The UK National Lotto is the UK’s largest lottery and is controlled by the Camelot Group PLC. The licence to run the UK Lotto was granted to Camelot when the National Lottery was launched in 1994 and they retained it again in 2001. The National Lotto is regulated by The National Lottery Commission and their role is to ensure that players are treated fairly; that the UK’s interest in the Lotto is looked after; and that the operator is motivated to maximize the enjoyment and benefits that the Lottery brings to the Nation.
In 2002 the UK National Lottery re-branded itself in an attempt to stem diminishing sales and as a result the main game was renamed the ‘Lotto’. The games are still known collectively as the National Lottery however.
As with the Euro Millions Lottery, all prizes won are paid out as a lump sum and are also tax-free. For every pound (£) spent on the National Lottery games, 50 pence is allocated to the prize pot, 28 pence is given to good causes decided on by the UK Government, 12 pence goes to the British Government as tax and 5 pence is taken by the Lotto retailers as commission. Camelot receives 4.5 pence to cover their operating costs and they also take 0.5 pence profit. To participate in the UK Lotto games, players must be at least 16 years of age and reside in the United Kingdom or the Isle of Man.
For each UK National Lotto draw one of eleven machines is selected along with the lottery balls to be used. This selection process is completely random and takes place minutes prior to each National Lotto draw. The machines are called Merlin, Arthur, Galahad, Vyvyan, Lancelot, Garnet, Topaz, Opal, Amethyst, Moonstone and Pearl.
The National Lottery – The Different Games
The National Lottery brand encompasses several games which are:
To play in the UK National Lotto each player must select six numbers from 1-49 plus a single bonus number. Either the player can select their own numbers at the time of purchasing the ticket or they can opt for the ticket issuing machine to select the numbers on their behalf. This is what is known as a ‘lucky dip’. To win a cash prize, players must match at least 3 of their selected 6 numbers. The prize value increases for matching more of the drawn numbers. An additional number is then drawn as the bonus ball which is only relevant to players who match 5 of the 6 drawn numbers. Players who match the bonus ball number as well as 5 of the 6 main numbers win a greater cash prize than those players who simply match 5 numbers without the bonus ball also. Anyone who is fortunate enough to match all of their selected 6 numbers wins the jackpot. The chance of this happening is almost 1 in 14 million. If in a single week no one matches the 6 drawn UK National Lotto numbers, the prize pot is carried over to the following week thus creating a larger jackpot. These rollovers as they are known happen frequently with one occurring every few draws. The maximum number of rollovers permitted is three although this has only occurred twice since the UK National Lotto commenced operations in 1994.
Players pay £1 for each set of 6 numbers and can then view each draw live on the BBC in the UK on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Saturday draws commenced on the 19th of November 1994 and the first Wednesday draw took place on the 5th of February 1997.
Lotto Extra was launched on the 13th of November 2000 and offers players already partaking in the main UK National Lotto draw the option to participate in the Lotto Extra draw at the same time with their same selected 6 numbers. The price for including Lotto Extra on a ticket was an additional £1 per entry — it was not possible to play Lotto Extra separately. Six numbers were drawn from a range of 1–49. If a player matched all six balls they would win the jackpot but unlike the main Lotto draw, Lotto Extra offered no further prizes. Instead the jackpot would continually be rolled over to the following week until it was won. The jackpot could only rollover until the prize fund reached £50 million. At this point, if no one had matched the 6 numbers, the jackpot prize would be allocated to the players matching just 5 numbers.
Like the main UK National Lotto draw, Lotto Extra was conducted on Wednesdays and Saturdays but due to poor sales Camelot cancelled the game in July 2006.
Lotto Hot Picks
Lotto Hot picks uses the main Lotto draw for its numbers but unlike the UK National Lotto no prizes are issued for partial matches. In other words players must match all their numbers to win the prize.
Thunderball was launched on the 7th of June 1999. With Thunderball, players choose five main numbers from 1 to 34 and one ‘Thunderball’ number from 1 to 14. As with all the other main UK National Lotto games, each Thunderball ticket costs £1 and the Draw take place every Wednesday and Saturday.
Dream Number was launched on the 15th July 2006 and took over from the cancelled Lotto Extra game. Dream Number offers prizes of up to £500,000 and can be played alongside the UK National Lotto or by itself. Participants have the option to play the 7-digit Dream Number shown on the Lotto play slip or pick Lucky Dip for a new random number. Tickets cost £1 each. To win, players must match the digits drawn in the same order as your Dream Number, reading from left to right and commencing with the first digit.
Unlike other Lotto games, it is not possible to choose the number entered and the order that the numbers are drawn is important since the numbers must be matched in order for the player to win. All money raised for good causes from Dream Number will go towards the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Paralympics in London.
In addition to selling different types of Lottery ticket, the National Lottery also sells scratch cards. These are small pieces of card where an area has been covered by a thin layer of opaque latex that needs to be scratched off. Hidden under this layer are symbols and pictures which the player needs to match in order to win the prize.
The standard scratch card requires the player to match three of these symbols/pictures etc and if this is achieved the player wins the amount stated on the scratch pad. The standard card costs £1 and offers a maximum prize of £100,000. However, there are also some cards that offer multiple chances of winning and these sell for £2. And now there are even some which cost as much as £5 but offer a much greater prize.
The Daily Play as the name suggests can be played everyday, except for Sundays and Christmas Day. Players must choose 7 numbers from 1 to 27 and prizes can be anything from winning a free lucky dip up to £30,000 cash.
The Daily Play draw is not televised but can however be viewed online everyday via the BBC website. The results on Saturdays are recorded and are broadcast during the live draws of the UK National Lotto, Dream Number and Thunderball on the BBC in the UK.
UK National Lotto
Incoming search terms:
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- bbc lotto
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- bbclivelotouk@live com
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