Service Guide

This guide

The following information is provided for guidance only.

If you wish to play Draw-Based Games either Interactively or by Direct Debit, or play Interactive Instant Win Games, the legal relations between ourselves and you are contained within the Interactive Account Terms and Conditions, the Rules for Draw-Based Games Played Interactively, the Rules and any Game Specific Rules for Interactive Instant Win Games, the Game Procedures applicable to the game that you choose to play and the Privacy Policy.

Website navigation

To make it easier to navigate your way around the website, we strongly recommend that you use the navigation buttons within the website which have been designed and tested. If you use the back/forward buttons in your browser, they may not take you to where you want to go.

When can I play?

The interactive system is normally available to:

  • Play Interactive Instant Win Games – from 8am until 2am the following day. However, please note that it may not be possible to play Interactive Instant Win Games on The National Lottery website from certain mobile phone internet browsers.
  • Play Draw-Based Games from 8am until the game closes for the draw. To find out full details of when the games are available to play, visit our Important Information page. You must have purchased your ticket by 7.30pm on the day of the relevant draw to take part.
  • Set up a Direct Debit from 8am until the relevant game closes for the draw. Please note that a Direct Debit can only be set up on the full National Lottery website (www.national-lottery.co.uk) and not the mobile website (m.national-lottery.co.uk).

Our system is not available to players from 2am until 8am due to it being closed for maintenance purposes.

You must have successfully signed up under our registration process before you can participate in National Lottery games.

To play the try versions of our Interactive Instant Win Games you will need to register, but you will not need to enter your debit card details.

How do I sign up?

In order to successfully play online on the web or to set up a Direct Debit, you have to provide us with certain pieces of information, so that we can authenticate your identity and entitlement to play.

Under our licence to operate The National Lottery we are obliged to take every effort to ensure that no under 16 year-olds can purchase tickets or claim prizes - it is for these reasons that we ask for this information and pass it on to others, such as an authentication agency. The information is only used to authenticate your identity online and will not be used for credit-checking purposes. If you agree, your information may be used by the Company and other selected business partners to provide you with marketing information that we believe will be of interest to you.

The minimum information that needs to be provided to successfully register is:

  • Your full name, gender and residential address in the UK or the Isle of Man.
  • Date of birth.
  • Security details, such as your mother's maiden name, which will be used to identify you if you contact us.
  • A current email address.

During the registration process we may provide you with an authentication code for the purposes of verifying information you have provided to us on registration (for example your mobile telephone number or email address). In order to complete registration, you may be required to provide this authentication code back to the Company.

You will be asked to choose a username and password when you register. Please note that once you have confirmed your chosen username, it cannot be changed for any reason.

If you forget your password, you can click the 'Forgot username or password' link at the top of the pages across the website. Players aged between 16-19 years will be asked to provide additional details for authentication.

If we are unable to authenticate your identity using the databases available to us, you will be given the option to register manually by returning the relevant forms and documentation to the Company.

To complete registration you will need to accept our Interactive Account Terms and Conditions. If you do not accept them, you will not be able to access the games.

If you wish to play Interactive Instant Win Games or Draw-Based Games interactively, you must supply a valid debit card number and expiry date. If you wish to start playing by Direct Debit immediately, you will be asked to supply a valid debit card and expiry date. Debit cards linked to joint accounts may be used.

You do not need to enter your debit card details if you only want to play the try versions of the Interactive Instant Win Games. Remember, you are only allowed to open one National Lottery Account.

Management of Accounts

Any transfers you make will not incur any charges. However, there is a minimum transfer amount of £10, or such other amount as may be agreed with the Commission from time to time, and a standard maximum weekly limit of £350, that we will allow you to transfer into your National Lottery Account. Details are on the 'Add Funds / Remove Funds' National Lottery website pages. For Syndicate Managers, who run larger syndicates, there is the option to select a maximum weekly limit of £1,000.

Your balance may exceed £350 if you win prizes and credit them to your Account, but you will then be prevented from transferring additional funds from your bank account into your Account. For Syndicate Managers who have selected the maximum weekly limit of £1,000, their balance may exceed £1,000 if they win prizes and credit them to their Account. However, they will be prevented from transferring additional funds from their bank account into their Account.

A player will not receive or be entitled to interest on any unutilised funds or on any prizes. Interest on any balance held in your Account is added to the proceeds from the lottery given to National Lottery Good Causes.

If your debit card is due to expire, you will be notified when you sign in to your Account, so that you can update your debit card details. If you do not update your debit card details before your card expires, we will return your Account balance to your bank account.

If you lose your debit card, we suggest you first contact your own bank to cancel your debit card. When you have your new debit card details, amend your Account by going to 'My Account' and clicking on 'Add/Change debit card'. Please note that you may be prompted and required to contact The National Lottery Customer Care Team on 0845 278 8000 when adding/changing your debit card details. Please note that you can usually only change your debit card if you have a zero balance on your Account. If you have an outstanding balance, you will need to contact The National Lottery Customer Care Team on 0845 278 8000.

Personal settings

There are a number of ways that you can personalise your settings on the system via the 'My Account' screens including:

Self imposed limits on play

You may wish to manage your own play habits by imposing a limit so that do not play more than a certain number of Interactive Instant Win Games in a day. To access this function, click on the 'Spend and Play Settings' link on the 'My Account' Page, which will direct you to the 'Change Play Settings' page. If you lower your play limits these changes will take effect immediately.

If you subsequently choose to increase your play limits, the change will not be effective until the following operational day on the system.

General Limits on Play

There is, in any event, a standard maximum number of Interactive Instant Win Games you can play and this is set at 75 per day. There is also a maximum limit set for playing the try versions of the Interactive Instant Win Games and this is also set at 75 per day. For Syndicate Managers who have opted for the maximum weekly wallet limit of £1,000, they will have a maximum limit of 10 Interactive Instant Win Games that they can buy each day. However, they will still be able to play up to a maximum of 75 try versions of the Interactive Instant Win Games each day.

Game exclusion

You can exclude yourself from playing ALL games (including Draw-Based Games such as Lotto), by calling The National Lottery Customer Care Team.

If you choose a temporary exclusion, you will not be able to play any games for a minimum period of 6 months and will then need to call The National Lottery Customer Care Team to have this restriction removed.

If you choose a permanent exclusion, you will not be able to play any National Lottery games online again.

Temporary and permanent exclusions will be effective immediately.

Take a break from certain Interactive Instant Wins

If you do not wish to temporarily or permanently exclude yourself from ALL National Lottery games (including Draw-Based Games such as Lotto), you may want to consider taking a break from just Interactive Instant Win Games.

There are two options available. You can either opt to take a break from ALL Interactive Instant Win Games (which means you will be unable to try or buy any Interactive Instant Win Game), or you can choose to take a break from a particular Interactive Instant Win Game(s). If you choose the second option, you will be unable to try or buy that particular Interactive Instant Win Game(s).

In order to take a break, click on the 'Spend and Play Settings' link on the 'My Account' page. Navigate to the 'Moderating Instant Win Play' section and either select the ALL option to take a break from ALL Interactive Instant Win Games, or select the particular Interactive Instant Win Game(s) you wish to take a break from. To save your changes, scroll down and click on 'Submit changes'. Any changes made will take effect immediately.

Re-enablement of your access to ALL Interactive Instant Win Games, or to individual Interactive Instant Win Games you are taking a break from, can only be achieved by making contact with the National Lottery Customer Care Team.

Account settings

You can change your Account settings, such as opting in or out of marketing emails, receiving free text alerts, and revealing Interactive Instant Win Game outcomes automatically. To access these settings, click on the 'Preferences' link on the 'My Account' Page. Any changes you make will be confirmed back to you.

The option to 'Reveal Instant Win Game Outcome Automatically' has been developed to assist players using sight-impaired Internet browsers. It allows them to purchase a game and bypass the Flash movie of the game, going directly to the outcome.

What if my internet browser crashes mid-way through playing an Interactive Instant Win Game?

If you lose your connection to the Internet, all you need to do is log on to the website again and you will be automatically returned to the game you were playing prior to losing your connection. The system will notify you if there is an un-played Interactive Instant Win Game waiting to be completed. You do not need to complete playing this game immediately, but our system will prevent you playing a new game until the old one is completed. In the event that you purchase an Interactive Instant Win Game but do not complete it, it may be played out automatically by the system at any time but no earlier than 7 days after purchase and no later than 60 days after purchase on your behalf. When an Interactive Instant Win Game closes, any games that you have purchased but not yet played will be played out automatically by the system.

An Interactive Instant Win Game is considered complete when its outcome status shows either £0.00 where no prize has been won or the prize amount where a prize has been won. The outcome status is displayed when the Player goes to the 'Instant Wins played' area of the My Account section and selects the Play Number for the Interactive Instant Win Game. However, please note that it is not possible to view the outcome status of an Interactive Instant Win Game on the mobile website (m.national-lottery.co.uk).

What happens if my internet browser crashes mid-way through purchasing Draw-Based Games tickets?

If you lose your connection to the Internet and you had not selected the Buy option on the Confirm Tickets page, then your tickets will not have been purchased. If you had selected the Buy option before you lost your connection, you will need to access the View Transaction page in My Account to see if the ticket had been purchased and entered into the draw.

How do the Interactive Instant Win Games work?

The outcome of each game (including the try version of the game) is predetermined at the point of purchase (or in the case of the try version when the 'try game' link has been selected), prior to your playing the game.

We use a random number generator to determine each win or lose outcome - the algorithms used in our software are an industry standard and have been independently checked and audited. The outcome of the game is determined by the prize payout probabilities of the game, in association with the randomiser. As with all other National Lottery games, Interactive Instant Win Games are games of chance; no skill is required to win.

How do I check if I've won?

With Interactive Instant Win Games the system will notify you on-screen whenever you win and the value of that win.

Having purchased a ticket for a Draw-Based Game, you will be notified following the draw, if your ticket has won a prize, when you next access the website.

The details of any win will also be shown on the 'Instant Wins played' and 'View Transactions' areas within 'My Account' on the website. However, please note that it is not possible to view the outcome status of an Interactive Instant Win Game on the mobile website (m.national-lottery.co.uk).

How and where do I get my winnings?

For all Interactive prizes, other than Direct Debit:

  • Prizes up to, and including, £500 will be automatically credited to your Account on our system.
  • Upon login, you will be prompted to transfer any prizes over £500 and up to £5,000 to your debit card so that the monies can be credited to your bank account.
  • For prizes of more than £5,000, you will need to contact The National Lottery Customer Care Team on 0845 278 8000 initially to validate your claim. They will then take you through the claim process.
  • If you win a prize of more than £50,000 you will need to speak to The National Lottery Customer Care Team on 0845 278 8000 to validate your claim and we will arrange to process your prize claim in person.
  • If you win a non-cash prize, you will need to contact The National Lottery Customer Care Team on 0845 278 8000 who will take you through the claim process.

For Direct Debit prizes:

  • Prizes of less than £5,000 will normally be credited to the bank or building society account from which your Direct Debit is paid.
  • For prizes of £5,000 up to and including £50,000 a cheque will be automatically posted to you.
  • If you win a prize of more than £50,000 you will need to speak to The National Lottery Customer Care Team on 0845 278 8000 to validate your claim and we will arrange to process your prize claim in person.

All Prizes:

All prizes must be claimed by 11pm on the 180th day following the date of the relevant draw, or after the relevant Interactive Instant Win Game was purchased.

Any unclaimed prizes (up to £5,000) will be credited to your Account 60 days after purchase of the relevant Interactive Instant Win Game or 60 days following the relevant draw. Prizes of more than £5,000 will go to the Good Causes, if unclaimed (excluding play by Direct Debit).

It should be noted that when claiming a prize, a screen-print of a winning play will not be accepted as any proof of entitlement.

You will need to complete of a Prize Claim Form for any Interactive prize over £5,000, and any Direct Debit prize over £50,000. You may need to complete a Prize Claim Form for lower prizes. Prize Claim Forms are available from The National Lottery Customer Care Team.

Are my winnings tax free?

Normally winnings are not subject to tax.

Where does the money raised go?

As operator of The National Lottery, Camelot is committed to maximising returns to National Lottery Good Causes through selling tickets in a socially-responsible way. In the year ending 31 March 2013, Camelot delivered a record £1,951.4 billion to National Lottery Good Causes (an increase of 6.9% on the previous year), which, because of the mix of games sold during the year, worked out at a rate of return to the Good Causes of around 28%.

As has always been the case, the total amount which Camelot delivers to National Lottery Good Causes under its current licence depends on a number of variable factors, including the mix of games sold, the channels through which they are sold and the level of unclaimed prizes.

The National Lottery Good Causes that receive funding cover the arts, charity/voluntary organisations, education, environment, health, heritage and sport. Although Camelot is responsible for generating returns to National Lottery Good Causes, it plays no role in the allocation of funding, which is the responsibility of 12 lottery distribution bodies, each with specialist knowledge of their sectors. To find National Lottery Good Causes in your local area, visit www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/good-causes.

What if I need more information?

If you need more information on any topic, please call 0845 278 8000. The National Lottery Customer Care Team is open between 8am and 11pm, 7 days a week, 364 days a year (excluding Christmas Day).

For information on playing by Direct Debit, and how to set one up, download our free Guide to Playing by Direct Debit.

Please play responsibly...

We are keen that you play The National Lottery responsibly. With this in mind, having consulted with a number of industry experts, we have developed the system in such a way that allows you to manage your own game-play habits by accessing the 'Spend and Play Settings' link on the website using the 'My Account' page once you have completed registration.

If you are concerned about playing too much, please call GamCare on 0845 600 0133.

Contact us

Call The National Lottery Customer Care Team on 0845 278 8000* or alternatively e-mail us at help@national-lottery.co.uk.

* 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 September 2013.

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