History of the Lottery
Tickets, history, machines - this site is all about The National Lottery
A statute of 1698 stated that in England lotteries were illegal unless authorised by a statute. A 1934 Act, which was further liberalised in 1956 and 1976, allowed small lotteries. The UK's state-franchised lottery was established under government licence by John Major in 1993. The National Lottery is run by a private operator called the Camelot Group which was awarded the franchise in May 1994. The first draw was on 19 November 1994 with a programme hosted by Noel Edmonds. The first numbers were 30, 3, 5, 44, 14 and 22, the bonus 10. Seven jackpot winners enjoyed a prize of £5,874,778.
Tickets were available on the Isle of Man in December 1999 at the request of Tynwald. The National Lottery took on a major rebranding scheme in 2002 aimed at combating falling sales. The main game was called Lotto, and the National Lottery Extra was called Lotto Extra. The stylized fingers logo was adjusted. However, the games as a whole are still known as the National Lottery. It is one of the most loved forms of gambling in the UK.
In 2009 Camelot replaced its older draw machines. The new machines are called Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot and Merlin, which were the names of previous machines. At the same time, new machines for the Thunderball game were brought in. The new Lotto machines are Magnum II model, made by Smartplay International Inc., and the Thunderball machines are the Smartplay Halogen II model.