The National Lottery better known as Lotto whose debut draw was held in 1994 on 19th November continues to be the most popular sweepstake event in the United Kingdom. The lottery’s popularity can be gauged from the fact that over 32 million adults (nearly 70% of the UK’s populace) purchase coupons regularly in the hope of winning a slice of the mammoth prize money. UK Lotto has spawned over 3600 millionaires in the past 24 years, dishing out almost £53 million in takings.

The present rules which enable UK lotto coupon holders six distinct opportunities to pocket a cool £2.5million (the minimum jackpot amount) will witness some changes that will be introduced from the November 21st draw onwards. It is expected that these changes will make the sweepstakes more riveting, attracting a more significant number of participants to try their luck. Let us review what these changes are and how the same will influence the lottery, but before that, a sneak peek into how the draws have hitherto unfolded and the major changes effected to date.

The upcoming changes

National Lottery has decided to add the changes after in-depth consultation with all the stakeholders in the Lotto, including players and retailers. The franchiser has paid heed to stakeholders’ feedbacks which means the draws from 21st November onwards will see players winning bigger jackpots, and more frequently. At the same time, the rule tweaks will lead to a greater sum of money being donated to the ‘Good Causes’ Fund.

Players will be delighted to know that the ticket price will remain the same (i.e., £2). On the other hand, the sweepstake matrix or structure will also stay unchanged. Simply, put you’ll continue to select numbers from 1 through 59 and your chances of cornering the top prize will be the same as before.

The main changes that will take effect from 21st November have been underlined below:

  • Every non-jackpot award level will become fixed
  • The Lotto Raffle will be replaced and more than compensated by a higher amount of cash prize in each non-jackpot row
  • There will be five rollovers of jackpots before they’re capped and the subsequent rollover will happen only after this limit has been attained (Comprehensive article about rollovers)
  • The jackpot rollovers (in case nobody matches all the six numbers in a single line) will also mean that the prize money will roll down or rollover as well with the purse being carved up amongst all winning tiers or levels

The current modus operandi of UK Lotto and the major changes until now

To take part in the draw, you’d need to buy a coupon with six distinct numbers chosen by you (in between 1 and 59 for every line). Alternatively, you can opt for the ‘Lucky-Dip’ ticket that contains numbers generated at random. At first, you’d have to choose the total number of lines you’d prefer to play. The maximum number of lines you can play at any given time is 70. The draws are organized twice a week (on Saturdays and Wednesdays). Again, you’d have the option of playing in both the weekly draws and at last, you’ll have to decide the total number of weeks you’d want to play. For playing a single line, you’d have to pay £2 (that also allows you to participate in Millionaire Raffle) and the more numbers you match, the higher is your prize money. More actual information and rules about Lotto you can find here.

If you match all the six numbers in a single line, you get to collect the jackpot. Lotto has been through several overhauls since it started in 1994 with the last major refurbishment happening in October 2015.  The following is a rundown of the major changes:

  • The total number of balls in the pool increased to 59 from 49 (from 10th October 2015)
  • From 10th October onwards, players had the opportunity of winning an assured 1 million apart from the jackpot prize
  • A £50 million jackpot cap replaced the four draw rollover ceiling from January 2016 onwards
  • The odds of winning the current 5 + Thunderball jackpot (£5, 00, 000) became 1 in 8, 060, 598 from May 2010 onwards
  • Comprehensive article about all UK Lotto changes

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