How to win the National Lottery: move to Birmingham and don’t pick the number 13

It's been 20 years since the National Lottery – but which postcode has the luckiest players? And what do most winners do with their money?

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It’s been 20 years since the first National Lottery draw on 14th November 1994, and since then hopefuls across the country have tried to strike it lucky. “The country will be a lot richer because of the lottery,” declared then-Prime Minister John Major when he launched the first game. Lottery hosts have included Anthea Turner, Bob Monkhouse, Carol Smillie, Terry Wogan, Ulrika Jonsson and Chris Evans – and while the odds of winning are anything but favourable, people continue to play.

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So, to celebrate those 20 years, here are the stats behind those lucky (and unlucky) numbers…

– 53,000,000,000: The amount of money paid out in prize money

– 161,000,000: The largest sum of money ever won in the UK. Colin & Chris Weir struck it lucky on 12 July 2012 in the EuroMillions draw

– 22,000,000: The number of people who watched Noel Edmonds host the first draw in on November 14th

2,500: The amount of money, in pounds, a set of eight Lotto balls costs to buy from the manufacturers

– 3,700: The number of people who have become millionaires and multi-millionaires through the National Lottery since November 1994 

– 314: The number of times the little green 38 ball has been drawn. This is the most drawn Lotto ball

– 229: The number of times the 13 ball has been drawn which, amazingly, makes it the unluckiest ball

– 180: The number of days players have to claim their lottery prize. In October 2014 James Wilson, 28, from Bradley Stoke in South Gloucestershire, claimed his £51,232.90 EuroMillions prize on the 180th day after clearing out an old wallet.

– 111: The number of people who have banked a seven-figure lottery cheque in Birmingham, making it the city with the most Lottery millionaires

– 100: The number of people of people who won a million pounds on the opening night of the 2012 Olympic Games. 97 of those claimed their prize.

– 70: The percentage of people who give money away to friends

– 69: The percentage of millionaires who move house after winning, although 65% of those stay within five miles of where they lived before.

– 52: The percentage of people who left their jobs after winning a million or more

– 32: The percentage of millionaires who bought a new home with their prize money

– 27: The percentage of big winners who bought a dog after claiming their millions

– 6: The percentage of Jackpot winners who hid their millionaire ticket under their pillow to keep it safe until claiming their prize 

– 4: the number of Lotto draw machines. They’re named Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot & Merlin

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– 1: The percentage of millionaires who left their jobs to take up voluntary work