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Lotto Questions and Answers

Find all your Lotto questions answered below. Whether you want to know about Lotto prizes, how to play or what your publicity options are when you win, check out this list of common queries for more information.

How do I play Lotto?

You can play Lotto online or by visiting authorised retailers. Select six numbers from 1 to 59 – either choose your own or opt for a Lucky Dip if you want to use a random set. For an in-depth player’s guide, take a look at the How to Play page.

When are Lotto draws held?

The Saturday Lotto draw takes place at 7:45pm. The Wednesday Lotto draw is at 8:00pm.

What is the cut-off time for ticket sales?

Ticket sales close at 7:30pm on draw nights.

How many draws can I enter in advance?

When you play at a retailer you can enter up to eight draws in advance. You must state on your playslip how many weeks in advance you want to play (up to a maximum of four) and which draw day you are playing (Wednesday, Saturday or both days).

Online, you can set up a Direct Debit to play on a continual basis. After it’s set up you can make changes to your subscription, including the numbers you play and the draws you enter, at any time.

What is the cost of playing Lotto?

It costs £2 per entry to play Lotto.

How do I win prizes?

To win a prize, at least two of your numbers must match the main balls drawn. To get a share of the jackpot, you must match all six main winning numbers.

What are the odds of winning?

The overall odds of winning a Lotto prize are 1 in 9.3. The chances of winning the jackpot are 1 in 45,057,474. Go to the Lotto Odds and Prizes page to find out about all the ways to win.

Why is there no Bonus Ball on my ticket?

You do not pick a Bonus Ball when you play Lotto, so there is not one displayed on your ticket. The Bonus Ball is drawn from the remaining 53 balls in the machine after the main six numbers have been drawn. Go to the Bonus Ball page to learn more about how it works.

Can I play Lotto abroad?

You can’t buy a Lotto ticket directly unless you are in the UK. However, you can take part from various countries around the world by using online services. Lottery betting sites allow you to wager on the results of draws, while concierge services work by purchasing tickets on your behalf.

Are Lotto prize amounts fixed?

The prize amounts are fixed for five of the six categories in Lotto. The exception is the jackpot, which receives 9.79 percent of the revenue from ticket sales in every draw and can roll over if it is not won.

Is there a minimum jackpot?

The minimum jackpot for a Wednesday draw is £2 million, while for Saturday draws it is £3.8 million. There is also a minimum payout of £1 million per jackpot winner, so the total prize fund can be increased to a maximum of £7 million if there are multiple winners. If there are more than seven jackpot winners in the same draw – which only happens in exceptional circumstances – each winner may receive less than £1 million.

Is the jackpot capped?

There is no maximum jackpot, but the top prize can only roll over for five consecutive draws. A Must Be Won will then be held in the following draw, when the jackpot can roll down.

What is a rolldown?

A rolldown is when the Lotto jackpot is split between all winners from the Match 3 to Match 5 + Bonus Ball prize tiers. They occur in Must Be Won draws when no tickets match all the main numbers. Go to the Must Be Won page to see the percentage of the jackpot allocated to each prize tier in a rolldown.

What is the largest Lotto jackpot of all time?

The record for the biggest Lotto prize in history stands at £66 million. This was set in January 2016 and was split between two ticket holders. Read about the biggest Lotto winners of all time.

How long do I have to claim prizes?

You have 180 days from the date of the winning draw to claim Lotto prizes.

How do I claim my prize?

The method for claiming prizes depends on whether you have played online or in-store, as well as the value of your prize.

All but the biggest online prizes will automatically be paid into your player account, while prizes won in stores can be claimed from retailers. You need to contact the National Lottery for larger amounts, regardless of whether you played online or in-store. Go to the Lottery Claims page to learn more.

How do the free Lucky Dips work?

If you match two main numbers, you win a free Lucky Dip. You can claim your free entry anytime within 180 days if you play in-store, while online you will automatically receive it for the next draw.

Can I stay anonymous if I win?

All lottery winners in the UK have the right to remain anonymous, and that includes jackpot winners. If you choose anonymity, no information will be released about your identity, the store from which you bought your ticket, whether you played in a syndicate, or anything else.

If you play online you can also opt for partial publicity, where just a few details will be released with your permission, but your full name will not be disclosed. Some winners opt for full publicity and share their story with the press, such as David and Carol Martin from Hawick, who won half of the record £66 million Lotto jackpot in January 2016.

If you still have a question that you would like answered, you can email us for more Lotto information. Go to the Contact Us page for details of how to get in touch.