Lotto Enters New Era Having Paid £10 Billion in Jackpots
Last Updated: Monday 12th October 2015, 16:02 pm
Saturday 10th October 2015 saw the first ever Lotto draw with 59 balls, the first time the pool had been expanded since the game began in November 1994. During the first 21 years of its existence, 4,702 players matched all six main Lotto numbers from 49, sharing almost £10 billion between them, with 3,142 becoming instant millionaires.
The largest jackpot gained by one ticket came on Saturday 10th June 1995, when business partners Mark Gardiner and Paul Maddison clubbed together on the entry that earned them £22.5 million. However, the biggest total jackpot of the 49 ball-era was £42 million, divided between three ticket holders on Saturday 6th January 1996. The new Lotto has a jackpot cap of £50 million and, with the increase in the ball pool now meaning the odds of hitting the top prize are longer than before, there could well be a new record set in the coming years.
During 1997, 372 players hit the jackpot, the most of any year so far in the history of Lotto. However, there were more jackpot-winning events in 1999, when only 9 of the 104 draws passed without someone matching all six numbers. Saturday 14th January 1995 saw the most number of jackpot winners in one draw, when an unbelievable 133 ticket holders each matched the winning line to claim a £122,510 share of a £16.2 million bounty.
The number 23 appeared most often of all the original 49 balls. It was drawn 282 times, with 13 and 22 being dispensed least often - just 215 times each. The balls that were paired together the most were 33 & 40 and 35 & 39, with both combinations dropping out of the machine on 45 occasions. Lotto’s most common consecutive pairs from the original ball pool were 43 & 44, which appeared in the results 36 times.
The numbers that would have served you the best during the first 21 years of Lotto, in terms of winning the most high tier prizes, are 3, 6, 13, 23, 27 and 49. They would have gained you 41 Match 3 prizes and two Match 4 awards in addition to matching five main numbers and the Bonus Ball once and hitting a £1.9 million jackpot on Wednesday 26th November 2008.
See the Lottery Statistics page for more analysis of the game and to keep track of how often the new numbers that have been added to the draw appear in the winning line.
Lotto returns on Wednesday night with a £7.7 million jackpot on offer, as well as a guaranteed £1 million Lotto Millionaire Raffle prize. Lotto tickets are on sale online and from authorised retailers until 7:30pm on the day of the draw. Good luck!
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