You win prizes in Lotto by matching your selected numbers with those that are drawn. You need to match at least two main numbers to be awarded a prize, while you must match all six to win the multimillion-pound jackpot. There is a 1 in 9.3 chance of winning any prize in a Lotto draw and the odds of claiming the top prize stand at 1 in 45,057,474.
If you match two main balls you will receive a free Lotto Lucky Dip ticket, which is immediately entered into the following draw for online players. If you buy entries at a retailer, you are given the option of using the free Lucky Dip in either the following Wednesday or Saturday draw.
The prizes for matching three, four or five numbers are fixed at £30, £140 and £1,750 respectively, while anyone in the Match 5 + Bonus Ball category will win £1 million. The jackpot is allocated 9.79% of the money from ticket sales, and may also be boosted by rollovers from previous draws. The top prize starts at £2 million on a Wednesday and £3.8 million on a Saturday.
Prize Tiers and Odds of Winning
Here are the prize tiers for Lotto, the amount won within that tier and the odds of winning in each. The jackpot is shared between all players who match six numbers in the same draw, while the other prizes are fixed amounts.
|Prize Category||Approximate Odds of Winning||Prize Value|
|Match 6 / Jackpot||1 in 45,057,474||Jackpot|
|Match 5 + Bonus Ball||1 in 7,509,579||£1 million|
|Match 5||1 in 144,415||£1,750|
|Match 4||1 in 2,180||£140|
|Match 3||1 in 97||£30|
|Match 2||1 in 10.3||Free Lotto Lucky Dip|
The jackpot can only roll over a maximum of five times. A Must Be Won draw will then be held in the next game if there have been five consecutive rollovers. If no ticket matches all six main numbers in the Must Be Won draw, the jackpot will be shared between all other players who have won a cash prize. Visit the page on Must Be Won Lotto draws to find out exactly how these draws work and what percentage of the jackpot goes to each prize tier.
If the number of jackpot winners in a certain draw means that the individual prize amounts fall below £1 million, the jackpot will be topped up so that each player receives £1 million. The amount of money that will be added to the jackpot in this way is capped at £7 million, so in very rare cases, it may be that jackpot winners receive less than £1 million each.
Largest Lotto Prizes
The largest prize in Lotto history was won on 9th January 2016, when David and Carol Martin of Hawick in the Scottish Borders and an anonymous player who bought their ticket in Worcester shared £66 million. On Saturday 13th February 2016, Gerry and Lisa Cannings of Peterborough won £32.5 million, currently the third-biggest win and the second-largest individual prize since Lotto began in 1994. In January 1996, three players split a jackpot of £42 million to win £14 million each.
Taxes on Winnings
UK lottery prizes are not subject to tax, but those playing from overseas should check with financial experts to see if they will be liable for withholdings in their own country.