UK Thunderball

Everyone who joins UK Thunderball has a chance to win the jackpot of £500,000 each time. No matter how many players match the top prize, it doesn’t have to be shared. It only costs £1 per entry. Proceeds from Thunderball go to National Lottery projects across the U.K.

The Thunderball draw happens every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. You can play online, use your mobile device or look for any of the 37,000 participating retailers in the U.K. Playing Thunderball online starts every day at 8 a.m. (or sometimes earlier) to 11:00 p.m. Tickets for Thunderball can be purchased online or at any authorised National Lottery retailers.

Thunderball ticket sales close from 7:30 p.m. every Wednesday, and from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday for that night’s draw. So remember, if you want to play Thunderball on those days, you should purchase your tickets before 7:30 p.m. 

How to play UK Thunderball

First, choose five main numbers from 1 to 39, then choose one Thunderball number from 1 to 14 or select Lucky Dip for a random selection. Next, choose how many lines to play. You can play up to seven lines of numbers on every play slip and purchase up to ten play slips at a time. 

Present your play slip at the counter to receive a ticket. If you make a purchase online, the app or website will provide you with an electronic ticket once you’ve paid. You can instantly find out if you’ve won anything. 

To win the half a million jackpot, players need to correctly guess the five numbers, as well as the Thunderball number.

There are nine prize categories, which gives players a good chance of winning something. You can also win a prize if you correctly guess the correct Thunderball number.

You can check the website to find out all the Thunderball prize combinations. You can also watch the Saturday night draw live on BBC One, and the mid-week draws live online. You can also the results in stores, on the website or app, and by following the National Lottery on social media. 

Play UK Thunderball using Direct Debit

There is also an option to play up to eight weeks in advance or continuously play via Direct Debit if you don’t want to miss a draw. Direct Debit is easy and quick to set up. Just choose “Continuously by Direct Debit” when selecting the number of weeks to play on your Lotto, Thunderball or EuroMillions play slip. 

Once it’s all set up, your play slip will be stored, then you can enter your chosen draws. You can view your tickets, including your raffle numbers, any time you want in “My Games”. It typically takes up to four weeks to have your Direct Debit set up, but you will be notified of the start day right away. 

Now, if you want to enter draws before your Direct Debit begins, get a new play slip for the game you want to play, then choose the number of weeks to cover your entries until the time your Direct Debit starts. 

If you win anything, you’ll receive an email, and your winnings up to and including £50,000 will go directly into your bank account. If you win more than £50,000, you’ll get a call from the National Lottery and set an appointment for you to claim your winnings in person. 

What you can win

Players can win up to £500,000 for matching the five main numbers, as well as the Thunderball number. You can also win £3 for matching the Thunderball number.

5 main numbers + Thunderball£500,000
5 main numbers£5,000
4 main numbers + Thunderball£250
4 main numbers£100
3 main numbers + Thunderball£20
3 main numbers£10
2 main numbers + Thunderball£10
1 main numbers + Thunderball£5
0 main numbers + Thunderball£3

Brief history of UK Thunderball

The first-ever draw of the UK Thunderball happened on June 1999, which initially only happened once a week. Now, it has expanded to having three draws each week, which happen every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Draws and results are broadcasted live on TV and online. 

Aside from making changes in the draw days, UK Thunderball also made changes to its format and prize tiers. Previously, the number of balls were 34, then it was increased to 39. Then, the top prize doubled from £250,000 to £500,000. Lastly, a new prize was added for matching just the Thunderball. The most recent changes took place in the May 12, 2010 draw.