Will Coronavirus Change National Lottery Games?
Last Updated: Monday 23rd March 2020, 12:55
National Lottery games are set to carry on as scheduled amid the current crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak, but the situation will be constantly reviewed and a couple of rules have already been updated which may impact on how you usually play.
EuroMillions and EuroMillions HotPicks
The changes relate to playing EuroMillions and EuroMillions HoPicks in advance. Limits have been put in place so you can now only enter draws up to and including Tuesday 14th April. As each week goes by, the number of weeks that you will be able to play in advance will go down. It will not be possible to set up new Direct Debits at the current time.
The National Lottery has decided to take this course of action due to the lack of certainty over what may happen in the next few weeks and months, especially as EuroMillions is played in nine different countries. All the lottery operators from the nine nations work together to run the game and Covid-19 is affecting life everywhere.
In Spain, for example, ticket sales have been suspended after a state of emergency was declared in the country. The people of France have also been locked down to try and stop the spread of the virus. EuroMillions draws take place in Paris and it cannot be guaranteed that it will continue to be safe to hold them as normal.
EuroMillions HotPicks uses the winning numbers from EuroMillions draws so the same uncertainty applies. However, it has been made clear that the plan is still for draws to continue.
No Changes To Other Games
All other National Lottery games - Lotto, Lotto HotPicks, Thunderball and Set For Life - are unaffected by these rule changes and will continue as scheduled. These draws are all staged in the UK and at the current time there is no reason to think the coronavirus outbreak will put them under threat.
Ticket sales will also remain available from retailers which are still open, as well as online. National-Lottery.com will post any news if changes are announced in future.
There are set to be some changes to how National Lottery funding is distributed to good causes, with the National Lottery Community Fund set to oversee an unprecedented initiative. The new scheme will see up to £300 million being given to causes that will help local communities battle the coronavirus outbreak.
Online Option is Safest
With the UK government urging everyone to be mindful of social distancing and stay away from crowds, it will be difficult for regular players to pick up their tickets from retailers. A much safer alternative is to play online without leaving your home.
You can play online at whatever time is best for you, in the knowledge that your numbers can never get lost, stolen or damaged. With an online entry there is a permanent digital record, so you will also be notified straight away if you win. Prizes will also be paid straight into your account so that you do not have to go back out to claim them.
To take part in games online, go to the Lottery Tickets page. You can also keep up to date with the latest National Lottery Results for all games throughout the week.