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Lotto History

Lotto launched in 1994 as the first ever UK National Lottery game. It has been going strong ever since, setting jackpot records and holding special events, but there have also been changes to the game format over time. Use the timeline below to find out more about key events in Lotto's history.

Launch Date:
November 1994

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 prize on a single ticket when they claim 22.5 million.

6th Jan 1996

The new record is set for the biggest Lotto jackpot as 42 million is won by three anonymous ticket holders. Each received 14 million.

5th Feb 1997

The first ever Wednesday draw is held.

18th May 2002

The National Lottery officially changes the game name to Lotto.

10th Feb 2011

The rollover limit was increased from three draws to four, meaning that even bigger prizes could be offered.

5th Nov 2011

A superdraw jackpot of 10 million shared by four players.

29th Sep 2012

First ever Lotto quadruple rollover saw a jackpot of 19.5 million shared by five ticket holders.

5th Oct2013
  • 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
8th Oct2015
  • Lotto Millionaire Raffle replaces Lotto Raffle, guaranteeing a 1 million winner in each draw in addition to 20 prizes of 20,000.
  • The four-rollover limit is scrapped, meaning jackpots can rise as high as the cap of 50 million.
  • The ball pool increases from 49 to 59.
  • A brand new prize of a Lucky Dip for matching just two numbers is introduced.
  • Lotto Hotpicks ball pool rises to 59, with the top prize for picking and matching five numbers growing to 350,000.
9th Jan2016
  • A record Lotto jackpot of 66 million was shared between two players who matched all six main numbers, with both winners receiving 33 million each.
23rd Dec2017
  • A special draw took place, with 200 additional ticket holders guaranteed to win 20,000 each.
18th Nov2018
  • Bigger fixed prizes were offered for all cash tiers below the jackpot as a series of changes were made to Lotto.
  • A new rule came in which set a maximum of five rollovers for the jackpot before it must be won. The funds would filter down through other tiers if there were no Match 6 winners.
  • The Lotto Millionaire Raffle came to an end.
  • Visit the Lotto Changes page for more details.