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How The Lotto Bonus Ball Works

Every Lotto draw offers an incredible multimillion-pound jackpot for anyone who can match all six main numbers drawn, but many players are unsure about the role that the Bonus Ball plays.

So what is the Bonus Ball, how does it work and why don’t you choose a Bonus number when you play the game? Find the answers to those questions and more on this page and see which Bonus Ball was picked as the winner in the most recent Lotto draw.

Key Facts About the Lotto Bonus Ball

  • Matching five numbers plus the Bonus Ball wins you £1 million.
  • It’s drawn from the 53 numbers remaining after the six main numbers have been drawn.
  • You don’t pick a Bonus Ball number when you play, so you don’t get one on your ticket.
  • The Bonus Ball is only relevant if you also match five main numbers.

Saturday's Bonus Ball Result

The Bonus Ball in Saturday's Lotto draw was 35. It’s the 45th time that the number has appeared as the Bonus Ball and the first time since Wednesday 19th June 2019.

What is the Bonus Ball?

The Bonus Ball is an additional number which is drawn at the end of every Lotto game, after the six main numbers have been selected.

The six main balls are drawn first from a range of 1 to 59, and a Bonus Ball is then randomly selected from the remaining 53 numbers. As all of the numbers are drawn from the same pool it is impossible for the Bonus Ball to be the same as one of the six main numbers in the same draw.

Why don’t I need to choose a Bonus Ball when buying my ticket?

When you purchase an entry to Lotto you will get six numbers on your ticket. This is the same for all entries, whether you play online or in-store, for one draw or weeks in advance.

You win the Lotto jackpot if the six numbers on your ticket match the six main numbers selected in the draw. There is no prize for matching all six numbers and the Bonus Ball, so you do not need seven numbers on your ticket.

If you match the Bonus Ball, it will be with one of the six numbers you do pick, because it is drawn from the 53 numbers left in the machine after the main numbers have been drawn.

Other lotteries, such as EuroMillions, use a different system. The additional numbers in EuroMillions, known as Lucky Stars, are drawn from a different set of balls so it is possible for the same number to come out as both a main number and a Lucky Star. As a result you need to pick two Lucky Stars as well as your five other EuroMillions numbers.

So what is the Bonus Ball for?

The Bonus Ball exists to give players who have matched five of the six main numbers a chance to win an even better prize. The prize for matching five numbers without the Bonus Ball is £1,750, while the prize for matching five plus the Bonus Ball is £1 million. The difference between the two amounts can be even greater if a rolldown occurs in a Must Be Won draw.

The odds of matching five main numbers without the Bonus Ball are 1 in 144,415, while the chances of matching five main numbers plus the Bonus Ball are 1 in 7,509,579.

To sum up, both of Lotto’s top two prizes require you to match all six numbers on your ticket, but the Bonus Ball only comes into play for one of those. None of the other prize tiers, from the free Lucky Dip to the Match 5 prize of £1,750, require you to match the Bonus Ball.

Prize Category Prize Value Main Numbers Matched Match Bonus Ball? Total Numbers Matched
Match 6 Jackpot 6 No 6
Match 5 + Bonus Ball £1 million 5 Yes 6
Match 5 £1,750 5 No 5
Match 4 £140 4 No 4
Match 3 £30 3 No 3
Match 2 Free Lucky Dip 2 No 2

Bonus Ball Questions and Answers

If there is still anything you need to know concerning the Bonus Ball, you’ll find the answers to the most common questions below. Go to the Lotto Q&A page for further information about the game.

Why don’t I pick a Bonus Ball when I play?

None of the prizes, including the jackpot, require you to match more than six numbers, so you don’t need any more than that on your ticket. The only prize that requires you to match the Bonus Ball is the second prize, for matching five of the main Lotto numbers plus the Bonus Ball (a total of six numbers).

Can any of my numbers match the Bonus Ball, or only the last one?

The Bonus Ball is always guaranteed to be between 1 and 59, as it is drawn from the same pool as the six main numbers. That means any of the six numbers on your ticket can match the Bonus Ball.

What is the most common Bonus Ball?

Drawing on information from all Lotto draws to have taken place to date, the number most commonly drawn as the Bonus Ball is 45. You can find further number frequencies in the Bonus Ball Statistics section on this page.

Do I win for matching two numbers and the Bonus Ball?

The only prize that requires you to match the Bonus Ball is the second prize, for matching five numbers plus the Bonus Ball. Matching the Bonus Ball with any other combination of main numbers does not make a difference to the amount you win.

For example, you win £140 if you match four main numbers, regardless of whether or not you also match the Bonus Ball.

Does matching three numbers and the Bonus Ball count as four numbers?

The Bonus Ball does not count as a main number, so the only time it can be used to boost your prize amount is when you also match five of the six main numbers.

For example, if you match two numbers plus the Bonus Ball, it does not count as matching three numbers, so you would win the Match 2 prize of a free Lucky Dip and not the Match 3 prize of £30.

Bonus Ball Statistics

Take a look at all the times each number has been selected in Lotto as the Bonus Ball, including the most common Bonus Ball numbers and the least common.


Stats since 10th October 2015 (when the ball pool increased to 59)


Most Common Bonus Balls

Ball Number Frequency Last Drawn
38 18 435 days ago
(Sat 24th Aug 2019)
42 17 141 days ago
(Sat 13th Jun 2020)
8 16 11 days ago
(Wed 21st Oct 2020)
45 16 36 days ago
(Sat 26th Sep 2020)
12 16 60 days ago
(Wed 2nd Sep 2020)

Least Common Bonus Balls

Ball Number Frequency Last Drawn
34 2 169 days ago
(Sat 16th May 2020)
35 3 1 day ago
(Sat 31st Oct 2020)
19 4 102 days ago
(Wed 22nd Jul 2020)
51 4 95 days ago
(Wed 29th Jul 2020)
29 5 505 days ago
(Sat 15th Jun 2019)





Stats from all draws back to 19th November 1994


Most Common Bonus Balls
Ball Number Frequency Last Drawn
45 73 36 days ago
(Sat 26th Sep 2020)
38 70 435 days ago
(Sat 24th Aug 2019)
31 65 344 days ago
(Sat 23rd Nov 2019)
8 63 11 days ago
(Wed 21st Oct 2020)
6 62 263 days ago
(Wed 12th Feb 2020)
Least Common Bonus Balls
Ball Number Frequency Last Drawn
51 4 95 days ago
(Wed 29th Jul 2020)
56 5 43 days ago
(Sat 19th Sep 2020)
59 6 176 days ago
(Sat 9th May 2020)
58 7 277 days ago
(Wed 29th Jan 2020)
54 7 162 days ago
(Sat 23rd May 2020)