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 £34 billion has been donated to over 400,000 different projects from every corner of the UK, all of which have had a positive effect upon local communities or the nation as a whole.
On Saturday 9th January 2016, Lotto broke a 20-year-old jackpot record as two winning tickets split a top prize of £66 million, with each receiving a life-changing windfall worth £33 million.
Wednesday 10th February 2016
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The UK Lotto requires players to choose six numbers between 1 and 59. 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 as well as 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 two main numbers. A UK Lotto jackpot can keep rolling over when it is not won and climb as high as £50 million. If it reaches this cap and the jackpot still hasn't been won in the following Lotto draw, the accumulated funds roll down to be shared among players in the next winning prize tier.
Lotto prizes are awarded for matching as few as two main numbers and go right up to the multimillion-pound jackpots available for matching all six main numbers. The lowest two tiers have set prizes of a Free Lotto Lucky Dip for matching two main numbers and £25 for matching three main numbers. The value of other prizes will depend on the number of winners in each tier and the number of tickets sold, and changes were made in October 2015 to ensure that players are more likely to receive the cash reward they expect from each tier. To make this possible, the payout percentage fluctuates between draws, but will be 47.5% on average. The table below shows the six prize categories, their odds of winning and an estimated prize value. Prize values will vary depending on the number of winners in each tier.
|Prize Category||Odds of Winning||Prize Value|
|Match 6||1 in 45,057,474||Jackpot|
|Match 5 + Bonus Ball||1 in 7,509,579||Estimated £50,000|
|Match 5||1 in 144,415||Estimated £1,000|
|Match 4||1 in 2,180||Estimated £100|
|Match 3||1 in 97||£25|
|Match 2||1 in 10.3||Free Lotto Lucky Dip|
Each line of UK Lotto numbers purchased includes free entry into the Lotto Millionaire Raffle. This supplementary game offers one guaranteed prize of £1 million and an additional 20 prizes of £20,000 in every draw. The overall odds of winning any prize on the main Lotto game are 1 in 9.3, while the overall odds of becoming a millionaire thanks to both Lotto and the Millionaire Raffle are 1 in 10 million.
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 the 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.
Lotto Millionaire Raffle
The Lotto Raffle was introduced in October 2013 and was then replaced by the Lotto Millionaire Raffle in October 2015. The Lotto Millionaire Raffle gives a guaranteed £1 million prize to one player in each UK Lotto draw, while another 20 ticket holders each win £20,000. Visit the Lotto Millionaire Raffle page to find out more.
|Draw Day||Odds of Winning a Lotto 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)|
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 when it comes to playing the nationís flagship game. Click here to read more about Lotto HotPicks.
For every £1 raised from UK Lotto ticket sales, 28p is transferred to the National Lotteryís Good Causes Fund. Since its creation in 1994, the National Lottery has donated more than £34 billion to over 420,000 worthy projects across the nation. For more information on Good Causes, visit the National Lottery Good Causes Fund page.
History of Lotto
The National Lottery launched on Saturday 19th November 1994, with a jackpot of nearly £6 million on offer in the first game. The winning numbers in the first-ever draw were 3, 5, 14, 22, 30 and 44 with Bonus Ball 10. Seven top prize winners split a prize pool of £5,874,778 that very night. Wednesday evening draws were added in February 1997.
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.
Significant changes in 2013 saw the cost of tickets go up from £1 to £2 and the introduction of the Lotto Raffle, which was then revamped and renamed as the Lotto Millionaire Raffle in October 2015 to guarantee that at least one player would win £1 million in every Lotto draw in addition to awarding fixed prizes of £20,000 in every draw. At the same time, the Lotto ball pool was increased from 49 to 59 and a new prize tier came in for players who matched just two main numbers, boosting the overall odds of winning a prize but meaning that average jackpots were likely to grow.
Since its launch in 1994, the UK Lotto has given away more than £55 billion in prizes.