UK Lotto Review

Editor rating:
4.35
UK Lotto features rollover jackpots, six prize tiers, two weekly draws and a long history going back to 1994. For these reasons and more, it's been one of the Kingdom's biggest and most popular lottery games for years.
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What we like

Big jackpots
Jackpots can roll down
Bi-weekly draws

What we dislike

Taxes on winnings
Pretty tough jackpot odds

UK National Lotto, sometimes referred to as simply Lotto, is one of the most popular lottery games in the UK. With straightforward gameplay and substantial jackpots, it’s easy to understand why this game is one of the top lottos in the world. In this UK Lotto review, we’ll answer all your questions about this game and determine whether it’s the game for you.

About UK Lotto 

UK Lotto falls under the UK National Lottery brand, which is run by Camelot Group. Camelot Group was granted a licence in 1994, and the first draw took place in November of that year. The game has undergone a few changes since that first draw, including a name change from The National Lottery to Lotto in October 2002. Outside of the UK, it is now commonly known as UK Lotto or UK National Lotto.

The most recent change took place in November 2018, when all prize tiers from four number matches and above became fixed. Before the change, these winners received prizes based on the number of ticket sales for that draw. Approximately 15 to 45 million tickets are sold every draw.  

UK Lotto Draws

UK Lotto offers bi-weekly draws that take place Wednesday nights at 8 pm UTC and Saturday nights at 7:45 pm UTC. The only exception to the schedule occurs if a draw lands on Christmas Day. In that event, the draw moves to Christmas Eve. Numbers are drawn at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, with the draw broadcast live on ITV. Six numbers and one bonus ball are drawn.

How to Play UK National Lotto

UK Lotto Logo LargePurchasing tickets for UK Lotto is easy. Players must simply choose six numbers from 1 to 59. Numbers can be selected manually or can be generated by a computer by selecting the Lucky Dip option, which is identical to the quick pick option found in most other lottery games. To win the jackpot, a player must match all six numbers. Since October 2013, the official price for one line has been £2.

UK National Lotto is available outside of the UK through privately run a wide range of lottery websites that allow players to buy lottery tickets online.

UK Lotto Prizes and Odds

UK Lotto has a total of six prize tiers, ranging from a free play (the lowest) to the jackpot (the highest). The overall odds of winning are 1 in 9.3. The second-highest prize tier is the only one affected by a bonus ball. To win the second-highest prize, players must match five numbers, and the bonus ball must match one of the six numbers in the line.

If there are no jackpot winners, then the prize rolls over to the next draw. However, rollovers are capped at five, so if there are no winners for five weeks in a row, the next draw will be a Jackpot Rolldown. That means that the top prize will be split between each cash winner, which often results in a substantial increase for each prize tier. The minimum jackpot varies between draws, with a £2 million minimum on Wednesdays and a £3.8 million minimum on Saturdays.

The odds of winning each prize tier are as follows:

Number of Matches

Prize (Estimated)

Probability of Winning

6

Jackpot

1 in 45,057,474

5 + Bonus

£1,000,000

1 in 7,509,579

5

£1,750

1 in 144,415

4

£140

1 in 2,180

3

£30

1 in 96

2

Free Play

1 in 10

Claiming UK Lotto Prizes

Winners don’t have the option of choosing an annuity, as all UK Lotto prizes are distributed as lump-sum payments. Prizes are not subject to taxes, though winners may have to pay taxes on any interest they accumulate from their winnings, or on any money they donate to family or others. Individuals who play UK Lotto online from outside the UK will not have to pay taxes on interest or donations, but they may be subject to the lottery tax laws of their country of residence.

Notable UK Lotto Winners 

There have been many big winners since the game’s first draw. To date, the biggest jackpot ever awarded by UK Lotto was £66 million. The prize was won on January 9, 2016, and was split between two winners. While a jackpot being divided between a few winners is not rare, a January 1995 draw is notable for a large number of top-tier winners. The record-breaking draw saw an unprecedented 133 jackpot winners, with each player taking home £122,510.

UK National Lotto-Should You Play?

UK Lotto is a popular game for a reason. It is easy to play, relatively inexpensive and offers many opportunities to win. Though the rollover cap means the game will probably never see jackpots as big as some other popular online lotteries, like EuroMillions or US Powerball-which many Brits play regularly-the amounts are nothing to scoff at. If you’re looking for consistent and uncomplicated gameplay, UK Lotto is certainly a draw worth trying.

UK Lotto - Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Play UK Lotto if I am not a British citizen?
Yes, it is easy to play UK Lotto no matter where in the world you are if you buy your tickets through an online lottery site. The best sites will even scan your tickets for you so that you can see them in your user account. See our lottery site reviews for details.
What are the UK Lotto odds of winning the jackpot?
The jackpot odds are 1 in 45,057,474.
Can I play UK Lotto online?
Yes, residents of the UK can buy Lotto tickets through the official National Lottery website from 6 am UTC until 11 pm UTC every day of the week, except for draw days (see below). Foreign players can also get in on the fun by buying their tickets through an online lottery agent. For details, see our lottery operator reviews.
What is the cut-off time for UK Lotto ticket sales?
The deadline for purchasing tickets is 7:30 pm UTC on the night of each draw. After the draw concludes, ticket sales for the next draw open.
What time is the UK Lotto draw?
The draws take place every Wednesday at 8 pm UTC and every Saturday at 7:45 pm UTC.

Comments

Phillip

Brilliant draw with excellent prizes - what's not to like?

Adams

I only really fancy Lotto when the jackpots get really big, otherwise I play other lotteries with better odds online.

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