February 2004 will go down in history as the month that changed Europe and the month that changed the world. Facebook and EuroMillions both took close to a decade to materialise, both boast impressive numbers and both celebrated their 10th anniversaries in February 2014.
Ten years ago, the EuroMillions lottery held its inaugural draw. It was Friday, 13th February 2004, a day that many consider to be unlucky, but it became the first of many Fridays to create lotto winners and lottery multi-millionaires, none of whom have any doubt as to their luck and fortune. As they are now, the first EuroMillions winning numbers were selected in Paris, which is quite apt as the French are known for facing superstition head on (France Loto actually holds special draws with inflated prizes every Friday the 13th).
The history of Europe’s premier lottery actually goes back a further ten years – the original plan was for it to coincide with the release of the Euro, Europe’s (almost) unified currency, in 1994. As with most great things, EuroMillions took a little longer than expected to come to fruition, but eventually the national lottery organisations of France, Spain and the UK (Francaise des Jeux, Loterias y Apuestas des Estad and Camelot on behalf of the UK National Lottery) pulled it off! By the end of 2004, six further participating countries (Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg and Switzerland) joined the EuroMillions club, and Europe was in the throes of lottery fever!
At the beginning of February, Facebook celebrated its own ten year anniversary in style, with an automated look-back video service offered to each of its billion plus members – the idea, if not the individual videos, understandably went viral very quickly.
Just as EuroMillions was not the first lottery in Europe, Facebook was not the first social network on the web (think MySpace, Bebo, WAYN (Where Are You Now)). Just as EuroMillions was built on a decade of groundwork, the foundations for Facebook started close to a decade earlier, when the internet was commercialised, making the very idea of a multi-national social network a dream that could be dreamt. And just as EuroMillions has affected the lives of a whole continent, Facebook has enjoyed widespread popularity.
Along their incredible journeys, both Facebook and EuroMillions have enjoyed passing certain milestones:
- Having been exclusive to Ivy League schools, then to university students only, in September 2006, anyone with an email was able to sign up for a Facebook account.
- In November 2009, the UK National Lottery introduced the EuroMillions UK Millionaire Raffle, where a randomly generated and selected 9-digit alphanumeric code guarantees a British millionaire will be made alongside every EuroMillions draw, independent of whether the EuroMillions jackpot is won or rolls over.
- EuroMillions then held its first Tuesday draw in May 2011, becoming a twice-weekly lottery, which signified the Euro Lottery’s success and popularity.
- One year later, Facebook enjoyed its IPO (Initial Public Offering), attracting a valuation of $104 billion dollars.
- In August 2012, the current EuroMillions jackpot cap €190,000,000 was won by the Bayfords of Surrey, England. In the process, the current European lottery jackpot record was set.
- In October 2012, Facebook celebrated one billion registered users, establishing itself as the Social Network of choice.
Although it started as an exclusive unknown, Facebook is now famous and enjoyed the world over. Thanks to theLotter, lottery fans outside the nine participating countries can play EuroMillions online and buy official lottery tickets online wherever they may be.
Congratulations to Facebook and EuroMillions and good luck to all theLotter players looking to win their euro lottery prizes this Friday’s anniversary draw!