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History of Lotto

The history of Lotto has seen huge winners, supplementary games and extra balls added to the matrix. The game was the first to be launched by the National Lottery when it debuted in November 1994 and has been going strong ever since. Here are the key events during Lotto's run:

18th November 2018
  • Changes were made to the prize structure, bringing bigger cash prizes for Match 3, Match 4, Match 5 and Match 5 + Bonus
  • 'Must Be Won' Rolldown draws were introduced, meaning the jackpot can now only rollover 5 times.
  • The Lotto Millionaire Raffle game ended, allowing bigger cash prizes to be offered in the main game.
6th April 2016
  • A player picked up £35.1 million, the largest prize won by a single ticket holder in the history of the game. They decided to remain anonymous.
9th January 2016
  • The record Lotto jackpot of £66 million was shared between David and Carol Martin of Hawick in the Scottish Borders and an anonymous player from Worcester, both receiving £33 million.
8th October 2015
  • Changes were made to the game, including the addition of ten more balls to the pool, taking the total to 59.
  • Lotto Millionaire Raffle took over from Lotto Raffle, guaranteeing at least one £1 million winner in each draw.
  • The rollover limit of four was removed, with an initial moveable jackpot cap of £50 million introduced.
  • A prize of a Lotto Lucky Dip ticket was introduced for matching two numbers.
5th October 2013
  • A number of changes were introduced, including an increase in the prize for matching three balls, from £10 to £25.
  • The price of a Lotto line rose to £2 from £1.
  • Lotto Raffle was launched, offering at least 50 prizes of £20,000 in each draw.
  • Lotto Plus 5 was discontinued.
29th September 2012
  • Lotto's first ever quadruple rollover was shared by five players, each receiving a £3.9 million share of a £19.5 million jackpot.
10th February 2011
  • A new rollover limit of four was introduced to the game. Previously it had only been possible for the top prize to roll three times before the total had to be won in the following draw.
18th May 2002
  • The first draw took place under the game's new name of Lotto. It had been called the National Lottery up until this point.
5th February 1997
  • A Wednesday draw was introduced to the game.
6th January 1996
  • Three players shared a £42 million jackpot, which would remain the game's record top prize for 20 years.
10th June 1995
  • Business partners Paul Maddison and Mark Gardiner from St Leonards-on-Sea in East Sussex won £22.5 million, which held the record for the largest prize won on a single ticket until 2016.
19th November 1994
  • The National Lottery was launched in a programme hosted by Noel Edmonds. The jackpot of £5.8 million was shared by seven ticket holders, each winning £839,254.