UK Thunderball serves as the smaller, faster version of the UK’s national lottery. This one doesn’t pay out multi-million-pound jackpots, but it makes up for that with great odds and three drawings a week. At just £1 per ticket, this is the game to play if you like to get in on the action often but don’t want to spend a fortune chasing the big one.
What makes Thunderball particularly attractive is that it gives you three chances a week to win £500,000. Even better, you never have to split the prize with anyone else. If you buy a winning ticket, you get half a million all to yourself.
Best Thunderball UK Lottery Sites
If you live in the UK or Isle of Man, you can sign up for an account at the National Lottery website and play as often as you like from the comfort of home.
Whether you buy Thunderball tickets online or in person, each game has you pick five numbers from 1-39 in addition to a “Thunderball” number from 1-14. You can also take the “Lucky Dip” option to have numbers selected at random for you.
Drawings are held every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday and consist of the lottery picking five numbers at random plus a Thunderball number. You win the top prize if you match all five numbers plus the Thunderball. However, there are lots of other prizes to win as well. Every Thunderball ticket comes with nine ways to win.
Thunderball Winning Combinations
- 5 Matching Numbers + Thunderball: £500,000
- 5 Matching Numbers: £5,000
- 4 Matching Numbers + Thunderball: £250
- 4 Matching Numbers: £100
- 3 Matching Numbers + Thunderball: £20
- 3 Matching Numbers: £10
- 2 Matching Numbers + Thunderball: £10
- 1 Matching Number + Thunderball: £5
- Thunderball Only: £3
Odds of Winning Thunderball
Before 2010, winning the UK Thunderball was much more difficult than today as lottery players did not receive a prize for matching all five numbers minus the Thunderball. After increasing the payouts for various combinations, the National Lottery has effectively doubled the odds of winning a cash prize.
However, the odds of winning the top prize are now not quite as good as they once were. It’s still one of the “easiest” lotteries to win, but you’re going to need a little more luck on your side to take the £500,000 top prize. The odds of winning the top prize are now 1:8,060,598. The odds of winning any prize at all are 1:13.
How to Buy Thunderball UK Lottery Tickets
The UK National Lottery is happy to sell Thunderball tickets online to anyone located inside the UK at the time of purchase. If you’re in the area, all you need to do is visit the National Lottery website to sign up for an online account. There, you can pay for tickets with your credit card or set up a direct debit plan to automatically enter future drawings. People located elsewhere can turn to WinTrillions.com for online tickets.
Thunderball Subscriptions and Syndicates
Online subscriptions are especially popular with Thunderball, thanks to its relatively high odds and frequency of drawings. Subscription lengths range from just a couple of drawings to as much as one year in advance. If you buy from the official UK Lottery website, you can even set up a continuous subscription to automatically purchase an entry into every drawing until you turn it off.
Wins of up to £500 are paid directly to your online National Lottery account, while wins of £501 to £5000 are paid to the winner’s bank account. Winners must claim prizes in excess of £5000 by contacting the National Lottery and will be paid by check.
Thunderball UK fully supports syndicate play as well. In fact, you can use your online account to organize a syndicate, collect payments and then send the cash to the person designated as your syndicate manager. If you know a few people you’d like to team up with, check out the UK’s syndicate guide here. There is some important information there, including a sample syndicate agreement that you can have everyone sign for legal protection.
This option is only available on the official Thunderball website, and that means it is only available to readers based out of the UK/Isle of Man. If you want to run your own syndicate from elsewhere, you’ll need to set it up on your own and make sure you have a binding legal agreement just in case things turn sour after a big win.