The Odds Of Winning The Lottery

Logo Of The British National Lottery
Logo Of The British National Lottery


Kevin Halstead from Lancashire won £2.3 million on the UK lottery draw recently but has decided to stay driving the same bus he has been for the last seventeen years. He said, “I don’t want to pack my job in. I asked my boss for time off, a month maybe two, but I don’t want to cut myself off from my friends and I really enjoy my job.” Kevin will also buy a pony for his daughter and may move back into the village of Eccleston where he was born but is happy with his Renault Laguna car he recently bought.

Most of us dream of winning the British National Lottery but what are the odds of winning a jackpot like Kevin Halstead?

The chances of winning the top prize has been estimated as 1 in 13 983 816, which are about the same odds as an individual becoming an astronaut. You are more likely to be struck by lightning (I in 2.32 million). In 1999, mathematician Bill Hartson calculated that a smart consortium could buy £100 000 of tickets each time the jackpot rolled, would have a 1 in 14 chance of winning the jackpot and end up in profit.

The jackpot is only one of the prizes, of course. It has been calculated that an average on one million players win some prize in each weeks draw. To win the jackpot you have to match all six numbers drawn from the range 1 and 49 but you can win lower amounts with five, four or even three numbers matched. Typical values won in these lower levels tend to range from £100 000 to £10 and the chances of winning drop from around 1 in 2.3 million to 1 in 56.7. Indeed, the probability of winning any prize is approximately 1 in 54.

A more efficient way to play would be through a lottery syndicate. In such a syndicate, the money won by any member is distributed amongst the group. This of course improves the chances of any one player receiving some return on his stake.  It is estimated that syndicates win one in four of the jackpots.

There are several schemes available to improve your chances of winning something, but perhaps the most attractive is the Elottery programme. The reasons for this are largely mathematical but for five pounds a week you are given forty-four entries into both the weekly draws (on Wednesday and Saturday) as part of a syndicate of forty-nine players, although any empty places are covered by Virtual World Direct, the parent company, to ensure no member loses out. The syndicate actually only selects five main numbers and then enters these numbers forty-four times into the British National Lottery. The sixth number is selected from the remaining forty-four numbers in order and is added to the five already chosen. The odds of winning a prize thus drops to 1 in 13 (an increase of 702%).

The UK lottery draw is just that: a lottery. There are ways to improve your chances of winning a prize however and joining a syndicate certainly seems to do just that. In truth there are now smarter ways to play the British National Lottery.


Please note, as of December 2010, the Elottery scheme offered by VWD is no longer available.

However, also offers an attractive lottery syndicate scheme. Find out more by clicking on the banner below.

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Note that both these schemes additionally provide interesting affiliate programmes – find those at and (for TheLotter).


Lottery Dreams

Perhaps You Dream Of A Specific Car
Perhaps You Dream Of A Specific Car

On 14 August 2010, Wilton House near Salisbury will reverberate to the sound of a range of the world’s most exotic automobiles. Jay Broom (known as Jakaybi) and the Earl of Pembroke are organising the second Supercar Day in aid of charity. In excess of one hundred invited supercars will line up on the lawns of the house.

Many of the members of the public who will come to look at and listen to these beautiful pieces of engineering will undoubtedly dream of owning such vehicles themselves. Many will rely on winning a lottery to do so.

Of course how you react to winning a lottery depends on your background. Recently Anthony Castro won $250 000 in the Idaho state lottery. At the age of 19 he was shot in the head in New York, moved to Idaho after the September 11 attacks and lived from a homeless shelter for a time. He then got married, had children and then divorced. He said, “After so much turmoil in my life, and loss of my mother a year ago, this is truly a blessing for me. My dreams, everyone’s dreams, are coming true.” Perhaps it’s not surprising therefore that he has donated some of the jackpot to his church, set up a trust fund for his daughter and invested the rest.

On the other hand, recent record European lottery winners, Nigel Page and Justine Laycock knew what to do with their substantial winnings. They have bought a four million pound mansion in the country and have gifted their four bedroomed house and a new car to Denise Kelso, the cleaner who kept their house spotless for years. Denise now cleans Nigel and Justines new house.

Then again you have Jennifer Southall of Newport in Gwent. A cinema supervisor, Jennifer won £8 million in the British National Lottery and is determined to enjoy the experience. She has already given up her job, will give up her council house in favour of a big house with a swimming pool, driving lessons, a “pretty red car,” and a few luxury holiday for her and her family (once they have applied for passports).

The impact on her life was immediate. Ms Southall said, “When I went to have my ticket checked, Camelot gave me a bottle of champagne to help me celebrate, but I just went home and ordered a pizza.” The next day she and her mother went shopping and spent £1500. But do not think the money has entirely changed her thinking: “I still haven’t opened the champagne – I have never tasted real champagne in my life,” Ms Southall noted.

Most winners of the UK lottery draw take advice and are fairly conservative with their money but many still have at least one extravagance they want to satisfy. One of the advantages of playing the British National Lottery is it gives you the opportunity to dream, to think about what you want out of life. Perhaps if you are lucky enough to be at Wilton House on 14 August you might allow yourself a little fantasy. Who knows if it might not come true?

What Is It Like To Be A Lottery Winner?


Nigel Page and Justine Laycock of Gloucestershire took home the biggest British win in the European lottery of £56 million on 12 February 2010. Nigel is quoted as saying “I’ve jumped out of a plane at 12000 feet but that’s nothing compared to how I’m feeling now!”

Playing the British National Lottery give players the opportunity to dream about how wonderful their life would become once they win the jackpot. But does it really improve your life?

In 1995 Mark Gardiner won £11 million on the UK lottery draw. He was thrust into the public gaze and then went on to spend and loan out much of the money. He lost many of his family and friends through squabbles over money and says, “The trouble isn’t the money, it’s what the money brings along with it. It enabled me to get rid of a box of problems – but it just gets replaced by a posher box of even bigger problems.”

The challenge winners find is being catapulted from struggling for money one day to being wealthy the next. For this reason Camelot, the promoters of the UK lottery draw, have a support system in place. Dot Renshaw, who must have one of the best jobs in the world as winners advisor for Camelot, told an interviewer that she tells winners not to rush into any decisions but to perhaps take a holiday and come to terms with the change in their lives. Camelot can then arrange for a bank to create an account for the money and a panel of financial advisors and lawyers to give advice on the best ways to proceed. Such large amounts of money require professional advice to manage it.

Staff can even respond to any begging letters on the jackpot winners’ behalf and put them in touch with previous winners who share their experiences. There are even winners events where people in the same situation are encouraged to meet.

Of course one of the biggest challenges found by winners of the UK lottery draw is fame. For this reason, they now have the option of anonymity and the Press Complaints Commission have strict rules to prevent the harassment of those who choose to stay out of the glare of the press.

UK Lottery Draw Winners Are Advised To Take A Holiday


The advice available now means that British National Lottery winners are making better use of the opportunities presented to them. Ipsos Mori have undertaken a series of polls to understand how such jackpots affect lives. One such study found that 55% of winners were actually happier after the event than before, although this may be more to do with the character of the winners. Nine out of ten of the married respondents were still married to the same person and a same proportion of all winners still had the same friends.

A further poll showed the brand of car bought by UK lottery draw winners and brought some surprises. The first four brands were Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Mini and Vauxhall with Range Rover and Porsche only showing at number six and eight respectively.

The UK lottery draw has created 2300 millionaires since its launch in 1994 and clearly the winners now get more counselling than before. This has helped make the experience a much more happy one than previously. Even Mark Gardiner is now happier with his life. After all his experiences, he has fallen back in love with and is now about to remarry his first wife.