The National Lottery Draws (previously The National Lottery Live) is the television programme that broadcasts the drawing of the National Lottery in the United Kingdom. The program launched in November 1994 on BBC One, and was initially broadcast live on Saturday nights, before expanding to Wednesday and Friday nights later on. From January 2013 to December 2016, the program aired only on Saturday nights. On 24 November 2016 it was announced that the Saturday night draws would be dropped and moved to BBC iPlayer from 7 January 2017.
The first show was presented by Noel Edmonds. After the first show, it was either co-presented by Anthea Turner and Gordon Kennedy, or Bob Monkhouse, all of them assisted by the psychic Mystic Meg. Carol Vorderman had a segment during the early years of the show whereby, she would use mathematical techniques to predict the winning numbers. When Gordon left, Anthea remained as solo host and was followed by a number of presenters over the years.
Commentary on the draws is provided by Alan Dedicoat. During the live show era, in the event of Alan Dedicoat being unavailable, commentary is provided by fellow BBC Radio 2 announcer Charles Nove.Draw managers
The Saturday night draws were usually presented as part of a game show that is shown to be associated with the lottery branding. The game shows were previously broadcast live, with the game show host also presenting the lottery draws. Since 2006, the game shows were pre-recorded, with the live lottery draws included as a separate segment with a different presenter. The draws on Saturday night consisted of "Thunderball" followed by "Lotto" a few minutes later. Since 2014, "Lotto Raffle" is no longer featured during the draws. These gameshows usually aired at about 8.00pm, meaning the draw waa a lot earlier than when there is no gameshows, when the draw was around 10.00pm. A new gameshow has been released every year, except 2010, 2012, and 2016.
Gaby Roslin hosted the final live draw on 31 December 2016, with Alan Dedicoat joining her in vision to close the show. From 7 January 2017, with the move to BBC iplayer, the programme featured no presenter with Dedicoat continuing to announce the draws using pre-recorded commentary.
On BBC One on Saturday nights straight after BBC Weekend News (previously Match of the Day), a segment known as Lottery update is broadcast showing the results of the day's Lotto and Thunderball draws and also how many winners there are. The same thing is also broadcast on BBC One on Tuesday nights after the local news opt-out showing the results of the Tuesday EuroMillions draw and UK millionaire raffle.
National Lottery Stars are held each year and aired on BBC One. Until 2015, the ceremony's name was The National Lottery Awards. It is currently presented by John Barrowman.Presenters
John Barrowman (2010, 2012—)
Myleene Klass (2011)
From 1998 to 2017, eighteen National Lottery game shows have aired.
The Wednesday night draws were usually broadcast at 22:35 and present the Thunderball and Lotto draws. Until 2006, the draw was presented by the game show host and would often include a challenge for the winner of the previous Saturday's game show, offering a chance to win more prizes. From January 2013, the Wednesday draws are available to watch exclusively on the National Lottery's website. There is still a results update on BBC One at 22:35.Wednesday night presenters
The Friday night draws showed the EuroMillions results and the Thunderball draw and are usually broadcast at 23:15. The Friday night draws were the only draws not to be broadcast live. From January 2013, the Friday draws are available to watch exclusively on the National Lottery's website. There is still a results update on BBC One at 22:35.Friday night presenters
The National Lottery draws were originally filmed at BBC Television Centre in London. From 2006 to 2012, it was filmed at Arqiva Chalfont Grove studios in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire in a set known as Lottery HQ. From January 2013, it has been filmed from Pinewood Studios. The EuroMillions draw takes place in a dedicated studio in Paris, France. The draw is occasionally shown at other locations for special events such as The National Lottery Awards ceremony.
Until 2017, the programme was usually broadcast on BBC One, although it was occasionally shown on BBC Two if BBC One was unable to show it. BBC were granted the rights in 1994 after defeating a rival bid from ITV. The programme was also broadcast on BBC Radio 1 (or Radio 1 FM as it was then known) and later, it was broadcast on BBC Radio 5 Live.
Following their defeat, ITV quickly created a rival as they launched their Bingo-based game show Lucky Numbers which was one of the first UK game shows which allowed viewers to take part at home and win. Sponsored by national tabloid The Sun, each week the viewers who had purchased a copy of The Sun were supplied with a game-card. They had to cross off numbers that appeared on that week's show and those that crossed off all their numbers by the time the 'big hooter' sounded on the show would win (or share if there was more than one winner) a prize of £20,000. Whilst it lasted three series from January 1995 until July 1997, it was not as popular as The National Lottery Draws. Unlike the latter show it never aired on Saturdays, with its inaugural series airing on Mondays and the two successive series airing on Fridays. In 2001, ITV would air a single series of The Biggest Game in Town which was similar in its bingo-based interactive style to Lucky Numbers.On 30 November 1996, live on BBC, the draw machine failed to start, causing the draw to be delayed by 50 minutes; Mystic Meg later said that she had been predicting it all day.
On 17 February 2001, during the Thunderball draw, the column that lifts the balls up in the first draw machine initially failed to lift a ball for the second number, with the column eventually lifting without a ball and then not lowering for some time for it to retry lifting a second ball. It later repeated this for the fifth ball.
On 20 May 2006, during the draw on the National Lottery game show Jet Set, several members of the group Fathers 4 Justice protested on the set, causing the show to be taken off air for several minutes while the protesters were removed from the studio. The Lotto and Lotto Extra draws then took place quickly and finished on time for the broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 on BBC One, as missing the start of the contest would be a breach of rules.