The UK Lotto is a twice-weekly draw from Great Britain, which has similar rules to the SA Lotto draw but some notable differences too.
Players pick six numbers from a pool of 1 to 59, just like our Lotto and there’s a bonus ball featured as well (the player doesn't pick the Bonus Ball). Unlike our Lotto - which doesn't have a starting jackpot, the UK Lotto usually starts with a jackpot of over £2,000,000 (over R 3 million).
The UK Lotto is run by the National Lottery which has operated since 1994 when an act of parliament in the UK made a national state-franchised lottery possible. Along with offering players the chance of instant riches, the National Lottery also funds good causes and charitable projects and organisations across Britain. One such contribution was the UK National Lottery’s £2,200,000,000 funding for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Based on new rules that came into play on November 18th, the UK Lotto uses a pari-mutuel system for paying out the jackpot. This means that the amount you win depends on how many tickets were sold for the draw, 9.79% of ticket sales are allocated to the jackpot. All other prizes are fixed now.
Wednesday's base jackpot will be £2 million and Saturday's will be £3.8 million.
The record UK Lotto jackpot win was a mammoth £66,070,646 prize that was shared between two lucky ticket holders in January 2016. The prize won by each winner was £33,035,323.
Odds Of Winning
1 in 45,057,474
5 + Bonus Ball
1 in 7,509,579
1 in 144,415
1 in 2,180
1 in 97
Free Lucky Dip
1 in 10.3
UK Lotto payouts – chances of winning
Based on the new rules, UK Lotto cash prizes start from £30 for matching three of the six main lottery balls drawn, up to a share of or all of the jackpot for matching all six main numbers.
The jackpot can rollover now five times. On the sixth draw (Must-be-Won draw), if there is no big winner, the amount allocated to the jackpot will be shared by all cash winners (based on specific percentages).
For the Match 5 + the Bonus Ball category a percentage of 3% will be allocated, Match 5 will have 6%, Match 4 - 17% and Match 3 will receive 74% of the jackpot amount.
In comparison to other major lottery draws across the world, the UK Lotto has generously short odds of winning the jackpot. The chance of matching all six main lottery balls drawn and winning the jackpot is 1 in 45,057,474. Compare that to US Powerball (1 in 292,201,338), EuroMillions (1 in 139,838,160) or Mega Millions (1 in 302,575,350). You have to agree that your chances of winning the UK Lotto jackpot are better than most other big lottery draws. The overall chance of winning any prize while playing the UK Lotto is also good, coming in at a mere 1 in 9.3.
Winning the UK Lotto jackpot
In exactly the same way as the South African Lotto draw, the UK Lotto pays out its jackpot to any player or players who managed to match all six of the main lottery balls selected during the draw. The number of players to match all six numbers and win the UK Lotto jackpot can vary but it’s normally between 1 and 4 if the jackpot doesn’t rollover.
In October 2015 changes were introduced to the UK Lotto. Players now choose from a set of 59 balls instead of 49, increasing the odds of winning the jackpot to 45,057,474 to 1. Despite being more difficult to win the jackpot, it is now easier to win a prize with players receiving a Lucky Dip in the Millionaire Raffle every time they match two balls. This means that the chance of winning a prize is now 9.3 to 1 rather than 54 to 1.
Prior to changes in 2015, rollovers occurred once every three or four draws on average, double rollovers less often, triple rollovers occasionally and quadruple rollovers just once in the UK Lotto’s history. However, the rollover cap was scrapped after the rules changed and in conjunction with the increased jackpot odds this means that we are likely to see more and more record jackpots.
The latest changes to the UK Lotto game (November 18th) are based on a recent in-depth review. The UK Lottery decided to switch to fixed prize funds (as a result the Raffle was removed) and implement a roll-over mechanism which will ensure that the jackpot will pay out more regularly.
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