UK National Lottery
The UK National Lottery was launched in November 1994 to give players the chance to win life-changing prizes. Since then UK Lotto has undergone a number of changes including the addition of a Wednesday draw in February 1997 and the introduction of the Lotto Raffle in October 2013.
How to Play
To play the game, choose six numbers from a selection of 1 to 49 and if all six match the main balls drawn on the night you win the jackpot! If you're struggling to pick your own numbers you can also opt for a Lucky Dip which randomly selects a set for you to play with.
UK Lotto starting jackpots vary: the minimum for a Wednesday draw is £2.5 million and Saturday's start at £5 million. If two or more players match all six main numbers to win the jackpot then the top prize is shared equally between the winners, but if there are no jackpot winners then the prize money is rolled over to the next draw. Rollovers can occur a maximum number of four times – if by the end of the fifth draw there are still no Match 6 winners then the jackpot is rolled down and shared equally between players in the next winning prize tier.
Living Outside the UK?
If you don't live in the UK, don't worry, you can use the lottery ticket concierge service to buy your tickets by clicking the link above. You get a scan of the ticket as proof that it has been bought for you.
UK Lotto Prizes
The UK National Lottery has five prize tiers in all and the table below shows the numbers that are required to win each level and the odds of you doing so.
|Winning Combination||Odds of Winning||Estimated Prize Fund|
|6 Numbers (Jackpot)||1 in 13,983,815||66.4%*|
|5 Numbers + Bonus Ball||1 in 2,330,635||5.3%*|
|5 Numbers||1 in 55,490||4.5%*|
|4 Numbers||1 in 1,031||23.8%*|
|3 Numbers||1 in 56||£25 per winner|
*The Match 3 £25 prizes are paid out first and then the remainder of the fund is split up and divided amongst the upper prize tiers according to the percentages indicated above. These percentages are subject to variation depending on rollovers, Match 3 winners and jackpot caps.
On Saturday 5th October 2013 the UK National Lottery launched Lotto Raffle, which guarantees fifty £20,000 winners in every draw. Lotto Raffle works in a similar way to the EuroMillions Millionaire Maker game. With every line of UK Lotto numbers purchased, players will automatically receive a raffle number made up of a four-letter colour and an eight-digit number, for instance AQUA 1234 5678. To mark special occasions, there will sometimes be Lotto Raffle draws featuring bigger prizes, more winners or, sometimes, both.
Other National Lottery Games
Thunderball is another UK National Lottery game which takes place every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, offering prizes of up to £500,000. Players must select five main numbers between 1 and 39 and one Thunderball number from 1 to 14. Anyone matching all five numbers plus the Thunderball wins the £500,000 top prize. In addition there are eight other prize levels on offer – you can be a winner by matching only the Thunderball!
Lotto 49 to 1
Lotto 49 to 1 is an additional UK Lotto game which launched in September 2013. The special televised draw is based on the numbers selected from the main UK Lotto game, giving players the chance to win cash prizes worth up to £50,000. Before a 49 to 1 event takes place, players must register to participate and 49 entrants will then be chosen at random to play, each being assigned a number from 1 to 49. If their number is drawn as one of the six main UK Lotto balls, they win a cash prize.
Lotto Plus 5
Launched in early 2011, Lotto Plus 5 offered players the chance to enter their UK Lotto numbers in an additional daily draw to win up to £250,000. In October 2013 this additional game came to an end and the final draw was held on Tuesday 1st October 2013.
Tickets for UK National Lottery games can be bought quickly and easily online or in person from an authorised UK lottery retailer. For online ticket purchases, simply select the numbers you wish to play or choose the Lucky Dip option to have a selection of numbers randomly generated. Once you have paid for your ticket(s), you will receive an email confirmation from the National Lottery that contains important details about your ticket as well as the draw that you have entered. Your ticket will be automatically checked following the draw and, if you have won a prize, you will receive an email stating that “there is important news about your ticket”. For security reasons, the email will not disclose how much you have won but instead ask you to log in to your account for further details. Winnings of up to £500 will be paid into your online account straight away.
Further information on the claims process for UK lottery prizes can be found on the How to Claim page.