Lotto draws take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays and you must select six main numbers between 1 and 59. In the draw, six balls are randomly selected and then a Bonus Ball is drawn from the remaining 53 numbers. Any player who matches the six main numbers drawn wins the jackpot – or a share of it, should more than one person perfectly match the winning line.
There are six prize tiers available when you play Lotto, with rewards starting from matching just two main numbers. The following table shows the odds of winning in all six prize tiers and the estimated prize value.
|How to Win||Odds||Prize Value|
|Match 6||1 in 45,057,474||Jackpot|
|Match 5 + Bonus Ball||1 in 7,509,579||£50,000 (estimate)|
|Match 5||1 in 144,415||£1,000 (estimate)|
|Match 4||1 in 2,180||£100 (estimate)|
|Match 3||1 in 97||£25 (fixed)|
|Match 2||1 in 10.3||Free Lotto Lucky Dip|
|The overall odds of winning any prize are 1 in 9.3.|
Players who enter online will automatically be notified of any win and smaller amounts will be paid into their account. If you buy a Lotto ticket from an authorised retailer, you will have to keep it safe and then check your numbers. Smaller prizes – those worth £100 or less – can then be collected from retailers. Anyone who is lucky enough to win a prize worth £50,000 or more, or who wins the jackpot, will have to contact the National Lottery directly to organise collection of their prize.
All Lotto prizes must be claimed within 180 days of the date of the draw, otherwise the money will be transferred to the Good Causes Fund, which supports valuable public initiatives across the UK.
The largest jackpot ever given away on Lotto was £66 million in January 2016, with two winning tickets earning just over £33 million each. One of the tickets was claimed by David and Carol Martin of the Scottish Borders, while an anonymous winner from Worcester pocketed the other half of the jackpot.
The Lotto jackpot can regularly reach £20 million or more and can roll over until it reaches £55 million, after which it can only roll over one more time. If no player matches all six main numbers in that draw, then in the following draw the top prize must be won; if no one can match the whole winning line, then the jackpot will roll down into the next winning tier.
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