UK Lotto Announces Its Largest-Ever Single Prize Winner Ever

Thursday, April 7th, 2016 | Written by April Bergman
UK Lotto Announces Its Largest-Ever Single Prize Winner Ever

The UK Lotto announced its biggest single prize winner in its history on April 6. The UK gaming company Camelot announced the winning prize was £35,133,888. The winning numbers were 50, 57, 31, 17, 41, and 15.

The record amount is the result of 2015 changes in the odds of the lotto, so bigger jackpots are more likely than they were in the first 21 years of Camelot UK’s association with the UK Lotto.

UK Lotto has had bigger prize pools in recent draws, but those winnings were shared among multiple winners. In January, the UK Lotto had a winning draw involving £66 million, but the BBC reported two people bought winning tickets in that drawing, so the prize was £33 million apiece.

Record Payout in January 2016

In the January lottery win, the prize was shared between an anonymous individual and a Scottish couple. The announced winners in the January drawing were David and Carol Martin from Hawick, Scotland.

Camelot has not announced the name of this week’s lotto winner. The company said the person who bought the winning ticket can decide whether they want to remain anonymous. Camelot did not announce whether the winner was a single individual or a syndicate of lotto players. Also, the lottery company did not announce the name or location of the store which sold the winning ticket.

Increase in UK Lotto Payouts

This is the third time in 2016 that prize winners have won more than £30 million. Back in February, Gerry and Lisa Cannings from Peterborough won £32.5 million. The increased payouts are the result of a change in the probabilities of winning the lottery.

Prior to this year, the record total had been £22.6 million, a record which had store for 21 years. The previous odds of winning had been 1-in-13,980,000. The UK National Lottery says the odds of winning the lotto now are 1-in-45,100,000.

Andy Duncan, the 54-year old managing director of Camelot UK, said that the UK Lotto needed “a bit of a shakeup“. When Duncan changed the odds in 2015, he told The Telegraph, “Up until two years ago, Lotto had been in fairly steady decline for 10 years, even though the National Lottery itself had grown overall.

Powerball Lottery’s Record Jackpot

The UK lottery followed the suit of many worldwide lottery companies, which have increased the odds of winning in order to drive interest in their games. This has led to an escalation in payouts, as jackpots increase over the months.

The most remarkable example of the escalation is the Powerball multi-state lottery in the United States. Back in January 2016, the Powerball had a drawing for a $1.6 billion jackpot. The prize was the single largest payout in the history of lottery sales.

Such records are not made to last. Even though Powerball raised the odds to astronomical amounts last year, it took a significant number of drawings without a payout for the jackpot to reach $1.6 billion. Several drawings took place which would have been record amounts and the US media reported on the Powerball lottery widely, so many Americans purchased tickets who would not have bought tickets normally.

Given time, such circumstances are likely to happen again. One can imagine a $2 billion Powerball drawing sometime in the next few years.

Online Lotto Ticket Sales

Most of the big lotteries around the world have no restrictions placed on the type of person who can buy a ticket, so a gambler does not have to be a resident of the country where the lottery takes place. Most lotteries do not restrict whether a person has to make the purchase themselves or whether they have agents buy tickets for them.

In the age of online lottery ticket sales, that means lotto players can buy tickets for games half-a-world away. In February 2016, it was revealed that a man living in Iran had won $6.4 million by winning the Oregon State Lottery. The Iranian man made his purchase through the online lottery agent, TheLotter.com.

* When speaking about UK Lotto events, I used the word “draws”. When speaking about similar US events, I use the word “drawings”. These are the correct terms in their home countries.