The UK Lotto has been operating since November of 1994. It was formerly known simply as the National Lottery before being rebranded in 2002. Lotto draws take place twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and give ticket holders the chance to win great prizes.

The UK Lotto is simple to play and requires participants to select six numbers between 1 and 59. You can also pick numbers at random with a ‘Lucky Dip’ selection, and just decide whether you want to take part in the Saturday game, the Wednesday game or both. The top prize rolls over when it is not won and can grow as high as £50 million.

To win the jackpot, a player must match all six of their numbers to those drawn on the night. The order is not important, so the numbers can be drawn differently to the numbers on the ticket and still be winners provided that they match some or all of the winning line. Six balls are drawn by the machine, followed by a Bonus Ball from the remaining numbers, which creates a new prize tier for those who also match five main numbers.

There are six different ways in which you can win Lotto prizes by matching a number of the balls drawn. These options are presented below:

MatchPrizeOdds of Winning
Match the 6 main numbersJackpot1 in 45,057,474
Match 5 main numbers + Bonus BallEstimated £50,0001 in 7,509,579
Match 5 main numbersEstimated £1,0001 in 144,415
Match 4 main numbersEstimated £1001 in 2,180
Match 3 main numbersFixed prize of £251 in 97
Match 2 main numbersFree Lucky Dip1 in 10.3

There is a fixed prize of £25 for matching three main numbers, while matching two main numbers will be rewarded with a free Lucky Dip. The prize value in the other tiers varies from draw to draw, depending on the number of tickets sold and the amount of winners. A winning ticket is valid for 180 days from the day of the draw, and can be claimed at any authorised retailer, or if you played online, the amount will automatically be paid into your account. The advantage of playing online is that you cannot lose your ticket and you will be automatically notified of your win.

Lotto Millionaire Raffle

A Lotto Raffle was introduced in October 2013 and then adapted in October 2015 to become the Lotto Millionaire Raffle. For every Lotto ticket that is bought, a random raffle number is generated and the player is automatically entered into this draw.

Raffle numbers consist of a four-letter colour and an eight-digit number, for example: "BLUE 1234 5678" and the Millionaire Raffle is guaranteed to create one winner of £1 million in every draw. There are an additional 20 prizes, each worth £20,000, also on offer in every Lotto game.

Here are the odds of winning a Lotto Millionaire Raffle prize in a Wednesday or Saturday draw:

Draw DayOdds of winning a Millionaire Raffle prize
Wednesday Lotto Draw1 in 338,000 (based on estimated 7.1 million Lotto tickets sold)
Saturday Lotto Draw1 in 686,000 (based on estimated 14.4 million Lotto tickets sold)

Additional Lottery Games

Players can also take part in Lotto HotPicks. Both Daily Play (ended 06/05/2011) and Dream Number (ended 09/02/2011) were additional games available from the UK National Lottery.