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The National Lottery

How to play the National Lottery

Playing the National Lottery costs £1 per line of numbers chosen. You have to choose six numbers between 1 and 49. The jackpot is won by the person or people who get all six numbers. If there is more than one winner, the money is shared equally between all the winners. After the six numbers are drawn, an additional number called the "bonus ball" is drawn. The next highest prize, after the jackpot, is won by the person(s) who match any 5 numbers from the main draw, plus the bonus ball. The next highest prizes are won by those who have matched 5 numbers, 4 numbers and 3 numbers. The amount of prize money available depends on the total amount of entries for the week, although the £10 prize for matching 3 numbers correctly is fixed. If the jackpot is not won, the amount that could have been won is "rolled over" to the following week. Roll over jackpots cause a lot of excitement as huge sums of money can be won if you are lucky enough to match all six numbers. The jackpot can be rolled over for a maximum of three weeks. If the jackpot has still not been won, the money is divided between the players who have matched five numbers plus the bonus ball.

National Lottery Odds

The odds of winning the jackpot are about one in fourteen million, although the overall chance of getting a prize is 1 in 54. All the odds are given below.

Number of numbers matched Prize Odds
3 £10 1 in 56
4 22% of prize fund* 1 in 1,031
5 10% of prize fund* 1 in 55,490
5 plus bonus ball 16% of prize fund* 1 in 2,330,635
6 52% of prize fund* 1 in 13,983,816

*After all the £10 prizes have been deducted from the fund.

The prize allocation is shown pictorially below, courtesy of the National Lottery. (All percentages are quoted after the £10 prizes have been paid).

national lottery prize allocation

Other Games and Draws

There are many other games and draws available on the National Lottery website including instant wins and the incredible Euromillions draw which is allowed to roll over a maximum of 11 times before being won. The biggest ever winner of the Euromillions draw lives in Ireland and won a total of £88 million. A lady from Scotland won £35 million in August 2007.

euromillionsAdvantages of Buying Your Lottery Tickets Online

There are numerous advantages to buying your lotto, Euromillions, dream tickets, thunderball and daily draw tickets online, some of which are summarised below:

Lottery Trivia

The UK National Lottery was first established on October 21st, 1993 by an act of parliament. Camelot Group plc were chosen to run the lottery at that time, and despite strong contention by Richard Branson's Virgin group, Camelot continue to run the National Lottery.

The first National Lottery tickets went on sale on November 14th, 1994, with the first draw taking place on November 19th, 1994. Over 20 million viewers tuned in to watch the first National Lottery show on BBC 1.

There were orginally five machines from which the balls are drawn - Arthur, Galahad, Guinevere (now out of service), Lancelot and Merlin. Unsurprisingly, they all had a Camelot theme. There are now eight additional machines used, named Amethyst, Garnet, Moonstone, Opal, Pearl, Sapphire, Topaz and Vyvyan. Each numbered ball weighs exactly 80g. Different machines are used for Euromillions, thunderball etc.

All winning prizes must be claimed within 180 days or you lose the right to the money, which is instead paid to "good causes". The highest unclaimed prize to date was over £9.4 million. Ouch!

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