latest time you can buy a lottery ticket

Latest time you can buy a lottery ticket

How many tickets should I buy a week ?
“Experts” claim that you should spend no more than 1% of your weekly salary, so, for the typical punter, if you are buying more than 3 tickets a week, you’re a gambling addict according to that theory. Of course, with 2 draws a week from 5th February 1997 onwards, you may well exceed that figure.

Should I buy a lottery ticket for someone else as a gift ?
No ! I was staggered to learn that people were actually buying lottery tickets for loved ones as Christmas presents. These became worthless after the draw of course (unless they’d won) and then there’d probably be big arguments about who should have the money if a big prize was won by the gifted ticket. Checking out the rules, it appears that gifting tickets is OK [provided the person gifting them hasn’t written their own name on the back !], but you are not allowed to re-sell tickets to someone else.

If I win in the middle of an multi-draw run of a ticket, what happens to my winning ticket ?
Since the organisers retain winning tickets when someone submits them to claim a prize, they issue an “Exchange Ticket”, which is a reprint of the ticket [with the draw range reduced to the remaining draws only].

Can I cancel my ticket after buying it ?
Yes, but you have only 15 minutes to do so – you get a full refund if you return it to where you bought it from within that period. Note that the latest design of a UK lottery ticket now has a void box for the retailer to fill in to void a ticket that’s been returned for such a refund. After the 15 minutes refund period has expired, you cannot cancel a ticket, even if it’s a Multi-Draw ticket.

If I buy one ticket per draw, how often will I win ?
About once every 6 months on average. You have the same odds of winning regardless as to whether you keep the same numbers for every draw or change them every draw, which is a concrete fact that seems to be lost on a lot of people out there.

“Lucky Dip” – what is it ?
It is basically a ticket generator on a lottery terminal that generates one or more sets of 6 random numbers without the need for a playslip and was officially launched on Sunday 17th March 1996. At the same time, the original 5-board playslip was extended to a 7-board version and each board now has a checkbox next to it to allow the player to choose Lucky Dip. This permits a single playslip to include a mixture of player-picked and Lucky Dip tickets.

Lucky Dip really should have been included on lottery terminals from the start, because a lot of people fill in the numbers at random. The reason for its exclusion for so long was to increase the chance of a rollover (and Camelot makes a lot of money from rollovers) because Lucky Dip would use more combinations than manual selection of numbers and hence make a rollover less likely. If you wish, you can use a WWW version of Lucky Dip instead.

About 70% of lotteries around the world have a Lucky Dip facility on their terminals, though it’s more commonly known as Quick Pick and was described as such in the early Camelot rule book until they decided to be “different” and change its name ! In New Zealand, 50% of players use Quick Pick , whereas in Ireland only 10% do. UK Lucky Dip sales are currently about 15% of on-line ticket sales.

What algorithm is used to generate Lucky Dip random numbers ?
It appears that it’s a straightforward pseudo-random number generator seeded by the clock on the terminal (although I’d also expect the retailer terminal number to be used as well to ensure a unique start seed). Note that the terminal software doesn’t prevent a Lucky Dip playslip from generating two or more identical sets of 6 random numbers. This is quite surprising because although it would give the player a bigger share of the jackpot if they won, it doesn’t improve their chances of actually winning a prize. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some people return to the store and ask for a refund if this happened (in fact, it did happen to someone, who later e-mailed me about it).

Do Camelot release details of how people buy tickets and what are the most popular numbers on tickets are ?
Camelot’s official line is that knowing the exact frequencies of numbers chosen by the general public might influence people’s choice of numbers in future lotteries (i.e. everyone will dive for the least popular numbers in the hope of getting a unique set of 6 numbers). Having said that, Camelot do occasionally release information to the press about certain aspects of purchased tickets:

  • The most chosen combination of 6 numbers is 7, 14, 21, 28, 35 and 42.
  • About 10,000 tickets are bought for each draw with the combination 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
  • 40% of players choose the same 6 numbers for each draw.
  • 42% of players choose a different set for each draw.
  • 18% of players choose a mixture of fixed and random tickets.

If I lose my ticket (or accidentally put it in the laundry and wreck it), should I buy another ticket with the same numbers to replace it ?
My advice is to buy a second ticket with a different set of numbers because you can no longer win the outright jackpot with the original set of numbers. In fact, any prize won by the original ticket will time out after 180 days and end up in the National Lottery Distribution Fund, which would no doubt annoy any other jackpot winners of the same draw if that ticket had won the jackpot – they’d get a proportionately smaller jackpot share.

  • I’ve had my ticket stolen and it’s won a big prize ! What do I do ?
    Contact Camelot and tell them your full details, including where you bought the ticket from. I cannot stress this point enough: it is vital that you put your name and address on the back of your ticket as soon as possible after purchasing it. This prevents someone else from claiming any major prize the ticket has won. If your stolen ticket didn’t have your name and address on, then it’s going to be much more difficult to prove your case.
  • Latest time you can buy a lottery ticket How many tickets should I buy a week ? “Experts” claim that you should spend no more than 1% of your weekly salary, so, for the typical punter, if

    All you need to know about Lotto


    Saturday nights changed forever when Lotto was introduced back in 1994. Since then, it’s become the nation’s favourite game – played by millions in towns and cities across the country. Today, it’s as popular as ever, with thousands winning prizes in every game. As far as lotteries go, Lotto is the real McCoy.

    So how do you play?

    Pick 6 numbers from 1–59 or go with a Lucky Dip ® for randomly selected numbers.

    You can play up to 7 lines of numbers on each play slip and buy up to 10 slips at a time.

    Choose to play on Wednesday or Saturday – or both, and then the number of weeks you’d like to play.

    You’re good to go!

    You can buy Lotto tickets online every day from 6am until 11pm. But remember, to play on a draw day, you’ll need to buy your ticket before 7.30pm.

    Good to know.

    Draw Days

    Play every Wednesday and Saturday.

    If You Win.

    We’ll email you with the good news!

    Play in Advance

    Save time and play continuously by Direct Debit.


    Look out for those rolldowns

    Lotto can only Rollover 5 times. The 5th Rollover is a Must Be Won draw.

    • Starting
    • Rollover
    • Double
    • Triple
    • Quadruple
    • Must be won! ! –>

    Jackpot Rolldown –>

    In a Lotto Must Be Won draw where no one wins the jackpot by matching 6 main numbers, there’s a Rolldown. This means the jackpot is shared by players matching 2 or more main numbers, so thousands can expect to win a boosted cash prize! [1]

    Lotto Rolldown enhancements are effective from the 7th November draw. See more information on these changes. [1]If the jackpot is not won in a Must Be Won draw, match 2 winners will each receive £5 in addition to their Lotto Lucky Dip. The remaining jackpot will be allocated to all other winning prize tiers in set percentages. More information about Rolldowns are included in the Lotto Game Procedures

    Different ways to check results

    Check on the go

    Use our App on your mobile to see if you’ve won. You can also scan paper tickets for instant results. Get it on Google Play or the App Store.

    Here on the web

    All results are published here on the website every Wednesday and Saturday from around 9.30pm.

    Watch the draw live

    Watch all Lotto draws first on our website or YouTube channel at 8pm every Wednesday and 7.45pm every Saturday.

    Want to know more?

    What are the average jackpots, compared with the previous game?

    Base jackpots on Lotto are £2 million on a Wednesday (up from £1.8 million previously) and £3.8 million on a Saturday (up from £3.1 million previously).

    The jackpot grows as it rolls, and we expect Must-Be-Won draws to be around £11 million on a Wednesday and £12 million on a Saturday.

    As the jackpot is now only allowed to roll five times under the new format (compared with the previous rules where it rolled up to £22 million), the jackpot will be won more often.

    How does a Rolldown work?

    Lotto Rolldown enhancements are effective from the 7th November draw. Find out more.

    Whenever there’s a Lotto Must Be Won draw and no one wins the jackpot by matching 6 main numbers, there’s a Rolldown. This means the jackpot is shared across other prize tiers where players match 2 or more main numbers, so thousands can expect to win a boosted cash prize.

    Players matching 2 main numbers in a Rolldown will each receive a £5 cash prize in addition to their usual free Lucky Dip ® . The remaining jackpot prize fund will then be allocated (in set percentages) to the other winning prize tiers and shared amongst those winners.

    For details of the Rolldown mechanic, see the Lotto Game Procedures.

    What are the odds?

    The odds remain the same as they were previously, but the jackpot will be won more often because it is now only allowed to roll over five times (previously it rolled up to £22 million).

    Why did you not change the price or number of balls?

    Sales of the old £1, ‘6 from 49’ game had been falling for a long time. As a result, so had the amount of money it was raising for Good Causes, which is ultimately what we’re here for.

    Secondly, in 2015, we didn’t just add 10 extra balls – there were a number of other changes (for example, the ‘Millionaire Raffle’ and a free Lotto Lucky Dip® ticket for matching two main numbers). If we make a change to one part of the game, we have to consider the knock-on effects that would happen in other parts of the game. We need to look at the game in its entirety.

    We’ve listened to what people (players, non-players and retailers) have told us and what they want from Lotto in the future – jackpots that will be won more often, with bigger cash prizes at the other levels. We believe that the improvements we’ve made will do just that.

    Where has the money from the raffle gone?

    All of the money has gone into the main draw.

    We’ve listened to feedback and responded by taking Lotto back to its roots: focusing on the main draw and bigger, fixed prizes – so players will know exactly what they will win.

    In addition, the jackpot will be won more often, the prize fund will be more fairly shared across all levels and we’ve added a new £1 million prize for matching 5+Bonus Ball (up from around £50,000 previously).

    Have these changes impacted Lotto HotPicks?

    There have been no changes to Lotto HotPicks prizes as a result of these changes – the new prize amounts apply to Lotto only.

    The only change is that you can now only play Lotto HotPicks 4 weeks in advance.

    Dream Big
    Play Small

    Set limits. Get reminders. Take time out. Using our tools can help you stay in control.


    • Online Game Procedures
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    • * Lotto and EuroMillions jackpots are estimated.
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