Changes to Lotto
Lotto changed on 5th October 2013
The UK Lotto game was launched as a Saturday night game in November 1994. Apart from the introduction of a midweek draw in February 1997, the game has remained basically the same throughout its history, but in October 2013 it received a major facelift that saw a number of important changes being made. This article outlines all of the main changes so that the transition from the old format to the new one won't take you by surprise.
The core components of the Lotto game have remained the same. You are still required to select six numbers from the range 01 to 49, and when each draw takes place it still generates six main winning numbers plus one additional Bonus Ball number. The draw schedule is also unchanged, with two draws taking place each week – one on Wednesday and one on Saturday.
What has changed is the cost of tickets, the size of jackpots and the consolation prize schedule.
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New Lotto Ticket Price
Each Lotto entry under the new system costs £2. That's double the old price of £1 per entry, but the new Lotto includes automatic participation in a brand new Lotto Raffle game, which gives you a second chance of winning big.
Bigger Lotto Jackpots
The average value of base jackpots has increased for both the Wednesday and Saturday games. Wednesday jackpots, which used to have an average base value of £2.1 million, have increased to around £2.5 million. Saturday jackpots, which used to have an average base value of £3.9 million, have increased to around £5 million.
New Consolation Prize Schedule
The new consolation prize schedule still awards prizes to players who match three, four or five main numbers, as well as five main numbers plus the Bonus Ball, but the sums paid for each of those outcomes has changed. The exact size of the top three consolation prizes varies from game to game, according to the sum of money in the corresponding prize pool, whilst the lowest consolation prize has a fixed value. The complete prize schedule looks like this:
|Numbers Matched||Prize Paid|
|5 Numbers + Bonus Ball||£50,000 (Estimated)|
|5 Numbers||£1000 (Estimated)|
|4 Numbers||£100 (Estimated)|
|3 Numbers||£25 (Fixed)|
New Lotto Raffle
Perhaps the biggest change of all is the introduction of the new Lotto Raffle game. This works in a similar way to the EuroMillions Millionaire Raffle game, with every Lotto entry being assigned a Lotto Raffle number automatically. Each Raffle number comprises a four letter colour and an eight digit number (for example, BLUE 1234 5678).
The biggest difference between the Lotto Raffle and the Millionaire Raffle games is that the Lotto Raffle creates at least 50 winners in each draw, and the prize for each of those winners is £20,000. If the jackpot in the main Lotto game rolls over then an additional 50 winners is be added to the next draw, so the first game following a rollover has 100 Lotto Raffle winners, then the next game following two consecutive rollovers will have 150 Lotto Raffle winners etc. Full details about this game can be found on our dedicated Lotto Raffle page.
Lotto 49 to 1
Another new addition to the lotto portfolio is Lotto 49 to 1. This is a televised game which is held on special occasions to give randomly picked lottery players more chances of winning a lottery prize which could be worth up to £50,000. To find out more visit our Lotto 49 to 1 page.
End of Lotto Plus 5
To make way for the new Lotto format, the Lotto Plus 5 game ended and the last ever Lotto Plus 5 draw took place on Tuesday 1 October 2013. To view the final results from the game, visit the Lotto Plus 5 Results page.
Thunderball & Health Lottery Still £1
Players who don't want to pay the increased ticket price for the UK Lotto should consider The Health Lottery or the UK Lotto's Thunderball draws instead. Both draws have a ticket price of just £1 and top prizes of £100,000 for the Health Lottery and £500,000 for Thunderball plus, of course, better odds of winning than in the main UK Lotto.Read more about the Health Lottery ›
Read more about Thunderball ›