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How to Play Lotto

Playing Lotto is easy – all you need to do is pick six numbers between 1 and 59.

For the chance to win one of the thousands of prizes on offer in each draw, simply play online. As your ticket is stored securely in your online account, you can relax knowing that your ticket is safe and so are any possible winnings. If you can’t decide on a set of numbers, or you’d simply prefer a random selection, then click the Lucky Dip option or use the Lotto Number Generator.

Tickets can also be purchased in person from authorised retailers, where you will need to fill in a paper play slip. Keep your ticket safe, as you'll need it to check your numbers following the draw and provide it as proof in order to claim any winnings.

Choose Which Lotto Draw to Play

Lotto draws take place on Wednesday and Saturday evenings. Both paper and online ticket sales offer you the choice of selecting just the Wednesday or Saturday draw or opting to play on both days.

Choose the Number of Weeks to Play Lotto

For convenience, you can choose to buy a ticket that will play the same numbers for up to eight weeks at a time.

Direct Debit

Choosing the Direct Debit option allows you to keep playing your numbers continuously without any major effort on your part. Once you’ve set it up, you don’t have to worry about last-minute queues at authorised retailers or forgetting to buy your ticket before a big rollover draw. With increasingly busy lives, playing via Direct Debit is an ideal way to ensure that your ticket purchases are always up to date.

How to Win on Lotto

In order to win the Lotto jackpot, you must match all six main numbers drawn on the same line. The Bonus Ball is the seventh ball selected and gives those who have matched five main numbers the chance to win the second-tier prize. Prize values for matching four or more balls are dependent on the number of tickets sold and the amount of other winners in that tier, while the lowest two winning prize tiers – Match 2 and Match 3 – offer fixed awards of a Lotto Lucky Dip ticket and £25 respectively, regardless of the number of winners in the tiers.

Lotto Winning Combinations & Odds

Numbers to Match Odds Of Winning Lotto Prize Value
Match 6 (Jackpot) 1 in 45,057,474 Jackpot
Match 5 + Bonus Ball 1 in 7,509,579 £50,000 (estimated)
Match 5 1 in 144,415 £1,000 (estimated)
Match 4 1 in 2,180 £100 (estimated)
Match 3 1 in 97 £25
Match 2 1 in 10.3 Free Lotto Lucky Dip Ticket

Overall odds of winning are 1 in 9.3.

Lotto Millionaire Raffle Odds

Draw Day Odds Of Winning a Millionaire Raffle Prize
Wednesday Lotto Draw 1 in 338,000 (based on estimated 7.1 million Lotto tickets sold)
Saturday Lotto Draw 1 in 686,000 (based on estimated 14.4 million Lotto tickets sold)

How to Check Your Ticket

If you bought your Lotto ticket online and match any of the winning combinations, you will receive an email notifying you that you have won a prize. For tickets bought from an authorised retailer, there are a number of ways to find out if you are a winner:

How to Claim Your Lotto Winnings

How you claim your Lotto winnings depends on the value of the prize. All Lotto prizes must be claimed no later than 11pm UK time 180 days after the date of the draw. Failing to claim a prize before the deadline will result in the money, and the interest it has accumulated, being transferred to the National Lottery Good Causes fund.

Online Winners (Not Via Direct Debit)

Up to £500

Prizes up to £500 will be paid directly into your National Lottery account.

£501 - £30,000

Winnings will be paid directly into the bank account linked to the debit card associated with your National Lottery account. However, you will need to confirm the payment before it can be issued.

£30,001 - £50,000

These prizes must be claimed by calling the National Lottery Customer Care team on 0333 234 44 33, quoting your ticket number. Winnings will be usually paid by cheque.

£50,001 and Over

If you are lucky enough to have won more than £50,000 then you will need to call 0333 234 44 33 and speak to the Customer Care team. You will need to have your ticket number to hand as this will be required to confirm your win. Payment will be made at your home or at an agreed location.

Online Winners (Via Direct Debit)

Up to £50,000

Any prize worth £50,000 or less will be paid to your bank or building society account used for Direct Debits.

£50,001 and Over

Prizes worth more than £50,000 will need to be claimed by calling the Customer Care team on 0333 234 44 33 so that the claim can be processed in person.

Tickets Purchased from an Authorised Retailer

Up to £100

You can claim prizes of up to £100 from any Lotto retailer. When your ticket is scanned, you will hear a ‘win sound’ play and be given a receipt, which will tell you the exact value of your prize. Your ticket will be validated and the prize money paid to you in cash.

Over £100 and up to £500

Some Lotto retailers can pay out prizes of up to £500 in cash at their discretion and based on their available cash funds, but they are not obliged to do so. If a retailer cannot pay out your prize, you can return at an agreed time, go to another retailer or visit a National Lottery Post Office. However, if the retailer has already validated your ticket, you will have to return to the same establishment when they have the funds available. It’s always a good idea to ask the retailer whether they have sufficient cash funds to pay out your prize before validating your ticket.

Up to £50,000

Winnings of up to £50,000 can be claimed from any designated National Lottery Post Office upon presentation of your ticket. You will need to complete a claim form and can choose to receive your winnings by cash or cheque, but please note that the maximum cash pay-out is £500.

Over £50,000

Winnings above £50,000 must be claimed by contacting The National Lottery directly. You will need to raise a claim via telephone on 0333 234 50 50 or by post. After you have completed a form and provided suitable proof of identity, your winnings will be paid at a location to suit you. If you are submitting your prize claim by post, recorded or tracked delivery is recommended, as The National Lottery takes no responsibility for tickets lost in the mail.

The address is:

The National Lottery
Accounts Department
PO Box 287
WD18 9TT