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Record £46.5m National Lottery jackpot up for grabs

Published 02/01/2016

Mark Gardiner (right) and Paul Maddison celebrate winning the biggest ever National Lottery Prize of £22,590,829
Mark Gardiner (right) and Paul Maddison celebrate winning the biggest ever National Lottery Prize of £22,590,829

The jackpot for tonight's Lotto draw is the highest-ever single prize in the game's history.

An estimated £46.5 million is up for grabs, eclipsing the previous jackpot record of £42 million shared by three ticket-holders in 1996, meaning a single winning ticket would see the holder instantly scoop the largest sum ever claimed.

A National Lottery spokesman said: "The largest Lotto jackpot the nation has ever seen is waiting to be won on Saturday. If a single ticketholder wins the estimated £46.5 million jackpot they will be the biggest Lotto jackpot winner ever."

The current biggest Lotto jackpot win on a single ticket was in 1995 when work colleagues Mark Gardiner and Paul Maddison, from Hastings, East Sussex, shared £22.5 million. The biggest individual winner is Iris Jeffrey, from Belfast, who won £20.1 million in 2004.

According to the Sunday Times Rich List, a single person taking the entire jackpot this weekend would see their winnings eclipse the riches of former Chelsea FC manager Jose Mourinho, who is worth an estimated £40 million.

Their new-found wealth would put them in a similar financial league to some of the country's richest celebrities, including singer Adele, who is worth around £50 million, and tennis star Andy Murray, who has about £48 million.

If £46 million was broken down into £50 notes they would cover 89 miles (143km) - roughly the distance from London to Leicester - if laid end to end, or around 331ft (101m) - just over the height of Big Ben - if stacked.

But the record may go unbroken - once the Lotto jackpot reaches or exceeds £50 million, the jackpot money, if still not won, will roll into the next draw when it must be won.

If no ticket matches all six numbers then the jackpot prize is shared between tickets in the next tier where there is at least one winner.

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