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Playing the United Kingdom National Lottery

Jun 7, 2008
The National Lottery is the United Kingdom's largest lottery. It is operated by the Camelot Group and is regulated by The National Lottery Commission. The National Lottery can be played by UK citizens who are at least 16 years of age. Unlike lotteries in the US, all National Lottery prizes are paid as a lump sum and are free of taxes. Winning tickets must be claimed within 180 days or the money is forfeited. Like most US states, much of the money earned by the lottery is given back to benefit the citizens. Of every pound spent on National Lottery games, 50 pence goes to the prize fund, 28 pence goes to 'good causes' as designated by Parliament, and 12 pence goes to the British Government as duty.

Playing Lotto

The National Lottery offers many exciting games for citizens to play, including Lotto, Thunderball, Dream Number, and many other games. The most popular and long running National Lottery game is Lotto. To play Lotto, a person simply draws six numbers from a set of 49 as well as a bonus ball. Players win prizes for matching at least three of the six numbers drawn and the prize increases as the number of matches increase. The bonus ball only count if a player matches at least five of the six numbers. Any player who matches all six numbers drawn wins a share of the jackpot. If no player wins, the jackpot rolls over, and this continues 3 consecutive times. Lotto only costs 1 pence to play and the results are announced on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Playing Thunderball

The National Lottery also offers a game called Thunderball. Thunderball began in 1999 and has been a popular game in the UK since then. To play, players pick five main numbers from 1 to 34 and one 'Thunderball' number from 1 to 14, for an entry fee of only 1 pence. Results are announced every Saturday and Wednesday.

Instant Win Games

The National Lottery also offers a variety of instant win games to satisfy your desire to win instantly. These instant win scratch cards can result in prizes of up to 100,000 pounds. The majority of National Lottery scratchcards are sold for 2 pounds and there are also scratch cards sold for 1 pound and 5 pounds.

EuroMillions

The UK National Lottery also participates in the pan-European lottery, EuroMillions. Along with the UK, France, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland participate. EuroMillions costs 1.50 pounds to play. To play EuroMillions, you simply choose 5 main numbers from 1-50 and 2 Lucky Star numbers from 1-9. You can also choose a 'Lucky Dip' for a random selection. There are 12 ways to win EuroMillions. At the very lowest level, you need only match 3 numbers to win a prize. The EuroMillions draw takes place in Paris between 8pm and 9pm (UK time). Results can also be viewed online after approximately 10pm at the official National Lottery website.

Buying National Lottery Tickets

Not only can you purchase National Lottery tickets in participating stores, tickets can be purchased in many other ways. National Lottery tickets can be purchased online in two ways: Subscriptions and Loaded Account. You can sign up through Direct Debit and automatically enter the National Lottery, OR, you can load funds into your account and play when you want to. In both cases, the National Lottery will notify you by e-mail if you win. You can also play most of the National Lottery's exciting games through text messages.

If you don't live in the UK and wish to play this or any other lottery simply log onto the official UK lottery website. This site, like other official lottery sites, explains how to purchase tickets, and often times tickets can be purchased online so you can play most state lotteries from the comfort of your own home. You can also refer to official state websites for custom lottery news. Many sites offer lottery number generators to help make your lottery number picking easier for you. If you would like to purchase your tickets in person, you can also visit a local lottery terminal. No matter how you choose to purchase your tickets, or which tickets you choose to buy, you're bound to have some fun!
About the Author
Anthony Wayne works in the marketing department of online lottery site LuckyLotto in Pennsylvania. He is also editor of the Internet Bingo Blog a great source of internet bingo information.
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