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We grant licences for each game, or class of games, promoted as part of the National Lottery. Lotto, EuroMillionsThunderball, LottoHotPicks, Set For LifeScratchcards and Interactive Instant Win Games all have their own licences. The licence to run the National Lottery is called the Section 5 licence.

Whenever Camelot want to make changes to any of these games they must apply to us for approval. 

Before we will approve any changes and allow amendments to the game licence or licence additional games we look at issues like:

  • player protection
  • projected returns to good causes
  • protecting player funds
  • legality
  • impact on the National Lottery brand and intellectual property. 

We check that Camelot complies with the terms of those licences. 

Listed below is the history of changes to the HotPicks licence and our reasons for agreeing them. 

October 2015

Rationale for agreeing changes to Lotto HotPicks 

In April 2015 we agreed changes to the main Lotto game. One of the key changes was an increase in the number of balls from which the winning numbers are drawn, from 49 to 59. 

This change has a direct impact on the linked game Lotto HotPicks, which uses the Lotto draw result to select winners from its five separate games. 

In addition to the increase in numbers drawn, the changes to HotPicks are:

  • increase in the prize levels for each HotPicks game
  • changes to capping arrangements (reduction in prize values in the unlikely event that prizes far exceed sales)
  • change to the prize pay-out percentage (PPP) for the Pick 1 game (from 61.2% to 61.02%)
  • change to the PPP for the Pick 2 game (from 51% to 52.6%)
  • change to the PPP for the Pick 3 game (from 48.8% to 49.22%)
  • change to the PPP for the Pick 4 game (from 49.5% to 42.85%)
  • change to the PPP for the Pick 5 game (from 40.9% to 41.95%). 

Our decision on the changes is explained by reference to our statutory duties

Propriety (the game is fit and proper)

As the proposal is to make changes to a game already available we were content that:

  • the game would be a legal lottery
  • it would not damage the National Lottery brand
  • there was no additional risk of fraud. 

Protecting the interests of players

We were satisfied that:

  • increasing the prizes for each HotPicks game would not lead to people playing excessively
  • revised proposal does not increase the risk of underage play
  • changes to the PPP were acceptable and fair, noting the increase in prize levels
  • Camelot is capable of explaining to players how the changes to the game would affect their chances of winning each of the HotPicks games
  • rules on capping arrangements strike a fair balance between protecting players’ prizes and the good causes. 

Returns to good causes

HotPicks returns relatively small but consistent returns, and we were satisfied with Camelot’s forecasts which showed that this change would have a small but positive impact upon these returns. 


Based on the information Camelot provided, our own consideration and taking in to account our statutory duties, we agreed to vary the licence for HotPicks.