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How to play the UK National Lottery

Playing the UK National Lottery and picking possible winning numbers are easy and straight-forward. Simply buy a ticket from a Local Retailer to stand a chance to win big cash prizes

Can you play online? Yes!

Check winning numbers

Estimated jackpot amounts

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Payout amounts

And more!

Easily check today’s UK National Lottery winning numbers, handy and useful tips.

What is the UK National Lottery?

The UK Lotto is the country’s longest-running lottery game and continues to be played by millions of players every week. Draws take place on both Wednesday and Saturday evenings, with not only a big jackpot on offer but also five other ways to win.

How to play the UK National Lottery?

On their UK Lotto ticket, players will need to pick six numbers from a choice of 59. Players can choose their own numbers or select a Lucky Dip, which is randomly generated on their behalf.

£2 per play

Players can play up to a maximum of seven plays on a single play-slip, for up to four consecutive weeks.

When the draw takes place, six balls will be randomly selected as the main numbers, followed by a Bonus Ball from the remaining 53 numbers. To win the jackpot, players must match all six main numbers, but there are follow up prizes for matching two, three, four or five numbers, five numbers + the Bonus Ball.

Players have a 1 in 9.3 chance of winning any prize in the UK Lotto and odds of 1 in 45,057,474 of winning the jackpot prize. The Jackpot can roll over five times in a row before it has to be given away in a ‘Must Be Won’ draw, with the jackpot money split between every cash winner if no one matches all six numbers.

The UK Lotto is drawn twice a week and uses both a variety of lottery machines and ball sets to truly randomize the process. The machines are given names taken from the mythology surrounding King Arthur or from gemstones. Both the machine and set of balls are chosen at random before each draw by an independent onlooker from sealed envelopes.

UK National Lottery Lotto Prizes

The jackpot starts at a staggering £2 million on a Wednesday and a massive £3.8 million on a Saturday. It can roll over a maximum of five times in a row before it must be won and paid out. If there are still no Match 6 winners after the fifth consecutive rollover, the jackpot funds will be split between players in all the other prize tiers from Match 3 upwards.

How to claim your lotto cash prize


The cut off point for claiming UK Lotto prizes is 180 days from the draw date and any winnings not claimed by this point will be allocated to the UK National Lottery Good Causes Fund.

If a ticket was purchased online, the player will be notified after the draw if they are due a prize, and how to proceed.

Players within the UK will not be taxed on their winnings but online players from other countries may be liable to be taxed in their home country.

National Lottery Regional Claim Centers and Post Offices

There are two National Lottery regional claim centers available to players to claim prizes up to and including £50,000. Note – They are not for general walk-in claims. Players must make an appointment before visiting by phoning the claim center beforehand.

Prizes over £500 and up to £50,000 must be claimed at one of the two available regional lottery centers. Prizes up to £500 can also be claimed from some lottery retailers or from designated National Lottery post offices if this service is offered. There are over 11,500 branches of the post office in the UK, some which trade on Sundays.

Please note that lottery retailers can but are not required to pay out prizes of between £100 and £500. If there are insufficient funds on hand to pay out a prize, players may need to find another retailer or post office to claim it from.

Claiming by Post

Players will need to send the winning ticket, along with any proof of ID and forms requested, to the address below via recorded or tracked delivery. Note – No responsibility will be taken for lost tickets.

The National Lottery
Accounts Department
PO Box 287
WD18 9TT

History of The UK National Lottery
In November 1994, this game was known as the National Lottery when it began, with draws originally being held once a week on a Saturday night and the choice of numbers ranging from 1 to 49.

1997: The Wednesday draw was introduced

2002: The game was later rebranded

2013: A Lotto Raffle was launched


The Lotto Millionaire Raffle was created offering one prize of £1 million and 20 awards of £20,000 in each draw.

The ball pool was increased from 49 to 59, a jackpot cap came in and a new prize tier being added for matching two main numbers.

The Lotto Millionaire Raffle was discontinued in November 2018 as part of extensive changes to Lotto’s prize structure. The jackpot cap was replaced with a new rollover limit to ensure it would be won more regularly, and bigger fixed prizes were introduced.

Comparison table for The UK National Lottery

The following table shows how the jackpot funds will be split between the other prize tiers if there are no Match 6 winners in a ‘Must Be Won’ draw.
Prize Tier
Percentage of Jackpot
Match 5 + Bonus
Match 5
Match 4
Match 3

The biggest UK Lotto win to date: 9th January 2016, two winning tickets shared a £66,070,646 jackpot.

On Saturday 13th February: a single participant won an amazing £32.5 million on

Prizes are tax-free for UK residents, other players from overseas are advised to check with financial experts in order to work out whether a UK Lotto win will bring them any tax implications in their own country.
Tips for playing UK National Lottery
Remember – there’s no real way to predict the set of winning numbers as drawings are completely random, but there are tried and tested ways to increase your chance to win. The probability that you will win the next draw is monumental – but it can still be tons of fun to try!
Just a few thoughts before we get into it –

Previous results have no bearing on future ones.

The key to successful lotto number selection methods are playing the probabilities.

If you play a pattern that occurs only five percent of the time, you can expect that pattern to lose 95 percent of the time, giving you no chance to win 95 percent of the time. So, don't buck the probabilities.

Lottery numbers are randomly drawn. But randomly drawn numbers form patterns that can be tracked and used to your advantage.

We will pop in some fun strategies and bonus tips along the line for good measure!
Play the Right Games
There is a selection of lottery games—and they each have different odds of winning.

Read the odds to ensure you're maximizing your chances of winning.

Pick up some scratch cards. Yes, they offer smaller prizes but higher chances of winning overall.

#Strategie 1:

Identifying Hot numbers, Cold numbers, Overdue Numbers

To use the hot, cold, overdue strategy, analyze the results of your chosen lottery – see which numbers have been drawn recently and which haven’t, at least 50 drawings is needed to get a decent sample size.

Hot numbers: Picked most frequently

Cold numbers: drawn less frequently overall.

Overdue numbers: are ones that have not shown up in recent weeks.

Some players claim that creating a set of winning numbers by mixing hot, cold, and overdue numbers gives players an edge.
Bonus Tip:
Look at a list of past winning numbers for The UK Lotto, and you’ll see, more often than not, one or more of the number groups are not represented. For example, in the combination 5-14-17-32-38-46, there are no 20’s. Tracking and studying Number Groups can help you make a informed choice.
Don’t Miss a Lottery Win!
One MegaMillions lottery ticket worth nearly $300,000 was never claimed!

Keep your ticket somewhere that is safe and easy to find

Make a note of the drawing date and time in your calendar

Check and Double-check the numbers against your ticket

Use a lottery app to keep track

#Strategie 2:

Pick Traditional Lucky Numbers

According to a poll run by mathematician Alex Bellos, seven is not surprisingly the most popular lucky number in the world.

Seven days of the week, seven wonders of the world, seven continents, seven seas, and the list goes on.

Other traditional lucky numbers include three (as in “good things come in threes”) and four.

Play Second-Chance Games (Where Possible)
Many lotteries offer second-chance drawings on non-winning tickets giving players a bonus chance to be a winner.
#Strategie 3:

Pick Traditional Lucky Numbers

Pick numbers that have a personal meaning to you. For example, birthdays, a wedding anniversary, or the birthdays of kids and/or grandkids. Apart from dates consider the number of kids you have or the house number of your childhood home – whatever feels lucky to you. Just a little note on this play, when it comes to picking lottery numbers, dates are just as popular and many people will play them. On the other hand, dates often show up among the most popular lottery numbers!
Bonus Tip! Play a balanced game
After you choose six numbers you want to play, add them together and make sure that the sum of the six numbers adds up to between 122 and 196. Sums that fall within that range will account for over 70 percent of all lottery jackpots won.
Take Steps to Secure Winning Lottery Tickets
Sign it! Your signature on the back of a lottery ticket can help you prove that it is indeed yours if it gets lost or stolen.
#Strategie 4:

Use Numerology to Pick Lucky Numbers

Horoscopes: Lucky Numbers for Today

If you’d like to find lucky numbers without having to play around with numbers yourself, your daily horoscope is a good place to turn.

Many horoscopes include predictions of which days will be lucky for you (and you can try playing the lottery on those days).

Choose Rarer Numbers

Picking certain numbers may offer you a slight advantage, not for your chances of winning, but for your payout.

If you win a lottery jackpot, there is a chance that you might have to split the payout with players who picked the same numbers, so you might as well try to select rarer numbers to improve your odds of keeping more of the payout for yourself.

#Strategie 5:

Lucky Number Generators

The simplest way to find lucky numbers to play is simply to use a generator. Lucky number generators use numerology, or perhaps simply randomness, to find numbers for you.

Bonus Tip!

In Lotto 6/52, on average, one lottery number will be a repeat hit from the last drawing 56 percent of the time.

Just a note About #LotteryStrategies

Finding and playing lucky numbers is based on fun more than facts.  Mathematically, every number has an equal chance of being chosen as a winner.

Remember that there are disadvantages to using traditional lucky numbers as lottery numbers: a lot of other players will be using them, too. That means that if these numbers do win, players chances of having to split the jackpot are high. 

Odds of winning The UK National Lottery

The table below shows the prizes on offer and the odds of winning each one:

Numbers to Match
Odds of Winning
Prize Value
6 Numbers (jackpot)
1 in 45,057,474
5 Numbers + Bonus Ball
1 in 7,509,579
£1,000,000 (fixed)
5 Numbers
1 in 144,415
£ 1,750 (fixed)
4 Numbers
1 in 2,180
£140 (fixed)
3 Numbers
1 in 97
£30 (fixed)
2 Numbers
1 in 10.3
Free Lotto Lucky Dip (fixed)

Odds of winning any UK Lotto prize are approximately 1 in 9.3.

*Approximate Odds

Is the UK National Lottery a Scam?

Absolutely not! The UK National Lottery was launched in 1994, an is still going strong over 26 years later. Unfortunately, fake wins with other institutions have become a regular occurrence – so here are a few tips to keep you and your money safe!

A lottery scam is an attempt to fraudulently extract money from someone by pretending to be a legitimate lottery company or winning player. It has sadly become a too common method of deception as such scams prey on people’s desire to win money and the popularity of big lottery games.

Did you receive a notification that you have won a prize in a lottery? Perhaps the Microsoft Lottery? If so, don’t get too enthusiastic as this is almost certainly a scam.  Players need to find the winning numbers in a newspaper, the internet, or on TV and compare them to their ticket. 

Win notices from foreign lotteries are even more suspicious. Not only do foreign lotteries have the same restriction as domestic lotteries, but it is also illegal to sell tickets for foreign lotteries across international borders.

Therefore, unless a player actually was in a foreign country and bought a lottery ticket, foreign lottery notifications are frauds.

Only buy tickets from authorized lottery retailers.

Offers to sell international lottery tickets by mail or online are usually illegal.

If you didn't buy a lottery ticket or participate in a second-chance lottery game, you didn't win no matter how convincing a text message may sound.

The lottery doesn't notify players when you win; players alone are responsible for checking your winning tickets.

Players are NEVER required to pay money up-front to receive a winning lottery prize.

lottery scam is a type of advance-fee fraud which begins with an unexpected email notification, phone call, or mailing (sometimes including a large check) explaining that “You have won!” a large sum of money in a lottery.

What to do:

If you receive a letter or email claiming that you won a prize for the UK National Lottery but did not enter, it is strongly recommended that you:

Delete or destroy the letter or email immediately.

Do not open any link contained in a suspicious email.

Do not respond to, or contact, the sender.

Do not disclose any personal or financial information.

Do not send any money.

If you have already responded, break off contact with the fraudster immediately.

If you have provided personal or financial details, alert your bank immediately.

If you receive a suspicious email, or believe you have been the victim of internet fraud, report it to the police.

Clues to look for:

The email is sent from a free webmail address (e.g.,, @gmail etc.)

The letter or email starts with something vague like ‘Dear Winner’.

Scam letters are often on poor quality, photocopied letterhead (although some will include a genuine business address in an attempt to provide legitimacy).

Strict time limit to claim the ‘prize’. This is intended to put the potential victim under pressure and deter them from seeking advice or investigating the matter further.

Confidentiality is often demanded as a ‘condition of winning’. Again, this is to deter the recipient from seeking the advice of friends or family who may be more familiar with this type of scam.

Poor spelling, grammar and syntax are usually a good indication that the letter or email is a scam.

The biggest note to remember – It’s impossible to win a lottery without buying a ticket!

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The UK Lotto is the country’s longest-running lottery game and continues to be played by millions of players every week. Draws take place on both Wednesday and Saturday evenings, with not only a big jackpot on but multiple ways to enter and win. As well as by purchasing a ticket at a shop, tickets can be purchased other ways. All National Lottery games can be played online after registering via Direct Debit or a loaded account.  Funds are loaded into a player’s account and are played as required. The current minimum loading amount is £10.  By 2016, the National Lottery had raised approximately £35 billion for ‘good causes’, a programmer which distributes money via grants. 25% of lottery revenue goes towards the fund, along with all unclaimed prizes. Additionally, 12% goes to the state. The prize fund is about 53% of revenue, with the remaining 10% going towards running costs and profits for the lottery organizers and ticket sellers.  Results can easily be followed and checked online – ensuring no winnings are missed.

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