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National Lottery changes prizes in November 2018 04/09/18
• The National Lottery is promising to make more millionaires each week as its boss stamps his authority on the business with a radical shake-up

Camelot UK Lotteries has announced a series of changes to the National Lottery in an effort to make games more “appealing” to players by pledging to pay out higher prizes more often.

From November, players that match five main numbers and the bonus ball will win a fixed prize of £1m (€1.1m/$1.3m), up from an average £40,000 now. This will replace the current raffle draw system.

The main Lotto draw jackpot will be won or shared more often, with the jackpot only able to roll over five times, compared to around 10 rolls at present. If no player wins the jackpot on a must-win draw, the jackpot will then be shared across all winning cash prize tiers. The “rolldown mechanic” will see jackpots shared across all prize tiers - matching three numbers could see returns of £100. Statistically, Camelot said, this is will occur 10 times a year.

Other changes include increasing the amount players win for matching five main numbers from an estimated £1,000 to a fixed £1,750, as well as four numbers from £100 to £140 and three numbers from £25 to £30.

Players will still win a ‘Lucky Dip’ for matching two main numbers, while tickets will remain priced at £2 per line.

The changes come after a wide-ranging strategic review, which Camelot chief executive Nigel Railton said identified key areas where action was required in order for the National lottery to return to “long-term, sustainable growth”.

This comes despite Camelot having reported a rise in National Lottery sales to £6.95bn in the 2017-18 financial year, with digital sales reaching an all-time high of £1.65bn.

Railton, who took over as CEO on a full-time basis in November 2017, said: “It was clear from the review that we needed to create a more appealing and balanced range of games that offers something for everyone.

Other changes to be rolled out as a result of the strategic review include staging additional special draws for the EuroMillions, which Camelot said will guarantee more £1m UK winners. As part of this restructure, Camelot will now guarantee only one UK millionaire in each EuroMillions draw, rather than two.

Meanwhile Lotto’s raffle will be scrapped, and Camelot announced plans - subject to regulatory sign-off - for an annuity game, whereby winners receive regular payments over a number of years instead of a lump sum. Details of the game are yet to be revealed.

Railton added: “The portfolio updates we are announcing today will complement the other initiatives we are bringing in across retail and digital, as well as our ongoing work to make The National Lottery brand more relevant and visible – and will ensure that The National Lottery as a whole continues to deliver for both players and Good Causes alike.”

Camelot was last month forced to issue an apology to the Gambling Commission after it was fined £1.15m for historic control and governance failings dating back to 2016 including incorrectly issuing “non-winning” messages to players.

Camelot’s breaches included failings in direct debit instruction, security measures, Post Office controls and publishing incomplete results for its Olympic medal prize promotion.

However, Camelot’s most notable offence was incorrect prize outcomes on its mobile app, meaning players may have seen a “non-winning” message even if they possessed a winning ticket.

This is far from Camelot’s first trip to the UKGC’s doghouse. In December 2016, Camelot paid a £3m penalty for paying out on a fraudulent jackpot claim. The operator was also penalized £300k in July of that year for posting incorrect Lotto results, and was hit with a £100k fine in August 2014 for incorrectly calculating a jackpot prize amount.