The United Kingdom is one of the hotbeds for lottery gaming. The National Lottery Commission was established in 1994 by then Prime Minster, John Major. Operated by the Camelot Group, there is only one national lottery game in the United Kingdom, and it is known simply as The National Lottery. Playable only in the UK and Isle of Man, the National Lottery game has only one serious rival, in the form of the European Euro Millions lotto. In recent years, the National Lottery has joined forces with Euro Millions.
Most popular UK lotteries
Traditionally, the National Lottery was the main and most popular game in the United Kingdom. However, in recent years, a sizeable number of players have switched over the EuroMillions game, or indeed bought tickets to both. The EuroMillions offers a substantially larger cash prize, and it has seen many of its winners originate in the United Kingdom. Although the National Lottery retains a special place in the heart of UK lottery players, the EuroMillions is easily the superior lottery game of the two offered in the United Kingdom.
The National Lottery
Run by Camelot, the National Lottery has been active since 1994. Players can opt to play the National Lottery online if they don’t wish to pop down to their newsagents to buy a ticket. The National Lottery sees 12% of its revenue go to the government, with 5% going to retailers, 5% retained by Camelot, 28% to charitable causes, and 50% to the prize fund.
There are several games played which form the National Lottery, but the main game is the Lotto, which features numbers between 1 and 59, and bonus balls. Six numbers are drawn to form a winning ticket. Players have a 1:45,057,474 chance of winning the jackpot. The biggest amount ever won on the National Lottery was £66.1m back in 2016, with two winners coming forward.
The EuroMillions is played in several European countries, of which the UK is one of them. Draws are held every Tuesday and Friday with tickets costing £2.50. A total of five numbers are drawn from a pot of 50, and two Lucky Stars are selected from a pot of 12. Players need to match five numbers and two Lucky Stars to win jackpot prizes, which tend to be worth far more than the National Lottery can muster.
EuroMillions has produced some truly massive jackpot wins. The biggest ever win by a UK players on the EuroMillions was reported at £161.7 million, which was paid out in July 2011. Another big winner pocketed £148.7 million in August 2012.
Which lottery is the best?
Given that the EuroMillions has coughed up huge wins, it is tempting to say that this lottery is by far the best. However, players should take into consideration that the EuroMillions lotto does cost players £2.50 per spin, whilst National Lottery tickets cost less at just £2. Players have a 1:9.3 chance of success on the National Lottery, whilst the EuroMillions offers a 1:22 chance of success on the Euro Millions. Given the pros and cons of both lotteries, we couldn’t pick a winner between them, and neither can the majority of the UK population.