The UK National Lottery Prize Structure
The current prize structure came into effect with the introduction of the
main Lotto raffle on Saturday 5th October 2013.
The total prize pools for the main Lotto and the main Lotto raffle
are 42.47% and 5.03% respectively of the total cost of the tickets sold for that
draw. If all the 5.03% isn't spent on raffle prizes, the remaining amount
goes into a reserve fund, which is used for future raffle draws (e.g. to
fund a shortfall or to add more raffle prizes).
The percentage figures are rounded down to the nearest 10p when applied
to ticket sales before further calculations on it are performed (don't ask me why!).
All 3-match prizes are fixed at £25 each (there is one exception to this -
see the Notes section below) and are subtracted from the total prize pool.
The allocation of the remaining money (known as the "Pools Fund")
is as follows:
- 6-match (Jackpot) Prize Pool (Avg prize pool: Sat - £5m, Wed - £3m)
66.4% of the Pools Fund plus any rollover from the previous draw's unwon jackpot
prize pool. An occasional Super Draw, funded from 5% of the
ticket sales of previous lotteries, will either top-up by adding a fixed
amount or guarantee a minimum jackpot prize pool. If there is no jackpot
winner, then the entire jackpot prize pool is "rolled over" to the next
draw. This can happen a maximum of 4 times - if there is a 5th consecutive
draw where the jackpot wasn't won, the jackpot prize pool is shared amongst
the 5+bonus winners of the 5th draw or amongst the 5-match winners of the
5th draw if there are no such 5+bonus winners.
- 5+bonus-match Prize Pool (Avg prize: £50,000)
5.3% of the Pools Fund plus the 4th consecutive unwon jackpot prize pool as
detailed above. If there are no 5+bonus winners and it's not the 5th
consecutive unwon jackpot, then the 5+bonus prize pool is added to the jackpot
prize pool for the same draw. This has happened only
once to date.
- 5-match Prize Pool (Avg prize: £1,500)
4.5% of the Pools Fund plus the 4th consecutive unwon jackpot prize pool if
there's no 5+bonus winners as well. If there are no 5-match winners, the
5-match prize pool is added to the 4-match prize pool for the same draw.
- 4-match Prize Pool (Avg prize: £100)
23.8% of the Pools Fund plus the 5-match Prize Pool if there are no 5-match
winners. If there are no 4-match winners, then the 4-match Prize Pool is
shared equally amongst the 3-match winners in addition to their standard
- An individual prize in the above categories is simply the division of the
prize pool for that category by the number of winners in that category.
Camelot calculates this using double-precision floating-point
arithmetic throughout and then rounds down to the nearest £ at the
- If the total number of winners in all categories * £25 exceeds the
total prize pool (excluding any rollover or Super Draw money),
then the main Lotto total prize pool is split into separate prize pool tiers
using these set of percentages instead (from 6-match to 3-match): 31.9%, 2.5%,
2.2%, 11.4% and 52.0%.
- If a single ticket could win more than one individual prize in a draw (e.g.
a jackpot ticket actually has six 5-matches, fifteen 4-matches and twenty
3-matches making a total of 42 prizes),
then only the single highest individual prize is won.
- If no-one claims a prize within 180 days of the draw, it is added to the
National Lottery Distribution Fund.