By Todd Northrop
In the United States, a record jackpot is cause for celebration and waves of ticket-buying, but in the United Kingdom players are bemoaning tomorrow night's record £42.2 million (US$62.62 million) Lotto jackpot and threatening to boycott the game, according to local media reports.
Apparently having a jackpot won frequently is more important to Brits than the size of the pot.
Tomorrow's record £42.2 million jackpot is the result of a record 10th rollover. The reason for the high number of rollovers is the new game format, in which the odds of landing the top prize is now one in 45 million after operator Camelot made a series of controversial changes, including adding an extra 10 balls to the draw.
That came after the price of playing the game doubled to £2.
This week lottery players vented their fury and dismay on social media site Twitter.
Benjamin Copp said, "Remember when we doubled the price? Now let's triple the odds."
Tony Marszoi said, "Anyone else notice it costs £2 a line now (and is) more difficult to win."
Katt Abos added, "My chances of winning have gone from 14 million to 1 to an astonishing 45 million to 1 but the changes are supposed to encourage me."
And Nigel Wilson said, "Another rollover — there's a surprise. Too many rollovers. Think it's time to boycott the National Lottery."
The past Saturday the jackpot rolled over yet again when no one matched the winning numbers of 17, 21, 31, 38, 44, and 58, with bonus number 20.
Under the new Lotto game rules the jackpot can grow up to £50 million. If there is no winner in the following draw the pot is shared between players who get five numbers and the bonus ball.
Will player reaction suddenly change if that happens? Nobody knows for sure, because this is all new territory for the UK National Lottery.
The last draw to produce a jackpot winner was back on November 14. That jackpot was worth £4.34 million (US$6.61 million), which was typical for a UK Lotto jackpot win.
Despite some players venting their anger, a National Lottery spokesman properly promoted the huge prize.
"The Lotto jackpot is poised to break records with £42.2million waiting to be won," the spokesman said. "A single winner would instantly become the biggest Lotto winner the nation has ever seen."
The new Lotto game does always have several big winners each drawing, despite the outlash about the top prize rollovers. Each drawing there are five guaranteed winners of £1 million in the Millionaire Raffle and 20 guaranteed winners of £20,000. Each Lotto ticket purchase includes one entry to the raffle.
In the Saturday evening drawing, 89 players matched five out of the seven numbers, winning £1,351, but there was no winner of the £350,000 Lotto HotPicks top prize.
UK Lotto is drawn twice per week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, at 8:00 pm local time. The winning numbers are published on Lottery Post's UK National Lottery Results page soon after each drawing. Unlike other lottery websites on the Internet, Lottery Post publishes the complete UK Lotto results, including all winning Millionaire Raffle numbers.