Independent results service from National Lotteries around the World.

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

How The Lotto Bonus Ball Works

Last Updated: Tuesday 18th July 2017, 09:28 am

Every Lotto draw offers an incredible multimillion-pound jackpot for anyone who can match all six main numbers drawn, but some players may not be sure about the role of the Bonus Ball. What is the Bonus Ball, how does it work and why do you not have to choose a Bonus number when you are playing the game?

What is the Bonus Ball?

The Bonus Ball is an additional number which is drawn at the end of every Lotto game. 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.

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

The way to win the jackpot in Lotto is to match the six main numbers; there is no prize for matching six numbers plus the Bonus Ball. This is because the Bonus Ball is drawn from the 53 numbers left in the machine after the six main numbers have been drawn.

Other lotteries such as EuroMillions have 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.

In Lotto, the same number can’t be drawn twice, so there is no need to select a seventh number on your ticket.

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 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.

However, players who match five main numbers plus the Bonus Ball win considerably larger prizes. For example, in the recent draw on Saturday 15th July, one ticket holder in this tier scooped £78,147, compared to the £2,285 awarded to the 36 participants who matched five main numbers.

If you want to give yourself a chance of winning a fabulous Lotto prize, you just need to pick six numbers online or head down to any authorised retailer. Even if you miss out on the jackpot, the Bonus Ball could help you land a life-changing amount of money. Good luck!

EuroMillions
Tonight's Estimated EuroMillions Jackpot
£37 Million
Tuesday 17th October 2017
It's a DOUBLE Rollover!
Buy Tickets Online
Time Left to Buy Tickets:
Lotto
Next Estimated Lotto Jackpot
£24.8 Million
Wednesday 18th October 2017
It's a 10x Rollover!
Buy Tickets Online
Time Left to Buy Tickets:

Latest Lottery News More Lottery News