UK Lotto

  • Next Estimated Jackpot GBP 3,200,000
  • UK
  • 03/03/2018 19:30:00
For information purposes only

The UK National Lottery held its first draw on 19th November 1994, with British broadcasting legend Noel Edmonds hosting a special launch show. Seven winners shared a jackpot of nearly £6 million.

As of late 2002, the main game in the UK National Lottery has been called Lotto. Since October 2013, the ticket price - originally £1 - rose to £2, and since October 2015 the jackpot needs players to match all six main draw numbers from a pool of 59 balls.

However, the jackpot and lower-level prizes have increased as well, the secondary Millionaire Raffle game has been introduced, and a new bottom-level prize of a free ticket has been added too.

As a result, players had a better-than-ever chance of winning something - even if it is just another lottery ticket for a later draw - and no matter how many people share the Lotto jackpot, the Millionaire Raffle guarantees there will be at least one millionaire winner in each draw.

Starting on 18th November 2018 new rules came into play - these will increase the lower tier prizes and offer a jackpot that will pay out more regularly. The raffle is scrapped in order to pay the lower tiers which are now fixed prizes.

How to Play

Lotto is a 6 from 59 game - you can choose six specific numbers or opt for a Lucky Dip, which generates a random selection for you. UK Lotto costs £2 per line.

Draws take place on Wednesday and Saturday evening, with ticket sales closing at 7:30 p.m. GMT/BST and officially opening again at 9:00 p.m. GMT/BST on the evening of each draw.

To win, your six numbers must match exactly the six main balls drawn from the machine; a seventh 'bonus ball' is also drawn, and this is only used for the second-tier prize of 5+1 matches, with a payout around £1 million.

Although the jackpot has odds of more than 1 in 45 million, it can rollover five times. If on the sixth draw no one wins the big prize, it cascades down to be shared by all five tiers based on preset percentages.

Overall, the odds of winning are 1 in 9.3, although the lowest prize is simply a free lucky dip entry into a future draw.

Fast Facts

First UK National Lottery Draw: 19th November 1994

First £2 Lotto Draw: 5th October 2013

First '6 from 59' Lotto Draw: 10th October 2015

First 'Fixed lower tier prizes' draw: 18th November 2018

Trivia

On January 9th 2016, a record-breaking jackpot of £66,070,646 was won by two ticket-holders, one of whom came forward immediately. After reports that one woman had tried to claim the second £33 million payout with a lottery ticket that had been through the wash, hundreds more such claims were received by game operator Camelot; but on 28th January 2016 a valid claim was made with an undamaged ticket, putting an end to the drama.

The UK National Lottery has helped nearly half a million 'good causes', including more than 250,000 community projects, 111,000 schemes for young people, and nearly 40,000 projects to help the elderly. Each week, about £34 million is raised through ticket sales, to be allocated to good causes.

In 2011, lorry driver Stuart Powell won £55,000 on Lotto - roughly the same as you'd get for matching five main draw numbers and the bonus ball under current rules. In November 2015, after a mix-up at his local shop, he accidentally bought a ticket for the Tuesday 24th November EuroMillions draw - and scooped £1 million in the UK Millionaire Maker draw included in the ticket price. In both cases, he gave the prize money to family members and pledged to carry on working.

Prize Tiers

The UK Lotto is a 6 from 59 game, with a seventh 'bonus ball' drawn from the remaining 53 numbers. The overall odds of winning any prize are 1 in 9.3, with one millionaire and 20 £20,000 winners in each draw as well.

Match Odds Prize
6 1 in 45,057,474 Jackpot*
5 + bonus 1 in 7,509,579 £1,000,000
5 1 in 144,415 £1,750
4 1 in 2,180 £140
3 1 in 97 £30
2 1 in 10.3 Free Lucky Dip

* The jackpot is calculated based on ticket sales. 9.79% of them get allocated to it.

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