Everything You Need to Know About Lottery Tickets

Want to join in the lottery fun? Discover everything you need to know about National Lottery tickets.
24th April 2024

How much do you know about lottery tickets?


The National Lottery is huge in the UK. That isn't us being dramatic – there are millions of regular players taking part in the lottery every single year, with an estimated 70% of Brits joining in the action in 2023 alone!  

With chances to scoop prizes worth millions and sales going towards good causes, it's hardly surprising the National Lottery is so popular. If you've never played before, then you'll be pleased to know that it's easy-peasy to get involved. What's the main thing you'll need? A ticket! 

What are lottery tickets? 

You don't just need a ticket to enter the National Lottery, you also need it to win! Just like bingo, the aim of the lottery is to match the numbered balls drawn with the numbers on your ticket. The more numbers you match, the greater your chances of scooping a prize.

There is a big difference between bingo and the lottery, though. The numbers on your bingo tickets are random, but you get to choose your playing numbers in the lottery. These can be your family's birthdays, the number of socks sitting in your laundry pile (who else thinks this will be an odd number?), or even your pet's age. The exact range of numbers available depends on which lottery game you enter, but you'll always be able to pick which numbers feature on your ticket.

Lottery tickets can be digital or made of paper, depending on where you buy them. Remember what we said about needing the tickets to win? If you buy a paper ticket, then be sure to keep it safe in case your winning numbers are called! You'll need the ticket as proof when you claim your prize. No ticket, no win.


Who can buy a National Lottery ticket?

There are a couple of things you need to know before you pull your coat on to buy your lottery tickets. Firstly, let's check if you are even allowed to buy one!

To be eligible to buy a lottery ticket, you need to be a resident of the UK or Isle of Man. According to the National Lottery, that means you need to have lived in the UK or IOM for at least 183 days of the last 12 months, so you won't be able to join in if you've been jetting about for most of the last year.

Even if you're a UK or IOM resident, you still need to physically be in the UK or Isle of Man when buying your ticket online or via the app. So, if you're heading on holiday before the lottery draw is due, then you'll want to buy your ticket early or set up a Direct Debit. Physical tickets can still be bought from eligible outlets abroad, but you'll need to return to the UK to claim any winnings.

Wherever you're playing, you'll want to dust off your I.D. before attempting to buy a lottery ticket. Previously, players used to be able to buy a ticket as long as they were 16 years old or over. As of 22nd April 2021, though, the rules were changed so only players aged 18 years old or more would be allowed to buy a lottery ticket.

So, if you're 18 years old (lucky you!), then you're legally allowed to buy a lottery ticket online or in-store.

How can I buy a National Lottery ticket? 

Did you know the National Lottery website is one of the top e-commerce sites in the UK? You do now! The National Lottery has come a long way since it first popped up. Nowadays, there are more than 10.7 million active registered players all using the site to buy their lottery tickets online, from the comfort of their home or via their phone. Just create an account online and log in to line up your next tickets.

You don't have to buy your lottery tickets online, though, if you prefer to get out and about. After all, before the age of snazzy tech and digital tickets, you used to have to buy your lottery tickets in-person.

With over 40,000 retailers across the UK, there are plenty of places to buy your tickets, from your local corner shops to the big-brand supermarkets. Here's a fun fact for you: 94% of UK adults are thought to live or worth within one mile of a National Lottery retailer, meaning you don't need to rack up too many steps to buy your tickets.

Once you've decided where you're going to buy your lottery tickets from, just pull on your trainers and have your numbers at the ready.


How much is a National Lottery ticket?

The cost of your lottery ticket depends on which draw you're entering. There are eight (yes, eight!) different lottery games available to buy tickets for.

Lottery Game
Ticket Price
Set for Life£1.50
Lotto Hotpicks£1
EuroMillions Hotpicks£1.50
Instant Win Games25p - £5
Scratchcards£1 - £5

When can I buy a lottery ticket? 

Now you know how to buy a lottery ticket and how much they all cost, let's talk about when you can buy one. While you can kick back and browse the National Lottery website and app whenever you like, you won't be able to log into your account between 2am and 6am. And you can only buy tickets for draw-based games from 6am and 11pm. So, our night owls will have to wait until outside of these times to buy their lottery tickets.

If you prefer buying your lottery tickets in paper-format, then you'll need to check the opening times of the retailer and be sure to arrive within their operating times.

Well, there you have it! Everything you need to know about buying National Lottery tickets. Don't forget you can keep up-to-date with the results of the latest draws right here at Jackpotjoy, so you don't need to go too far to find out if you've scooped a win!

Learn more about how you could experience your own winning moment over on the Jackpotjoy blog.

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