The UK Lotto is the nation's favourite National Lottery game. In addition to attracting millions of players each week and giving out hundreds of thousands of prizes in every draw, the UK Lotto also provides funds to a wide variety of charitable causes across the country. Since the lottery was introduced in 1994, more than £31 billion has been donated to over 400,000 different projects across the nation, all of which have had a positive effect upon local communities or the nation as a whole.
Wednesday 22nd April 2015
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The UK Lotto requires players to choose six numbers between 1 and 49. Draws take place on Wednesday and Saturday evenings and six main numbers are drawn first, followed by a seventh number known as the Bonus Ball. This final ball gives players the chance to increase their winnings should they match five of the six main numbers plus the Bonus Ball.
Players win the UK Lotto jackpot if they match all six main numbers drawn but prizes are also awarded to players who match as few as three main numbers. A UK Lotto jackpot can only roll over four times and, if the jackpot still hasn't been won, the accumulated funds roll down to be shared among winners in the next winning prize tier.
Lotto prizes are awarded for matching as few as three main numbers and, with the exception of the lowest tier, are calculated on a pari-mutuel basis. This means that each tier is allocated a set percentage of the prize pool and distributed equally between the winning tickets holders in that tier. The table below shows the five prize categories, their odds of winning and estimated prize value. Prize values will vary depending on the number of winners in each tier.
|Prize Category||Odds of Winning||Percentage of Prize Pool||Prize Value|
|Match 6 - Jackpot||1 in 13,983,816||66.4% (plus the 5.3% allocated to the Match 5 + Bonus Ball tier if there are no winners in that category).||Jackpot|
|Match 5 + Bonus Ball||1 in 2,330,636||5.3%||Estimated £50,000|
|Match 5||1 in 55,492||4.5%||Estimated £1,000|
|Match 4||1 in 1,033||23.8%||Estimated £100|
|Match 3||1 in 57||Set prize of £25||£25|
Each line of UK Lotto numbers purchased includes free entry into the UK Lotto Raffle. This supplementary game offers a minimum of 50 prizes worth £20,000 in every draw.
Buy Tickets Online
Buying UK Lotto tickets online is quick, easy and secure. The system eliminates any possibility that a ticket can be lost, stolen or damaged and you are notified via email if your ticket matches a winning combination which ensures that prizes for tickets purchased online never go unclaimed.
Claiming a Prize
All UK Lotto prizes are valid for 180 days after the draw takes place, so if you have an unchecked ticket, or simply want to double check, don't throw it away without thoroughly checking your numbers first.
If you've played the UK Lotto online, the method of claiming will be different to that of paper tickets. The value of your win will also affect the way in which you make a claim. Visit our Lottery Claims page to find out how you can claim your prize.
Prize money for all prizes not claimed within the 180 day claim period will be donated to the National Lottery Good Causes fund.
The Lotto Raffle was introduced in October 2013 and gives away a minimum of 50 prizes worth £20,000 in each UK Lotto draw. Visit the Lotto Raffle page to find out more.
While Lotto Hotpicks uses the same numbers from the main UK Lotto draw, it's actually a completely separate game which gives players more choice and flexibility. Click here to read more about Lotto Hotpicks.
For every £1 raised from UK Lotto ticket sales, 28p is transferred to the National Lottery's Good Causes Fund. Since its creation in 1994, the National Lottery has donated more than £31 billion to over 420,000 worthy projects across the nation. For more informaiton on Good Causes, visit the National Lottery Good Causes Fund page.
The National Lottery launched in 1994 with just one weekly draw held every Saturday. The first draw took place on Saturday 19th November 1994 with a jackpot prize of almost £6 million. The winning numbers in the first ever draw were 3, 5, 14, 22, 30 and 44 with Bonus Ball 10. Seven jackpot winners shared a prize pool of £5,874,778.
In 1997, the National Lottery licence was renewed and a midweek draw was introduced. In 2002, when licence renewal came around again, the game underwent a major rebrand and became known as the UK Lotto but it wasn't until October 2013 that the lottery underwent its most significant changes.
Despite the ticket price having remained unchanged for nearly two decades, the decision to increase the cost of a ticket from £1 to £2 still attracted some controversy. However, the price increase was introduced with the intention of increasing jackpot sizes as well as funding the introduction of the UK Lotto Raffle which guaranteed a minimum of fifty £20,000 raffle prizes in each draw. In addition, an increased set prize of £25 was introduced for matching just three numbers.
Since its launch in 1994, the UK Lotto has given away more than £55 billion in prizes.