lottery questions

How Does Lotto HotPicks Work?

Lotto HotPicks is a side game to the main UK Lotto draw. That is, it uses the same numbers as Lotto but you choose how many of them you want to match.

How To Play HotPicks

The most unusual feature of this game is that you decide how many balls you are going to try and match, between 1 and 5 (if you want to try and match all 6, play the main UK Lotto game instead).

So in this example below, we have chosen to play 'Pick 2' and selected the numbers 9 and 31. If both 9 and 31 are drawn in the 6 main UK Lotto numbers then we win.


You only win though if you match the number of balls you selected to play. So if you choose to 'Pick 5' numbers and only match 4 then you don't win anything. And similarly if you choose to only 'Pick 1' number than you can't win anything more than a Match 1 prize.

Also remember that the bonus ball is NOT included in this game, only the 6 main balls.

Lotto HotPicks Prizes & Odds

These are the odds of winning for each 'Pick' you can make, and the fixed prize that you win. Remember: you can only win for the number of matches you choose, no more and no less.

GameOdds (approx)Prize
Pick 5 Match 51 in 317,814£130,000
Pick 4 Match 41 in 14,126£7,000
Pick 3 Match 31 in 922£450
Pick 2 Match 21 in 79£40
Pick 1 Match 11 in 9£5

NOTE: There is a prize capping rule, so it is possible that if there are 'too many winners' then the prizes can be smaller.

Odds Of Winning Lotto HotPicks Explained

This game causes a lot of confusion about how the odds are calculated. It's not as simple as you may first think.

Take the 'Pick 1' game for example - you have to match 1 number from the 49 possible numbers. You might be tempted to say the odds are simply 1-in-49. But don't forget that there are still 6 balls being drawn for the main UK Lotto draw - and you win if you match any of those 6, so you effectively get 6 chances to win. Which actually works out to 1-in-9 (approx).

Here's the actual calculation you need to work out the odds at each prize level:-

HotPicks odds calculation

And here are some examples of the calculations worked through:-

Pick 4 Match 4

All 4 selected numbers match any 4 out of the 6 drawn balls.

HotPicks odds calculation

This calculation demonstrates that the odds of winning the Pick 4 Lotto Hotpicks jackpot are therefore 1 in 14,126.

Pick 3 Match 3

All 3 selected numbers match any 3 out of the 6 drawn balls.

HotPicks odds calculation

Which shows that the odds of winning the Pick 3 Lotto Hotpicks jackpot are 1 in 922.

Pick 2 Match 2

Both selected numbers match any 2 out of the 6 drawn balls.

HotPicks odds calculation

And you can see that the odds of winning the Pick 2 Lotto Hotpicks jackpot are 1 in 79.

I'll leave you to prove the other 2 prize tiers if you feel the need ;-). Just follow the same formula.

More Lottery Questions Answered:-

What Is The UK Health Lottery?
Do You Need a Syndicate Agreement?
How Does The EuroMillions Roll Down Rule Work Now?
How To Play Euro Millions?
What Are The Most Common Lottery Numbers?