# UK Lotto: Official Guide, Rules, Odds & How to Play

**Number of balls to pick:**6 numbers from 1 to 59

**Odds to win the jackpot:**1 in 45,057,474

**Lotto draws:**every Wednesday and Saturday

**Ticket costs:**£2.00

## What is UK Lotto lottery?

UK Lotto is the oldest and biggest lottery played in United Kingdom. All Lotto prizes are paid as a lump sum and are tax-free. Of every pound (£) spent on Lottery games, 50 pence (p) goes to the prize fund, 28p to good causes as set out by Parliament, 12p to the British Government as duty and 5p to retailers as commission, while Camelot receives 4.5p to cover operating costs and 0.5p profit. Players must be at least 16 years of age to participate in the lottery.

## How to play UK Lotto?

Six main Lotto numbers are drawn, along with one additional number - the bonus number. Match a minimum of three numbers to the main Lotto numbers drawn to win a prize. The bonus number is only relevant when you match five main numbers and the bonus number. You can always play UK Lotto online here.

## What are the odds to win UK Lotto jackpot?

You can win by matching any of the combination of main numbers and the bonus ball below. Match minimum of 3 main numbers for a lowest prize or match all 6 main numbers for the jackpot!

Winning selections | Odds | Prize |
---|---|---|

Match 6 numbers | 1 in 45,057,474 | Jackpot |

Match 5 numbers + bonus | 1 in 7,509,579 | £1,000,000 |

Match 5 numbers | 1 in 144,415 | £1,750 |

Match 4 numbers | 1 in 2,180 | £140 |

Match 3 numbers | 1 in 96.2 | £30 |

Match 2 numbers | 1 in 10.3 | One Lucky Dip (value of £2) |

Any Lotto prize | 1 in 9.3 |

## UK Lotto historical prize breakdown

(History since 19 October 1994)

There are 5 prize tiers in Lotto with the odds to win the smallest prize are 1 in 10.3. The prizes for each tier (except the jackpot) are now fixed (for most of the time) and the lowest prize is £30 when you match 3 main numbers. However, this was not the case in the past where only the lowest prize was fixed at £10. So here's the table with historical averages MIN/AVG/MAX prizes per each tier.

Winning selections | MAX prize | AVG prize | MIN prize |
---|---|---|---|

Match 6 numbers | £52,964,701 | £5,091,136 | £122,510 |

Match 5 numbers + bonus | £26,410,895 | £300,936 | £3,848 |

Match 5 numbers | £18,777 | £1,854 | £2 |

Match 4 numbers | £863 | £95 | £12 |

Match 3 numbers | £157 | £18 | £10 |

Match 2 numbers | £2 | £2 | £2 |

## Winning VS Losing Combinations

Did you know that after each Lotto draws, there will be exactly:

**Winning Combinations: ** 4,881,884 (11%)

**Losing Combinations: ** 40,175,590 (89%)

### Winning Probability Calculations

In the UK Lotto, you have to pick 6 numbers from 1 to 59 inclusive. You only have to match 2 numbers to win a prize. There are 45,057,474 total combination possibilities to pick the numbers. The number of combinations that will always win any prize after each draw is calculated as follows:

#### Total Number of Combinations

The total number of ways to choose 6 numbers from 59 is given by the combination formula:

\( \binom{59}{6} = \frac{59 \times 58 \times 57 \times 56 \times 55 \times 54}{6 \times 5 \times 4 \times 3 \times 2 \times 1} = 45,057,474 \)

#### Non-Winning Combinations

To find out how many combinations do not win any prize (match 0 or 1 number), we calculate:

#### Matching 0 Numbers

The number of ways to pick 6 numbers from the remaining 53 is:

\( \binom{53}{6} = \frac{53 \times 52 \times 51 \times 50 \times 49 \times 48}{6 \times 5 \times 4 \times 3 \times 2 \times 1} = 22,957,480 \)

#### Matching Exactly 1 Number

The number of ways to select 1 correct number from the 6 drawn numbers and 5 numbers from the remaining 53 is:

\( \binom{6}{1} \times \binom{53}{5} = 6 \times \frac{53 \times 52 \times 51 \times 50 \times 49}{5 \times 4 \times 3 \times 2 \times 1} = 6 \times 2,869,685 = 17,218,110 \)

#### Total Non-Winning Combinations

Adding the non-winning combinations:

\( \binom{53}{6} + \binom{6}{1} \times \binom{53}{5} = 22,957,480 + 17,218,110 = 40,175,590 \)

#### Winning Combinations

Subtracting the non-winning combinations from the total number of combinations gives the number of combinations that will always win any prize:

\( 45,057,474 - 40,175,590 = 4,881,884 \)

Therefore, there are **4,881,884** combinations that will always win any prize after each draw in the UK Lotto.

So that means, 89% of all possible Lotto combinations will not win a prize after each draw, and only 11% of combinations will always win a prize.

**With our system, you will be able to play the winning 11% Lotto combinations frequently.**

## How can I increase my chances of winning the UK Lotto jackpot?

There are several ways how to increase your chances to win the jackpot, and we specialize in doing just that! You can find all the information to help you win here: How to win UK Lotto

## What are the most common numbers in UK Lotto?

Please refer to our UK Lotto statistics page where we provide all the statistics you need including most often drawn single numbers, number pairs, triplets, lucky stars pairs and more.

## Where do I get the latest UK Lotto results?

You can find the latest UK Lotto results on our site right after the draw takes place. We also provide full draw history since beginning of UK Lotto history.

## Where can I buy UK Lotto tickets?

The easiest way to buy your ticket is to do it online. You can do it either via the official lottery provider - National Lottery or you can purchase them via 3rd party resellers .

## UK Lotto Historical Changes

**3 October 2013**

In October 2013, Camelot, the operator of the UK Lotto, announced significant changes to the game. The ticket price doubled to £2, accompanied by a restructuring of prizes. The "New Lotto" brought about larger jackpots, with an estimated average increase of £1.1 million for Saturday draws and £400,000 for Wednesdays.

While the change included bonuses for matching three or four numbers, prizes for matching five or five numbers plus the bonus ball decreased. Additionally, a new Lotto Raffle was introduced, offering at least 50 winners £20,000 per draw. The price increase sparked controversy, criticized as a "tax on the poor."

The revamped game launched with a £10,000,000 jackpot and 1,000 Lotto Raffle winners of £20,000.

**10 October 2015**

In October 2015, Camelot introduced significant changes to the Lotto game. The alterations included expanding the number pool from 49 to 59 and removing limitations on rollovers, capping the jackpot after about 14 rollovers. When the jackpot reaches £50 million without a winner, it rolls over to the next draw. If no one matches all six numbers, the jackpot "rolls down" and combines with the prize fund for the next prize category with a winner.

The rule changes also brought about a "match 2" prize, providing a free lucky dip ticket for another draw with 1 in 10 odds. However, this aspect faced criticism as the breakdown of prizes includes the value of these prizes in the draw's prize fund. Match 2 prize winners don't receive any monetary value unless their ticket matches three main numbers or more in the following draw. Additionally, each Lotto ticket incorporates the Millionaire Lotto Raffle, where 20 players win £20,000 each, and one player wins £1 million per draw.

**January 2016**

In January 2016, the Lotto jackpot reached its £50 million cap and subsequently rolled over, setting a record-breaking amount of £66 million. Two ticket holders won, receiving £33 million each.

Later in August 2016, the jackpot cap was reduced to £22 million. If the jackpot reached this threshold and was not won, it would roll to the next draw one final time. At that point, if no one matched all six main numbers, the jackpot would be shared among players with the most winning numbers.

From October 2015 to October 2018, the total prize fund was 47.50% of draw sales in a normal week, including the raffle. The prize distribution included £25 for three-ball prize winners (odds of 96 to 1), and two-ball prize winners received a free £2 entry. The sales revenue was divided based on a specified table and distributed equally among the winners for each selection.

In October 2018, the Lotto Raffle was discontinued.

**21 November 2018**

Wednesday, November 21, 2018, brought significant changes to the UK Lotto. Ever since the game's inception, all prize levels from "match 4" and above varied depending on the number of winners at each level and on total ticket sales. From this date, each prize level is a fixed amount per winner, similar to the Thunderball and Set For Life draws. For the changes to be made possible, the Lotto Millionaire raffle was discontinued. The ticket price of £2 and number pool (1–59) remain the same.

Rollovers are limited to five. If nobody matches all six main numbers after the fifth rollover, the jackpot is shared between every prize winner, including match 2 winners from October 2020. This is called a "Jackpot Rolldown." Every cash prize, therefore, increases substantially (estimated amounts shown in brackets).

## UK Lotto Special Draws

In case you wondered why there are some extra draws for certain Lotto draw dates, here's the explanation:

**18th May 2002**

On Saturday 18th May 2002, Camelot decided to change the name of the main UK lottery to Lotto. To celebrate this, an additional three draws (no bonus ball) took place. Anyone buying a ticket for Saturday's main Lotto draw had their 6 numbers also automatically entered into the three additional draws at no additional cost. The three additional draws only had one prize each: a £4 Million jackpot.

**1st June 2002**

Another bonus draw took place on 1st June 2002 (we don't have any more information about this extra draw).

**6th November 2004**

On Saturday 6th November 2004, Camelot held a 10th anniversary draw in the style of a Lotto Extra draw, where every ticket bought for that Saturday's main Lotto draw was also entered for free into a 6 from 49 draw with no bonus ball. A single jackpot prize pool of £10 Million was available.

**29th April 2006**

On Saturday 29th April 2006, Camelot decided to seemingly spoil the forthcoming launch of the "Monday draw" that is run by their rivals, Chariot. It involved one additional 6 from 49 (no bonus ball) draw and anyone buying a ticket for that Saturday's main Lotto draw had their 6 numbers also automatically entered into that draw at no additional cost. The additional draw only had one prize: a £5 Million jackpot.