Mar 24, 2016, 9:17 am
'Teachable moment' for people who play multiples or patterns
Imagine beating the odds of 1 in 144,415 only to find out that your prize payout was just £15 (US$21). That's what thousands of UK Lotto players experienced Wednesday night.
National Lottery winners were left in anger last night after those who matched five numbers ended up with less money than people that matched only three.
Players with five winning numbers in Wednesday's Lotto draw ended up with just £15. This compared to £25 for people who matched three balls, and £51 for people who matched four.
The winning numbers were 7, 14, 21, 35, 41, 42, and the bonus ball was 43.
In UK Lotto, players choose 6 numbers from a pool of 59, making the odds of a 5-number match 1 in 144,415. The expected payout for matching five numbers is around £1,000 (US$1,413). In the previous Lotto drawing last Saturday night, the 5-number payout was £1,896 (US$2,679).
Lotto operator Camelot said it was an "extremely rare" set of winning numbers, five of which were multiples of seven. This set of numbers is a popular choice for players and pushed up the number of winners.
Lottery experts for years have been saying that playing patterns or multiples of numbers is a bad idea. Thousands of UK Lotto players learned that lesson the hard way last night.
Some 4,082 players matched five balls, sharing a winning pot that totalled just over £60,000. Meanwhile 7,879 people who matched four numbers shared £401,829.
There were 114,232 winners with three numbers, who had access to a pot of £2,855,800.
5 out of 6 balls last night won only £15— Jo (@pimpmytweeting) March 24, 2016
Our National Lottery has to be one of the all time biggest scams ever. pic.twitter.com/4FLAZHHgot
The National Lottery is a con. How can 5 nos pay £15 & 3 pay £25? Time to boycott methinks— Ed Foster (@fo5tered) March 24, 2016
Surely that's a misprint only £15 for 5 numbers on the National Lottery ?— Baile Udain Ruadh (@mhossack) March 23, 2016
Others questioned whether the National Lottery's prize fund structure needed reviewing, while some threatened to stop playing altogether.
Camelot said the number of people with five winning numbers was "around 80 times higher" than the usual 50 winners that would normally match five balls.
"It is a lottery at the end of the day, and the prizes people win are determined by the balls drawn and the number of people who match those numbers. As a result, extremely rare events like this do happen," said a spokesman.
No one took the jackpot, which means a top prize on Saturday of £28.2 million (US$40 million).
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