UK Lotto Information
The UK Lotto has been the main lottery game played in the UK since its first draw in 1994. The game is drawn twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday evenings. Wednesday draws are shown live on YouTube at 8pm, with Saturday draws appearing live on YouTube and Facebook at 8:30pm. Both can be watched on-demand on the BBC's iPlayer service.
The starting jackpot for UK Lotto tends to be worth an estimated £2 million for Wednesday draws and £4 million for Saturday draws, though these values can vary based on ticket sales. If there are no jackpot winners, then the prize will roll over to the following draw and be added to the prize fund. The previous rollover cap of four draws was removed as part of sweeping changes to Lotto in October 2015, meaning that the jackpot can reach even greater heights if it is not won for a number of draws. However, a cap on the top prize was brought in as well and was initially set at £50 million with the potential to raise it even higher in the future.
On 9th January 2016, the Lotto jackpot reached an astonishing £66 million after 15 straight rollovers. Two players split the top prize on the night, with each winning ticket receiving £33 million each, and helped smash a 20-year-old record for the largest UK Lotto jackpot.
As of October 2015, players must choose 6 numbers from 1 to 59 to play Lotto. Players have the option of choosing their own numbers or opting for a Lucky Dip, which will automatically generate a set of six random numbers. Tickets can be purchased either online or from an authorised retailer.
When the draw takes place, six main numbers will first be drawn, followed by a seventh number - the Bonus Ball - and prizes can be won by matching from two main numbers upwards. The Bonus Ball is only used in the second prize tier and rewards players who have matched five main numbers plus the Bonus Ball with a bigger prize. In total there are six prize tiers, which are detailed below:
|Match||Win||Odds of Winning|
|Match 6 Numbers||Jackpot||1 in 45,057,474|
|Match 5 Numbers + Bonus Ball||Estimated £50,000||1 in 7,509,579|
|Match 5||Estimated £1,000||1 in 144,415|
|Match 4||Estimated £100||1 in 2,180|
|Match 3||Fixed prize of £25||1 in 97|
|Match 2||Lotto Lucky Dip||1 in 10.3||Overall odds of winning any UK Lotto prize are 1 in 9.3.|
Here are the odds of winning a Lotto Millionaire Raffle prize in a Wednesday or Saturday draw:
|Draw Day||Odds of Winning a Millionaire Raffle Prize|
|Wednesday Lotto Draw||1 in 338,000 (based on estimated 7.1 million Lotto tickets sold)|
|Saturday Lotto Draw||1 in 686,000 (based on estimated 14.4 million Lotto tickets sold)|