UK National Lottery

What is the UK National Lottery?

UK National Lottery is a national lottery game based in the United Kingdom. It is the first and original national lottery for the United Kingdom having been created in 1994. The UK National Lottery is ran & operated by the Camelot Group, which at the time of receiving its first (of three) licenses to operate a national lottery was 20% owned by the Royal Mail.

Since this time both companies have changed somewhat. The previously state owned Royal Mail is now a private company & the Camelot Group was bought outright by the Ontario Pension Fund in 2010 for $400m.

UK National Lottery Draw Days

The draw happens every Wednesday & Friday evening at 20:00 GMT with results update broadcast nationwide at 22:35 GMT on the respective draw days.

Minimum Jackpot

1,000,000 GBP

Record Jackpot

161,653,000 GBP

Ticket cost

2.0 GBP

UK National Lottery Prize Fund Division

Because the UK National Lottery is regulated by the Government (with companies such as Camelot competing & bidding for contracts to operate), the prize fund is split quite differently to other lotteries. All prizes are paid as a lump sum & are not susceptible to tax, this makes the UK national lottery much more akin to its Australian counterparts & in contrast to the American lottos’ such as powerball & super lotto plus where the winnings are then taxed.

The UK National Lottery has a parliamentary regulated way to divide the income, its goes as follows:

·         50% of all income goes to the prize fund.

·         28% of all income goes to ‘good causes & charities’ as agreed by Parliament. This allowance was one of the main reasons why the National Lottery was accepted in 1994 and has since proved itself to the English people with generous donations throughout the country in particular its strong support of the UK Olympic program through sponsorship. This investment in the sport infrastructure of the UK was lauded throughout the country & seen as one of the determining factors behind the UK’s historically successful and record breaking London 2012 Olympic Games medal haul. It is widely regarded that this type of success would not have been possible without the financial support of the National Lottery.

·         12% of all income goes to the UK Government as a tax.

·         5% of all income goes to the retailers & shopkeepers who sell the tickets

·         5% of all income goes to the Operator (Camelot), of which 4.5% is operating costs, leaving 0.5% of all income as profit for the Ontario Pension Fund.

UK National Lottery Game Odds

Prize Main Numbers Extra Numbers Odds
1st 6 1:13,983,816
2nd 5 1 1:2,330,636
3rd 4 1:54,201
4th 4 1 1:1,032
5th 4 1 1:57

UK National Lottery Thunderball Game Odds

The ‘Thunderball’ was introduced in 1999 to make the draw more similar to its American Powerball equivalent. The rules of this draw were changed significantly in 2010 to adjust for inflation and a general overhaul of the prize breakdown and game odds structure that was previously in place.

Old (1999–2010)
New (after May 2010)[20]
Match Prize Odds of winning Prize Odds of winning
Thunderball only £3 1 in 14
1 + ‘Thunderball’ £5 1 in 33 £5 1 in 35
2 + ‘Thunderball’ £10 1 in 107 £10 1 in 135
3 numbers only £10 1 in 74 £10 1 in 111
3 + ‘Thunderball’ £20 1 in 960 £20 1 in 1,437
4 numbers only £100 1 in 2,067 £100 1 in 3,647
4 + ‘Thunderball’ £250 1 in 26,866 £250 1 in 47,415
5 numbers only £5,000 1 in 299,661 £5,000 1 in 620,046
5 + ‘Thunderball’ £250,000 1 in 3,895,584 £500,000 1 in 8,060,598