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Thunderball Questions and Answers

Look through the Thunderball FAQs on this page to find all the information you could want to know about different aspects of the game. These Thunderball questions cover a range of subjects, including how to play, prize amounts and much more.

How do I play Thunderball?

To play Thunderball, you pick five numbers from 1 to 39 and a Thunderball number between 1 and 14. You can take part online or at authorised retailers. Head over to the How to Play page for a full step-by-step guide.

Which days is Thunderball played on?

Draws take place every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at approximately 8.15pm.

What time do ticket sales close?

The cut-off time for ticket sales is 7.30pm on draw days. If you miss this deadline, you have to wait for sales to reopen later that evening for the next draw.

How many weeks in advance can I play?

You can play up to four weeks in advance, so it is possible to enter 16 consecutive draws if you choose every draw day. If you have an online account, you can also set up to play continuously so that you never miss a draw.

How much does it cost to play?

It costs £1 per line to play Thunderball.

Can my Thunderball number be the same as a main number?

Yes, you can pick the same number twice on one line: once among your five main numbers and once as your Thunderball. The Thunderball is selected from a separate machine, containing a separate set of balls, so the same number can appear twice in the same draw.

What are the odds of winning?

The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 8,060,598 – that’s better than the odds of landing the top prize on Lotto, EuroMillions or Set For Life. The overall chances of winning a Thunderball prize are 1 in 13.

Can I play Thunderball overseas?

Lotteries are no longer just limited to the country where the game is hosted. You can take part in Thunderball without being located in the UK thanks to online ticket services. If you win a prize, you will be notified and paid automatically.

How do I win prizes?

You win Thunderball prizes by matching your numbers to the winning numbers. There are nine different winning combinations, and you are guaranteed a prize as long as you match the Thunderball. Go to the Prizes and Odds page to find out about all the ways to win.

Are all Thunderball prizes fixed amounts?

Yes. The prizes are all fixed so you know exactly how much you stand to receive for each winning combination.

Why doesn’t the jackpot roll over?

There are no rollovers as the game is designed to pay out set prizes in every draw. This structure is in place to offer a point of difference to other games such as Lotto and EuroMillions, appealing to players who are chasing smaller, more regular wins.

Paying out a fixed prize to each jackpot winner means you are guaranteed that amount. You don’t have to share £500,000 with other players if there are multiple winners, as is the case in many other National Lottery games.

Could my prize ever be lower than advertised?

This only happens in very unusual circumstances. There is a prize capping rule in place, which limits the total amount that can be paid out in one draw to four times the value of the total entries for that draw. A calculation will then be made to see which prize amounts may need to be reduced. In a regular draw, approximately 52 percent of the money raised from ticket sales is expected to be paid out in prizes, so prize capping is extremely rare even if there are more winners than average.

What are the most popular Thunderball numbers?

The most commonly drawn numbers are 18, 29, 30, 31, 32, and Thunderball 3. Go to the Thunderball Statistics page to see in-depth stats about the game and the numbers that have previously been drawn.