It’s the dream for so many Brits. To tune into the live National Lottery draw as your numbers are slowly revealed one by one – banking you a tax-free, multi-million cash prize in the process. But with such gigantic odds against you, the chances of this actually happening are slim to none – as we all know.

Despite this, around 6,000 of us have become millionaires due to the National Lottery since its launch in late 1994, with over £60 billion given out in prize money during that time. So winning is possible, you’ve just got to be in it to win it – just like you have by playing The Spinner.

For a quick run through of the history of the UK National Lottery, keep on reading!

Early Beginnings

• Noel Edmonds presented the first live draw, broadcast on 19th November 1994 viewed by around 22 million people.

• Only one Saturday draw would take place until a midweek draw also began in February 1997.

• Players had to choose 6 numbers from a possible 49 and tickets only cost £1.

• At this stage, the odds of winning the jackpot were around 1 in 14 million.

• The largest jackpot prize pool ever given away during this era, where £42 million was shared between three lucky players in 1996.

Thunderball was launched in 1999 – an additional game with a better chance of winning but a lower prize pool.

Lottery (Lotto) Extra was also introduced in 2000, with a big pay-out for players who matched all 6 numbers.

21st Century Era

• A revamp in 2002 saw the National Lottery rebranded as Lotto

Daily Play was launched in 2003, with only 27 numbers and the chance to win up to £30,000.

• In 2003, it became possible to buy Lotto and Daily Play tickets online, as well as play interactive ‘instant-win’ games.

• The first ever triple rollover draw took place in May 2004.

• In 2006, Lotto Extra was discontinued and replaced by Dream Number.

Dream Number was a random seven-digit number allocated to each Lotto ticket, awarding prizes to how many consecutive numbers were matched up.

• In 2011, the rollover limit was raised from three draws to four.

• A year later, the first ever quadruple draw was won with £19.5 million being shared by 5 players.

Modern Day

• 2013 witnessed numerous changes. Ticket prices rose to £2 each resulting in an increased prize pool.

• The pa-yout for matching 3 numbers rose from £10 to £25.

Lotto Raffle was also introduced at this time which would offer between 50 and 1000 prizes of £20,000.

• The odds of winning the jackpot were lengthened significantly in 2015 when the number of balls increased to 59. The odds of winning became 1 in 45 million.

• For the first time, matching just 2 numbers now awarded a prize in the form of a Lucky Dip ticket for the following draw.

• The overall odds of winning any prize became just over 9 to 1.

Lotto Raffle changed again so one lucky ticket would create an instant millionaire, with 20 players winning £20,000 each.

• In 2018, a restructure now meant each prize level resulted in a fixed amount per winner, also meaning the £1 million raffle came to a swift end.  

Set For Life began in 2019 with a top prize of £10,000 per month for thirty years, equalling £3.6 million in total.

Fun Facts

• According to reports, The Queen won £10 on the first Lottery draw in 1994.

• The city with the most jackpot winners has been Birmingham.

• The West Midlands must be a lucky area. The same family from Tipton has won the jackpot on three separate occasions.

• A man from Kent won a prize EVERY week for the first 26 weeks of the National Lottery.

• Unlucky for some… The number 13 is (at time of writing) the least drawn number in the history of the National Lottery when counting just numbers 1-49.

• Winning the jackpot on 14th January 1995 would have been bittersweet. A massive 133 players matched all six numbers but only bagged £122,510 each.

• In 2012, a Euromillions winning ticket purchased in Hertfordshire wasn’t claimed in time. It was worth a staggering £63 million – the biggest unclaimed amount in British history.

Being a free online competition, the prize pool of The Spinner is never going to be life-changing – but that doesn’t mean you can’t bag yourself some nice cash on the side or a secondary prize. And the odds of winning are a lot better than Lotto too! Play twice a day, every day, to boost your chances of hitting a winning number.

For a further look at National Lottery statistics, check out this website.

About Adam Hughes

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