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 have 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.

How to Play

UK Lotto costs £2 per line, with £1 going towards the Lotto draw itself, and £1 buying entry into the Millionaire Raffle.

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.

Draws take place on Wednesday and Saturday evening, with ticket sales closing at 07:30 p.m. GMT/BST and officially opening again at 09:00 p.m. 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 £50,000.

Although the jackpot now has odds of more than 1 in 45 million, it is capped at £55 million, and cascades down to be shared by second-tier 5+1 winners once it passes that level.

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

In the second part of the game, the Millionaire Raffle guarantees one millionaire in each draw, along with 20 prizes of £20,000, allocated using randomly generated 'raffle numbers' consisting of a four-letter colour and a random number.

Some draws have an enhanced Millionaire Raffle with extra prizes up for grabs, usually to coincide with a significant calendar event or major public holiday.

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


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 Approx. £50,000
5 1 in 144,415 Approx. £1,000
4 1 in 2,180 Approx. £100
3 1 in 97 £25
2 1 in 10.3 Free Lucky Dip

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