National Lottery: Two winners share record £66m prize

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Media captionWishing viewers good luck, TV presenter Noel Edmonds pushed the button for the lottery draw, shown live on BBC One

A record £66m National Lottery jackpot will be shared between two ticket holders who each matched the six winning numbers, Camelot said.

The winning numbers were 26, 27, 46, 47, 52 and 58. The bonus number was 48.

The jackpot, announced live on BBC One, comes after 14 consecutive rollovers found no winner.

TV presenter Noel Edmonds pushed the button for the lottery draw, more than two decades after presenting the first National Lottery show in November 1994.

Even though Saturday's prize total is to be shared, if each ticket is held by an individual, their £33m prize would make them the joint biggest National Lottery winners.

National Lottery organisers Camelot said its website had struggled following "unprecedented" demand for last-minute tickets ahead of the draw.

The company said it had expected to sell at least 400 tickets per second online and in shops in the hours before sales stopped at 19:30 GMT.

Next tier

New rules meant the jackpot was guaranteed to be won, even if no-one picked all six numbers, as those who match five and the bonus ball were next in line for the top prize.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The previous biggest individual National Lottery win was by Iris Jeffrey in 2004

The new rules guaranteeing there would be a payout were brought in for the first draw after a jackpot reaches £50m.

The jackpot hit £50.4m in Wednesday's draw.

The previous largest National Lottery jackpot was £42m, which was shared between three separate ticket holders in January 1996.

However, Saturday's prize is still dwarfed by the the biggest UK win in the Euromillions lottery, a draw where prize money comes from tickets sales in several European countries. Colin and Chris Weir, from Largs, North Ayrshire, collected £161.6m in 2011.

Top 10 biggest Lotto winners

  • £22,590,829 on 10 June 1995, won by Paul Maddison and Mark Gardiner from Hastings, East Sussex
  • £20,100,472 on 14 July 2004, won by Iris Jeffrey from Belfast
  • £20,088,838 on 8 July 1995, won by six members of the Benson family from Hull
  • £20,000,000 on 16 Sept 2000, won by six members of the Cross family in Lanarkshire
  • £20,000,000 on 12 May 2001, won by someone who declined publicity
  • £18,992,109 on 26 Jan 2008, won by Steve Smith from Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire
  • £18,268,465 on 23 July 2005, won by 11 members of a Tesco syndicate from Driffield, East Yorkshire
  • £18,051,588 on 3 June 2006, won by someone who declined publicity
  • £17,880,003 on 10 Dec 1994, won by someone who declined publicity
  • £17,799,986 on 9 March 2011, won by Matthew Breach from Battle, East Sussex

Source: Camelot Group

Wednesday's jackpot followed the number of balls in the draw increasing from 49 to 59 in October.

In that draw, two tickets matched five numbers and the bonus ball - winning £74,900 each.

According to mathematicians, the extra balls have reduced the odds of a player getting six numbers from about one in 14 million to one in 45 million.

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Media captionSean Lloyd won £1.8m last year; Elizabeth Williamson, of the Royal Statistical Society explains how likely for anyone to win

Dr Elizabeth Williamson, an ambassador for the Royal Statistical Society, said ticket holders were more likely to:

  • be struck by lightning - about one in 300,000 (over the course of a year)
  • die in a plane crash - about one in 3.5m
  • have triplets - about one in 8,000
  • have quadruplets - about one in 800,000
  • have identical quadruplets - about one in 11 million

However, Camelot says the rule changes have increased the chances of becoming a millionaire because they have also seen the introduction of a millionaire's raffle.

The biggest single-ticket National Lottery win before Saturday's draw was £22.5m, which was shared by work colleagues Mark Gardiner and Paul Maddison from Hastings in 1995.

The biggest individual winner was Iris Jeffrey from Belfast, who won £20.1m in 2004.

Saturday also saw a record-breaking lottery draw in the United States, with $900m (£619m) up for grabs in the Powerball game, which is played in 44 states, Washington DC, and two US territories.

The odds of winning that prize were one in 292.2 million.

Officials said there were no winners and the jackpot would rise to $1.3bn (£895m) for Wednesday's drawing.

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