Haven't Registered?
Join Now

What are the benefits of registering?

Close X
Twitter Instagram

History of Lotteries

This page provides a timeline on the history of all major lottery games which have been played in the UK since 1994. For more detailed historical information about the key changes and events in a specific game, select your chosen lottery from the list below:

Take a look at the full timeline, spanning more than two decades and including 11 different games! Which of these winners, updates and records do you remember?

UK Lottery History
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.
  • 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.

Aug 2015
Health Lottery

A Thursday draw is introduced, meaning there are now three chances to win each week.

Oct 2015
Lotto HotPicks
  • The jackpot rose from £130,000 to £350,000
  • The ball pool rose from 49 to 59
Health Lottery
  • The 50p QuickPick game ends.
  • Two new draws are added on Tuesday and Friday meaning there are now five draws each week.
  • 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)
15th Nov2017
Health Lottery

QuickWin is lauched with draws every three minutes and jackpots up to £25,000.

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.

21st Nov2018

Changes to the Lotto rules came into effect, which said that the jackpot could only roll over a maximum of five consecutive times before it must be won. The prize structure was also completely overhauled, and the 5+Bonus Ball prize was increased to £1 million. The Lotto Millionaire Raffle also came to an end as part of the changes.

15th Jan2019

The number of Millionaire Maker prizes awarded in each draw was reduced from two to one. However, this change allowed more special events to take place with multiple guaranteed winners.

8th Oct2019

A new record was set for the biggest lottery win in the UK. A single anonymous ticket holder pocketed £170 million by matching all the numbers in a Must Be Won draw, after the EuroMillions jackpot reached its €190 million cap.

1st Feb2020

The EuroMillions jackpot cap was increased, allowing the top prize to rise as high as €200 million. The distribution of the prize fund was also altered so that a bigger percentage would go to the jackpot.

1st Mar2020
Health Lottery

The Health Lottery Monthly Mega Raffle, which offered a prize of £250,000 once a month, came to an end. It was replaced with an extra £100,000 draw every Wednesday and Saturday.

11th Dec2020

The EuroMillions jackpot cap of €200 million was reached and won on the third draw. New rules introduced at the start of 2020 meant that the jackpot cap increased by €10 million.

26th Feb2021

A single player won €210 million, becoming the biggest EuroMillions winner of all time.