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About UK Lotto

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.

How to Play UK Lotto and Odds

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 were played must match the winning numbers. There is also a ‘Bonus Ball’ which allows players to win a second category prize if combined with 5 matches, while a guaranteed consolation of £30 is awarded for matching three numbers.

The "Millionaire Raffle" game, that was in place since 2013 under the name "Lotto Raffle", was ended in November 2018 (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. The table below displays a breakdown of each prize category. In case of a rollover, the prizes are higher (estimated amounts shown in brackets).

CategoryMatch neededEstimated prizeOdds
16Jackpot1 in 45,057,474
25 + 1£ 1,000,000 (£1.2m)1 in 7,509,578
35£ 1,750 (£10,500)1 in 144,414
44£ 140 (£500)1 in 2,179
53£ 30 (£100)1 in 95
62Free Lucky Dip1 in 10.3

The draws take place every Wednesday at 20:00 (GMT) and Saturday at 19:45 (GMT).

UK Lotto Winners and Jackpots

Notable Winners and Jackpots

On Saturday January 9th, 2016 the highest UK Lotto jackpot was won by two tickets, that shared a £66 million prize. The jackpot had been growing since November 2015 until it was hit by a husband and wife, David and Carol Martin from Hawick, in the Scottish Borders, and an anonymous player who purchased their ticket in Worcester. The two lucky winners received £33 million each.

One heartwarming 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 newfound riches. He was however said to be planning a few treats for himself and his family, including a new house and trips to Indonesia.

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 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.

UK Lotto Game History and Changes

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. In October 2015 this was changed to the ‘Millionaire Raffle’ and guaranteed a £1million prize and 20 prizes worth £20,000 in each draw, with a code automatically generated for every UK Lotto line purchased. In 2015, the numbers for players to choose from also changed from 1-49 to 1-59.

In November 2018 the Lotto Millionaire Raffle was ended, and larger, fixed prizes were introduced, as well as changes to the jackpot cap were made:

2018 changes

On November 21st, 2018, big changes were introduced to the UK Lotto rules. The prizes levels from "match 1" to "match 4" have always varied depending on the total ticket sales and number of winners at each level, but as from November 2018 they become fixed. To be able to apply the changes, the Millionaire Raffle was ended. Ticket price and number pool (from 1 to 59) did not vary.

Also, as from November 2018 there can be only five Rollovers. If nobody matches all six main numbers after the fifth rollover, the jackpot is shared between lower prizes levels winners. This is known as a "Jackpot Rolldown". As a consequence, all cash prizes increase considerably. The Jackpot Rolldown rule is meant to guarantee that the jackpot prize will be won more frequently. The odds remain the same. The Jackpot Rolldown draw is also known as "Must-be-won-draw".

2020 changes

As from November 2020 the players that match 2 numbers in a Rolldown draw where there is no jackpot winner are getting a £5.00 cash prize on top of the Free Lucky Dip.

Further Information

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. 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.

Since April 2018, a show called "The National Lottery Lotto Results" has aired on ITV on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Draws can also be watched online via the official YouTube live stream and Facebook live.