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How to Play and Win UK Lotto

On your UK Lotto ticket you need to pick six numbers from a choice of 59. You can choose your own numbers or select a Lucky Dip if you wish to have them randomly generated for you. It costs £2 per play and you can take part online or by visiting an authorised retailer.

Decide how many lines you want to play, up to a maximum of seven on a single play slip, and enter those numbers for up to four consecutive weeks. You just need to remember to purchase your tickets before 7.30pm on draw days.

When the draw takes place, six balls are randomly selected as the main numbers, followed by a Bonus Ball from the remaining 53 numbers. To win the jackpot, you must match all six main numbers, but there are also prizes for matching two, three, four or five numbers, as well as for matching five numbers and the Bonus Ball.

You have a 1 in 9.3 chance of winning any prize on UK Lotto and odds of 1 in 45,057,474 of winning big and scooping the jackpot. If the top prize isn’t won, it can roll over five times in a row before it has to be given away in a ‘Must Be Won’ draw, with the jackpot money split between every cash winner if no one matches all six numbers. Go to the Lotto Prizes page to find out more about how this works, along with details of all the awards that are available.

You can also find out about prize breakdowns and winning numbers on the UK Lotto Results page.

UK Lotto Draw

The UK Lotto is drawn twice a week and uses a variety of different lottery machines and sets of balls to truly randomise the draw. The machines are given names taken from the mythology surrounding King Arthur or from gemstones. Both the machine and set of balls are chosen at random before each draw by an independent onlooker from sealed envelopes.

History of UK Lotto

The game was known as the National Lottery when it began in November 1994, with draws originally being held once a week on a Saturday night and the choice of numbers ranging from 1 to 49. The Wednesday draw was introduced in 1997, and the game was later rebranded as Lotto in 2002.

A Lotto Raffle was launched in 2013, and was later tweaked in 2015 to become the Lotto Millionaire Raffle, offering one prize of £1 million and 20 awards of £20,000 in each draw. A number of other big changes were made at the same time in 2015, with the ball pool increasing from 49 to 59, a jackpot cap coming in and a new prize tier being added for matching two main numbers.

The Lotto Millionaire Raffle was discontinued in November 2018 as part of widespread changes to Lotto’s prize structure. The jackpot cap was replaced with a new rollover limit to ensure it would be won more regularly, and bigger fixed prizes were introduced.

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