Independent results service from National Lotteries around the World.

  • Select Your National Lottery:
  • UK
  • IE
  • AU
  • ZA

Lotto Jackpot Rolldowns

A jackpot rolldown occurs in a draw where the top prize has to be won, but nobody matches the full winning line. Find out all about how the process will work in Lotto when changes are made to the game in November 2018.

Must Be Won Draws

A number of Lotto changes will be made on Sunday 18th November ahead of the draw on Wednesday 21st November. One of the key features is that National Lottery operator Camelot wants the jackpot to be won more frequently, so a limit will be set for the maximum number of rollovers in a row.

The new format will allow the jackpot to roll for just five consecutive draws, increasing each time nobody matches all six main numbers. In the fifth draw, it will be announced that the top prize must be won.

If anyone matches all six main numbers in the 'Must Be Won' draw, they will receive the jackpot money as normal. However, if there is no winning ticket in the 'Match 6' tier, the jackpot will no longer go to just a single prize tier. Instead, there will be a rolldown to all the prize tiers giving away cash prizes.

How the Rolldown Works

The rolldown only comes into effect if no player matches all six main numbers in the Must Be Won draw. The top prize - which is expected to be worth around £11 million or £12 million by this point - will be shared between every other winner from the Match 3 tier to the Match 5 + Bonus tier.

If you win a cash prize, you are therefore guaranteed to receive a larger amount than the standard fixed award. A percentage of the prize fund will be allocated to each category from Match 3 to Match 5 + Bonus. The exact prize will be based on the number of winners in each tier, but the following table shows the estimated values for each category in a rolldown draw.

Numbers Matched Fixed Prize in a Regular Draw Estimated Prize in a Rolldown Draw
5 + Bonus Ball £1 million £1.2 million
5 £1,750 £10,500
4 £140 £500
3 £30 £100

History of the Rolldown and Jackpot Cap

'Must Be Won' draws have existed in Lotto since the game was launched in 1994, but the jackpot did not previously roll down in the same way. The money for the top prize instead spilled down just to the next tier in which there were winners.

The jackpot cap was £22 million before the new rules were announced. The top prize could then roll one more time after it had reached this mark, before it had to be won in the following draw. If no one matched all six main numbers, the money would be split between ticket holders in the next winning tier.

In the draw on 27th December 2017, for example, a player won £24.5 million by matching just five main numbers plus the Bonus Ball. This was because the jackpot had to be won, and there were no Match 6 winners. Had it not been for this participant, the money would have been split between everyone in the Match 5 tier.

The new rules will ensure that every other cash prize winner benefits when there is a jackpot rolldown, not just a few players.