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The concept behind the Postcode Lottery is a simple one - you sign up with your postcode, there are daily draws, if your postcode is drawn you win some money. What’s more opaque and slightly confusing is what your chance of winning is and what size your jackpot is likely to be.
CompareTheLotto.com has done an in-depth review to simplify the Postcode Lottery for you. Let’s get started:
When Is It Drawn?
Monday - Sunday: £1,000 Draw
Saturday: £30,000 Draw + £10 Draw
Sunday: £30,000 Draw + £20 Draw
Once per month: £3,000,000 Draw
How Much Can I Win?
Per £10 monthly subscription you have the following chances of winning:
* This number will vary slightly by the number of days in the month
How Many People Play The Postcode Lottery?
There are 1,800,000 postcodes in the UK. According to the Postcode Lottery website, 60% of UK postcodes play the Postcode Lottery. This equals 1,080,000 monthly postcodes playing. Obviously, we don't know how many players there are per postcode - the more players in your postcode the more people to share the jackpot if you win.
Postcode Lottery Odds
Based on a 1 month subscription of £10 - the minimum required to play. The odds of winning the postcode lottery are:
To be clear, you can only win a share of the £3,000,000 monthly prize, you cannot win it all. The maximum amount that can be won by a single ticket is 10% of draw proceeds up to a maximum of £400,000.
You have to remember you share the prize by the number of your neighbours in the same postcode signed up to Postcode Lottery. We can do some basic maths to get an approximate probability:
Number of UK postcodes: 1,800,000
Number of UK postcodes included in Postcode Lottery: 60%
60% of 1,800,000 = 1,080,000
Per month you have a 1 in 1,080,000 chance of winning the jackpot
The £3,000,000 jackpot is divided by the number of neighbours in your postcode. This can vary widely, so let’s look at a few scenarios
We don’t know exact figures, however, the winners section on the Postcode Lottery website seems to suggest the average jackpot win is in the region of £100,000 - £200,000
For the £30,000 draw you have the same probability of winning as you do the £3,000,000 draw. There’s just a couple of differences to the prize structure:
- You don’t have to share the £30,000 with your neighbours. Every ticket will win £30,000 each.
- There is a draw every Saturday and Sunday for £30,000. This means for your £10 per month you get approximately 8 chances (depending how the days of the month fall) to win £30,000. As there are approximately 1,080,000 postcodes in each draw this gives us 8 in 1,080,000 chance of winning or 1 in 135,000.
Every day of the month 20 postcodes are selected to win £1,000. Again, like the £30,000 Draw, this is £1,000 for each ticket, it is not divided by the number of people playing in that postcode.
As there are approximately 1,080,000 postcodes in each draw, we have (20 * days in month) in 1,080,000 chance of winning. Let’s say we have 30 days in the month that would be 600 in 1,080,000 chance of winning. Or 1 in 1,800.
Each Sunday 1,000 postcodes are selected with each player in that postcode winning £20. Let’s say there are 4 Sundays per month. That would make in (4 * 1,000) in 1,080,000 chance of winning, or, 4,000 in 1,080,000. That is a 1 in 270 chance of winning £20.
Each Saturday 1,000 postcodes are selected with each player in that postcode winning £10. Let’s say there are 4 Saturdays per month. That would make in (4 * 1,000) in 1,080,000 chance of winning, or, 4,000 in 1,080,000. That is a 1 in 270 chance of winning £10.
The Postcode Lottery doesn’t offer an option for playing in a syndicate. Although it would be possible, it could perhaps be confusing to create a syndicate with multiple players from mutiple postcodes.
Scratchcards & Instant Wins
Postcode Lottery doesn’t offer any options for scratchcards or instant wins.
Although the Postcode Lottery isn’t particularly well-known for it’s contributions to good causes it actually is rather exceptional. The Postcode Lottery donates 32% of ticket sales to good causes - this is much better than the UK National Lottery (28%) and Health Lottery (20.3%).
Since it’s inception in 2005 the Postcode Lottery has donated over £500M (as of December 2019) to charities such as WWF, Dogs Trust, Woodland Trust and WaterAid.
Due to their high profile good cause donations the Postcode Lottery has got some rather special celebrity endorsements:
UK Customers: Yes
Commission on Winnings: No
Payment Methods: Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, Visa Electron, Direct Debit, PayPal, Pay360
License: Postcode Lottery Limited is incorporated in England and Wales and is licensed and regulated by the Gambling Commission UK. Company reg. no. 04862732. VAT reg. no 848 3165 07.
Social Followers: Facebook (295,000), Twitter (42,000)
* Information correct as of 17/12/19. Check www.postcodelottery.co.uk website for latest information
Postcode Lottery is ranked #3 out of 3 traditional lotteries