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National Lottery Facts

Some Facts about the UK National Lottery

£11,200 worth of online tickets are sold every 100 seconds.
The most northerly National Lottery outlet is on the island of Unst in the Shetlands. It's closer to Norway than to London.
The luckiest outlet is the Star News, Newton Powys.
During the first double rollover at the beginning of 1996, all the lottery terminals failed as they could not keep up. On average, 7 million tickets were sold per hour during the double rollover.
Now seven £1m plus wins in Sussex and in the same town (Worthing).
Now eight £1m plus wins in Scotland are within a 20 miles radius. The last was in June 1997.
There are 10 set of balls at £2500 a set. Set of Ball 9 has still never been used!
Each balls weight 80 grams and 2 inches in diameter. The numbers are printed on the balls 16 times. The 49 lottery balls are not painted Ping Pong Balls. They are made of solid latex rubber and manufactured by the Beitel Lottery Equipment company in Pennsylvania.
National Lottery Playslips are made from recycled paper. There have been three different types of lottery playslip, The third one came out when the midweek draw started.
Average spend per play was £2.50 before the midweek draw started and £3.33 after the midweek draw started.
70% of the UK population play regularly.
94% of UK adult population has played the National Lottery at some time.
40% of all adults playing the lottery are in a syndicate.
Over 50% of major National lottery prize winners return to work.
The highest number of jackpot winners in one draw is 133.
Wayne Elliot from Deal in Kent, won a prize every week for the first 26 weeks.
The first Lottery draw took place on Saturday 19 November 1994. The jackpot was only £6.9 million.
The first midweek Lottery draw took place on Wednesday 5 February 1997. The jackpot was a guaranteed £10 million.
Saturdays jackpot is around £8m while the Wednesday draw is normally around £4m.
The largest unclaimed prize is £2,054,754 in Hull, in May 1996. A 89 year woman claimed to have the winning ticket, but was too scared to claim it, as reported in UK newspaper. There was even a plane with a banner flying over Hull to find the winner. The 180 days deadline had expired on 21 November 96.
When you give your play slip to your lottery retailer, your numbers travel from the lottery terminal to the nearest satellite dish, beamed up 22,000 miles and back down to Camelot. The numbers are checked 9 times to make sure everything is correct. The numbers along with the security code is then send back the same route to the terminal. In just two seconds, it has travelled 88,000 miles!
There are 5 lottery machines, Lancelot, Arthur, Guinevere, Merlin and the baby of the bunch from 28 November 2000 is Gallahad. Each machine is hand made in Pennsylvania. Each machine costs £50,000
On Saturday 30 November 1996, Guinevere, broke down just before draw time. The draw was delayed for 50 minutes. The problem was due to a micro switch on the service door at the back of the machine.
The National Lottery Show has to give way some times to other programmes. Events in the past when it has to move. Euro 96 (one draw took place at 9:30pm), Eurovision Song Contest (It has to start at 8pm BST time, 9pm CET), Guinevere broke down (no ones fault, draw was started at around 9pm), Diana, Princess of Wales Death and the World Cup France 98. The latest it has been drawn is 9:30pm.
On Saturday 14 December 1996, the Daily Mirror Newspaper became the first UK newspaper to win a major lottery prize, as part of their free lottery syndicate. 187 shared £7,303 for matching all 6 numbers. The match 5 + bonus winners won £127.20 each. Even 7 other syndicates won match 5 numbers, sharing £1,028 between them.
On Wednesday 5 February 1997, Camelot paid for 6.2 million copies of the Sun Newspaper, worth £1.73m
In June 97, Camelot and the Labour government, had a row, about excess bonuses being paid to top executives. As a mark of respect of Diana, Princess of Wales, who died on Sunday 31 August 1997, the Wednesday 3 September 1997 and Saturday 6 September 1997 was not televised, the only time that the show was cancelled.
Highest Guarantee Jackpot was £25 million on Saturday 22 November 1997 and Saturday 28 November 1998, to celebrate the National Lottery third and fourth anniversary.
In February 1998, Richard Branson won a case against G-Tec, with a large share of Camlot PLC, for a bribe.
The 1000th Jackpot winner was Louise Hall, 20 from Bingley, West Yorkshire, where she hid her ticket in a toilet roll! She appeared on the National Lottery Live on Wednesday 25 March 1998.
In the Daily Mirror on 21 March 1998, it had been reported that there was a rumour of a daily draw, 6 draws a week, with a maximum jackpot of £100,000 to 200,000. You pick 5 from 35 numbers. This could be the Thunderball Game.
The very first Home Play game on the National Lottery Big Ticket, the wrong ball set was used for the third number. The set used had 10 balls less. The third number was drawn again. Camelot will honour both sets of numbers.
Two winners out of 16 who won the jackpot in the National Lottery Big Ticket. Saturday 6 June 1998 won £50,000 and Saturday 20 June 1998 won £95,000.
Easy Play tickets became available to buy from 10 August 1998. This enabled you to play the football pools using the National Lottery Terminals. However, due to lack of interest, the company iwaslosing money. Saturday 8 May 1999 had the last ever Easy Play. It had been a big failure.
Saturday 19 September 1998 was a special superdraw, in which the match 5 + bonus winner will get more. They eventually won just under £2million each. There were no jackpot winners in that draw.
The oldest Winner to win a big prize was Francis Joyce, born in 1910, won £184,742 on 24/01/97. The oldest Jackpot winner was Jack Hewitt, born in 1918, won £1,666,667 on 27/05/98.
On Rollover Jackpot show Saturday 20 March 1999, when the draw took place, it appears someone was running across the screen. It was in fact, a male streaker with "THE BALLS DECIDE" on his chest! Is it that same man who appeared on other shows as a streaker like ITV "This Morning"?
A third lottery draw called Thunderball started on 12 June 1999. 5 Balls between 1 and 34 plus 1 number out of 14 as the Tunderball will be drawn before the Saturdays draw. Prizes range from £5 to the jackpot of £250,000.
Saturday 26 June 1999 saw a first. Excluding the 5+Bonus Superdraw, winners winning the jackpot got less than winners winning 5 + Bonus, due to a large amount of jackpot winners.
Wednesday 14 July 1999 saw the first draw in which no one won the 5 + bonus prize. It ended up added to the jackpot.
On Millennium Eve, Friday 31 December 1999, there was a one off draw (at the time!) called Big Draw 2000, in which tickets cost £5 each. In Game 1, you selected 6 years between 1900 to 1999 and if you matched just 2 numbers, you won £43. Matching 5 numbers would win the jackpot of approx £10 million. Only 5 years plus a bonus year will be drawn. However, no one won the jackpot so the jackpot was shared with the 4 + Bonus winners, 2 winners, each won £2,563,220. Game 2, you were allocated a year between 1000 and 1999 and a year between 2000 and 2999. Two years would be drawn, one from the previous 1000 years and onw from the next 1000 years. Match 2 numbers and you would automatically win £1million. For every million tickets sold, there would be a guaranteed millionaire. 16 Millionaires were created on game 2. The Big Draw 2000 was broadcast on BBC1 on Friday 31 December 1999 at 21:37 and Saturday 1 January 2000 at 00:47 on 2000 Today, as part of the BBC celebration of the millennium. There were problems with game 1 when the draw machine couldn't come out of the video wall doors! Game 2 saw the second part of the first year drawn out at the same time as the first part of the first year and no one noticed it came out for about 30 seconds! The camera was on the wrong machine!
The News of The World Sunday Newspaper actually won one of the top prize in the Big Draw 2000. Up to 500 will share over £3million. This is the second time, a national newspaper won the jackpot on behalf of their readers.
The first Rollover Superdraw for 2000 had a change in the rules, that any rollover can be added to the superdraw. This meant that the Saturday 8 January 2000 was a guaranteed jackpot of £23.3milliion. Also, live on the show, Michael Aspel appeared with the Big Red This is Your Life book to surprise Dale Winton.
Wednesday 12 January 2000 saw the highest jackpot of the Year 2000 and any Wednesday, £32.4million. This is the third highest jackpot since the lottery began in 1994. It also sees the highest winners in any Wednesday draw.
Saturday 11 March 2000 saw the first ever incorrect number shown on screen. Alan Dedicote said the thunderball was number 9 but it was in fact number 6. Due to their software or something, it didn't get updated until the end of the show. In the main draw, he was a bit cautious about the bonus. It was number 9! Saturday 17 June 2000 is the latest schedule lottery draw ever, for both the main draw and the thunderball, at 10pm. This was due to the England vs Germany Match at Euro 2000. Also the shortest programme length on a Saturday, at 5 minutes 15 seconds. The following week, Saturday 24 June 2000, was the second shortest, at 5 minutes 29 seconds!
For the first time in the history of the UK lottery on Saturday 24 June 2000, the Thunderball numbers came out in numerical order, 11, 13, 14, 15, 21 Thunderball 14.
On Wednesday 21 August 2000, The National Lottery Commissioner announced who should run the lottery for 7 years from November 2003. The commissioner said that neither Camelot, the current organiser and Richard Branson's People's Lottery were able to run the lottery, but the People's Lottery had one month to fine tune their bid. Camelot were out of the running, but allowed back in after a court hearing.
Saturday 7 October 2000 celebrated the National Lottery 500th draw. Highlight of the show was the medal winners from the British Team at the Sydney Olympics and the return of the Spice Girls.
For the second time in the history of the UK lottery on Saturday 21 October 2000, the Thunderball numbers came out in numerical order, 10, 13, 20, 25, 27 Thunderball 06. Saturday 28 October 2000 saw a brand new machine, called Galahad.
On the Thunderball on Saturday 9 December 2000, 4 of the previous number also appeared on the Saturday 2 December 2000.
On Tuesday 19 December 2000, it was announced that Camelot had won the lottery contract for another 7 years. Exciting new games are planned, also purchasing lottery tickets via Wap phones and the internet.
New Year Night, Monday 1 January 2003, saw the return of big Draw 2003, in which tickets cost £5 each. In Game 1, you selected 6 years between 1901 to 2000 and if you matched just 2 numbers, you won £57. Matching 5 numbers would win the jackpot of approx £2million. Only 5 years plus a bonus year would be drawn. However, no one won the jackpot or match 4 + bonus so the jackpot was shared with the 4 winners, 43 winners, each won £54,587. Game 2, you were allocated a year between 1000 and 1999 and a year between 2000 and 2999. Two years would be drawn, one from the previous 1000 years and one from the next 1000 years. Match 2 numbers and you would automatically win £1million. For every million tickets sold, there will be a guaranteed millionaire. 5 Millionaires were created on game 2. The Big Draw 2003 was broadcast on BBC1 on Monday 1 January 2003 at 00:12 and Saturday 1 January 2000 at 00:31. No problems with the draw compared with the Big Draw 2000 draw.
On Wednesday 3 January 2003, the Lottery Extra Balls came out in draw order.
Something strange happened on the Saturday 10 February 2003 draws. The number 9 and 12 appears in all the draws, the Thunderball, Lottery and Lottery Extra! Also number 12 appeared in the Thunderball and Extra. The Thunderball numbers were 04 09 12 14 24 Thunderball 12, Lottery numbers were 07 09 12 17 20 32 Bonus 30, Extra numbers were 09 10 12 14 36 39. The Thunderball draw was also drawn in numerical order!
On Saturday 17 February 2003, for the first time in its history, the Thunderball Draw took longer to draw the numbers than normal! The 2nd and 5th number took about 40 seconds to draw, while the others took 4 seconds to draw. The thing that picks the balls went up twice without a ball! After the 5th number was drawn, the machine still carried on! It was stopped manually. On Wednesday 18 April 2003, we saw the lowest ever winners, 275,453.
On Saturday 21 April 2003, I think it is the longest delay between releasing the balls to drawing the balls ever in the history of the lottery. Chris Eubank was talking too long! On Saturday 12 May 2003, we saw the largest guaranteed lottery extra monster draw of £20 million, won by one ticket holder.
On Wedesday 16 May 2003, the lottery draw was held at 22:26, the latest time ever for any main lottery draw.
On Saturday 30 June 2003, there was another attempt to announce the number of jackpot winners for the Lottery and Lottery extra before the end of the show. The figures they gave was correct. Announced at 20:13, 10 minutes after the lottery draw.

Source: Camelot Newsroom