The United Kingdom’s own UK Lotto record was broken over the weekend, after two players managed to share a record £66m jackpot. Both players matched all six numbers on their tickets, said Camelot, the organisers and runners of the National Lottery in the UK.
Both players successfully matched 26, 27, 46, 47, 52, and 58, as well as the bonus ball of 48. This jackpot was finally won after a record 14 rollovers failed to yield a winner. Just like in other major lotteries, the prize was bumped up following successive rollovers. The more people bought tickets in the mad rush to find Christmas cash, the higher the jackpot rose.
The BBC called in Noel Edmonds for the very special draw, which The National Lottery had earlier said “had to be won”. Had their not been a winner, the jackpot would have filtered down to the lower prize tiers. That didn’t happen, though, after two players bagged the top tier numbers. Noel Edmonds had previously not “pushed the button” for the lottery since the very first National Lottery draw in November 1994.
Both of the players will pocket a £33m cash prize, and joint top spot on the list of the biggest ever National Lottery winners. The last time such a cash prize was won was back in 2004, when Irish Jeffrey scooped £20.1m on the lottery. However, the largest ever lottery jackpot was back in January 1996, when three people shared a £42m pot.
Camelot admitted that in the run up to the draw, its website struggled due to the sheer number of people trying to buy tickets.As many as 400 tickets per second were sold in the final minutes before the draw.
The odds on winning the National Lottery are 1 in 45 million. They were previously 1 in 14 million, but the inclusion of an extra 10 balls in October has made it harder to win. This in turn has bumped up the value of the prizes. By contrast your odds of having identical quadruplets are 1 in 11 million. Even so, that hasn’t stopped two lucky players from sharing the record prize this week.