Go Back

What Are The Odds Of Getting 3 Numbers On The Lottery?

What Are The Odds Of Getting 3 Numbers On The Lottery?

The National Lottery takes place twice a week - every Wednesday and Saturday. This game of chance sees millions of players across the UK select six numbers from 1-59, hoping their chosen numbers match the ones drawn. 

But what are the odds of matching three numbers? And what happens when you do? This article delves into these questions and more. 

What Are The Odds Of Getting 3 Numbers On Lottery?

Before we delve into the specifics, it's important to understand how the National Lottery works. Participants select six numbers from a pool of 1-59. The aim of the game is to have as many of your chosen numbers as possible match the ones drawn in the lottery. The more numbers you match, the higher the prize. However, matching all six numbers to win the jackpot is a rare feat, with the odds estimated to stand around a staggering 1 in 45,057,474. 

While the chances of scooping the jackpot are slim, the odds significantly improve when we look at smaller wins. For instance, the probability of matching three numbers on your ticket to the ones drawn is 1 in 97. This might not make you a millionaire, but it does guarantee a fixed cash prize. 

What Happens When You Get 3 Numbers On The Lottery?

So, you've matched three numbers; what now? In the National Lottery, matching three numbers guarantees a win of £30. This amount remains constant, regardless of the number of winners in a particular draw. So, whether you're the only player to match three numbers or one among hundreds, the prize money stays the same. 

Email Notifications From The National Lottery

If you have an online account or use the National Lottery app, you'll receive an email notification during regular business hours after the draw. Please ensure that the email is legitimate and does not contain any suspicious links or requests for personal details. 

If you're unsure, log into your account online or via the app to see if you have actually won. 

How Long Does The Lottery Take To Pay Out?

Following a win, the National Lottery gives you up to 180 days to claim your prize. Once your claim has been made and your details verified, the money should appear in your account within 2 to 7 days. The time frame may vary depending on the size of your prize. 

Claiming Your Prize

Claiming your winnings is a simple process. If you have an online account with the National Lottery, you can claim your prize online. However, if you purchased your ticket from a retail store, you will need to return to the store with your winning ticket and proof of identification to claim your prize. 

Remember, you must claim your win within 180 days of the draw, or else the money will no longer be available. 

Does The Bonus Ball Count In The 3 Numbers?

When it comes to the bonus ball, it's important to note that it only counts if you match five numbers. Therefore, if you match three numbers and the bonus ball, your prize will be for matching three numbers only. The bonus ball does not contribute to this win. The same goes for matching 2 numbers and the bonus ball; this will only count as matching 2 numbers. 


While the chances of winning the jackpot in the National Lottery may be slim, matching as few as three numbers can still result in a cash prize. So whether you're a seasoned player or new to the game, understanding the odds and the process can enhance your experience and help you manage expectations. 

While the lottery can be an exciting pastime, it's crucial to remember that it's a form of gambling and should be approached responsibly. 

Remember, if you do match 3 numbers, you win £30 and have 180 days from the day of the draw to claim your prize.