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Lotto Changes

Upcoming 2018 Changes

A set of Lotto changes will come into effect ahead of the draw on Wednesday 21st November, ensuring that jackpots will be won more often and that prizes will be fixed at every level. The cost of a ticket and the number of balls will remain the same.

The jackpot will start at £3.8 million on a Saturday (or £2 million on a Wednesday), increasing in value each time it is not won. However, a new rule will be imposed so that the jackpot can only roll five times before it must be won. When a ‘Must-Be-Won’ draw takes place, the money will roll down if nobody matches all six main numbers and be shared out between all the winners in every other category from ‘Match 3’ upwards.

The prizes will also change from 21st November. The value of most prizes currently depends on the number of winners in each tier, varying from draw to draw, but there will now be a fixed amount for each category. The following table shows the prizes you will be able to win when the changes are made.

Numbers Matched New Prize (from 21st November 2018) Current Prize
6 Jackpot Jackpot
5 + Bonus Ball £1 million Estimated £50,000
5 £1,750 Estimated £1,000
4 £140 Estimated £100
3 numbers £30 £25
2 numbers Free Lucky Dip Free Lucky Dip
The overall odds of winning will remain at 1 in 9.3

The Lotto Millionaire Raffle will be stopping and the money will instead go to the main draw to pay for the larger fixed prizes.

As well as making improvements to existing games, the National Lottery is planning to expand the range on offer by launching a new Annuity Lottery in 2019.

Previous Changes

Since 1994, Lotto has undergone many updates and set several different records, which you can read about in detail on the History page. The last major revamp took place in October 2015.

How the popular game worked was largely restructured, from the introduction of an extra prize tier to a change in the maximum jackpot. Here is a summary of what happened: