TICKETS for the most popular National Lottery game Lotto will double to £2 from this autumn, increasing smaller prizes and producing a potentially massive windfall for “good causes”.
• Price of a Lotto line will increase from £1 to £2 in the autumn
• Prize for matching three numbers will rise from £10 to £25
• Prize pot for matching five numbers will drop by £500 to £1,000
• Reward for matching five numbers and the bonus number will halve to £50,000
• Prize for matching four numbers will increase from £60 to £100
Today’s announcement by operator Camelot is the first price rise for Lotto in its 18 year history, but tickets for the Thunderball game will remain at £1 and Euromillions £2.
Camelot said the move, which has been agreed in principle by the National Lottery Commission, was prompted by players calling for “more ways to win more money”.
The prize for matching three numbers will rise from £10 to £25, and four numbers from £10 to £100 - potentially benefiting some 800,000 players a week on current sales.
However, the prize pot for matching five numbers will drop by £500 to £1,000, while the reward for matching five numbers and the bonus number will halve to £50,000. These categories produce some 800 weekly winners.
The average Saturday jackpot will increase from around £4.1 million to £5 million and the Wednesday jackpot will increase from an estimated £2.2 million to around £2.5 million, while a new Lotto raffle will guarantee at least 50 winners £20,000 in each draw.
Camelot declined to say whether it expected Lotto sales would fall following the price rise, but said the way income was split would remain largely unchanged.
That suggests a big increase in payouts to good causes, such as sporting, arts and community charities, although Camelot declined to discuss how much the total was likely to rise.
The proportion of Lotto takings going to winners will increase from 45 to 47 per cent.
Camelot’s published figures for all its lottery games show 50 per cent of takings are used for prizes - or £3.4 billion in 2011-12.
Good causes received 28 per cent (£1.8bn), with 12 per cent going on tax (£780 million), 5 per cent to retailers (£325m), 4.5 per cent for Camelot operating costs (£293m) and 0.5 per cent on Camelot profits (£32m).
The firm said the changes had followed research involving 26,000 players, which they said would create a “re-energised game”.
Total lottery sales have increased by more than one third since 2002, with the number of players growing by more than 12 per cent in the last five years.
Players have also helped to raise more than £29 billion for good causes since 1994.