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Lotto Changes

Lotto launched in 1994 as the first ever UK National Lottery game. It has been going strong ever since, setting jackpot records and holding special events, but there have also been a number of changes to the game format over time. Take a look at the most recent game changes and any major events in the Lotto timeline.

Recent Changes

Click the dropdowns to view detailed information about the most recent game changes:

November 2020

The National Lottery introduced a ВЈ5 cash prize for Match 2 winners when the jackpot rolls down in Must Be Won draws. The ВЈ5 prize is awarded in addition to the free Lucky Dip that winners previously got. The amount of the rolled down jackpot allocated to the other prize tiers was updated as follows to compensate for the addition of the new cash prize:

Prize Category Percentage of Jackpot prior to 7th November Percentage of Jackpot from 7th November
Match 5 + Bonus 3% 3%
Match 5 6% 5%
Match 4 17% 7%
Match 3 74% 85%

The money needed to pay out the ВЈ5 Match 2 prize is taken from the prize fund first, before the rest of the rolled down jackpot is split between the other prize tiers according to the percentages shown in the table.

November 2018

Here is a summary of the changes introduced to Lotto in November 2018:

  • The Lotto Millionaire Raffle ended. The final draw took place on Saturday 17th November 2018. The money from ticket sales that previously went to generating prizes for that draw now goes to the main draw to pay for the larger fixed prizes.
  • The starting jackpot was set at ВЈ3.8 million for Saturday draws, and ВЈ2 million for Wednesday draws, increasing in value each time it is not won.
  • The fixed jackpot cap of ВЈ22 million was replaced by a five-draw rollover limit. ‘Must-Be-Won’ draws now take place after the fifth rollover.
  • If no players match six numbers in a Must Be Won draw, the prize money is shared between all players in the Match 3, Match 4, Match 5, and Match 5+Bonus Ball tiers. Previously, the money only rolled down to the 5+Bonus tier.
  • All prizes apart from the jackpot are now fixed amounts. The value of most prizes used to depend on the number of winners in each tier, varying from draw to draw, but there is now a fixed amount for each category.
  • The following table shows the new Lotto prizes you can win since the changes were made:
Numbers Matched New Prize (from 21st November 2018) Previous Prize
6 Jackpot Jackpot
5 + Bonus Ball £1 million Estimated £50,000
5 £1,750 Estimated £1,000
4 £140 Estimated £100
3 £30 £25
2 Free Lucky Dip Free Lucky Dip
The overall odds of winning remain at 1 in 9.3

Lotto Timeline

Use the timeline below to find out about any previous changes Lotto has undergone. Including the major revamp that took place in October 2015 and all other key events in Lotto’s history.

In November 2018 the National Lottery made several exciting changes to Lotto. Read about these latest changes and learn about the history of the National Lottery game.

National Lottery: Two numbers could now win cash prize for millions under new rules

Camelot says the new system will come into play if no one wins the jackpot after five rollovers.

Thursday 27 August 2020 16:19, UK

New National Lottery rules mean millions of Britons will win £5 for matching just two numbers.

It applies to so-called “Must Be Won” games – which are held after the jackpot rolls over five times.

In these games, if no one matches all six main numbers to win the jackpot outright, the cash is shared among lower-tier prize winners.

Now only two numbers will be enough for a prize.

It means around a million players per draw could collect £5 – in addition to a free lucky dip.

“We know an unexpected extra fiver – which could be spent on a box of chocolates, a book or magazine, or to treat a friend to a coffee – can really put a smile on someone’s face,” said Camelot’s Neil Brocklehurst.

The move will come into force from 7 November.

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Other changes include three “Big September” draws, kicking off with a special £20m “Must Be Won” game on 5 September.

This will be closely followed by two EuroMillions draws – one guaranteeing 20 millionaires (18 September) and one with a boosted jackpot of more than £100m (25 September).

Camelot says the new system will come into play if no one wins the jackpot after five rollovers.