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Brits around the country love playing the lottery, and it’s remained as popular as it was when it was first launched in 1994. In fact, ticket sales for the first half of the 2018/19 financial year totalled a massive £3,456.3 million—marking a year on year increase of £175.9 million, according to owners, Camelot. Whether you’re a lottery newbie, or want to shake up how you play by signing up for different games, the sheer choice of games on offer can be a bit much. From the EuroMillions to the People’s Postcode Lottery, there’s something for everyone. You just need to find the right one for you.

EuroMillions

This transnational lottery is open to citizens of the UK, France, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Switzerland, while tourists and non-residents are also eligible to play, making the stakes extremely high. The odds of winning any prize at all in this lottery is 1 in 13, with the average expected winnings coming in at £12 or €14. According to the National Lottery results, the chances of winning the jackpot are 1 in 139,838,160. The overall odds of you winning any sort of prize stand at 1 in 13, but this could be as low as £3.30 per prize. However, while the EuroMillions is the most expensive lottery on our list, at £2.50 per line (or €2.50 if you’re outside the UK), the potential higher payouts are well worth the price of entry.

 

Also on offer is the EuroMillions HotPicks draw, which offers extra prizes for fewer matched numbers. For £1,50 per ticket, players can win £1,500 for matching 3 numbers, or match all 5 to win the £1 million jackpot. There is a 1 in 2,118,760 chance of bagging the top prize, with a 1 in 10 chance of winning anything at all, which should let you claim at least a tenner.

Lotto

Easily the most famous draw in the UK, the National Lottery’s Lotto game is used to turn citizens into millionaires, while also offering support to UK charities. A truly British institution, 95% of its total revenue goes back to its players and society, with the money being used to fund a number of youth projects and charities. In the year ending March 2019, £1,654.7 million was spent on National Lottery projects, while £4,128.5 million was claimed by winners, so you’re helping support the UK every time you play.

 

The main Lotto draw costs £2 per ticket and offers the highest UK-only jackpot prize. Players can either pick their numbers or enter into a lucky dip. The chances of winning the full prize stand at 1 in 45,057,474, while the chances of winning any prize at all are 1 in 10.3. The smallest prize that is awarded in the Lotto is a free Lotto Lucky Dip for the next draw.

 

Just like the EuroMillions, Lotto also offers a HotPick game for players for £1 per play. Offering a top prize of £350,000, players have a 1 in 834,398 chance of winning. Meanwhile, the smallest prize of £6 has a 1 in 10 chance of being won.

Thunderball

The Thunderball is played four times a week, which limits the jackpot prize to just £500,000, as opposed to millions. However, that also makes it one of the cheapest draws to enter, with each line costing just £1. Another game presented by the National Lottery, the chances of winning any prize is 1 in 13, while the odds of bagging the Thunderball jackpot are 1 in 8,060,598. While this isn’t the best news in terms of your chances, many people opt to increase their odds by forming syndicates for every draw. The game is played every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, so the odds of winning any prize is made significantly higher by playing as part of a group.

 

While the Thunderball doesn’t offer any extra games to play, like Lotto and the EuroMillions, it is much easier to win prizes. You only need to match 5 numbers and the Thunderball in order to bag the jackpot, while matching the Thunderball alone is enough to get you the smallest prize—£3.

The Health Lottery

The Health Lottery isn’t part of the National Lottery and is instead operated as part of 12 local society lotteries across the UK. Draws take place five times a week, at a cost of £1 per line. It offers a minimum jackpot of £25,000, with the odds of winning standing at 1 in 2,118,760. Players of the Health Lottery are also automatically entered into a monthly Mega Raffle for the chance to win a guaranteed prize of £250,000.

 

Each week, 20% of the total ticket sales are donated to health-related causes and community interest companies around the country. The Health Lottery has so far funded 3,000 projects and raised £112 million for health-related projects.

The People’s Postcode Lottery

This subscription-based lottery is paid for in advance by anyone who wishes to enter, and is based entirely on their postcode. Players can enter up to three tickets per draw for their chosen postcode, which is generally reserved for their own, home address. Prizes are announced every day, with 32% of proceeds being donated to charitable causes. For fixed-amount prizes, players can increase the total amount they win by entering more draws. For example, if a winner played with two tickets, the prize is doubled, where if they played with three tickets, the prize is tripled.

 

Prizes are announced on a daily basis, along with extra games to win more. On weekends, every ticket in a winning postcode can win a cash prize of £1,000. However, due to the sheer number of postcodes around the country, it can be difficult working out odds. However, you can check to see how many times your local postcode has won online—the Birmingham postcode has currently won the most, with 457 wins since January 6 2011.


A guide to UK's national and local lotteries
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