How to Play Thunderball
Playing Thunderball is simple – just pay £1 per line and pick five main numbers from 1 to 39 and a Thunderball from 1 to 14. You have the chance to win prizes ranging from £3 for matching just the Thunderball up to the jackpot prize of £500,000 for matching all five main numbers and the Thunderball.
Thunderball Draw Days
Thunderball draws take place every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The draws are held at approximately 8pm.
Originally, there was only one draw a week on Saturdays. But over time Thunderball has introduced more chances to win, most recently adding a Tuesday draw as part of a series of National Lottery changes in early 2018.
You can buy Thunderball tickets from any authorised retailer, or play online. Here is how to play the game:
Choose your five main numbers from 1-39 and one Thunderball number from 1-14. You can either decide to pick your own numbers, opt for a Lucky Dip or use a number generator to create a random line.
Decide how many lines you wish to enter. You can enter up to seven lines on each play slip, and buy up to 10 play slips at one time.
Purchase your ticket before the cutoff time for that draw.
Wait for the results to come in! You can watch the draws online, visit the Thunderball results page straight after the draw, or download our free Results App to be notified as soon as the numbers are available.
The Thunderball is drawn from a different set of numbers to the main balls. The same number can therefore appear as both a main ball and the Thunderball.
If you select a Lucky Dip, a random set of numbers will be generated at the point of purchase and submitted as your entry.
Another way to play Thunderball is to join a syndicate. By joining a group of other lottery players, you can boost your odds of winning by entering multiple lines at no extra cost. Prizes can then be split between all the members of the syndicate.
To join an online syndicate, just select the number of shares you want in a ticket, confirm your purchase and wait to see if you are a winner. Playing online, prizes will automatically be credited to your account.
Ticket Sale Cutoff Times
|Monday||Dependent on individual retailer opening hours||11.00pm||Available all day|
|Thursday||Dependent on individual retailer opening hours||11.00pm||Available all day|
|Sunday||Dependent on individual retailer opening hours||11.00pm||Available all day|
|When ticket sales close at 7.30/7.50pm, they will reopen later in the same evening for the next draw.|
If you wish to play for a number of draws consecutively, you can play up to four weeks in advance at a retailer or continuously by Direct Debit.
How to Win Thunderball
There are nine different ways to win on Thunderball, providing excellent 1 in 13 odds of receiving a prize:
|5 numbers + Thunderball||£500,000|
|4 numbers + Thunderball||£250|
|3 numbers + Thunderball||£20|
|2 numbers + Thunderball||£10|
|1 number + Thunderball||£5|
Visit the Odds of Winning Thunderball page to find out the chances of winning each different prize tier.
How to Claim Prizes
The method for claiming a Thunderball prize depends on how you played. If you joined an online syndicate, winnings will be paid into your online account and the syndicate provider will then help to process transfers for larger amounts.
The table below shows how prizes must be claimed if you bought a Thunderball ticket either online or in a shop. All prizes must be claimed within 180 days.
|Playing Method||Prize Value|
|Up to £500||£501 - £30,000||£30,001 - £50,000||£50,000 and over|
|Played Online (Not Direct Debit)||The money will be paid directly into your National Lottery account||Winnings will be paid into the bank account associated with the debit card that you have used to set up your National Lottery account. The payment will need to be confirmed before it is issued.||You must call the National Lottery Customer Care team on 0333 234 44 33. Prizes will be paid by cheque.||Call the National Lottery on 0333 234 44 33 to arrange for your claim to be processed in person.|
|Played Online (Direct Debit)||Winnings will be paid into the bank account associated with your Direct Debit.||Call the National Lottery on 0333 234 44 33 to arrange for your claim to be processed in person.|
|Played at a Retailer||You can claim prizes up to £100 from any retailer and may be able to claim prizes up to £500. You can also claim any prize up to £500 from a National Lottery Post Office.||Claim your prize from a designated post office, regional National Lottery centre, or by post. You may have to complete a prize claim form and provide ID.||Call the National Lottery on 0333 234 50 50 to arrange for your claim to be processed in person.|
If you are claiming your prize by post it is recommended that you use recorded or tracked delivery, as the National Lottery takes no responsibility for tickets lost in the mail. The address is:
The National Lottery
PO Box 287