The price of a Lotto ticket has doubled from £1 to £2, in the first price change since the National Lottery was set up in 1994.
The 100 per cent increase comes as operator Camelot revamps its prize system, and while the average jackpot paid out on a Saturday will increase from about £4.1 million to £5 million, others will actually pay out less.
Those who match five lottery numbers will win £500 less, down from £1,500, while correctly picking five numbers and the bonus ball will get players £50,000 – a huge cut from the old prize of £100,000.
The managing director of Camelot, Andy Duncan, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning that while “the National Lottery as a whole is very healthy… Lotto itself is in need of a refresh”.
He said earlier that the new Lotto will “give players more ways to win more money”.
In other prize changes, people matching three numbers will now get a £25 payout, instead of £10, and the amount paid for four numbers rises from £60 to £100.
The financial journalist and presenter of the BBC’s Money Box programme tweeted: “Many of you very unhappy about that (the price change). Lotto ticket price doubling but all others remain the same. Odds not changing – 14 million to one on six balls, 57 to one on three.”
In order to mark the launch of the new look Lotto, Camelot floated a barge with six balls the size of buses down the River Thames, and said it would be holding two £10 million special jackpot draws on 5 and 12 October.
Under the new system, tickets will also have unique extra numbers to be entered into a raffle for 50 prizes of £20,000 from today.