Frequently asked questions

Getting Started

Managing my National Lottery Account

Playing by Direct Debit (formerly known as subscriptions)

My Tickets and Transactions

Mobile website

Other frequently asked questions

Getting Started

Who can open a National Lottery Account?

You can open an Account if you are aged 16 or over and are a resident of the UK or Isle of Man. To play lottery games online you must also have a debit card linked to a UK or Isle of Man bank or building society account, or set up a Direct Debit with us.

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Can I play while overseas?

No, to play UK National Lottery games online, you must be a resident of the UK or Isle of Man at all times. You must also be physically located in the UK or Isle of Man when buying a ticket or when setting up or amending a Direct Debit Account, including changing your numbers or payment details.

If you do not meet these requirements, any ticket purchases you make will be declared invalid and no prizes paid, and we will have the right to reclaim any prizes already paid under these circumstances.

If you are experiencing problems accessing your Account from within the UK or Isle of Man, read our help section on overseas play.

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How do I open a National Lottery Account?

Simply select 'Open Account' at the top right of this page and follow the instructions on each page. In three easy steps you will need to:

  • enter your personal details including your address;
  • add a username and password and set up security details; and
  • agree to our Account Terms and Conditions.

The areas marked with an asterisk (*) must be completed. You will need your debit card details or bank account details (to play by Direct Debit) if you want to start playing Lottery Draw Games or Instant Wins.

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How many ways are there for me to purchase a ticket interactively?

There are two ways: via our website, or by using your mobile phone.

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Managing my National Lottery Account

Why can't I add funds?

There are a number of reasons why you may not be able to add funds. These are detailed below:

  • Unsuccessful payment verification - Your bank did not authorise your request to add funds to your National Lottery account, please contact your bank for details.
  • Expired or cancelled Debit Card - If the Debit Card registered to your National Lottery Account has expired, or was cancelled, you will not be able to add funds. Please check your Debit Card details.
  • Incorrect security number - You will be asked to enter the three digit security number on the back of your Debit Card when adding funds. If you enter this incorrectly, you will not be able to add funds. Please check your Debit Card details and try again.
  • You have reached your weekly add funds limit - Your account has a weekly add funds limit of up to £350. A week runs from Sunday to Saturday, so if you reach the weekly add funds limit on Thursday you will not be able to add funds to your Account until the following Sunday. More about weekly spend limits.

I thought I had funds remaining in my Account

If your debit card is due to expire we would have attempted to transfer any remaining balance from your National Lottery Account back to your debit card for you before it expires. This may take a few days to appear in your bank/building society account depending on the time your bank/building society takes to process transactions. You will now be required to update your debit card details with a new valid/active debit card to add funds and continue playing online. Please sign in to your Account and register your new debit card.

I've forgotten my password or username, what do I do?

I've forgotten my username, what do I do?

You can retrieve your username online by answering some security questions. You will need:

  • The email address you used when you registered
  • Your date of birth
  • Your postcode and
  • The answer to your security question.

If successful, your username will be displayed on-screen and you will be directed to sign in. Retrieve your username now.

I've forgotten my password, what do I do?

You can reset your password online by confirming some personal details. You will need:

  • Your username
  • Your date of birth and
  • Your postcode.

If successful, you will receive an email to your registered email address with a link to reset your password. Please note you will have a limited amount of time to choose a new password. Reset your password now.

I've forgotten my username and password, what do I do?

You can retrieve your username and reset your password online by answering some security questions. You will need:

  • The email address you used when you registered
  • Your date of birth
  • Your postcode and
  • The answer to your security question.

If successful, your username will be displayed on-screen. Next you will be prompted to reset your password. You will receive an email to your registered email address with a link to reset your password. Please note you will have a limited amount of time to choose a new password. Retrieve your username and reset your password now.

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How do I change my debit card?

The only way you can amend your debit card details is to sign in to 'My Account' and select 'Add/change debit card' from the 'Payment details' menu on the left-hand side navigation.

You can only change your debit card if you have a zero balance on your National Lottery Account. If you have funds in your Account you can either wait until your balance reaches zero or transfer the balance back to your bank account via your original debit card through the 'Add/change debit card' screen. If you have funds in your Account and your original debit card is lost, stolen, or cancelled, you should still attempt this transfer as funds will return to your bank account, not the invalid Debit Card. If you experience any issues, please contact our Customer Care Team on 0845 278 8000.

You are able to change your debit card if you only have Direct Debit funds in your National Lottery Account.

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How do I change my address online?

You can change your address by signing in to your National Lottery Account:

Go to 'My Account' (on the top right of the screen) and, in the 'Account preferences' menu on the left click on 'Personal details'.

You should then be able to change your personal details by selecting 'Edit' at the bottom of the page.

I have moved recently or changed my name and I am unable to change my details in my Account

We use Experian to validate personal details. If you have recently changed your address or name, Experian records may not have been updated yet and you will be unable to update your details at this time. If this is the case, you can continue to play normally under your original address and try to change your address again at a later date. Please remember to come back to keep your details up to date, and remember that your new address must be in the UK or the Isle of Man.

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How do I transfer or remove funds?

If you wish to transfer funds to your National Lottery Account, or back to your bank account, please follow these instructions:

  1. Go to 'My Account'.
  2. Select 'Add funds' or 'Remove funds' from the 'Payment details' menu in the left hand side navigation.

To increase online payment security, if you are adding funds by Mastercard Debit, Visa Debit or Maestro, you may be taken through card verification by MasterCard® SecureCode™ or Verified by Visa. If you haven't registered for these services, you will be prompted to do so when adding funds.

If you choose to 'Remove funds', the system will transfer the selected amount back to your bank account. This will normally take place within 48 hours, although it can sometimes take 3-5 working days.

Please be aware that this does not apply to your Direct Debit funds. Funds in this case are added and deducted automatically.

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My Account has been suspended, what do I do?

There are a number of reasons your Account could be suspended, below are the most common reasons:

  • If you have forgotten your username and password you will be asked to provide security details. If you provide incorrect details your account will be suspended.
  • When signed into your Account if you are adding or removing funds, or adding or changing your debit card you will be asked to re-enter your password. If you enter this incorrectly more than twice your Account will be suspended.

To re-activate your Account please call the National Lottery Customer Care Team on 0845 278 8000

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Why have you changed the minimum amount I can transfer to my Account?

The change to the minimum transfer amount is to reflect the extra games, additional draw days and higher-value games that we now have. It doesn't affect how much people wish to spend on playing our games or their choice as to how frequently they play. This is the first time since online National Lottery services launched in 2003 that we have made a change to the minimum Account transfer, and there are other ways to play if you don't wish to transfer the minimum amount - for example, via one of our 30,000+ retailer outlets in the UK or Isle of Man or, if you wish to continue playing Lotto or Thunderball online, you could consider setting up an interactive Direct Debit.

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What are the minimum and maximum amounts I can transfer into my Account?

The minimum amount you can add to your National Lottery Account at any one time is £10. Please note that this does not affect your ability to transfer all of your funds back into your bank account at any time; nor does it affect the amount you choose to spend when playing our games.

The Weekly Add Funds Limit is £350 and you can monitor your weekly transactions within your Account overview.

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What are the minimum and maximum amounts I can transfer out of my Account?

It depends on the amount of funds you have in your Account. If your Account balance is greater or equal to £10, then the minimum amount you can transfer back to your bank account at any time is £10. If your Account balance is less than £10, then it is only possible to transfer the amount equal to your Account balance back to your bank account.

How do I close my Account?

To close your National Lottery Account, please sign in, then follow the steps below.

  1. Select 'My Account', in the top right corner of the page.
  2. Select 'Close Account' under 'Managing my Account' on the menu at the left-hand side of the page.

You will then be asked to confirm your Account closure. To help us improve our service, please provide a reason for why you wish to close your Account, then select the 'Close Account' button.

Please note: if you have an active Direct Debit or any remaining tickets within your National Lottery Account, it will not be possible to close your Account until the Direct Debit is cancelled and/or all remaining draw tickets have expired.

Any outstanding funds in your Account will be automatically transferred to your bank account via the registered Debit Card, and should be credited to your bank account within two to five working days – once your bank has authorised the transaction.

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Playing by Direct Debit (formerly known as subscriptions)

What has happened to my subscription?

Subscriptions will now be referred to as Playing by Direct Debit. Your numbers and draw dates can now be found under 'Direct Debit play slips' within 'My Account', where you will be able to change your numbers, add or remove lines and view tickets for each draw; these will be referred to as Direct Debit tickets.

You can play Lotto and Thunderball by Direct Debit; as well as play by Lucky Dip.

Find out more about playing by Direct Debit.

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How does playing by Direct Debit work?

Playing by Direct Debit will allow you to buy Lotto or Thunderball tickets continuously until you inform us otherwise.

Simply complete your Lotto or Thunderball play slip as normal, but choose 'Continuous' as the number of weeks you would like to play for.

Find out more about playing by Direct Debit.

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Can I play by Direct Debit on the National Lottery mobile website?

The mobile website does not allow you to create or manage your Direct Debit subscriptions. If you already have a Direct Debit subscription, you can view your tickets and transactions once you have signed in to your Account on the mobile website, but you will have to go to the full website to make any changes or buy Direct Debit tickets.

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Can I play online by Direct Debit from overseas?

When playing National Lottery games online by Direct Debit, you must be a resident of the UK or Isle of Man for the entire duration of your Direct Debit, not just at the time of setting it up.

You must also be physically located in the UK or Isle of Man when amending your Direct Debit Account, including buying additional tickets, or changing your numbers or payment details. As long as you only make these changes while you are physically located in the UK or Isle of Man, your tickets will be valid if you travel overseas.

If you need any assistance in setting this up, please refer to our Direct Debit Information.

If you are experiencing problems accessing your Account from within the UK or Isle of Man, read our help section on overseas play.

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Why do I have more than one balance?

One balance will exist for funds that have been transferred to your National Lottery Account via your debit card, and one balance for funds that have been collected via Direct Debit.

Your Direct Debit funds are shown for information only.

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Where can I view my tickets purchased by Direct Debit?

You can find your tickets by going to 'My Account' and selecting 'Direct Debit tickets' from the 'Games' menu on the left hand side navigation. You can then filter which tickets you want to view and for which period.

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How do I change my numbers purchased through Direct Debit?

You can change your numbers or add or remove lines by clicking on 'My Account' and selecting 'Direct Debit play slips'. You can select to change numbers, add lines or remove lines. Please check your play slip details for when changes will take effect.

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How do I cancel my Direct Debit play slips?

You can cancel your Direct Debit play slips by going to 'My Account' and clicking on 'Direct Debit play slips.' From here you can either select to cancel all your Direct Debit play slips by selecting 'Cancel all play slips' at the bottom of the page or cancel individual play slips by selecting 'Delete play slip'.

When you play by Direct Debit, we use your play slips to buy a new ticket for you automatically for each draw. We do this a couple of days before the draw takes place. Once we have bought a ticket for you it cannot be cancelled, but you can cancel your play slips which will prevent any more tickets being bought automatically for you for future draws.

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Why do my Direct Debit payments differ from month to month?

The monthly cost will vary depending on the number of Wednesdays and Saturdays in a particular month, as all Direct Debit collections are taken from your bank account on the same date every month and not every four weeks.

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When will my Direct Debit start?

Your start date depends on whether you select to start your numbers immediately, or you choose to wait for your Direct Debit to be set up. The first draw date will be clearly marked on your play slip which you can see in 'My Account' by clicking on 'Direct Debit play slips'.

Please note that your numbers will not be entered into draws until payment has been received and funds have been cleared.

We recommend that you check your Account and Direct Debit confirmation email for your first payment date and your first draw date.

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When will I receive my Direct Debit confirmation?

You should receive your Direct Debit confirmation by email within 24 hours.

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Why haven't I received confirmation of my Direct Debit?

From time to time, Direct Debits can be delayed. Sometimes your own email can block our notification which will prevent you from receiving it. You will need to change your settings on your email account or you might have given us an incorrect email address.

Where possible, we will contact you as soon as we can to resolve any issues. Your Direct Debit will not start until your payment has been received and funds have been cleared.

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How do I change my bank account details?

If you play by Direct Debit online then you can amend your bank details by going to 'My Account' and selecting 'Change Direct Debit'.

If you manage your Direct Debit by telephone or post, you need to either call us on 0845 278 8000, or notify us by writing to:

National Lottery PO Box 251WatfordWD18 9RD

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My Tickets and Transactions

How do I buy a ticket online?

You can buy a ticket online for any of our Lottery Draw Games by selecting the 'Play games' tab on the navigation menu at the top of the page. Then simply pick the game you would like to play and follow the instructions on the page. You will need to sign in to your Account to buy your ticket. When the ticket is purchased, your Account balance will be adjusted.

You can also purchase Lotto or Thunderball tickets by Direct Debit by selecting the 'Play games' tab on the navigation menu at the top of the page. Then simply pick the game from the menu (Lotto or Thunderball) and select 'Continuous' as the number of weeks you would like to play for. You will need to be signed in to your Account and then follow the instructions on the page.

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Where can I view my ticket details?

Your tickets can be found by going to 'My Account' and clicking on 'View tickets'.

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How do I cancel my tickets?

Tickets cannot be cancelled. When purchasing your tickets, your numbers are entered into the draws at the time of purchase and cannot be cancelled at a later date. Direct Debit tickets are purchased individually for each draw from your saved play slips. You can cancel your play slip to prevent any more tickets being automatically purchased.

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Why can't I cancel or change my numbers on tickets purchased through 'My Account'?

Tickets purchased through 'My Account' are purchased and entered into draws immediately. This means that they cannot be cancelled or changed in any way.

Direct Debit tickets are purchased individually for each draw from your saved play slips. You can change or cancel your play slip and the changes will take effect for future draws.

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How can I view my current tickets?

You can view your current tickets by going to 'My Account' and selecting either the 'My tickets' icon under the heading 'My Account', or using the 'View tickets' link from the 'Games played' menu on the left hand side of the page.

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How can I print my tickets?

To print specific tickets, please go to 'My Account', and then select either the 'My Tickets' icon, or the 'View tickets' option on the left-hand side. You can then view each ticket individually and print it using the handy icon in the top right-hand corner. There is also a link to 'View your tickets' on the confirmation page following your purchase. If you attempt to print your ticket from the ticket confirmation page, the format will not be correct and may result in you not being able to see your complete ticket.

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Mobile website

What is the National Lottery mobile website?

We have designed a mobile-friendly version of our full National Lottery website that is quicker and easier to use on a range of popular smartphones. Some functionality and content differs from the full website, but we believe the mobile website will offer you a better experience to play lottery draw games, check results and manage your Account 'on the go'.

Find out more about what the mobile website does

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What can I do on the mobile website?

This mobile website is a mobile-friendly, simplified view of the full website you see when you access the site via your computer. Most of the full website functions are available here, such as checking results, logging in to your Account, and playing lottery draw games, but please note that it does not include the ability to play Instant Win games, or create or manage your Direct Debit subscriptions. If you would like to do these, or would simply prefer to use the full website instead, just select the 'Go to full website' link at the very bottom of every page to be directed to the full website.

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How do I access the mobile website?

We have designed our mobile website to work with a range of the most widely-used smartphones. Just type in national-lottery.co.uk on your mobile browser and if your device is supported you will be automatically redirected to the site. The mobile operating systems we support are iPhone/iTouch iOS 3.2 and above, Android 2.3 and above and BlackBerry 6 and above.

Unfortunately, as there is such a wide range of mobile devices available, we cannot guarantee the mobile website will display correctly on all devices. If you are having difficulty viewing the mobile website, we recommend that you instead sign in to the full website using your computer instead.

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Can I use my existing Account?

Absolutely. The mobile website is just a simplified view of the full website, so all of your existing Account details will work. If you buy a ticket via your computer you will be able to view the details on the mobile website, and vice versa.

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Is it safe to enter payment details on my phone?

Security is very important to us. That's why we've used the same high level of security facilities on the mobile website as we do when you buy tickets or play our games on the full website using a computer.

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How much does the mobile website cost to use?

The National Lottery will not charge you for using the mobile website. However, please be aware that you will be charged your normal mobile web data charges, as you are for viewing any other web content from your mobile phone.

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What happens if I lose my network connection when buying a ticket?

Don't worry. If you experience any issues while attempting to buy a ticket on the mobile website (such as a delay or loss of connection), just check 'My Account'. Select 'View tickets' to see if your purchase was successful before reattempting to buy the ticket. Do not try again without checking, as all ticket purchases are entered into draws immediately, so we cannot cancel or edit them in any way.

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Other frequently asked questions

How do I find out about previous results?

The results of all of our Lottery Draw Games for the past 180 days can be found in 'Draw history'. You can also check your numbers for a specific game using our handy Results Checker. Go to 'Check results' and select 'Check your numbers' from the left-hand side menu for the relevant game.

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How do I check if I've won?

If you bought your ticket online, we've already checked your numbers for you and will have sent you an email if you've won.

To check your numbers go to 'Check results' and click on 'Check your numbers' for the game you want to check against. Enter your numbers in the Results Checker to find out if you have won.

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How long do I have to claim my prize?

Prizes need to be claimed within 180 days of the draw date, after which time the money will go to the Good Causes.

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What happens if I win?

When you buy your lottery tickets online, an email will be sent to your registered email address if you win. This email will ask you to sign in to your Account to find out more. For security reasons, the email will not say that you have won. Also, when you next sign in to your Account, there will be a message in your Account informing you of the win.

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Tickets purchased by Direct Debit

You can refer to our Direct Debit guide which provides details of how Direct Debit prizes are paid. A summary is also provided below:

Prizes of less than £5,000 will be automatically paid back into the bank account from where the Direct Debit is set up. You will be notified by letter if you manage your National Lottery Account through post or telephone, or by email if you manage your Account online. A cheque will be sent for prizes of £5,000 or more, up to and including £50,000.

We will contact you for prizes over £50,000 to arrange to process your prize claim in person.

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Tickets purchased through 'My Account'

Wins up to and including £500

These will be paid directly to your National Lottery Account. You can either transfer prizes to your debit card or use them to play more games.

Wins of £501 to £5,000 inclusive

These are paid directly into your bank via your debit card, once you claim them via the website, so you can quickly start to enjoy them!

Wins of over £5,000

Wins over £5,000 must be claimed by calling our National Lottery Customer Care Team on 0845 278 8000, and will be paid by cheque.

We will contact you for prizes over £50,000 to arrange to process your prize claim in person.

Whatever you win, The National Lottery will only reveal your identity as a winner if you give written consent or if we have to by law. Playing by Direct Debit is completely confidential - we will not pass any details of your Direct Debit on to any other organisation unless you authorise us to do so or we are required to do so by law.

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Have I received a scam email?

The National Lottery website is safe and secure. You do, however, need to be on your guard against Internet fraudsters. The National Lottery never requests personal details, discloses any prize amounts, or asks for up-front fees. If you receive an email which sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Lottery scams are increasing at an alarming rate. Read Common lottery scams for more information.

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Why am I unable to complete my Instant Win game?

The problem you have encountered with the game is very rare but if you follow the steps below you should be able to complete the game and continue to play other games after that.

  1. Click 'My Account'.
  2. Click on 'Preferences' on the 'Account preferences' menu on the left and scroll to the bottom of the page and select 'Edit'.
  3. Tick the box marked 'Reveal Instant Wins outcome automatically' (by checking this box the game play animation will not show when playing games), click the 'Update' button.
  4. Sign out of your Account and sign back in again.
  5. Click the 'Play your unfinished game' in the yellow bar beneath the navigation tabs at the top of the page. The unfinished game will now tell you whether you have won and, if so, how much.

If you wish to see the animation of the games again just follow steps 1-4, un-checking the box in step 3.

If there is anything you are unsure of please do not hesitate to contact us on the number below. Good luck!

Please note, when playing Instant Wins you acknowledge that these are games of chance and the results are determined at the point of purchase. No refund will be given if the animation is not displayed.

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How long does it take to transfer funds to my bank account?

Although your transfer is processed almost immediately your bank can take 2-5 working days to credit the funds to your account. This is standard practice for most banks/building societies.

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What are the site opening hours?

Our site is open 24 hours a day but there are restrictions around buying tickets which are outlined in 'When can I buy my tickets'. You can still check your results at any time, and read stories about previous winners and Good Causes.

Our games, and access to 'My Account', are not available to players from 2am until 8am due to the site being closed for maintenance purposes.

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When can I buy my tickets?

You can buy tickets from 8am until the game closes; to find out full details of when the games are available to play, visit our pages about each draw. You must have purchased your ticket by 7.30pm on the day of the relevant draw to take part. Please note, on occasion, the time the game closes may be delayed and therefore be later than 7.30pm.

Play Instant Wins from 8am until 2am the following day.

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What if I need more information?

If you need more information on any lottery topic, please call 0845 278 8000*. The National Lottery Customer Care Team can be contacted between 8am and 11pm, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

*Evening and weekend calls cost 6p plus up to 2p per minute from a BT Calling Plan. Mobile and other providers' charges may apply. This information is correct as of September 2008.

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I am having difficulty viewing the website in my current browser

In order to deliver an even faster, more convenient service and enhanced functionality to all our players, we have designed our website to work with the vast majority of the most widely-used internet browsers and computer operating systems.

To improve your experience of the National Lottery website - and many other websites - you can upgrade your internet browser for free by clicking on one of the links below:

Internet Explorer Mozilla Firefox Safari Google Chrome

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Why can't I see the winning numbers next to my ticket?

In the 'View tickets' area, for any draws where you have won a prize, the winning results will be displayed next to your ticket.

If you wish to check your results for a specific game, you can always use our Results Checkers.

Winning numbers can also be viewed using the 'Check results' tab on the main Home Page navigation.

If you are not lucky enough to have a winning ticket for a particular draw, we no longer display the results for the draws next to your ticket. This small change was made following recent player feedback, where some players found the amount of information displayed made it more difficult to quickly identify on which draw their ticket or numbers had won - especially when purchasing multiple lines over multiple weeks.

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Why doesn't the Results Checker tab along to the next box?

The Results Checkers no longer contain the automatic tab function which moves the cursor to the next box. However, you can still manually tab to the next box by pressing the 'Tab' key that is normally situated above the 'Caps Lock' key on the left-hand side of the keyboard. We have made this change so that our site is as user-friendly and accessible as possible, in particular, so that players are in control of the cursor at all times. This is the case for all data-entry fields throughout the site.

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What has happened to the National Lottery service on Sky Active?

The National Lottery is no longer available in the Sky platform; however, you can still purchase tickets on the internet, by Direct Debit or in store.

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