Guide to UK Lotteries

Living in the UK gives you access to a variety of great things: from a trip on the London Eye to the fact that you can boast about having a Royal Family. One thing that you are also able to stake a claim to is a wide variety of great lottery games. While not as numerous as in America, the UK has a decent set of popular lottery games that could easily change your life in an instant. In this guide to UK lotteries, we will provide a brief overview of what these lotteries are and why they’re worth playing.

UK Lotto Logo MediumUK Lotto

Arguably the most popular lottery available in the region, the UK Lotto first launched in 1994 and has been running strong since then. Known simply as Lotto within the region, the game is incredibly easy to play and requires that players match six numbers with those drawn at the time of the draw. You will need to choose the six numbers from within a number pool that ranges from 1 to 59, or you can use the Lucky Dip option to have a computer select your numbers for you.

Due to the easy nature of the game, the lottery boasts sales of between 15 to 45 million tickets each draw. It can even be played internationally, thanks to the advent of the many online lottery websites that support it. Odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 45,057,474, and the highest ever jackpot sits at £66 million—won in 2016. All prizes won, regardless of the amount, are paid out in the form of a cash lump sum.

EuroMillions Logo MediumEuroMillions

You may imagine that a lottery that takes place across 13 nations could have rather significant jackpots, and you would be right. EuroMillions, which officially launched in February of 2004, is currently one of the biggest lottery games in the world. It offers draws that have jackpots limited to €200 million and boasts multiple winners of €190 million (which used to be the old jackpot cap before it was changed in 2020).

To play the game, you will need to select five main numbers from a number pool ranging between 1 and 50, and an additional two numbers called Lucky Star numbers. These two numbers will need to come from a pool ranging from 1 to 12. Matching all five numbers and the two Lucky Star numbers means that you have beat the odds of 1 in 139,838,160. As with the UK Lotto, the only way to claim your jackpot if you do win is in the form of a cash lump sum.

Thunderball LogoThunderball

Another extremely popular game in the region is Thunderball, which launched in 1999 and currently holds four draws each week. The lottery uses a simple double-matrix formula that requires you to choose five balls from a range of 1 to 39 followed by a single ball from the range of 1 to 14. Matching all six of these balls with those drawn will result in you being a jackpot winner.

The odds of becoming a jackpot winner are 1 in 8,060,598—which are great compared to other lotteries such as the US Powerball, Mega Millions, or even the UK Lotto. However, there is a drawback to these great odds: the maximum jackpot amount. The jackpot is capped at £500,000, which is significantly less than that offered by other lotteries.

Lotto HotPicks LogoLotto HotPicks

Launched in 2002, Lotto HotPicks was a radically new game that took many people by surprise. This is purely because of the strange way that the game operates in. However, the game quickly caught on and is now one of the most popular lotteries in the UK.

The game acts as a pick lottery with you being able to choose to play whatever amount of numbers you would like to from one (pick-1) up to five (pick-5). All numbers, regardless of how many you play, will need to be chosen from a pool ranging from 1 to 59. The maximum jackpot that can be won is £350,000 and can only be won when playing as a pick-5 against odds of 1 in 834,398.

Health Lottery LogoThe Health Lottery

This unique lottery made a big splash in the lottery scene in the UK when it first launched and represented 51 different area lotteries. In 2018, the Health Lottery tidied up shop and combined areas to represent 12 different major areas in the UK that each hold a unique lottery on a rotational basis. Entry into these draws is £1 per line with a chance of winning a maximum of £25,000 for matching all five numbers.

The thing that sets this lottery apart, however, is the fact that 20% of all money received by the lottery through the sale of tickets is donated to charity. In addition to this generous act, the lottery also holds free prize draws twice a week that host a jackpot of £100,000—which is no amount to snarl at. Entry into these free prize draws can only be achieved by purchasing £1 lottery tickets for the draws that occur on Tuesdays through to Saturdays.

People's Postcode LotteryPeople’s Postcode Lottery

If you are looking for a UK lottery that is not the norm, then the People’s Postcode Lottery is undoubtedly for you. For the low price of £10 per month, your postcode will be entered into a daily draw during which a random postcode is chosen. During the week, 20 lucky winners will each win £1,000 each day if their postcode is selected, and on weekends, the prize increases substantially to £30,000 per day—though only one winner is chosen each day of the weekend.

The People’s Postcode Lottery, which was launched in 2005, has steadily grown in popularity over the years as more and more people have had their postcodes chosen and become winners.

Set for Life LogoSet for Life

If you have not yet heard of Set for Life, then you have been missing out. This great lottery offers odds of 1 in 15,339,390 to win the jackpot. While these may not be the best lottery odds out there, the jackpot prize makes it worthwhile. Rather than a single jackpot, if you are lucky enough to win this lottery by matching all five balls and the Life Ball, you will receive £10,000 every month for the next 30 years of your life.

If this sounds like a prize you could get behind, all you need to do is choose five numbers from a number pool ranging from 1 to 47. Also, you will need to select a single number, known as the Life Ball, from a number pool that ranges from 1 to 10. Matching all these numbers will make you a winner and guarantee you a paycheque for many years to come.


In case you find reading through all the rambling above tedious, we have compiled the most relevant information about each of the above lotteries in a neat table to tell you all you need to know:

Lottery Name

Jackpot Odds

Biggest Jackpot

Lottery Type

Draw Days


1 in 45,057,474

£66 million

Single Matrix (6/59)

Wednesday and Saturday


1 in 139,838,160

€190 million

Double Matrix (5/50 + 1/12)

Tuesday and Friday


1 in 8,060,598


Double Matrix (5/39 + 1/14)

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday

Lotto HotPicks

1 in 834,398


Pick #

Wednesday and Saturday

The Health Lottery

1 in 2,118,760


Single Matrix (5/50)

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday

People’s Postcode Lottery

Not Available


Raffle Type

Every day

Set for Life

1 in 15,339,390

£10,000 per month for 30 years

Double Matrix (5/47 + 1/10)

Monday and Thursday


The UK is home to many great lotteries, each of which offers something unique and allows players pick something that suits their individual taste. While there is no doubt that other countries—especially the US—also have large lotteries that offer ridiculously massive jackpots, those in the UK are still among the most popular in the world.

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