The National Lottery is the United Kingdom’s largest lottery. The National Lottery undertook a major rebranding programme in 2002 designed to combat falling sales. This resulted in the main game being renamed Lotto. However, the games as a collective are still known as The National Lottery. It is one of the most popular forms of gambling in the United Kingdom.
There are twelve different machines that can be used for the Lotto draw. The machine and set of lottery balls to be used is selected at random, and is announced just prior to the draw. The machines are designated Merlin, Arthur, Galahad, Vyvyan, Lancelot, Garnet, Topaz, Opal, Amethyst, Moonstone, Pearl and Sapphire. Guinevere has also been a designated machine in the past but has now been retired. Ball sets, of which there are eight, are designated by number.
How it works:
Six numbers are drawn from a set of individually numbered balls with numbers in the range 1-49, as well as a further bonus ball. Balls, once drawn, are not returned to the draw machine, therefore each ball (including the bonus ball) can only be drawn once per Lotto draw. Players choose six different numbers by a method of their own choosing at the time they purchase a ticket. Prizes are awarded to players who match at least three of the six drawn numbers with increasing prize value for matching more of the drawn numbers. In addition to the six drawn numbers, an additional number is drawn as the Bonus Ball. The bonus ball is only relevant to those players who match five of the six drawn numbers, whereby those players matching exactly five of the drawn numbers who also match the bonus ball receive a larger prize than those matching just 5 of the drawn numbers. Anyone matching all six drawn numbers wins a share of the jackpot; the chance of doing so is 1 in 13,983,816. For players matching at least four of the drawn balls the prize value is dependent on the total number of players also matching the same number of balls in that the prize fund is divided equally between all players matching that number of drawn numbers. In the event that no player matches all six of the drawn numbers the jackpot is accumulated into the next Lotto draw, a so-called Rollover. This accumulation is limited to three consecutive draws. Rollover is a common occurrence, happening once every few draws, though a three week roll-over is a rather less common occurrence having happened only twice to date. When does the draw take place: The draw is conducted on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Saturday draws started on November 19, 1994, under the name ‘National Lottery’. The first Wednesday draw was on February 5, 1997. All draws are shown live on BBC One in the UK, with the Saturday draw shown as a segment in a range of different Lottery branded gameshows throughout the year.
Payout Break Down:
The Lotto prize fund is 45 percent of draw sales. Camelot state that the 3 ball prize winners are calculated first, these receive £10 each; the remaining prize fund is then divided as shown in the table below and split equally with the number of winners for each selection:
|3 numbers||£10 per winner||56:1 (i.e. 1 in 57)|
|4 numbers||22% of remaining fund||1,031:1|
|5 numbers||10% of remaining fund||55,490:1|
|5 numbers and bonus ball||16% of remaining fund||2,330,635:1|
|6 numbers||52% of remaining fund||13,983,815:1 (i.e. 1 in 13,983,816)|
The National Lottery is regulated by the National Lottery Commission – a non-departmental public body reporting to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Until 1 April 1999 the National Lottery was regulated by the Office of the National Lottery (known by the acronym OFLOT). The Lottery was set up in 1993 under the National Lottery etc Act 1993  and was reformed under the National Lottery Act 1998  and the National Lottery Act 2006 
Wakefield Syndicate £3,681,300 – Saturday 2nd February Steve and Ida Smith £18,992,109 – Saturday 26th January. Karen Bottrill £1,106,528 – Saturday 29th December Stephen Skinkis £785,425 – Wednesday 5th December
Source’s and Reference’s:
Wikipedia – website The National Lottery – website