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UK Lotto Background and History

Everyone in the world is at least somewhat familiar with the long history of the United Kingdom, either from history books or the various TV shows and movies that have been released throughout the years. The UK Lottery is just the same, having had a very long history dating back to the 17th century.

During its early years of 1697 and 1698, the English lotteries were basically illegal, unless given special authorization by the law. These were created back then as a sort of experiment by the government, to see how they could help in raising financial capital for the state.

It wasn’t until between 1956 and 1976 that lotteries were fully legalized and allowed. Still, back then only small lotteries managed to get the necessary approvals. The UK’s first state franchised lottery wasn’t licensed until several decades later, in 1993. A year later, Camelot Group is awarded the lottery franchise as a private operator on May 25 of that year. The first ever draw happened on November 19, 1994, where the first lucky numbers were drawn. These were 3, 5, 14, 22, 30 and 44, and the extra bonus number was 10. This first draw had 7 jackpot winner that shared the jackpot prize of £5,874, 778.

Although the lottery was doing ok, ticket sales were slowly going down. So in 2002, the National Lottery had a complete makeover. Along with some other games that make up the National Lottery, the main game we all know today as Lotto received its new name.

October 2015 saw some additional changes happen to the UK Lotto. Ten more numbers were added, increasing the pool from 49 to 59. At the time (before 2016), the jackpots had uncapped rollovers, and they could roll over on average of 14 times. If the jackpot reached £55 million, it would roll over one last time before being combined with the next tier prize and being awarded to the players with the most matches.

In 2016 more changes took place, where the jackpot is rolled over one last time once it reaches £22 million. A significant decreased from £55 million.



 As free as the UK is, lottery ticket sales are prohibited to anyone under the age of 16. Tickets are available either from approved local shops or through verified online vendors and websites.


How to Play the UK Lottery 

Although the group holds several lotteries, its biggest game is the Lotto. This is a traditional lottery game, where in order to enter, the players need to select 6 numbers, ranging between 1 and 59. The numbers can be chosen by the players themselves, or chosen randomly and automatically with a feature called Lucky Dip. An extra ball called the Bonus Ball is also drawn. This number will help players who match any numbers but the top prize (jackpot).

In order to win the amazing jackpot prizes, all 6 numbers must be matched. But even if you don’t, this lottery is very generous and offers three more prize tiers with very nice prizes.

The jackpot pool varies each time, depending on ticket sales, and it usually caps at around £22 million. When it reaches this amount, it will roll over one last time, and if not won yet again, the prize will be shared by the players that matched the most winning numbers.

There is another little surprise the lottery gives. With every Lotto ticket bought, the Millionaire Lotto Raffle is also included. This allows 20 players to win £20,000 each, and one lucky player will win £1 million each draw.


UK Lotto Winning Tiers

Tier 1 6 1:45,057,474
Tier 2 5 + Bonus Ball 1:7, 509,578
Tier 3 5 1:144,414
Tier 4 4 1:2,179

Top 3 biggest UK Lotto jackpots

Although the UK Lotto has smaller jackpots compared to the bigger lottery games we know, it still, nonetheless creates some very wealthy millionaires. Depending on how you want to look at it, UK Lotto has had three major jackpots that are definitely worth mentioning.

The biggest jackpot on the UK Lotto record was won on January 6, 1996. Three very lucky players each took home a share of £14 from the record breaking £42 jackpot pool.

Since the lottery saw significant jackpot changes in 2015, this kind of jackpots were never available again. However, getting very close to breaking this record was the January 9, 2016 jackpot. Two winning tickets split the pool of £33 million.

Just one short month later, on February 2016, one single lucky winner took home the third largest UK Lotto jackpot. He became an instant millionaire when he won the £32.5 million jackpot prize.

 Top 5 most common numbers

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
23 38 40 30 11

 Top 5 least common numbers

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
56 50 53 51 55


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