The UK is absolute heaven for lottery enthusiasts. You have big games like EuroMillions, and you have fun opportunities like Set for Life that have you… well… set for life! And if you’re a fan of smaller lotteries with better odds, the Thunderball UK is just the game to try.
Since there are fewer numbers to choose among, the odds are much better than more giant UK lotteries. True, the winning Thunderball numbers aren’t going to make you a multi-millionaire. Still, there’s a nice enough jackpot and a low enough entry cost to give this opportunity a try.
What Is Thunderball UK: A Quick Overview
Thunderball has been around ever since 1999. With an entry cost of one pound per line and favorable odds, it’s a favorite small lottery for many British lotto enthusiasts.
Initially, the game was held only on Saturdays. Due to its growing popularity, however, Camelot decided to introduce a second weekly drawing. The situation changed once again in 2010 with the introduction of a third weekly drawing. As you can see, the demand for Thunderball is pretty significant, and it’s been such ever since 2010.
Over the years, the rules of Thunderball have changed numerous times. Originally, it was a five out of 34 game. Later on, the number of picks increased but so did the maximum jackpot that players could win (more about that – later).
Is Thunderball a Scam, and Can You Buy Tickets Online?
The Thunderball lotto is entirely legitimate. It’s operated by the National Lottery – an enterprise run by Camelot Group. Camelot is the provider of all national lotteries in the UK, and it’s been in business since 1994.
Camelot is responsible for organizing games of luck and paying out prizes to winners. Of all the money generated through ticket sales for a particular game, 53 percent go back to players in the form of rewards. A fund holds 25 percent of the remainder, and this money is used to support charitable causes and social initiatives.
So, you can rest assured that Thunderball is safe to play. There could be scammers using the name of the official lottery to defraud people. Such endeavors, however, are relatively easy to recognize. If you ever receive an email or a letter that claims to originate from Thunderball or Camelot, you can easily discard it as a spam/fraud attempt. An even better idea would be to alert the authorities about it.
As far as how to play Thunderball online, we’ll take a deeper look at that possibility in one of the guide’s coming sections.
Thunderball Explained: How to Play the UK Lottery
Here’s everything you need to know about how to play Thunderball.
For a chance to win a prize, choose five main numbers from one to 39 and an additional Thunderball in the range from one to 14.
You can use your lucky Thunderball numbers for a chance to snatch the jackpot, or you can opt for the lucky dip option. It’s a random numbers generator that will create a ticket on your behalf at the time of the purchase.
We’ve already answered how much a Thunderball ticket is but let’s mention that once again – you have to spend one pound on your entry into an upcoming drawing. And speaking of drawings, currently, Thunderball offers four of those per week. The lotto is being played each Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
Just like all other lotteries in the UK is available to anyone over the age of 16. There are no restrictions when it comes to the nationality of people who can play the lottery. Tickets can be acquired through the extensive Camelot retail network, and the official website provides an additional opportunity.
Thunderball Prizes and Odds
For a chance to claim the jackpot, you have to match the five main Thunderball numbers and the additional Thunderball. If you get these correct, you will win a fixed amount of 500,000 pounds. That sum is guaranteed for each of the individual weekly drawings. The odds of winning the Thunderball jackpot are one in 3,895,584. In comparison, the odds of winning the UK Lotto are one in 45,057,474.
Apart from the jackpot, there are eight additional prize tiers. With nine levels of reward in total, Thunderball offers pretty favorable odds of snatching a prize.
The second prize is awarded to those who match the five main numbers. Once again, there will be a fixed reward of 5,000 pounds. There are two small prizes – matching one main number, and the Thunderball will give you five pounds, and if you only match the Thunderball, you’d win three pounds. The odds of that happening are one in 29.
|Numbers Matched||Thunderball||Prize||Odds of Winning|
|5 Numbers||YES||£500,000||1 in 8,060,598|
|5 Numbers||NO||£5,000||1 in 620,046|
|4 Numbers||YES||£250||1 in 47,415|
|4 Numbers||NO||£100||1 in 3,647|
|3 Numbers||YES||£20||1 in 1,437|
|3 Numbers||NO||£10||1 in 111|
|2 Numbers||YES||£10||1 in 135|
|1 Number||YES||£5||1 in 35|
|0 Numbers||YES||£3||1 in 29|
Some Information for Thunderball Winners
A couple of important rules apply to lottery winners in the UK. All prizes (large jackpots included) are paid out in the form of a lump sum for a start. In addition, lottery winners don’t have to pay taxes on the amounts that they’ve won.
How a Thunderball prize is to be claimed depends on how a lottery ticket has been bought.
All players have 180 days from the date of a drawing to come forward and claim a prize.
Those who play online and win up to 500 pounds will have the sum credited directly to their account. For sums of up to 30,000 pounds, a linked credit/debit card will have to be confirmed for the payout to occur. For larger sums, players will need to get in touch with Camelot and find out more.
For tickets bought through a retail venue, the procedure is slightly different. Sums of up to 100 pounds can be claimed immediately via any authorized vendor. Some retailers will also handle sums of up to 500 pounds, but you’ll need to check in advance. Sums of up to 50,000 pounds can be claimed in a post office, and for larger rewards, winners will have to get in touch with Camelot.
Can You Play the UK Thunderball Online?
If you’re in the UK, you’re in luck! Camelot’s official lottery website has an online ticket buying option. You will, however, need to verify your address before you get a chance to play. That’s important for eventual prize claims later on.
UK lotteries are also quite popular among international players in other countries. Various online lottery agencies do offer such ticket buying options. Check with your favorite service provider to find out if Thunderball playing options are available.
The Bottom Line at Thunderball UK
UK’s Thunderball is simple, fun, and very straightforward. There isn’t anything complicated about it, and you’ll master the game very, very fast.
To help you decide if it’s the right lottery for you, we’ve put together a quick list of the biggest Thunderball pros and cons.
Legitimate and organized by a national entity
Simple and straightforward as far as gameplay goes
Multiple weekly drawings
A single entry into the lottery costs only one pound
There’s a guaranteed jackpot for each drawing
Favorable winning odds
You can play Thunderball both online and offline
Prizes in the UK are easy to claim, and there’s no income tax
It is a reasonably small lottery in comparison to some bigger UK games (and jackpots)
The jackpot is fixed, and it does not rollover
No add-ons or bonus games available
Official online ticket buying option is only available in the UK
So, there you have it! Thunderball is safe and straightforward. It’s probably not the most exciting lottery on the face of the planet, but if you’re not a big, high-risk player, you’ll feel satisfied with what it has to offer.