New Lotto Rules Set to Start From This Wednesday
Last Updated: Monday 21st January 2019, 12:43
If you haven’t heard the news already, the National Lottery has introduced new rules for its flagship Lotto game, and they are scheduled to kick in from this Wednesday’s draw. We have all you need to know about the new rules and what it means for you.
More Jackpots, More Millionaires
The planned changes to Lotto were initially announced in early September, and the first draw set to take place under the new ruleset is the next one on Wednesday 21st November. The price of a lottery ticket won’t change, but the prizes you can win and how jackpot rollovers work have been completely overhauled.
To start with, the prize structure has been completely changed. The prize for matching three numbers has gone from £25 to £30, for four numbers it is £140, five numbers gets you £1,750 and, in the biggest increase, the prize for matching five plus the Bonus Ball will now land you £1 million. All of these prizes will be fixed amounts, so will not change from draw to draw, unlike the previous prizes, which could fluctuate depending on the number of tickets sold and the number of winners.
The most significant change, however, concerns jackpot rollovers. Previously, the jackpot would roll over until it hit its £22 million cap, after which it had to be won in the following draw. The new rules state that the jackpot can only roll over five consecutive times before a ‘Must Be Won’ draw is triggered. If no players match all six numbers in a Must Be Won draw, the prize money will be split between winners in all prize tiers from Match 3 upwards.
On announcing the changes, Camelot CEO Nigel Railton said: "The portfolio updates we are announcing today will complement the other initiatives we are bringing in across retail and digital, as well as our ongoing work to make The National Lottery brand more relevant and visible – and will ensure that The National Lottery as a whole continues to deliver for both players and Good Causes alike.”
If you like the sound of the new Lotto rules, you can buy tickets for the next draw from any licensed retailer in the UK, or you can choose your numbers online.
No More Millionaire Raffle
No changes have been made to the number matrix, and the odds of winning haven’t changed. You still pay £2 to pick six numbers between 1 and 59. The Lotto Millionaire Raffle will no longer be included in the price of a ticket, however, as the game is being discontinued as part of these changes. The money that went towards paying raffle prizes out will instead be used to fund the prizes in the main Lotto draw.
The final Millionaire Raffle took place on Saturday 17th November 2018, so if you buy a ticket for any draws in the future you will not receive a raffle code. Don’t worry, though, you still have time to claim any raffle prizes you have already won. The 180-day claim window still stands, so raffle winners from the final draw will have until 16th May 2019 to claim prizes. Our Millionaire Raffle Checker will still be available until then, too, making it easy to check your tickets before the deadline hits.
The introduction of the new prize structure isn’t the only exciting change Camelot has on the cards for UK lottery players. It is also set to introduce a brand new annuity-style lottery game in 2019. Details have yet to be announced, but the game will offer regular payouts over a number of years, rather than one big lump sum payment. The idea is common in the United States, where it is an option for Powerball and Mega Millions jackpot winners, but it will be the first lottery of its kind in the UK when it launches.