The UK Lotto is the national lottery game in the United Kingdom and one of the most popular. It has created thousands of millionaires since its launch in 1994.
Lotto is simple to play, and all that is required of players is to pick six numbers from a range of 1 – 59. In order to win the jackpot, all six numbers that are drawn must match the winning numbers. There is also a ‘Bonus Ball’ which increases players chances of winning a secondary prize, while a guaranteed consolation of £25 is awarded for matching three numbers.
In October 2013, the new ‘Lotto Raffle’ that each lottery line was automatically entered into, was introduced. From 8th October 2015, this became the ‘Millionaire Raffle’ which guarantees a £1million prize as well as 20 £20,000 prizes in every draw (Please see the ‘Game History and Changes’ section for more details on this.)
There are six prize categories available in total, with overall odds of winning any prize being 1 in 9.3, while with the old Lotto they were 1 in 54. The table below displays a breakdown of each prize category:
|Prize||Match needed||Estimated prize||Odds|
|1||6 + 0||Jackpot||1 in 45,057,474|
|2||5 + 1||£ 50,000||1 in 7,509,579|
|3||5 + 0||£ 1,000||1 in 144,415|
|4||4 + 0||£ 100||1 in 2,180|
|5||3 + 0||£ 25||1 in 97|
|6||2||Free Lucky Dip||1 in 10.3|
The overall odds of becoming a millionaire, which were 1 in 14 million before, has now become 1 in 10 million!
The draws take place every Wednesday at 21:00 (GMT) and Saturday at 20:30 (GMT).
We have seen some great success stories come from the UK Lotto but the single biggest jackpot winner came in 1995, when one lucky player pocketed a staggering £22.5 million. The biggest jackpot to date however was a huge £42 million in 1996, which was won by three anonymous ticket holders.
One heart warming story came in November 2013 when Ron Elliot, a full time care home assistant saw his persistence rewarded when his Lucky Dip numbers appeared on TV to bag him £7,959,312. As reported by the Daily Mail, Ron planned to continue working in the job he loves despite his new found riches. He was however said to be planning a few treats for himself and his family, including a new house and trips to Indonesia.
Another happy-go-lucky winners story occurred when Cathy and Richard Brown, a couple close to retiring who had nearly lost their pension, won £6 million. As well as these triumphant tales this lottery also has the biggest unclaimed jackpot of £18.7 million in 1999, from a ticket holder in Highbury, London.
With some great prizes to be won and encouraging odds, particularly on some of the smaller prizes, why not give yourself a chance of winning by giving the UK Lotto a try? By playing through Lottery24.com it is even easier as we manually check all tickets for you after the draw, meaning you don’t have to worry about them expiring or being misplaced.
The UK Lotto was initially launched in 1994 by the prime minister at the time, John Major. It is operated by ‘Camelot Group’ and regulated by the ‘National Lottery Commission’. At the time of its launch, it was a weekly game played on Saturdays, known as the ‘National Lottery’, however in 1997 the midweek draw was introduced. In 2002 there was also a significant change when it was renamed to ‘UK Lotto’.
There was an overhaul given to the game in October 2013, which saw jackpot sizes increased, prize tiers altered and the new ‘Lotto Raffle introduced. Originally this payed out a guaranteed £20,000 to at least 50 lucky winners each and every draw. From May 2015 this changed to 49 raffle numbers paying £20,000 and 1 number worth £1 million.
In October 2015 this was changed to the ‘Millionaire Raffle’ and guaranteed a £1million prize and 20 prizes worth £20,000 in each draw. The numbers for players to choose from also changed from 1-49 to 1-59.
There is now also no maximum number of rollovers. What happens is that it can continue to roll until it reaches or exceeds a pre agreed amount. Once it reaches this amount, it can only rollover once more. If it still isn’t won then the jackpot money is distributed into the next prize category down.
Winning tickets must be claimed within 180 days of the draw taking place, by which point if they still aren’t then they are dispersed through the National Lottery Distribution Fund. Each ticket sale for the lottery sees 28% as well as all unclaimed prizes going to ‘good causes’, and during the show for the Saturday night draw on 30th March 2007, it was announced that £20 billion had been raised at that point for these causes. The prize fund gets 50% of the revenue, with 12% going to the state, and the remaining 10% towards running costs and profits for the organisers of the lottery and ticket sellers.
The BBC have reported 8.8 million average weekly viewing figures for the Saturday draw, which displays just how big an event the UK Lotto has become.