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How to Play Thunderball

Use the Thunderball guide on this page to find out all the steps you need to go through to take part. Whether you are playing Thunderball online or buying your tickets from a retailer, it is a simple game that can be enjoyed for just £1 per line.

Picking your numbers

Pick five main numbers and a Thunderball

Choose five main numbers from 1 to 39 and a Thunderball number from a separate set of 1 to 14. You just need to mark your chosen numbers on your playslip or type them in the spaces provided if you are playing online.

Alternatively, you can play a Lucky Dip if you want to have a random selection generated on your ticket.

Choosing your draws

Choose which days to play

Select whether to enter on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday. You can play on as many days as you like - just mark your preferred day on your playslip or inform the retailer when you want to enter.

You don’t have to enter consecutive draws. For example, you can play on the Tuesday and Friday without also taking part on Wednesday.


Choose Weeks

Enter multiple weeks

You can play up to four weeks in advance by marking the relevant box on your playslip or telling the retailer what you want to do. If you are playing on all four draw days, it means you can enter up to 16 consecutive draws.

When you play Thunderball online, you can enter continuously by setting up a Direct Debit. Your numbers will be entered into every draw on the selected days for the duration of the subscription.

How many draws to play

Pay for your tickets

Once you have selected your numbers, chosen your draw days and number of weeks, all you need to do is purchase your tickets. Make sure to keep your entry safe if you play in-store as you will need to check the results yourself and come forward with it if you win.

If you play online, your numbers cannot be lost or damaged and you will be emailed after the draw if you win.

How to Win Thunderball

To win the Thunderball jackpot, all of your selected numbers must be the same as the winning numbers. You can also win prizes for matching fewer numbers, and you are guaranteed a prize as long as you match the Thunderball. All payouts are guaranteed fixed amounts regardless of how many other players win in the same tier. Visit the Prizes and Odds page to find out about the nine different ways to win.

When is Thunderball played?

Thunderball draws take place four times a week: on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8.15pm. It’s the most frequently played of all the National Lottery’s games and offers a £500,000 prize in every draw, so you can play for jackpots totalling £2 million every week.

Ticket sales for Thunderball close at 7.30pm on the day of each draw and reopen shortly after the winning numbers have been confirmed. You can purchase tickets at any time on other days.

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