Why The Changes?
The National Lottery have revealed that, after analysing how they could improve some of their games - including EuroMillions and Lotto - they spoke to players, non-players and retailers for detailed feedback about what people wanted to see. They believe they have listened to that feedback, incorporating people’s opinions into these changes.
Another aim is to increase the amount of funds being raised for Good Causes, with 28 pence of every £1 million spent on Lotto and EuroMillions going towards charitable projects throughout the UK. Nigel Railton, The National Lottery Chief Executive, said: 'It was clear from the review that we needed to create a more appealing and balanced range of games that offers something for everyone.'
Bigger Jackpots In Lotto
The changes to UK Lotto are set to come into play this November, with tickets going on sale on Sunday 18th November ahead of the first draw three days later. There is the promise of bigger, fixed prizes along with the jackpot being won on a more frequent basis. Players can still enter for £2 per line, selecting six main numbers between 1 and 59, and the odds of winning and additional Lotto HotPicks game aren’t affected either.
The top prize can currently roll over multiple times until it reaches its £22 million jackpot cap, however, under the new structure, the jackpot will only be able to roll over a maximum five times before it has to be claimed in a ‘Must-Be-Won’ draw, even if no one matches all six numbers. These changes will guarantee more Lotto jackpot winners than before.
If all six numbers aren’t matched in a ‘Must-Be-Won’ draw, the jackpot will be shared by all cash winners in the Match 3 up to Match 5 + Bonus prize tiers, each tier receiving a set percentage of the overall jackpot. This will mean bigger prizes for all ticket holders and, for example, a Match 3 winner could receive £100 instead of £30 due to the Rolldown. The jackpot is currently just shared amongst a single prize tier, unlike the new format. It is estimated the jackpot value for Must-Be-Won draws will be £11 million in midweek and £12 million on weekends.
The introduction of bigger cash prizes means the supplementary Lotto Raffle draw will come to an end as a result of the larger sums on offer. The prize for matching all six numbers will remain as the jackpot, but matching five main numbers and the Bonus Ball will see a player receive a prize of £1 million, far more than the current estimated £50,000 figure. Matching three, four and five main numbers will also see ticket holders receive fixed amounts of £30, £140, and £1,750 in prize money, bigger than the respective amounts currently available. Players who match two main numbers will continue to receive a Free Lucky Dip for a future draw.
Furthermore, the guaranteed minimum jackpot available will increase from its current £1.8 million value to £2 million for Wednesday draws, and go up from £3.1 million to £3.8 million for Saturday draws.
New Annuity Game Set To Launch
The National Lottery also revealed plans to launch a brand new annuity-style game, the likes of which haven’t been seen before in the UK. Annuity games are popular in other countries, including Australia and the USA, and they offer jackpot winners guaranteed payments over a set period of time rather than a one-off, lump sum cash payment. It is anticipated winners will receive ‘thousands of pounds every month for at least 25 years’, in what is an exciting style of game for UK-based lottery players to look forward to.
The logistics of the game are still being finalised with lawyers and financial experts, but it is expected tickets can be bought for the new annuity game at some stage in 2019.
Changes are also being made to EuroMillions, with the guarantee of more special events from spring 2019. The supplementary UK Millionaire Maker game, available for EuroMillions ticket holders to play in the UK, will see one player win £1 million in every draw rather than the two winners currently crowned. The first special event will be held next year, with 40 guaranteed UK millionaires, and further information is set to be released about more big events closer to the time.