The National Lottery Homepage. © The National Lottery

The National Lottery is the official operator of lottery games in United Kingdom, ran by the Camelot Group. It was given a license in 1994 and it was refreshed seven years later and once again back in 2007. The games are regulated and licensed by the National Lottery Commission. They cater almost exclusively for the needs of UK residents.

The United Kingdom National Lottery was established in 1993 and has been operated by the Camelot Group since 1994. Participants purchase tickets and then wait for the weekly draw to see if the numbers on these tickets match the ones extracted. Since November 2009, new Lotto draw machines are used. They are called Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot and Merlin. All the draws are televised, so participants can watch these draw machines at work.

Key facts about National Lottery

  • The National Lottery is the only accepted operator of lottery games in the United Kingdom and awards millions of British Sterling pounds every year.
  • The prizes are not subject to any taxes and all the money is awarded in one lump payments to winners.
  • The National Lottery is a major supporter of good causes, with 28% of the prize pool being donated.
  • Anyone above 16 years old can play the games, including the scratch cards introduced in late 1995.
  • The National Lottery is one of the oldest in Europe, with the first games being held in 1694.

The National Lottery is an excellent choice for casual gamblers, who want to spend a little amount and shoot for the stars. Tickets cost only a few British Sterling pounds and the big winners win life-changing amounts. They frequently cross the psychological threshold of 100 million GBP. The odds are stacked against players, with the odds of matching all the six winning numbers being 1 in 45 million.

The National Lottery Mega Friday. © The National Lottery
The National Lottery Mega Friday. © The National Lottery

National Lottery games

Lotto is the classic lottery game that has players purchasing tickets which feature at least six numbers. They are chosen by players or randomly generated; on each ticket, the numbers range from 1 to 59. On order for players to win the big prize, one would have to match all six numbers. Five numbers will result in smaller payouts, which can be increased, if players also match the Bonus Ball. This however doesn’t affect the first category of winners, the ones who have matched all six numbers.

The smallest prizes awarded go to those who only have three numbers. Jackpots are rolled over, if nobody hits the winning combination. With the odds being as low as 1 in 45 million, if nobody wins, the jackpots hit record amounts. Draws take place on Wednesday and Saturday, except for Christmas Day and they can be watched live on the Internet or on BBC one. Lotto rules have changed in 2013 to accommodate more winners and the name is commonly referred to as New Lotto. The changes however have also led to the doubling of ticket prices to £2.

The EuroMillions are the best paying lotto games organized by the National Lottery and they are open to residents of multiple European countries. The first draw was held in 2004 and the odds of winning the first prize are 1 in 116 million. A ticket would set players back £2 per board but when players hit the winning combination, they can hope to win in excess of £100 million. This is to date the best paying European lottery and attracts customers from nine countries, with the draws taking place in Paris.

Other ways to gamble at the National Lottery

The National Lottery is not specialized in bingo and poker games and has never offered slot machines, video pokers or other casino games. Such titles can be found at Mr Green Casino, Genting, OddsRing or Sunny Player Casino who also ran juicy promotions aimed at UK residents.

Scratchcards and online Instant Wins are relatively new additions to the National Lottery, but already some of the most popular. Scratch cards cost £1, £2, £3, £5 or £10 and participating players can hope to win dozens of different prizes. The best case scenario is to win the first prize worth £4 million with a minimal contribution of £10. The odds for this favorable outcome are 1 in 3.5 million, which explains why so few people win the life-changing amount.

The UK Millionaire Maker is an extension of the EuroMillions raffle, with all participating tickets entering this special draw. The winner will walk away with a fixed jackpot of €1 million, but the odds of triumphing depend on the number of sold tickets on any given week. The Millionaire Raffle works in a similar way, but it is aimed at the classic Lotto games, with the first prizes being awarded in 2015. 20 players are guaranteed to claim £20,000 and the lucky winner will be presented with £1,000,000.

There are dozens of UK licensed bookmakers, such as William Hill, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes, bet365 and Betsson allowing players to bet on sports. The National Lottery focuses exclusively on lottery games and scratch cards, so punters should get their kicks elsewhere.

How do you register at National Lottery?

Purchasing National Lottery tickets is simple and they are sold across the United Kingdom and even over the Internet. You don’t even need to have an account to purchase them. As long as you are above 16 years old, you are free to put your luck to the test.

Is National Lottery safe and reliable?

The National Lottery is strictly regulated by the National Lottery Commission, the one in charge with auditing the games for fairness. The lottery is ran by the Camelot Group and abides by the highest security standards. The money is distributed among participants who correctly predicted the winning numbers. The amounts vary based on how many numbers they have on the tickets. The big winners claim life-changing amounts, whereas most players have to settle for small consolation prizes.

The National Lottery is a member of the prestigious World Lottery Association, which includes similar games from dozens of countries worldwide. There were no instances in which the fairness of the games were in doubt. The only complains being issued by sore losers. The odds of winning the big prize are remote, but this is due to the very nature of the game. The games are both safe and reliable and are a good choice for those who don’t mind relying on luck.

Payment options and cash out times at National Lottery

The National Lottery is encouraging players to contemplate other possibilities in addition to purchasing tickets from the stands and shops. You can buy them online using credit cards, direct debit through bank transfers and load the online account with the amount desired. The Play By Text service is no longer available and the same goes for Sky Active. The good news is that since July 2015, the Barclays Pingit system is up and running. Players can use the Pingit app to buy tickets hassle-free and significantly faster.

If you win a small amount, you can simply head on to the nearest shop. Present it to the teller and he or she will pay your winnings right away. Big time winners are advised to sign their tickets and go to the National Lottery headquarters to claim the jackpots. They also benefit from counseling, so they know how to manage the situation and make the most of the newfound fortune. This process can take anywhere from a few hours to several days. It’s better not to rush it and refrain from spreading the news.

National Lottery promo & bonus codes

The National Lottery doesn’t exactly have competition in United Kingdom, so it is not hard pressed to offer bonuses and run promotions. The monopoly helps it stay afloat and profitable, but the organizers occasionally offer freebies in the form of Premium Bonds. Players can win €1 million or currency equivalent, but the chances are 1 in 26 billion. Twice a month, someone will usually strike the winning combination. Many players will be given a brand-new ticket, which is not the same as getting the money back. It still gives you a second chance.

The National Lottery Mobile App. © The National Lottery
The National Lottery Mobile App. © The National Lottery

National Lottery service and support

Customer support is available 24/7 via email and the live chat system is up and running. It provides invaluable assistance to ticket holders and prospective clients. Since they cater almost exclusively for UK residents, all their specialists are fluent in English. It helps that the rules are clear and televised draws guarantee transparency.

What are others saying about National Lottery?

The National Lottery is generally appreciated by players, who regard it as a decent form of entertainment for the masses. Punters and professional casino players shrug at the odds. There are some who expressed their discontent with the insignificant chances of winning a lot of money. However, this is the basic principle that all lotteries run on, so it’s actually normal for people to lose.

Some players are unhappy with the fact that only half of the prize pool actually goes to prizes. The rest is divided between the government, charitable organizations and Camelot, the games operator. Since 1994, a lot of money was donated to projects involving local, national and regional heritage, for a combined amount of nearly £4 billion. Almost 30,000 projects benefited from financing, many of them in dire need of money so there is a silver lining to how money is distributed.

My rating of National Lottery

Ever since I was a little kid I secretly hoped to strike it rich one day by winning the lottery. I’m writing these reviews right now, so you’ve probably guessed that that miracle never happened. However, the passion is more or less intact and I still enjoy purchasing the tickets. Having said this, I’m fully aware of my chances. Winning the lottery is a far fetched scenario, but I like to keep the dream alive.

I think that the National Lottery is better than most of its foreign counterparts. It has a tradition that helps them stand out from the crowd and a smart way to divide money. I’m sure I would celebrate the winning of a seven digit amount, rather than complain about 50% of the revenue going elsewhere. In fact, I am glad that 28% is distributed to “good causes”, under the ever watching eye of the National Lottery Distribution Fund. Overall I’m happy with their service and a review score of 9 out of 10 should reflect my satisfaction.

Overall Score