Harder to win, but guaranteed millionaires
Lotto players in the United Kingdom will have to select their winning numbers from a pool of 59 rather than 49 under sweeping changes to the game taking effect later this year.
The UK National Lottery operator, Camelot, said the "enhancements" would give players a better chance of winning and becoming a millionaire.
It said a new Millionaire Raffle would guarantee at least one millionaire per draw, the average winning jackpot was expected to be triple the current level, and the odds of winning at least £1 million (US$1.56 million) would be one in just under 10 million, compared with a one in nearly 14 million chance of winning the jackpot on the current game.
Players who match two numbers will win a lucky dip (quick pick) ticket for a future draw, which Camelot said would create an extra 1.8 million winners a week and improve the chance of winning any prize from one in 54 to one in 9.3.
The cost of playing will remain £2 a line, and other prizes such as £25 for matching three numbers will also stay the same.
Camelot's chief executive, Andy Duncan, said: "Lotto has enjoyed two years of consecutive growth since we reinvigorated the game in 2013 and has already delivered over £250m more to good causes than if we had done nothing to change the game.
"What we're announcing today — offering players more chances than ever to become a millionaire on Lotto and bigger rolling jackpots — is part of our programme of continuous innovation and builds on Lotto's ongoing success."
The changes to Lotto will also force the lottery to make changes to the Lotto HotPicks game, namely in the prizes that are awarded.
Lotto HotPicks will still use the Lotto draw numbers on Wednesdays and Saturdays, so the way the game is played will not change. However, the prize tiers will change, due to the increase in numbers to choose from, offering bigger prizes. For example, matching five numbers would now win £350,000 (US$548,000), and matching three numbers will win £800 (US$1,250).
Camelot is yet to reveal the exact October launch date.