Trek, although we all know the answer. The other big argument is about the move or change regarding slots in particular, to more skill-based games with faster rewards. Whilst the millennials might be increasing in numbers, the baby boomers are still around and make up a hefty proportion of casino clientele. They are less concerned about skill and more concerned about the traditional slot machines. So the question for the casinos is whether to bring in the younger generation and risk alienating their current customers, or keep their current users happy with things remaining the way they are, but potentially lose when the millennials have world domination.

What is perhaps most likely is that casinos will begin introducing additional new skill-based games to try to draw in new players whilst still keeping the classics, which could be phased out in the future. One thing to note, however, is that whilst currently slots may be more traditional, casinos still have some skill-based games like poker and blackjack.

Attraction of Casino Resorts

Another thing that has been seen in casinos more recently is the rise in loyalty programs and more casinos being referred to as ‘casino resorts’. Essentially what is happening is that casinos have realised that people don’t always go there solely for the games, but also the atmosphere and the social feel. Thus the resort idea illustrates the globalisation of casinos not in location, but in terms of the areas where it operates – food, bars, hotels, all of which have been part of casinos for a while, but they are nowadays being promoted to be more than just an accompaniment to the slots.

The loyalty programs also help keep customers returning, but also help provide information to the casino about customer habits so the casino can improve. Although this information is readily available, currently few casinos have yet fully looked into using this data.

Ultimately the trend for the year will be casinos making the resolution to try and plan for millennial domination, but it probably won’t be too drastic in the immediate future; the baby boomers aren’t gone yet, not by a long way.


Casino Tricks to Keep the Game on


Online casino owners and operators are no dummies when it comes to methods and means to bring players through their “doors” and keep them playing at their establishments. The most well-known “trick” at all brick-and-mortar casinos is the lack of clocks.


The idea here is that we tend to lose track of time when we are engaged in an entertaining activity. We have all experienced this sense of time drifting by without us being aware of it. With no clocks adorning casino walls, it is not difficult to simply let time slip away deep into the night or early morning without reminding us of tasks we need. Dealers at the brick and mortar casinos often don’t give out the time and are instructed not to wear a watch.


On-line casinos don’t have the no-clock advantage, as most computers have a built-in clock that sends out the time when you are playing at an online casino.


Attract the Player


So, what are some of the ways in which online casinos draw us in and keep us engaged? You will notice online casinos often mimic the real casino experience with music, flashing lights, and attractive “free” offers to entice players. Often sites will flash on their home screens a sampling of the larger prizes being offered at some of their progressive games.


This is a big draw to most players, as almost anyone would like to think that with a relatively small bet they have the chance to win thousands! Some online casinos also offer players the opportunity to play for free or provide bonuses for money spent. These offers are a good way for casinos to attract new players and to keep the regular players playing.


Everybody Wins


Another way online casinos attract and keep players is through making sure nearly everyone wins something. Nothing gets a gambler’s adrenaline pumping like a near big win, which next to actually winning, provides a thrill and makes us think we have taken money from the casino. But casino operators are not stupid, and realize if they gave out money to everyone who almost won, they would not be in business long. So casino games, whether a table or machine, are designed to pay-out small wins in the short run, but eventually take more from you in the long run. How many times have you played a slot machine that constantly makes small pay-outs while always being one cherry or car or whatever away from the big jackpot? Players sometimes get the impression they are winning, but the casino always has the edge.


That being said, it doesn’t mean you will lose all the time, or that you won’t ever win one of those big prizes. Ask the Swedish man, who in 2013, had an extra special Christmas when he won over four million pounds playing an online slot game called Arabian Nights by Net Entertainment at an online casino. At the time, the man became the second largest inner the online casino had ever seen.

And perhaps most importantly of all, the fact you might not win a big jackpot doesn’t mean you won’t have a good time. It’s that fun and dreams of that big jackpot win that keeps players coming back.