National Lottery Lotto ticket price doubles to £2

Lottery balls float down the Thames To celebrate the new Lotto, 26ft balls were floated down the Thames in London

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The cost of a National Lottery Lotto ticket has doubled to £2.

The rise, the first since the lottery started in 1994, is part of a package of changes including bigger prizes, says operator Camelot.

Prizes for matching three numbers will rise from £10 to £25. Average jackpots are predicted to rise to around £5m on Saturdays and £2.5m on Wednesdays.

Would you be willing to pay £2 for a Lotto ticket?

Camelot says this will mean more money for charities. It has raised £30bn for "good causes" since 1994.

It says sales of the flagship Lotto game have been steadily declining for several years - impacting the money the game raises for the charities - so leaving Lotto as it was "was not an option".

Some other prizes will be reduced. Camelot estimates that the reward for matching five balls plus the bonus ball will average £50,000 instead of £100,000.

The prize for matching five balls is expected to average £1,000 instead of £1,500, while the average for matching four balls is expected to go up from £60 to £100.

Extra numbers printed on lottery players' tickets will be entered for a raffle with prizes of £20,000.

'Needed fixing'

Camelot UK managing director Andy Duncan told the BBC's Today Programme the main objective of the changes was to "re-energise Lotto".

Lotto stats

  • More than 2,600 jackpot millionaire winners created
  • Average size of a jackpot ticket is £2m
  • Largest jackpot prize was £22m, paid out to colleagues Mark Gardiner and Paul Maddison from Hastings in 1995
  • Over £9.4bn in prize money has been paid out in jackpot prizes

"The prizes haven't changed for 19 years and this is a way of actually giving players more opportunities to win more money," he said.

He said the National Lottery had grown by 50% over the last 10 years, with games like Euromillions and scratch cards adding to the portfolio.

About 50% of the population play the National Lottery once a month, he added.

Professor Ian Walker of Lancaster's Department of Economics told the BBC people had been "falling out of love with Lotto since the mid 1990s".

Ticket sales used to be at about 80 or 90 million a week, but are now about 45 or 50 million week, he said.

The real value of Lotto sales had fallen by more than 60% over the last 15 or 16 years and "Lotto had needed fixing for a while," he added.

Camelot's Andy Duncan said they made the changes after speaking to thousands of players

He also said the £2 price was bound to have an impact on ticket sales.

Total National Lottery sales have increased by 35% since 2002, when the game was officially renamed Lotto. Some 30 million tickets are reportedly bought every Saturday.

An average 800,000 players win prizes for matching three or four numbers each week, while around 800 players match five numbers or five plus the bonus, according to Camelot.

Camelot is holding two £10m jackpot draws to mark the launch of the new game.

The special draws, to be held on 5 October and 12 October, will also see 1,000 raffle ticket-holders winning £20,000 on each occasion.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 1157.

    The only time I've ever played the lottery is as part of a work syndicate, as the idea of my colleagues all becoming millionaires, leaving me alone in the office is pretty unbearble.

    When times have been tight we do the 'budget loterry' where 10 of us pay 20p each towards 2 lines.

    I don't see a problem with the price hike - participation is not compulsory.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1068.

    The way I see it £2.00 is still not a lot for the possibility of becoming a millionaire despite the odds being against you, don't want to pay £2.00 then don't. Though I would rather see the lottery run as not for profit one rather than the current set up. I'll be interested to see if those complaining are backed up in a reduction of people participating in a few months time,I suspect not.

  • rate this

    Comment number 812.

    The price of the lottery hasn't changed since it started, I can't think of a single other commodity for which we could say the same. The prizes may not have changed but the amount retailors have to take would have to be going up due to their own cost increases or they're not getting a penny more than a decade ago, both of which are unsustainable.

  • rate this

    Comment number 791.

    It was the worst decision any government has ever made to create a National Lottery. The lottery is the innocent gateway for many unsuspecting people into gambling addiction. Now you can get your fix in any small shop, on your PC or mobile phone. The worst aspect of this, is that gambling is no longer perceived as a detrimental to our society. Its all regarded as a bit of good clean fun.

  • rate this

    Comment number 769.

    This is a missed opportunity in my opinion. I would liked to have seen the lower end prizes bulked up much more radically. I can't really see the point in adjusting the jackpot prizes at all. I still think I'll play, but the rise in the price means I'll probably play much less frequently.


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