National Lottery operator Camelot has announced upcoming changes to Lotto and EuroMillions, as well as preliminary details of a brand new draw game that will launch in 2019. The changes follow the company’s recent wide-ranging strategic review, which identified improving the range of National Lottery games as one of four key areas where action was needed to enable The National Lottery to get back into long-term, sustainable growth and raising as much money as possible for Good Causes.
- On Lotto, new bigger, fixed* cash prizes in the main game – including a fixed prize of £1 million for matching 5+Bonus Ball – will replace the raffle.
- The Lotto jackpot will be won or shared more often – the jackpot will only be allowed to roll five times (compared with around 10 rolls today), and a new ‘Rolldown’ mechanic will see the jackpot shared** across all winning cash prize tiers if no one matches all 6 main numbers in a must-be-won draw.
- On EuroMillions, the prizes on the main game will stay exactly the same, but Camelot will run more special draws in which multiple guaranteed £1 million UK winners are created – and these will be bigger and better. To help fund these bigger, more frequent draws, Camelot will guarantee one UK millionaire in every draw instead of two.
- Subject to regulatory approval, Camelot will launch a brand new annuity game in the spring of 2019, which is expected to have a top prize of thousands of pounds every month for at least 25 years.
Announcing the changes, Camelot CEO Nigel Railton said: “It was clear from the review that we needed to create a more appealing and balanced range of games that offers something for everyone. In particular, we needed to make our draw games stand out from each other and to give people the ability to play their way – with prizes, chances to win and prices to suit different tastes. The portfolio updates we are announcing today will complement the other initiatives we are bringing in across retail and digital, as well as our ongoing work to make The National Lottery brand more relevant and visible – and will ensure that The National Lottery as a whole continues to deliver for both players and Good Causes alike.”
Under the refreshed draw games portfolio, there will be: a huge, rolling jackpot game (EuroMillions); a core millionaire-maker game (Lotto); a £1 value game with a top prize of £500,000 (Thunderball); and, subject to regulatory approval, a brand new annuity game, which is expected to launch in the spring of 2019 and which is expected to have a top prize of thousands of pounds every month for at least 25 years.
The changes announced today follow the launch of a new EuroMillions HotPicks game and the addition of an extra Thunderball draw day in January this year – both of which performed ahead of expectations and boosted returns to Good Causes in the last two months of the 2017/18 financial year.
Lotto (November 2018):
Lotto is the UK’s biggest-selling lottery game – with more than 10 million weekly players and millions of prizes awarded every week. However, the game has not performed as well as expected following changes in 2015. The strategic review also highlighted how, over time, Lotto had become too similar to EuroMillions, so a clear differentiation between the games was needed for The National Lottery’s long-term health.
Camelot has listened to what players, non-players and retailers have said that they want to see from Lotto in the future – a prize fund that’s more fairly shared, jackpots that will be won more frequently and bigger cash prizes at the other levels. As a result, from November, new bigger, fixed cash prizes in the main game will replace the raffle; the Lotto jackpot will be won or shared more often; and new ‘Rolldowns’ will see the jackpot shared across all of the winning cash prize tiers if no one matches all 6 main numbers in a must-be-won draw.
There will be no change to the way people play Lotto – the price will stay at £2 per line and players will still pick 6 numbers from 59, so the odds will not change. This is because sales of the old £1, ‘6 from 49’ Lotto game had been falling for a long time and so had the amount of money it was raising for Good Causes. Given that Camelot’s overarching objective is to maximise returns to Good Causes, going back to a game that was in long-term decline was not a viable option.
The prize payout on Lotto will increase slightly and the prize money from the raffle – which currently comprises 1 x £1 million prize and 20 x £20,000 prizes in every draw – will now go into the main Lotto draw, resulting in bigger, fixed* cash prizes (apart from the jackpot).
In addition, once the Lotto jackpot rolls over five times, there will be a must-be-won draw on the sixth consecutive draw (this compares to around 10 rolls currently before it must be won). And millions more players will benefit if no one matches all 6 main numbers in a must-be-won draw because the jackpot will no longer go to a single prize tier (e.g. Match 5+Bonus). Instead, there will be a ‘Rolldown’ which will see the jackpot shared across all of the winning cash prize tiers (Match 5+Bonus, Match 5, Match 4 and Match 3), boosting each individual prize amount in the process. For example, the usual 100,000 Match 3 winners in a typical draw could see their prizes boosted from £30 to around £100 in a Rolldown situation, and the thousands of Match 4 winners could each scoop around £500 (up from a fixed prize of £140).
Camelot’s retail partners, who continue to be vital to the long-term health of The National Lottery, are also set to benefit from the changes. In line with the company’s ongoing £20 million investment in retail, National Lottery retailers across the UK will, for the first time, receive sales commission when a player claims a Match 2 free Lotto Lucky Dip prize in their store – resulting in an average annual commission boost of around £5 million.
EuroMillions (Early 2019):
With jackpots starting at £15 million and the potential to roll to a massive £168 million (€190 million), EuroMillions is The National Lottery’s giant jackpot game. Sales of the game – and therefore the amount of money it raises for Good Causes – are driven by the big, rolling jackpots, as well as special draws in which multiple guaranteed £1 million UK winners are created (for example, 13 UK millionaires on Friday the 13th). These special draws build huge levels of player excitement and typically generate over 60% more in sales when compared with an equivalent draw, so are great from a Good Causes perspective.
From 2019, Camelot will run more of these special draws – and they will be bigger and better. For example, instead of 10 guaranteed UK millionaires created in a special draw, 30 guaranteed UK millionaires might be created. To help fund these bigger, more frequent special draws, Camelot will guarantee one UK millionaire in every draw instead of two. This change will come into effect early in the New Year and the prizes on the main game will remain exactly the same.
Offering a steady stream of guaranteed UK millionaires – two every week – as well as more frequent special draws will not only drive player participation; by reducing the prize payout slightly on EuroMillions, Camelot is also able to deliver even more money for Good Causes. The new format will kick off with a special 40 UK millionaires draw in the spring of 2019, with further big events to follow over the summer.
Annuity game (Spring 2019):
Subject to approval from its regulator, Camelot is currently finalising details for a brand new annuity game, which is expected to launch in the spring of 2019 and which will offer a regular, fixed amount of money for a set number of years.
As part of its extensive research, Camelot has been closely examining what is done in other countries where this type of game is hugely popular. Annuity games appeal to people who dream of lifelong financial security, rather than just big, one-off jackpots – so this will be an entirely new proposition to round off The National Lottery portfolio.
As the game isn’t due to launch until next year, the prizes on offer or the cost of play have not yet been finalised – but the early indication is that the top prize will be thousands of pounds every month for at least 25 years. Camelot will provide an update as soon as possible – and in line with the normal processes in the lead-up to the launch of a new game.