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The jackpot in Saturday’s Lotto is expected to rise to almost 60 m – the biggest flesh since it started 21 years ago. Changes to the number of dances in the glean have made a win statistically less likely, but what’s actually happened since they were brought in?

It could be you, but most likely it won’t be.

If anyone’s lucky enough to guess six remedy quantities in this Saturday’s Lotto draw, their personal wealth could instantaneously increase by 60 m – on a par with the rich of Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

But smacking the jackpot’s less likely than it formerly was. In October last year, Lotto operator Camelot included 10 additional dances to the draws taking place on Wednesdays and Saturdays, participate in the number from 49 to 59.

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Image caption Saturday’s winner could see their personal wealth adversary that of Barry Gibb

It was calculated that this increased the curious of picking six remedy quantities from one in 14 million to one in 45 million.

So naturally, the layman’s presumption would be that they would be less likely to become a millionaire. One national newspaper “ve called the” change a “rip-off”, but Camelot said it was attaining video games “more exciting”.

It also made the promise that it would create at least one millionaire a week – something not pledged before. It started the Lotto Millionaire Raffle. This assigned everyone to purchase a 2 Lotto ticket a separate raffle ticket, consisting of a quality and eight quantities – chosen by a computer, rather than the customer – to be entered in a separate draw.

So, how have the changes wielded in practice?

Since the first amended-format glean took place on 10 October last year, there have been just four wins of the award. That’s over the course of 26 outlines.

The jackpot prizes were 14.6 m on 21 October, 4.3 m on 24 October, 15.8 m on 11 November and 4.3 m on 14 November. None of these were shared.

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These wins, in addition to the 26 raffle wins, aim 30 beings – or syndicates – have won at least 1m each.

How does this compare with the equivalent interval a year earlier?

In the 26 outlines that took place from 11 October 2014 to 7 January 2015, there used to be 24 wins – some taking the full award, some a share. The highest award was 15 m, shared five modes between contenders who had guessed five major dances plus the bonus ball correctly. This materialized because, for the purposes of the old-fashioned structure, the award could only be reeled over a maximum of four times.

So, in this equivalent interval the Lotto passed out 26 prizes worth 1m or more.

Therefore, three more millionaires have been created under the new system, but there have been 21 fewer award wins.

Camelot says its combined changes – the additional dances and the Millionaire Raffle – intend the overall luck of becoming a millionaire going to go from one in 14 million to one in 10 million for every ticket you buy.

But, if you’re now most likely to win a million pounds because of the raffle rather than the numbers you choose for Lotto itself, isn’t the whole circumstance now very different?


Image caption Noel Edmonds presenting the National Lottery in 1994

“I don’t think the raffle has changed in nature because of this, ” says Katie Chicot, a mathematics professor at the Open University. “I think a good hunk of players use the Lucky Dip quantities regardless( random quantities selected for you ). “

“I said when these changes came in that they’d grow the chance of rollovers, and that’s materialized, ” says Rob Mastrodomenico, of the Royal Statistical Society. He argues that the introduction of the raffle will be largely for the benefit of regular Lotto players, rather than those who buy tickets only when the award inflates to huge ratios.

The curious of winning the raffle will run from draw to draw based on the number of beings buying tickets and therefore being in the raffle. If five million people buy tickets, each ticket has a one in five million luck of winning the 1m raffle booty – if 10 million do, the odds are one in 10 million.

“We don’t ever truly know the number of beings registering, but it’s likely to be lower when the booty is smaller, ” says Mastrodomenico. “I expect that, after the 60 m award is given away, the curious of winning the raffle will be far more next week, simply due to the fact fewer beings will buy tickets and hence fewer will be in the raffle.”

The current rollover stops on Saturday, with the award having to be won by a person who is or shared.

This is because, under Camelot’s amended conventions, formerly the award transfers 50 m – which it did for Wednesday’s draw – it can only be reeled over one more time. If there is no winner, the booty goes to the person/ people who have chosen five dances and the bonus dance. If no one gets this, the award is shared among those who get five dances – and so on until the money is given out.

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So Lotto prizes are effectively capped, unlike EuroMillions, in which Colin and Chris Weir from Largs who won 161m in 2011. The estimated award for the US Powerball raffle is currently $675 m( 464 m ).

Still, the Lotto prize – the largest in the National Lottery’s 21 -year history – has created huge interest. Its website gate-crashed a couple of hours before Wednesday’s draw, such was the needs of the tickets.

“It’s a PR dream for Camelot, ” says Pete Davies, head of RMS public relations. “It’s word of mouth which is driving sale of tickets and this is the cheapest and most effective kind of marketing here i am.

“The fact there’s been a huge decrease in the chance of winning the award from about 14 million to one to 45 million, which contributed to negative PR, moves no gap. The bigger the award gets, the more people want to enter. This exponential increment drives beings into a frenzy.”

For those not winning or sharing the award on Saturday, it’s comforting to remember the words of granddad John Baxter, who won 1m on EuroMillions in 2013. “I went to the supermarket and splashed out a tenner on brand-new slippers, ” he said. “I couldn’t think of anything else I truly needed.”

And anyone who guesses two quantities accurately under the reformed Lotto system gets to enter the next glean for free, and experience the excite all over again.

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