About the National Lottery UK

The Euro Millions may be worth more in terms of jackpots, but in the United Kingdom, no lottery has the prestige that the National Lottery has. Ever since the very first draw on November 19, 1994; the National Lottery has drawn in tens of millions of Brits to play its game. Of course, it helps that this lottery features tax-free prizes. How does the National Lottery work, how do you get involved and what can you win?

How does the National Lottery work?

The National Lottery is officially only open to players based in the United Kingdom, or the Isle of Man. Players must be aged 16 or older to play the National Lottery. Each ticket for the draw costs £2 to play and include entry into the Millionaire Raffle at the same time. Tickets can be purchased at any newsagents, supermarkets and other retailers, although the UK also permits players to buy tickets online.

Players are tasked to select six numbers from 1 to 59. Alternatively, they can choose a Lucky Dip option, which randomly assigns them six numbers. Players can also play multiple lines, with each line consisting of six numbers, and can purchase tickets for several weeks in succession if they wish.

The draws themselves take place on Wednesday and Saturday evenings. A total of six numbers and a bonus ball are drawn out of a machine. To date, players have a 1 in 45,057,74 chance of landing the biggest prize in the draws. This is substantially more favourable than many other leading worldwide lotteries. Maybe you like to play other games like scratch cards?

What can I win with the National Lottery?

Players can bag a win by landing just 2 numbers. The prize for doing so equates to one free National Lottery ticket, albeit a Lucky Dip one. Players who match 3 numbers can win a £25 prize, with a prize worth approximately £100 available for players who land 4 numbers. Players who match 5 numbers can win roughly a grand, but if they land the bonus ball alongside those five numbers, the prize rises to approximately £50,000.

To win the jackpot, players need to match all six main numbers in the draw. The prizes vary. Some have been worth tens of millions of pounds, but the general rule is that at least £1 million is up for grabs with the jackpot prize.

Should nobody win the jackpot prize, the jackpot rolls over to the following draw. If again, nobody wins, it rolls over again, and so on and so forth. However, if nobody has won the jackpot by the time it reaches £22m, then the jackpot prize will be awarded to the player or players with the next best ticket. In the event of a tie (two or more players with the same jackpot winning numbers), the prize is split between them.

National Lottery: Millionaire Raffle

The Millionaire Raffle is a separate lottery prize which can be won. Any ticket to the National Lottery also gets you entry into the Millionaire Raffle. On every National Lottery ticket is a code. There are prize tiers available in the raffle. One is for a guaranteed million pounds, and the other tier offers 20 guaranteed prizes of £20,000. In each draw, at least 21 raffle numbers will be selected. Yours will be displayed on your ticket. If your number is called, then you will win either the first or second-tier prize, based on when your raffle number was drawn. This game does not cost extra to play.

There are other lottery draws, too, such as the Thunderball, HotPicks, and Millionaire Maker games, although these have less to do with the National Lottery itself and are considered to be separate lottery games running under the banner of the main National Lottery. Another popular game in the UK is Bingo.

Record Breakers: Big National Lottery Wins

Quite a few mega prizes have been paid out over the years on the National Lottery. The lottery has made more than 5,000 millionaires and paid out a mouth-watering £53 billion in cash prizes. Some of the top winners over the years have shared £180 million between them.

In 1998, Jackie King decided to spend some of her £14m jackpot win on dogs. She bought a Dogue de Bordeaux name Suki, and a Springer Spaniel by the name of Barley. Other players have won more modest prizes, such as the £916,915 won by Mark Brudenell in 1997. He spent his winnings on a Range Rover Sport and an Audi A5.

Roy Gibney managed to win an impressive £7.5m in 1998. He now spends his time between his villa in Cyprus and his lavish home in Britain. Today, he may not spend quite as much as he used to, but he still indulges in a care-free lifestyle, like only a lottery win can provide.

Bigger wins have also been recorded. Thea Bristow pocked £15m in 2004, ensuring that her three children were financially secure as well as donating to charities, such as the Make a Wish Foundation. Dean Alley also dished out some of his £13.8m win to charities in 2001. He also decided to spend some of the cash on his family, flying a plane over the Florida Keys, going ice racing in Finland and skydiving in Devon.

There have been plenty of other big winners too. The National Lottery slogan says, next time, “it could be you”.

Play the National Lottery online

If popping down to your local newsagents or supermarket in the rain doesn’t sound appealing, there are other options available to you. If the draw for the lottery is getting close and you haven’t got time to go out, or perhaps you’re just feeling lazy; you can buy your National Lottery tickets online.

Quite a few websites now sell National Lottery tickets over the internet, including the National Lottery website itself. It has never been easier to get involved in the National Lottery, and for all the many reasons listed above, doing so may just be worth your while.

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