The price of a National Lottery ticket will double this year to £2, in a move which organisers hope will “refresh” the game and will hand increased prizes to the vast majority of winners.
Instead of a mere £10, players matching three numbers will win £25 once the changes take effect in the autumn. The prize for matching four numbers will also increase from £60 to £100.
The average Saturday jackpot will increase from around £4.1m to £5m and the Wednesday jackpot will jump from an estimated £2.2m to around £2.5m.
Camelot also announced that another favourite British pastime – a raffle – will guarantee at least 50 people win £20,000 in each draw. Not all of the prizes will rise, however. As part of the changes, the return for matching five numbers will fall £500 to £1,000, while matching five numbers and the bonus ball will halve to net the winner a relatively paltry £50,000.
The price rise is the first since the game launched in 1994 and organisers said they wanted to shake the format up, following research which reached the far-from-startling conclusion that players “want more ways to win more money”.
The National Lottery remains popular after more than 18 years and the number of players continues to rise. Various guises have come and gone, leaving the main draw, the Hotpicks, Thunderball and Lotto Plus 5, as well as the EuroMillions. The main games were rebranded in 2002 in a successful bid to attract extra sales, which have risen by 35 per cent since.
Camelot UK managing director Andy Duncan said: “Our players still love Lotto but after 18 years they say they want more from it. We’ve spoken extensively with them to develop a re-energised game and the changes we’ll be introducing in the autumn to rejuvenate Lotto will give them what they have asked for.”