Lottery millionaires win record broken in 2010

Lottery balls
Image caption More than 2,500 Lottery millionaires have been created since its launch 16 years ago

A record-breaking number of millionaires were created by the National Lottery in 2010.

There were 158 people who became millionaires over the past 12 months, an increase of 26 on 2009.

The lottery paid out £775m in jackpot prizes this year, the highest amount ever paid out in one year and up £285m on 2009.

A National Lottery spokesman said it had been "an extraordinary year" for those buying lottery tickets.

He added: "There have been some huge prizes paid out during the last 12 months, and we've also been told that many of our big winners have created additional millionaires themselves as a result of their win, which is fantastic news."

The National Lottery reached a landmark in October of creating more than 2,500 millionaires since its launch 16 years ago.

Nigel and Justine Page, from Gloucestershire, won the £56m jackpot prize on EuroMillions in February.

That win was followed by two even bigger ones, of £84m in May and then £113m in October. Both ticket-holders remained anonymous.

Christmas draw

Other winners included George Sturt and his family from Dorking, Surrey, who collected £26m between them, and a £39.7m ticket-holder who remained anonymous.

The highest number of millionaires - 19 - were created in August, while October saw the highest amount of prize money paid out, a total of more than £167m.

And a further 25 millionaires were created on Christmas Eve as a result of a one-off Millionaire Raffle draw.

A spokesman said that 15 out of the winning 25 ticket-holders have come forward to claim their £1m prize money.

There were 89 major prizes classed as unclaimed in 2010, meaning they remained unclaimed two weeks after the draw was made.

Of these, 54 prizes were later matched with the winner within the 180 day deadline. The largest of these was a £5.6m jackpot in the Port Talbot area of South Wales.

And of the remaining prizes, 15 went over the 180 day deadline and were added to the £25bn National Lottery fund for good causes, while 20 remain still available to claim.

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