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. In October 2015, ten more balls were added to the game’s matrix, along with the introduction of the Lotto Millionaire Raffle, which guarantees a single £1 million winner in every Lotto draw.
On Saturday 9th January 2016, two winning ticket holders shattered a 20-year-old record as they split a Lotto jackpot of £66 million, with each player receiving £33 million. Another gigantic prize was given away the following month when a single player landed £32.5 million on Saturday 13th February 2016.
How to Play
To play the game, choose six numbers between 1 and 59 and if all six of your numbers 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 of numbers for you to play in the draw.
UK Lotto starting jackpots vary, with a base draw on Wednesday usually worth around £2 million and Saturdays generally worth between £3.8 and £4 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 keep occurring until the top prize reaches the current jackpot cap of £55 million, although this limit can be increased by lottery officials. When it hits the cap, the jackpot will only roll over once more before it has to be won, with the entire amount being shared by the players in the next winning prize tier if there is still no Match 6 winner. It is worthwhile to note that the jackpot can exceed the value of £55 million during this time, with ticket sales adding to the overall value of the top prize.
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 six prize tiers in all and the table below shows the numbers that are required to win each level and the odds of winning in that tier:
|Winning Combination||Odds of Winning||Prize|
|6 Numbers||1 in 45,057,474||Jackpot|
|5 Numbers + Bonus Ball||1 in 7,509,579||£50,000 (estimated)|
|5 Numbers||1 in 144,415||£1,000 (estimated)|
|4 Numbers||1 in 2,180||£100 (estimated)|
|3 Numbers||1 in 97||£25 per winner|
|2 Numbers||1 in 10.3||Free Lotto Lucky Dip|
Overall odds of winning a Lotto prize are 1 in 9.3.
Lotto Millionaire Raffle
The Lotto Millionaire Raffle was introduced in October 2015, taking the place of Lotto Raffle. In each draw, one Lotto ticket holder is guaranteed to win £1 million by matching the first code drawn, with a further twenty players being presented with £20,000 each.
For every Lotto line you play, you receive a randomly generated Lotto Millionaire Raffle code consisting of a four-letter colour and eight numbers. The £1 million prize code and the 20 different £20,000 combinations are drawn in coordination with the main Lotto draw. The results for both games are available shortly afterwards.
Occasionally, there will be more prizes on offer to celebrate special occasions, such as the 25 prizes of £1 million distributed on Saturday 10th October 2015 to commemorate the first ever Lotto Millionaire Raffle draw.
|Draw Day||Odds of Winning a Millionaire Raffle Prize|
|Wednesday Lotto Draw||1 in 338,000 (based on estimated 7.1 million Lotto tickets sold)|
|Saturday Lotto Draw||1 in 686,000 (based on estimated 14.4 million Lotto tickets sold)|
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!
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.