Two lucky National Lottery players have won more than £1m each, after matching five numbers and the bonus ball in a weekend draw. The jackpot, which stood at £20m, remained unclaimed as no one matched all six balls. However, the must-be-won draw saw the lower prizes enhanced, increasing the value of tickets. Lottery expert Richard Brocklebank, also known as The Squirrel, claimed the bank holiday weekend offered the “great chance of wins being enhanced”. The rules have changed since 2020, giving bigger payouts for smaller wins if jackpots roll down.
The cost of a £2 lottery ticket is expected to produce a return of less than 90p on average. However, the enhanced must-be-won draws can potentially offer a greater expected value for tickets, which does not require all six balls to be caught. When there is no clear winner, the jackpot rolls down and subsequent prizes are enhanced. The National Lottery was first held in November 1994, with seven joint winners sharing a jackpot of £5,874,778.
The National Lottery’s largest ever prize was won by two lucky holders in January 2020, with a jackpot of £66m. Another winner, Karl, managed to win £11m at 23 years old in 1996. The odds of winning the lottery are estimated at around one in 14m. The largest amount secured by a single ticket holder was £42m in 1996, won by one person. Gareth Bull, aged 49, hit the jackpot in November 2020, winning £41m, and has plans to knock down his bungalow to make way for a luxury manor house with a pool. Sue Davies won £500,000, and Sandra Devine won £300,000 by mistake.