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  • National Lottery (United Kingdom)


    The National Lottery is the state-franchised national lottery in the United Kingdom. It is operated by Camelot Group, to whom the licence was granted in 1994, 2001 and again in 2007. The lottery was initially regulated by the National Lottery Commission, which has since been abolished and its responsibilities transferred to the Gambling Commission, and was established by the government of John Major in 1994. All prizes are paid as a lump sum and are tax-free. Of all money spent on National Lottery games, around 53% goes to the prize fund and 25% to "good causes" as set out by Parliament (though some of this is considered by some to be a form of "stealth tax" levied to support the Big Lottery Fund, a fund constituted to support public spending). 12% goes to the UK Government as lottery duty, 4% to retailers as commission, and a total of 5% to operator Camelot, with 4% to cover operating costs and 1% as profit. Lottery tickets and scratch cards (introduced in 1995) may be bought only by people of at least 16 years of age.

  • List of six-number lottery games


    A six-number lottery game, often having Megabucks, Pick-6, or Lotto as part of its name, is a form of lottery in which six numbers are drawn from a larger pool (for example, 6 out of 44). Winning the top prize, usually a progressive jackpot, requires a player to match all six regular numbers drawn; the order in which they are drawn is irrelevant. Functionally, these games are similar to five-number games, except, because of the sixth number that needs to be matched, the top-prize odds usually are longer. Therefore, six-number games generally offer a higher jackpot/top prize. Six-number games (using one drum) were the most popular kind of U.S. lottery game, before two-drum games such as Cash4Life, Lotto America, Lucky for Life, and Mega Millions were created. (These games also draw six numbers; however, five are from one set, while a sixth is drawn from a second pool. These "5+1" games also require all six numbers to be matched for the top prize/jackpot.) Whether a game draws from one set of numbers, or two, affects how prizes are won. A player choosing the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 in a typical six-number (one set of numbers) game, and also for Mega Millions or Powerball (two sets) choosing 6 for the "Mega/Power" ball. Both games played then happen to draw the player's numbers, in this order: 1-2-3-4-6, and 5. The player would win (or share) the top prize/jackpot in the game with one set of numbers; however, in Mega Millions the player would win "only" $500 as the player matched four of the white balls, but not also the "Mega Ball" (assuming the Megaplier option was not chosen.) since, here, 5 is the "Mega Ball" rather than 6. Likewise, in Powerball, the player wins $100. A game called Lotto 6/49 continues as one of the two national lottery games in Canada (the other being the seven-number "Lotto Max"). Historically, U.S. six-number games cost $1 per play; however, some of these games now have a $2 price point. Several games offer 50¢ plays; however, tickets for these games must be purchased in $1 increments. Most six-number games are drawn twice weekly, often Wednesdays and Saturdays, although Pennsylvania's Match 6, its largest in-state progressive jackpot game, now draws seven nights a week. One variant of the six-number game (usually $2 per play) generates three sets of six numbers for each play. (An example of this type of game is Pennsylvania's Match 6.) A player wins in the usual manner by matching enough numbers (in any of the three games) against those drawn, and/or matching enough numbers across all three sets of six; such as 5 (or more) of 18.) The jackpot-level prize is won in the "classic" way, by matching all six numbers in one set, rather than the total matched against the 18. (Note that these games allow players to pick only one set of six numbers; the other two sets automatically are generated by the lottery computer system.) Some six-number games have a top prize (jackpot or otherwise) that always is paid in cash, whereas other six-number games have an annuity top prize; generally, all six-number games with an annuitized top prize have a cash option. Some "six-number" games draw seven numbers; the first six for the jackpot/top prize, and a seventh, "bonus" number, for some lower-tier prize levels. Vikinglotto draws two bonus numbers in this manner, for a total of eight numbers. The 6/49 game operated by the International Lottery in Liechtenstein Foundation (ILLF) draws the first six numbers for the jackpot; if the seventh ball (bonus ball) is drawn, the jackpot prize also is won. This bonus ball also is used for a "5 plus bonus ball" category. These "bonus" numbers are drawn from the remaining numbers in the same drum, rather than from a second set of numbers.

  • Lottery mathematics


    Lottery mathematics is used to calculate probabilities of winning or losing a lottery game. It is based heavily on combinatorics, particularly the twelvefold way and combinations without replacement.

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