Frequently Asked Questions about UK National Lottery Super Draws
- What is a Super Draw ?
It is a non-rollover draw where the jackpot prize pool is either topped-up
by a certain amount or the jackpot prize pool is set to a guaranteed
minimum value (effectively a dynamic top-up, with the top-up amount determined
once the original jackpot prize pool is calculated).
- Where does the money come from to top-up the jackpot for a
Super Draw ?
5% of the stake of a lottery ticket is put into a Super Draw reserve fund,
which is where the money comes from for jackpot prize pool top-ups.
- Are there any rules about the holding of a Super Draw ?
The Super Draw prize can be a maximum of the average of the 4
highest jackpot pools from the last 5 normal draws, rounded down to the nearest
£100,000. This prize can either be added to the jackpot prize pool
(a "top-up") or can be doubled and set as an absolute jackpot prize pool.
Camelot must obtain permission from Oflot (the lottery regulator) to hold a
Super Draw with an agreed prize up to the maximum permissible as
- When did the first Super Draw take place ?
The 8th UK National Lottery draw on
Saturday 7th January 1995 was the first ever Super Draw, with a guaranteed
jackpot of £10 million. Disappointingly, the jackpot wasn't won and
was rolled over to the 9th draw (where
an all-time record 133 jackpot winners shared the rollover jackpot prize
- Which was the first Super Draw that was actually won ?
This wasn't until the 2nd Super Draw (the 17th lottery
draw in all) on Saturday 11th March 1995,
where a top-up of an additional £4m to the jackpot prize pool allowed
2 winners to claim £6.5m each (one of which was Lee Ryan, who was
sentenced to 18 months in prison for handling stolen luxury cars prior to
his win !).
- What happens if a rollover and a Super Draw are scheduled for the same draw ?
Camelot used to "absorb" the rollover amount into the Super Draw amount if
it was smaller and cancel the Super Draw if it the rollover amount was bigger
than the Super Draw amount. However, from the 42nd Super Draw (Saturday 8th
January 2000) onwards, the rollover amount is now added to the Super
Draw amount regardless of their relative sizes. It should truly now be
called a "rollover Super Draw" because of the combined jackpot prize pool.
- When was the first Wednesday Super Draw ?
Predictably, the Super Draw guaranteed jackpot mechanism was used to boost not
just the first ever Wednesday
draw on 5th February 1997 to a £9,999,999
jackpot pool (yes, Camelot can round it down !), but also the next three
Wednesday draws as well
(£10,000,008 [rounded up !],
- What's the record ticket sales for a Super Draw ?
The third Super Draw on Saturday 16th November 1996, with an unusual
£9.9m top-up, resulted in frenzied ticket sales of £83,692,804,
helping the four jackpot winners to take home a healthy £5.5m each.
ever ticket sales for a Wednesday Super Draw are £41,634,181,
achieved by the third anniversary Wednesday draw
on 19th November 1997.
- What's the record for consecutive Saturday or Wednesday Super Draws ?
In an astonishing (and some may say misguided) move, Camelot
tried to have a £5m guaranteed jackpot Super Draw every Wednesday between
11th June 1997 and
15th October 1997.
If this plan had worked, there would have been an amazing 19 consecutive Wednesday
Super Draws ! Camelot's dubious plan was only thwarted by the intervention
of 3 Wednesday rollover draws during the 19-draw run, meaning that the longest
consecutive Wednesday Super Draw sequence was actually the 10 draws between
16th July 1997 and
17th September 1997.
- What's the highest/lowest/average Super Draw ?
That info is maintained automatically elsewhere - go back to the Super Draw
index page and select the appropriate page.
- So what's wrong with Super Draws then ?
The concept in principle is reasonable, although it's flawed in its
- Super Draw top-ups are only added to the jackpot prize pool.
- The temptation to use consecutive Super Draws to prop up falling sales
is usually too great.
- The "smaller" (i.e. Wednesday) draw has received the vast majority of
- The Super Draw top-up rarely manages to excite the public in the same
manner that a rollover can - it usually fails to double a normal jackpot
prize pool for example.
- How do you solve these Super Draw shortcomings ?
My proposals are as follows:
- Wednesday and Saturday Super Draws should top-up by an average jackpot
prize pool (i.e. £4m extra for Wednesday and £8m extra for Saturday).
- Super Draw top-ups should be added to the total prize pool for the draw
and hence distributed to all variable prize tiers and not just the
- No more than one Super Draw every 8 draws.
- No Super Draw within 2 draws of a rollover.
- No Super Draw when ticket sales have risen between the last two normal
draws (Wed-Wed or Sat-Sat of course).
- Super Draws should alternate between the Saturday and Wednesday draws to
spice up both draw days, not just Wednesdays.