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History of Lotteries

View Each Lottery History

History Timeline of Lotteries

UK Lottery Timeline
19th Nov 1994

The first ever Lotto draw, known as The National Lottery at the time, is held.

10th Jun 1995

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.

6th Jan 1996

The largest ever Lotto jackpot of 42 million is shared by three anonymous ticket holders who each won 14 million.

5th Feb 1997

A Wednesday Lotto draw is introduced.

12th Jun 1999

The first Thunderball draw took place.

13th Nov 2000
Lotto Extra

National Lottery Extra was drawn for the first time.

18th May 2002
Lotto Extra

The game was renamed Lotto Extra.

18th May 2002

First draw following the name change from the National Lottery to Lotto.

10th Jul 2002
Lotto HotPicks

Lotto Hotpicks was played for the first time.

23rd Oct 2002

Thunderball was drawn on a Wednesday for the first time, in addition to the usual Saturday draw.

22nd Sep 2003
Daily Play

The first Daily Play draw took place.

13th Feb 2004

The first EuroMillions draw was held, with players from the UK, France and Spain taking part.

8th Oct 2004

The first draw involving players from Switzerland, Portugal, Luxembourg, Ireland, Belgium and Austria took place.

31st Aug 2005
Postcode Lottery

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.

26th Oct 2005
Lotto HotPicks

The Match 5 tier, with a jackpot of 130,000, was introduced.

8th Jul 2006
Lotto Extra

Lotto Extra was drawn for the last time and is replaced by Dream Number.

15th Jul 2006
Dream Number

Dream Number was played for the first time.

4th Jan 2008
Postcode Lottery

The Scottish People's Postcode Lottery was drawn for the first time.

27th Nov 2008
Postcode Lottery

KY13 8 in Kinross became the first postcode sector to win 1 million, with 89 players sharing the prize.

Jan 2009
Postcode Lottery

The Scottish and English lotteries merged into one People's Postcode Lottery.

13th Nov 2009

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.

Jan 2010
Postcode Lottery

Wales joins the People's Postcode Lottery.

12th May 2010
  • 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.
14th May 2010

Thunderball introduced a Friday draw.

9th Feb 2011
Dream Number

The last Dream Number draw took place.

13th Feb 2011
Lotto Plus 5

Lotto Plus 5 was launched.

6th May 2011
Daily Play

Daily Play was drawn for the last time.

10th May 2011
  • 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.
12th Jul 2011
  • 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.
8th Oct 2011
Health Lottery

The Health Lottery was drawn for the first time.

10th Aug 2012
Health Lottery

A player who bought their ticket in Bishop Auckland, County Durham won the biggest ever Health Lottery jackpot of 250,000.

21st Jul 2012
Health Lottery

The prize for matching three numbers fell from 50 to 20, with the reward for matching four numbers dropping to 250 from 500.

10th Aug 2012

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.

17th Oct 2012
Health Lottery

A second weekly draw was introduced with the name Win Wednesday.

5th Dec 2012

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.

11th May 2013
Health Lottery
  • 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.
1st Oct 2013
Lotto Plus 5

Lotto Plus 5 was drawn for the last time

5th Oct 2013
  • 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.
31st Oct 2014
  • 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.
19th Jan 2015
Health Lottery

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.

3rd Jul 2015
Postcode Lottery

The lottery increased the amount of the ticket price donated to good causes, rising from 25 percent to 27.5 percent.

Oct 2015
Lotto HotPicks
  • 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
9th Jan2016

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.

6th April2016

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.

24th Sep2016

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
  • 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)
26th Jan2018
EuroMillions HotPicks

EuroMillions HotPicks is introduced, offering five different ways to win:

  • Pick 1 & Match 1: 10
  • Pick 2 & Match 2: 100
  • Pick 3 & Match 3: 1,500
  • Pick 4 & Match 4: 30,000
  • Pick 5 & Match 5: 1,000,000
30th Jan2018

A Tuesday Thunderball draw was introduced, increasing the chances to win the 500,000 top prize to four times each week.

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

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.

Tuesday's Estimated Jackpot
£14 Million
Tuesday 27th February 2018
Choose Numbers