History of Lotteries
View Each Lottery History
Health Lottery History
Irish Lotto History
Postcode Lottery History
History Timeline of Lotteries
The first ever Lotto draw, known as The National Lottery at the time, is held.
Business partners Mark Gardiner and Paul Maddison from St Leonards-on-Sea in East Sussex win the biggest ever Lotto prize on a single ticket when they claim £22.5 million.
The largest ever Lotto jackpot of £42 million is shared by three anonymous ticket holders who each won £14 million.
A Wednesday Lotto draw is introduced.
The first Thunderball draw took place.
National Lottery Extra was drawn for the first time.
The game was renamed Lotto Extra.
First draw following the name change from the National Lottery to Lotto.
Lotto Hotpicks was played for the first time.
Thunderball was drawn on a Wednesday for the first time, in addition to the usual Saturday draw.
The first Daily Play draw took place.
The first EuroMillions draw was held, with players from the UK, France and Spain taking part.
The first draw involving players from Switzerland, Portugal, Luxembourg, Ireland, Belgium and Austria took place.
People's Postcode Lottery was piloted in the north of England, with Mary Burnip of Chester-le-Street winning the £25,000 top prize later that week.
The Match 5 tier, with a jackpot of £130,000, was introduced.
Lotto Extra was drawn for the last time and is replaced by Dream Number.
Dream Number was played for the first time.
The Scottish People's Postcode Lottery was drawn for the first time.
KY13 8 in Kinross became the first postcode sector to win £1 million, with 89 players sharing the prize.
The Scottish and English lotteries merged into one People's Postcode Lottery.
Millionaire Raffle was introduced, guaranteeing that one UK player in every draw wins £1 million by matching the code that is automatically generated on their ticket for each line played in the main game.
Wales joins the People's Postcode Lottery.
- The number of balls was increased from 34 to 39.
- The jackpot doubled from £250,000 to £500,000.
- A new prize was created for matching just the Thunderball.
Thunderball introduced a Friday draw.
The last Dream Number draw took place.
Lotto Plus 5 was launched.
Daily Play was drawn for the last time.
- The first Tuesday EuroMillions draw was made, offering a jackpot of €100 million in celebration.
- The number of Lucky Stars was increased from nine to eleven.
- A new prize for matching two main numbers was introduced.
- Colin and Christine Weir from Largs in Ayrshire became the first players to win the top prize on EuroMillions at the jackpot cap. Their €185 million windfall worked out at £161.6 million at the time, which remains the largest ever EuroMillions prize in sterling.
- The jackpot cap was raised to €190 million.
The Health Lottery was drawn for the first time.
A player who bought their ticket in Bishop Auckland, County Durham won the biggest ever Health Lottery jackpot of £250,000.
The prize for matching three numbers fell from £50 to £20, with the reward for matching four numbers dropping to £250 from £500.
Adrian and Gillian Bayford from Haverhill in Suffolk became the first EuroMillions players to win at the revised jackpot cap of €190 million. However, due to exchange rates at the time, their sterling payout was £148.6 million, which was less than Colin and Christine Weir, who won €185 million (£161.6 million) the previous year.
A second weekly draw was introduced with the name Win Wednesday.
The 180-day deadline for claiming a £63.8 million EuroMillions jackpot from the draw on Friday 8th June 2012 passed without the ticket holder coming forward. The full amount, plus the interest it accrued, was donated to the Good Causes fund.
- The first draw featuring the new Bonus Ball took place.
- Three more prize tiers were introduced, including a Free Play for matching two main numbers.
Lotto Plus 5 was drawn for the last time
- Bigger jackpots offered.
- Prize for matching three balls increased to £25 from £10.
- Ticket price increased from £1 to £2.
- Lotto Raffle introduced, offering 50 prizes of £20,000 in each draw.
- Lotto Plus 5 discontinued.
- Millionaire Raffle became Millionaire Maker.
- The first ever Mega Friday Millionaire Maker draw took place, with 25 players winning £1 million plus a luxury VIP trip to Makepeace Island in Australia for themselves and seven guests.
The 50p Quick Pick game was launched, offering a jackpot of £25,000 on Tuesday and Friday, in addition to the main Health Lottery game.
The lottery increased the amount of the ticket price donated to good causes, rising from 25 percent to 27.5 percent.
- The jackpot rose from £130,000 to £350,000
- The ball pool rose from 49 to 59
- Guaranteed £1 million winner in each draw
- Bigger jackpot amounts
- Odds of hitting the jackpot now stand at 1 in 45,057,474
- An increase from 49 to 59 balls to choose from
- A brand new prize for matching just two numbers
The biggest jackpot in Lotto history was shared between David and Carol Martin of Hawick in the Scottish Borders and an anonymous player from Worcester. Both players banked a £33 million share of the £66 million total.
A Lotto player won £35.1 million, the largest prize claimed on a single ticket in the history of the game. They opted to remain anonymous.
A number of changes were made to the game including:
- An extra Lucky Star was added
- An additional £1 million Millionaire Maker prize was added
- European Millionaire Maker was introduced
- The Monthly Bonus Draw came into existence
- Mega Friday became Mega Week
- The price of a EuroMillions line rose to £2.50
- Starting jackpots rose to €17 million (around £14 million)
- Superdraw jackpots rose to €130 million (around £110 million)
Here is a quick history of some of the biggest lotteries America and Europe.
Powerball was first drawn in April 1992, having developed from an earlier game called Lotto*America. More states joined over the years and in 2010 Powerball and Mega Millions reached an agreement in which state lotteries could offer tickets for both games as opposed to one or the other.
Jackpots were originally only paid as an annuity spread over 20 years, but in 1997 that changed to 25 years and the option was added to take a reduced cash lump sum. The annuity currently stands at 30 payments over 29 years.
Powerball's largest ever jackpot was $1.58 billion and was shared between three ticket holders, from California, Florida and Tennessee. All three winners opted for the cash option, picking up prizes worth $327.8 million each before tax.
Mega Millions was launched in 2002, rising from the ashes of The Big Game, which started in 1996. Texas joined the lottery in 2003 and introduced the Megaplier, which multiplies any non-jackpot prize. The feature was gradually added across the country over the next few years, with 44 of the 45 jurisdictions who play Mega Millions currently offering Megaplier.
Prizes were initially only paid by an annuity of 20 annual payments, which has now changed to a choice between 30 payments over 29 years or a reduced cash sum. The game matrix changed in October 2013 in order to better the odds of winning any prize as well as bump up the value of jackpots.
The biggest-ever jackpot on Mega Millions was also the world's largest lottery prize – three ticket holders in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland split $656 million ($474 million cash), all choosing the cash option.
SuperEnalotto is an Italian lottery which began in 1997 as a successor to Enalotto. Its numbers were originally generated by taking the first numbers drawn in six regional lotteries, with the Venetian lottery providing the Jolly number. This changed in 2009 with two draws now taking place, one for the main numbers and Jolly number and another for the Superstar number.
In October 2010, a syndicate with one ticket scooped the game's biggest-ever prize of €177.7 million, accrued after eight months of rollovers.