Your guide to playing National Lottery Games by Direct Debit

Welcome to our guide to playing by Direct Debit.

We'll lead you through everything you ever wanted to know about our Direct Debit service - and maybe even a little bit more.

We'll do all the hard work - so you don't have to

A Direct Debit makes playing the lottery just that little bit easier.

  • It's continuous, so you'll always be in the draw until you tell us otherwise.
  • You won't have to buy, or lose, another ticket again.
  • We check your numbers for you.
  • We let you know if you've won.
  • We even send you your winnings when you win anything up to £50,000.
  • And best of all - it's a free service; you just pay the same price as you would in the shops.

Get wise to playing by Direct Debit

When can I play? Which games? How long for? And how do I go about setting one up? All of these questions and more are answered here.

  • The games you can play are Lotto and Thunderball.
  • You can play Lotto on Wednesdays, Saturdays, or both.
  • You can play Thunderball on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays or any combination of these days.
  • You can play until further notice by continuous direct debit.
  • You can choose your own numbers - or play Lucky Dip®.
  • There are three ways to set up a Direct Debit:
  1. on the internet at (but not on our mobile website
  2. over the phone by calling 0845 912 5000**
  3. or by sending in an application form

If you decide you'd like to change the numbers you play after you have set up your Direct Debit online, just log into your Account and you can edit your play slips.Δ You can change your numbers, change draw days, add lines or remove lines. If you didn't set up your Direct Debit online, call us on 0845 912 5000**and we can make the changes for you. Changes to your numbers will be made for the draws from the following week.

If you set up your Direct Debit onlineΔ, you'll become subject to the National Lottery Interactive Terms and Conditions, the National Lottery Rules for Draw-Based Games Played Interactively and the relevant game procedures. If you are an online player you'll have already agreed to these rules when you set up your Account.

If you set up your Direct Debit offline, you'll become subject to The National Lottery Rules for Draw-Based Games Played at Retailers or by Offline Direct Debit, as well as the procedures for the relevant game (just as you are when you buy a ticket in the shops). We'll tell you about these rules and procedures when you are setting up your Direct Debit, but if you'd like an extra copy just call the National Lottery Line on 0845 910 0000**; we'll be happy to post one to you.

So that we can set up your Direct Debit for you, we will ask you:

  • Your lucky numbers
  • What games you would like to play - Lotto, Thunderball or both
  • What draw days you would like to play
  • Your name
  • Your address - This must be a UK or Isle of Man address and must be retained throughout the term of your Direct Debit. If you move outside of these areas you must let us know
  • Your date of birth - So that we can check that you are over 16
  • Your telephone number
  • Your email address - We need this if you register onlineΔ, otherwise it's optional
  • Your payment details - Payment must be from a UK or Isle of Man bank Account, which must be retained throughout the term of the Direct Debit. Just tell us your Account number, sort code and the name of your bank
  • If you choose to set up your Account onlineΔ or over the phone we will also ask you for 'shared secrets' for security. If you send in an application form you'll need to remember to sign it

Once we've got your information it takes about four weeks for your Direct Debit to be set up. If you're setting up your Direct Debit onlineΔ or on the phone you can choose to enter your numbers straight away by paying for the first four weeks from a debit card.

We'll be in touch within a few days with information about your Direct Debit. Just check your numbers, draw days, start date, personal and payment details and let us know if any of it is incorrect.

You'll get a letter once a year detailing your payment schedule for the next 12 months, unless you are an online Direct Debit player, in which case this information is always available in the 'my Account' area of the website by clicking on the 'Direct Debit' link.Δ

Prize payment

If you win a prize (lucky you), here's how we'll pay you your winnings.

If you've won up to £4,999, we'll pay your winnings by direct credit or by cheque. We'll email you or write to you to let you know

If you've won from £5,000 up to £50,000 we'll pop a cheque in the post by Special Delivery (or another secure method of post).

If you have won over £50,000 we'll contact you and arrange to process your prize claim in person. You will be asked to complete a Prize Claim Form at this stage as part of that process.

Keeping your Direct Debit running smoothly

We'll do everything we can to make sure that your Direct Debit runs smoothly. However, sometimes things happen that can delay your Direct Debit being set up, or cause an interruption to your lottery play. We think it's better to let you know some of the things they could be, up-front.

  • If you send us an application form and you've forgotten to sign it. If this happens, we'll return the form to you for you to sign.
  • If a payment fails e.g. if there isn't enough money in your bank Account to cover the direct debit. If this happens we'll place your Direct Debit on hold and let you know that your payment has failed. Your numbers won't be entered into the draws if we don't have enough funds from you. You will need to give us a call and cover the missed payment (usually with a one-off debit card payment) and then we'll get your Direct Debit up and running as normal again.
  • We use Experian to check that you are over 16 and to confirm your address. It is not a credit check. If Experian cannot confirm your age or address we'll ask you to send us some other form of identification (e.g. Driving Licence) or proof of address (e.g. recent utility bill or bank statement).
  • If you are not eligible to play the National Lottery by Direct Debit or to receive a prize, (e.g. if you have an overseas address), or you fail to comply in some other way with any relevant rule or procedure.

Changing circumstances?

It makes sense to let us know if anything changes - after all, we want to be able to get your prize to you if you win.

  • It's your responsibility to tell us if your circumstances have changed. For example, if you have moved house, or if your name has changed.
  • If you'd like to change the bank Account that your direct debit comes out of, just log in to your Account (via the full website and not the mobile website) where you can update your details. If you didn't set your Direct Debit up online then just give us a call and we can make the change for you. How quickly we can make this change for you will depend on when your next payment is due. We'll confirm the dates with you before we make the change.
  • If you want to cancel your Direct Debit just log into your Account (via the full website and not the mobile website) and click on the 'Direct Debit' link where you will be able to cancel your Direct Debit. If you didn't set your Direct Debit up online then give us a call and any unused funds will be refunded to you.

Getting in touch

If you've got any questions and would like to have a chat about playing by Direct Debit call us on 0845 912 5000**. This is also the telephone number to call for complaints or comments.

We can also set up a Direct Debit over the phone for you.

If you'd like to apply onlineΔ, go to and fill in your play slip as normal. When you choose how many weeks you want to play for simply choose 'Continuous'.

Or, if you feel like writing us a letter, here's our address: National Lottery Freepost ANG 9610 Watford WD18 9BR

For online player correspondence (including online Direct Debits): The National Lottery PO Box 251 Watford WD18 9BR

Camelot's Registered Office is: The National Lottery Tolpits Lane Watford Hertfordshire WD18 9RN

Email us:

ΔPlease note you cannot set up play by Direct Debit, amend your Direct Debit details, or view certain Direct Debit details on our mobile website (

**Calls from a BT line are charged at your calling plan's standard network rate. Mobile and other providers' charges may vary. This information is correct at February 2012.

National Lottery Games are subject to Games Rules and Procedures.

© National Lottery Commission 2012

You must be 16 or over to play or claim a prize on The National Lottery.

Issue 6 February 2012

Frequently asked questions about playing by Direct Debit. Back to top